I saw in the local paper a couple of weeks ago an artical asking families to get involved with the council to reduce the amount of rubbish they send to landfill each week. Having moved from a smallholding where I grew my own vegetables and produced our own meat to a normal convential house where I have to use shops has been challenging, wonderful in many ways and quite liberating but a bit depressing as well because it seems everything you buy it wrapped- sometimes double wrapped in plastic. And so much of it you over buy and end up throwing away.
As I have said in previous blogs we are very lucky around here with our local shops but even with these shops there is packaging so we had a good thinking session at home to find different ways we could prevent this. I looked at a site called My Zero Waste which is by a family based in Gloucestershire who have made the decision to try to produce ‘zero waste’. http://myzerowaste.com/ they had some great tips on clever shopping so I thought we would try a few. Today when we went shopping we took our own tubs so that we could hand them over at the point where any bit of food needed to be wrapped or bagged. http://myzerowaste.com/2009/05/reduce-plastic-food-containers-and-packaging/
First we went to a supermarket, the children had a great time finding the things we needed without compromising on the plastic, they also had a go at working out how much less it costs by buying things out of bags and packets. Very surprisingly we have enough food for the week and it cost us about £50 less than usual!! Things that had to have packaging like loo roll we made sure we bought the recycled option, but I suppose we didn’t buy all the extras and offers because they seem to be the ones with extra branding and packaging.
Then on the way home we went to our favourite Lobbs Farm Shop http://www.lobbsfarmshop.com/ and did the same. The staff in there were fantastic as ever and were really interested in what we were trying to do (a much nicer shopping enviroment) they thought it would be wonderful if everyone came with their own little box. I also spoke to one of the owners of the shop and he thought it was a potentially a very good step to the future of their packaging problems, they could get a set of tubs produce with their name on and use it as a ‘tub for life’ like we have the bags for life, and as long as the customer is responsible and brings with them a clean sealed container each time it could really cut down on everyones rubbish.
We also met up with Sue who is our wonderful ‘council recycling buddy’ her job with us is to help us with the rubbish that can be recycled, she gave us ideas on re-using food and how to shop well, to make sure you have a list and to only buy the items on the list! eek will-power! She brought with her a fancy new compost bin for us which is rodent proof so you can put all food waste in it as well. We are feeling very lucky. As a special treat outing we went over to the Eden project and met the recycling team who closed the compound for us so that they could safely show us around and explain all aspects of the recycling they do at Eden. Thank you ladies!
For the next outing we are hoping to visit a landfill to see for ourselves to true horror of the rubbish produced in our county. I’m expecting this to inspire us to work even harder to recycle and encourage others to do the same.