For anyone new here, I like to weigh my waste every week. My aim is to one day be zero waste. I only way landfill waste, recycling and composting (i use a Bokashi bucket) are not weighed. Monday and Tuesday this week, I moved house – so there’s a lot more than usual in this week’s weigh in! Let me start with some photos:
This was the weekly waste leading up to the move, so meat trays and similar items. 562g
The overflow of day to day trash (with some McDonald’s food soiled carboard that STANK!) 276g
Things are getting heavy! This was mainly packing tape, with a pair of the BF’s old shoes that the leather had started dying a painful death 987g
And the final collection of ‘stuff’ at the old house – there’s a plant in there, and a homemade mozzie trap made form a plastic soft drink bottle, sugar syrup and yeast… what a sticky mess! 1277g
So, the grand total is 562 + 276 + 987 + 1277 = 3102g = 3.1KG!
Wowzers! To think I was down to single digits recently… Such is life. There’s no ‘everyday’ waste from the new house (such as food, as Bokashi’s on a holiday to my parents to get buried and returned empty).
More on the new house and new lists tomorrow… And the drama of Sunday and a hospital visit. Oh yes, I like to keep it interesting!
It might be a busy week, but I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t weigh my rubbish. So, let’s see how things went in the first (partial) week of the BF living at live-to-list-ville:
That’s the weight for three weeks worth of trash, so, this week’s weigh in is: 548 – 67 -172 = 302g
Not my biggest week. Just my second biggest week. And here’s why
meat trays: with all the moving, I settled for meat from the grocery store, in non recyclable trays
ice cream wrappers: why does stress come with eating bad things, and thinking it’s ok?
cheese packets: yes, I used up TWO of the packets in the photo from last week
apple puree cups: I was feeling ill, so I always go for apple sauce to settle my tummy. Whilst I can buy it in a jar (with cinnamon), I somehow just got single portions pack, with three cups and three pretend foil lids.
tortilla bag: I’m not sure I can buy these without plastic, though I could look into making them?
plastic wrapping from a lamp: this cellophane wrapping was removed to show the lamp’s fabric (like it’s already un-plasticed twin)
tea bags: yes, I still have a stash. And I could empty out the tea leaves to the Bokashi, and just trash the string and staple, but I’m not that vigilant (yet)
So I’m not that happy, but it’s not *that* bad. I’ve got to focus on work, and packing my house/showing my house, so I let other things slip.
I also indulged in a cleaner to do the bathroom and the oven yesterday. She emptied the bathroom bin (curses – seriously, my boyfriend thinks I’m the only person who’d have a problem with a cleaner emptying bins!). Thankfully, I found the bin liner and contents in the kitchen bin, so I weighed them. There’s ‘wet’ stuff still inside, so it’s heavier than it I did it later:
It’s by no means ‘full’ but this is 216g since 22 May – so more than two months. In this bag we have:
cotton buds: using the last of the ‘normal’ ones up before buying bamboo ones
floss: remember that the silk thread as floss was a failure, so I’m stuck with this waste. Not yet at rinsing it either…
dish cloths: from the cleaner. I usually use a microfibre cloth and wash it (in the washing machine) and use a little loo paper for the ickiest of wipe downs.
So there in completes my weekly update. I’m not sure I’ll have a Wednesday Waste post next week – I’ll certainly trash things in the moving day of Monday without weighing them! I’ll perhaps Facebook post any ‘trashing’ in the move process…
On the rental front: There was only one interested couple to apply after two showings. The other couple found the balcony too small. I’ve decided to accept the first couple’s application, rather than lower my rent and see if there’s more interest. The first couple can move in 9th August, which is just 4 days after we vacate, so that’s better than what I might otherwise get. So that’s one more thing sorted…
I almost forgot this riveting installment… Oh, how you would have missed it! (Seriously, there was a bolt upright moment when I realised, and I scurried back to the kitchen to snap some photos). For anyone new to this, I like to weigh my non recyclable waste every Wednesday. One day, I hope to have zero non recyclable waste. That’s the aim! I do the kitchen bin weekly, and the bathroom and bedroom bin when they get full. For more details, see the Zero Waste page.
