Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

ZWW 2017 Day -2 #TrashlessTuesday

For #TrashlessTuesday, I'm continuing my theme of using the boxes from my signed book copies to clear out some space in my understairs cupboard (obviously known as Harry Potter's Bedroom).

I'm a bit concerned that by venturing anywhere near my cupboard I'll be finding waste that could otherwise stay hidden - out of sight out of mind, and all that.  But I have the advantage of living in an area of the UK that really cares about maximising use of resources and minimising waste. I live in Oxfordshire and here we have brilliant kerbside collection services and a very extensive offer at our Recycling centres across the county, which were recently given a reprieve to stay open, in the face of continuing budget cuts.

From delving into my cupboard each time I empty a box of books, I'm realising that there's a lot of packaging materials in there.  Does that happen in all households?  I keep things for reuse and I do go to my cupboard rather than go to the shops any time I send anything anywhere or gift anything.

I really don't need all this packaging.  It would take me years to reuse it and anyway, my stock of gift bags and packaging tends to grow every Christmas because we are usually hosts for the family gatherings and for some reason, no-one seems to want to reclaim their gift bags.  So these are going into a box to be taken to the charity shop on Friday morning.

Box 1 ready for the charity shop
Added to the gift bags, I've found bubble wrap which I know my charity shop can use as they sell quite a bit of crockery and other breakables. In goes the brown paper that I'm finding in my boxes of books too.

As for my plastic bag of trash to be carried round all day, I am following with interest the posts on the Zero Waste Heroes Facebook group and realising that my own zero (well nearly zero) waste is clearly made a lot easier because of where I live. I've seen people add yoghurt pots and flyaway plastic to their #TrashlessTuesday list.  I had both of these today and both go into my kerbside recycling box.

The one thing I ended up with that can't be recycled or reused was this packing tape on the bubble wrap. I pulled off the packing tape carefully to save as much of the bubble wrap for reuse by my local charity shop.  The tape itself will end up in the general waste bin - that always pains me, but the bubble wrap isn't useable in the mess it was in, so this is the sacrifice.
A mess of bubble wrap
Tape (on the left)  removed - that will go in the bin and the untidy edges of the bubble wrap (on the right) will recycle.
It made me think about how I was packing up my books for postage as I was using a lot of sellotape.  The #TrashlessTuesday bag challenge really works does't it?  By making me focus on waste, I realised by folding the very old envelopes (40 years plus, I reckon) a different way, I use less tape and that will maybe make the envelope more likely to be reused by the recipient.  Open your books carefully please, lovely people, and apologies for the excess tape of the books I've already posted.

One of the ways that I have managed to cut down on both my trash and my recycling over the last few years is to take my own containers to the butcher's, my own reusable vegetable bags to the greengrocer's or supermarket and to buy dry goods in bulk, again in my own containers.  Our two daughters will shortly be returning to university, so we had a family outing to the nearest dry goods store with almost every plastic and glass container that we had in the house and we have stocked up on all things like oats, dried fruit, nuts, rice,  and I can't think what else, but lots more.  The only packaging from that entire enormous shop was a large tub that contained peanut butter.  Senior daughter is running a marathon in a couple of weeks and she's getting through a lot of peanut butter.  We decided the tub looked like a useful container and it was probably equivalent to three of the glass jars we've been buying.  So it seemed like a reasonable packaging option.

Once you get into the Zero Waste idea, I think you shop differently. If we can shop packaging free, we do.  Otherwise, I think we always ask ourselves the question: what will happen to the packaging post use? If it can be reused (then recycled) then we'll buy it.

The one exception seems to be shop bought crisps.  My solution is to retrain my brain to not eat them. But that's not something I'm going to ask the rest of the family to do.  However, quite by coincidence no crisp packet was finished on #TrashlessTuesday so it is just the tape in the bin.

No comments: