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Friday, 5 September 2014

Zero Waste Week 2014 - Day 5

With today's Zero Waste Week email being all about food waste I just had to zone in on the kitchen today.

A topic that could fill a book - it sure can.  After writing a section on food waste in my book 101 Ways to Live Cleaner and Greener for Free, I felt I wanted to concentrate  my next book on just the subject of food waste as there are so many things we can do to make more of our food.  I'm hard at work on it and I hope it will be finished before the end of the year.   If you have a top tip for reducing food waste that you'd like to share in my book, please do message me in the comments and I'll be in touch.

Needless to say, with researching and writing about reducing food waste I've become pretty nifty at using up every scrap.  I started my book, coincidentally, on the first day of Zero Waste Week 2013 which, as you may know was all about how to reduce our food waste.  I learnt lots from the tips that the Zero Wasters shared that week and I've been gathering tips and trying out recipes ever since.

So, today I had a CORN lunch, having first picked out what is going to go into tonight's bean casserole dinner. There was some tomato and onion pasta sauce and I picked out the cucumber and apple pieces from a bit of last night's salad - the rest is peppers, spring onion, carrot and celery all of which can go into the casserole.  What was left looked like the makings of a couscous lunch - it had been pork filet in a tomato sauce, and it turned into a tasty couscous sauce.

After lunch, before returning to the delights of explaining anaerobic digestion in a fun and exciting way for teenagers, I decided to blitz the kitchen clear out. One thing that has been driving me mad lately is that my collection of plastic pots (two drawers full when none are in use) was a mess of pots and lids but never the right pot with the right lid.  So I emptied out both drawers and sorted the pots and lids putting together the ones that matched.  I put a few margarine and ice cream tubs into the recycling as they didn't have the right lids and a few pot-less lids went in too.  The rest are now neatly stacked in their wicker drawers and harmony is restored at least to that quarter the Pitt kitchen.

The other area of the kitchen that bothered me was the kitchen dumping ground - a wooden trolley.  I had no idea what was there, but the general rule was that if it didn't have a place, that's where it ended up.  But my kitchen, in theory, has a place for everything.  Which could only mean one thing, if it was on the bottom of the trolley, it wasn't needed.

Before :(
Most of what was on the trolley went into either the recycling boxes, or one of two pots in the garage for odd bits of scrap metal and odd bits of hard plastic, neither of which we can put in our recycling boxes.  The scrap metal pot gets emptied occasionally at the local recycling and reuse centre when we are passing or have something else to take there.  The bits of hard plastic just accumulate as nowhere takes hard plastic in this area.  But the pot is an ice cream tub and it isn't yet full, so I'm happy for it to sit there in the garage for now.  I will say though, there has been more than one occasion that the 'hard plastics pot' has been raided for a gizmo - or at least a piece of plastic that can be used to make or fix a gizmo.

A couple of glass jars went into the dish washer and will be added to the slowly building jar collection which we'll use for making jam and chutney in the coming months.

Sadly, my lovely cast iron cook pan that has been broken for many years is awaiting a trip to the WEEE recycling so it can be taken apart to begin a new life.

And here's the result of my whirl wind sort out session…

After :)
How long will it last?  I estimate somewhere between 10 minutes and 10 days, but for now, I'm feeling good about myself and a few resources are on their way to find a new purpose.

There was nothing added to the charity shop bag, so I picked out these from various shelves and cupboards… I've never used them, but maybe someone else will?

Off to the charity shop
Oh yes, here's my attempt at mending my jeans - I'm not quite sure why I decide on pink embroidery thread, but oh well, the main objective of no more bum on show is achieved!


Rae said...

The jeans look fab and well done on the kitchen declutter - it feels so good to put the container lids and pots together, doesn't it!

Anna Pitt said...

Thank you, Rae. Just a few more odds and ends to sort out in the kitchen but I'm already feeling pleased with myself. I have my 'new' jeans on today and the repair job is very comfortable. It will be put to the test on the bike later too as I have to shop for tomorrow's dinner .

I've just read today's zero waste week challenge and I'm going in…right now!