Blurry picture at 6.30am, sorry, but that’s 239g. Adjusted (as this is two week’s trash) total is 67g.
That is a RECORD! I’ve never had it that low since I started weighing weekly in April.
It’s weird, cause I was sure the yucky bacon packet would take me over.
Oh and for people who remember all my cheese grating efforts (to lessen waste), here’s some photos of what happened when the BF’s fridge was emptied into mine this past weekend:
And to think, this was after I consolidated all his half packets into one package, where possible. If there’s one thing I teach the BF, it’ll be to ‘use it up’ when there’s just dregs in the packet… I mean, who couldn’t handle one more sprinkle of cheese to empty the packet?
So, that brings us to… the best week yet, but some bad weeks anticipated in the new future. Any tips on how to keep the BF on board with my waste minimisation targets?
Oh, it’s Wednesday again. Best get my ‘crazy’ on weighing my rubbish!
A heavy week at 172g. Third week in a row on the increase – bad Sarah!
There were some unrepairable sunglasses. There was gluten free macaroni a friend gave me in its plastic bag (she’s so on board with what I do and don’t eat, it’s lovely). There was a *cough cough* garlic bread wrapper from IGA – yes, me the gluten free pasta girl had a gluteny garlic bread. Sigh. There were block cheese wrappers, and band aid wrappers. Really usual stuff mostly.
How I’d curb this rubbish? Plastic sunglasses are probably always going to be a curse. Pasta can be bought at the coop, but I won’t deny the gift. I could make my own garlic bread (as the bf suggested) but this was a ‘I’m starving, I need lunch NOW without eating out’ purchase – if I was to buy bread, then butter it and garlic it, I feel like I really am putting a lot of effort in. Of course, he’s right, I should make it at home… I make sweet chili sauce now, and grate cheese, garlic bread really isn’t a stretch now is it?
Pregrated cheese packets were a repeat offender in my landfill trash, so I thought about how I could cut that down. So my first step was to grate the cheese myself. One day, I’ll find a deli that’s not already wrapped the cheddar in it’s own plastic raincoat, and I’ll liberate it to my house, where I’ll grate it and provide it with a reusable ziplock bag!
So, with my wonderful food processor, I was sorted:
And in no time, I had this!
Weekly weigh in
This week’s check in is GREAT! (95g) I did a lot of cooking Thursday week ago, and that tided me over for meals until Sunday. Then my cooking on Sunday was homemade pastry for a leek pie – all minimal packaging (though the feta cheese wasn’t all used, to there’ll be plastic to come from that). I also had a belt fall apart (cheap = useless). There’s also some wrappers from choc chips and almond meal in there.
And last week? 297g. Thanks largely to fabric of indeterminate type, so trashed.
I’m thinking I’ll create some sort of graph, and add it to my Zero Waste page so you can see how I’m going!
Jar seals: Why do glass jars with metal lids come with a plastic ‘seal’ over the lid? Is the ‘pop top’ not enough. Grr!
Razor tray: yes I bought a large quantity of razors (a long while ago) and I just tidied the drawer they were in and removed the plastic ‘tray’ they came in. I’d hoped buying 10 would lessen the overall impact of the packaging, though I’m dubious.
Non-plastics/or ‘I’m not sure *what* that is
Butter paper: someone suggested I could compost/bokashi these, but I’m not 100% sure?
