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Monday, 1 September 2014

Zero Waste Week 2014 - Day 1

I've been looking forward to Zero Waste Week and seeing through my pledge.  I found that I've been thinking about it on and off for the last few weeks, making mental notes about what I'll need to tackle and wondering what I'm going to part with.

As you've probably guessed, I love this year's Zero Waste Week theme of 'One More Thing'.  I wrote a whole book of things we can all do to reduce waste, but there's always one more thing.  There's always room for improvement  and this week, I'm going to try to do just that.

My Zero Waste Week pledge - my 'One More Thing' to reduce waste -

…is to go through each room and pick out at least three things that we no longer use, but can't give away as they are because they need some kind of attention.  I'm pretty rubbish at mending stuff.  I have good intentions, and I never just throw something away.  But I do find that I procrastinate instead of just dealing with broken things straight away.  So, I'm going to use this week, to try to develop my mending skills and try to kick the habit of letting things build up in the hope that I'll sort them out one day!

In addition to that I'm going to join in with the Zero Waste Week daily emails and find something more each day that I can be doing to reduce my use of resources.

So, what am I mending today?

I decided that I'd start in the spare bedroom as I know that there's lots of stuff in there, hidden in drawers and under the bed and there's at least one box that is full of stuff with bits missing, so I thought it would be easy to pick out three things we could part with and get off to a flying start.

First up, I decided to take the plunge and address these lovely ladies…

They have been long neglected atop the spare room wardrobe.  They get a very occasional dust, but they are really a bit sad and unloved.  I brought them down from their perch to investigate whether they could be cleaned up to be given away, and found that the clothes were removable and washable.   They've been through the wash, and are now out on the line and hopefully they haven't shrunk.  If I can dress them up again, then they will go to the charity shop, to see if they can find a new home.

Next up, hanging on some wall hooks I found a stash of unwanted jewellery, which I've add to my collection of broken beads, ribbons, single earrings and cufflinks, buttons, jewellery boxes and old watches, which I collect up for the charity, Against Breast Cancer.  A lovely lady, Laura Hounam, who I've blogged about before, takes these bits and pieces and turns them into wonderfully desirable and modern jewellery that she sells at craft fairs and exhibitions to raise money for the charity.

Third up is a dressing gown, that has somehow escaped the charity bag for all these years.  That's gone into the washing and will be added to the charity shop clothes bag that I've started up.

That wasn't so hard!  But I'm still left with the box of toys and games from last year's clear out.  I've decided to keep this, in the hope that as I go through each room, I might find the missing pieces.  If not, then I'll have to have a re-think at the end of the week!

Onto my Zero waste week daily email that awaited me this morning!  It's all about plastic, with lots of suggestions for how to reduce the amount of single use plastic we all use.  Plastic is one of those things that because there are so many different types, some local councils choose not to offer a collection service.  Pretty much all plastic can be recycled and the myth that it all gets shipped to China and landfilled is very far from the truth.  There are many companies who recycle plastic here in the UK.  I know that, because I've visited several of them!

But despite the fact that most plastics can be recycled and I live in area that does take almost all of it in the kerbside collection boxes, it is still something that I try to cut down on.

I always keep a few plastic bags in my various handbags and rucksacks.  We keep plastic bags in the boot of each car, so that we are not caught out shopping without a bag.  We buy most fruit and veg loose, and if not, then again we reuse the bags and put them back in with our shopping bags when we unpack the shopping.  We take our egg boxes to the butchers to refill with local eggs and we also take our own plastic containers for our meat purchases.  We use various tupperware pots for packed lunches.

So, I've I hopped over onto the blog post to see what 'One More Thing' we could do to reduce the amount of plastic recycling we end up with and here's the plan…

The plastic packaged thing we don't seem to be able to do without in our family is crisps.  The problem with crisp packets is that they are made from mixed materials which apparently makes them too difficult or costly to recycle.  So the only way to avoid this waste is to do without them or make our own.  I have a gadget that will cut slices of root vegetables very finely, so this evening I'm going to give it a whirl.  Anyone got any tips for DIY crisp making?


Rae said...

I love how, when we actually take action, most of the jobs we've been procrastinating about aren't as bad as we thought. I felt like you whizzed through your home and found those three items so quickly!

Good luck with the crisps. Check out this tweet from @therubbishdiet

gina caro said...

Great pledge! Good luck with it :)

Anna Pitt said...

Thanks, Gina! Thanks, Rae - I have been positively whizzing through my de-cluttering. It is definitely having a positive effect on my mind too! I feel that I'm getting all kinds of things done.

I will try out the crisps recipe later this week, as my microwave version was tasty but slow!