Baking paper: Usually I’d reuse it, but this got a little brown and crispy
Foil-y bag: from a snack on site, which was protein balls. Why didn’t I just get a banana? Hindsight is 20/20
Sticker: from a yoghurt pot I’m reusing. If the pot is recyclable, is the sticker? Or is that something removed in the recycling process? I wasn’t sure, so I trashed it
Blister packs: the last of the lozenges
Back on track after a ‘heavy’ week last week. Whilst in some ways it’s seems like I’ve plateaued, I’m still turning things over in my head. Looking at the choices I’m making, and what alternatives there are, which I’ve drafted a post on. Things like, a metal handled razor, or even a razor with replaceable blades (rather than ‘disposable’ like I use now). Toliet paper could be bought elsewhere. I could do away with some food stuffs that keep coming up with non recyclable packaging? Seeing two are gluten free products, I’m loathed the limit my diet further!
Actually, I need to familiarise myself more with Coles’ supermarket’s plastic bag recycling policy, as pictured in this post, to see if some bags could head there for recycling. Right! That’s on the to do list for the week. <– done this, see the edit above!
As always, alternatives and suggestions warmly welcomed.
Would it be a Wednesday without a waste audit? This is more about keeping me accountable and one day, zero waste, than entertaining you readers. However, I hope some people over time might pick up some of my quirks in their own life – and you might share some of your work arounds to make your household less ‘trashy’. (Oh i just love a lame pun!)
This week saw the bathroom bin long overdue for emptying:
Kitchen waste (in a parcel satchel):
For those playing at home, here’s this week’s weigh in and comparisons to past weeks:
So a big week in the kitchen, which I’ll explain in my breakdown of what’s in my trash. I’ll also look at what’s in the bathroom bin and look at where I can reduce!
McDonald’s straws and cup tops: BF had McD’s twice this week (and I had it once). One time can be accounted for by his power being out and him picking it up on his way to mine. The other time was a treat for lunch (I never said I was classy!)
Choc chips packet – a future post will outline my alternatives to this packaging and my reasons for retaining this wasteful choice
Rags with silicon on them – no hope washing that stuff off
Plastic bags – the key to removing silicon from your hands
Lollypop wrapper and stick – from after my flu jab 🙁
Cotton buds – zerowastehome says you should just do away with them. I (re)use ear plugs every night, if I don’t remove some of the wax I’ll be churning through more earplugs, so…
Floss – is it plastic? In any case, I’m still working through the existing roll
McDonald’s food soiled cardboard wrappers
Tissues – my Sunday/Monday sniffles were excessive. I’m using the hankies, but my need is greater than the public can handle in homemade pink hankies, though I have been using them a lot at home/in the car etc
Blister packs – namely from my lozenges
Overall, I’m ok with the weigh in, even though it’s higher than other weeks. The silicon is a necessary evil (unfortunately). Blister packs are also something I have no work around for – other than to make my own lozenges, but I just can’t imagine them keeping well, and I wouldn’t be thinking of making them when ill. Perhaps I can use up my last few, and then not buy anymore, and settle for hot tea. Tea’s great, except when I’m running to site for work. Tissues are on a slow decline, though I expect some use to continue when I’m without enough hankies, or I’m not at my home and I fall ill. McDonald’s, is well, slack! But I’m not trying to change the bf, and I’m not sending him home with rubbish. I figure it’s just best to be honest and accountable here. Luckily the unsoiled items did end up in recycling at least.
It’s Wednesday, must be waste update day! (Just envision a bleary eyed version of me, weighing waste at 6.20am in the morning. It’s a sight, let me assure you!). If it makes your stomach churn (there’s only the one photo below) then stop by tomorrow for my pantry audit.
Weight at 15 May: 98g (= 367- 269)
The subtraction in the parentheses is because I don’t take out the trash weekly, so the number on the scale isn’t the week’s weight, but a few weeks.
And previous ‘weigh ins’:
Weight at 8 May: 98g (= 269 – 171)
Weight at 1 May: 171g
Weight at 24 Apr: 183g
Weight at 17 Apr: 172g
Weight at 4 Apr: 232g
Maintaining the lower number from last week, which is impressive. Things in this week’s waste:
Plastic bowl: from farm fresh figs. I didn’t have an alternate container in my car. And there’s no recyclable symbols on it
Plastic salad lid: again, no recycling symbols. My lunch on site (the bottom did appear to be recyclable though :))
Cling wrap: from half a celery from the green grocer
Plastic bag: from 1kg of tomato on sale at the green grocer
Zip lock bags: one has bacon in it, and I’m not 100% sure I can get it safely clean for use again. The other bag was of low quality, so it got binned after a long service
Tissues: there’s still a box lingering at home, and at work. But hankies are in wider circulation, though I’m not enraptured, I’m allowing myself to adjust
Stickers: from fruit, and also from the salad
I’m happy with my progress, but a little frustrated at the same sorts of things always ending up in my bin! And one of these days, I need to empty the bathroom bin, and that’ll see a spike in my numbers (and some more regular trash offenders!)
One item I diligently wash and recycle are take away coffee cups and their plastic lids. I love a plastic lid (takes me back to a childhood of sippy cups perhaps), but I’ve cleaned up littered areas, and these things are SO annoying. They are flimsy enough that they flake and turn into small pieces too hard to pick up. Although they are largely recyclable, I can only hope that by putting them in the building’s recycling bins, I am ‘ending’ their life properly. But I’m not naive – our building’s occupants really struggle to understand that plastic bags don’t go in recycling – no matter how many pictorial stickers are put up! It really gets my goat. Which brings me to: would you rather trash something that you’re not sure is recyclable, or chance it and add it to the recycling bin?
Sorry for my AWOL’ness. Work got busy, basically, and I hadn’t queued posts 🙁
Found an ‘old’ stash of tissues that hadn’t migrated into the bin, so whilst I’m over to using the hankies, these are ‘old’ (and there is still some tissue use). I wish I could get a handle on my allergies. I’m SURE I didn’t have as many allergies before I tried to limit my gluten and lactose. Maybe I’m making it up, it’s hard to know.
Here’s how I’m tracking:
Weight at 8 May: 98g (= 269 – 171 from last week – I don’t empty the trash weekly, as none of it is wet/smelly/icky)
Weight at 1 May: 171g
Weight at 24 Apr: 183g
Weight at 17 Apr: 172g
Weight at 4 Apr: 232g
It’s another good week, but I spent a long weekend in Brisbane – where I met one of my regular readers! I also realise I didn’t take home my waste for take out sushi for Tuesday lunch, now the plastic wrapper on my cheesecake (though I did ask for no bag/box, and ate it like a heathen walking around!).
The round out is dull – there’s tissues, some chocolate wrappers (from working back on Monday night)… Dinner last night generate no ‘trash’ – just the onion skin, and the pumpkin and spices were all in the freezer/cupboard. Yummy pumpkim soup too.
**Sorry, despite my best efforts, this published prior to the latest updates. Hopefully this won’t cause too many issues.**
Here’s the last few week’s progress on the kitchen bin:
Weight at 1 May: 171g
Weight at 24 Apr: 183g
Weight at 17 Apr: 172g
Weight at 4 Apr: 232g
I also emptied the bedroom bin at a weight of 340g
A round up of the latest trash additions:
Non plastics (or mixed material)
Fabric offcuts – the bits that didn’t make hankies. Once I realised I had ‘overage’ I adjusted sizing not to waste anymore
Blister packs – from my pill packet & painkillers – no hope of alternatives there
Silicon arm band – from a concert recently, not even sure why I ‘had’ to have it, they made every volunteer have one
Silcon from the vacuum, redid around the bath on the weekend
Ice cream wrapper & stick – yep… not sure there’s a way around that foily bag
Reeses cup – greasy paper cup plus the plastic wrapper. A gift.
Insect repellent impregnated pads and foil wrappers – I’ve moved to a liquid dispenser, so less rubbish less often hopefully
Butter wrapper – after using it to grease a pan
Band aids – is there any real way around this?
Yoghurt pots – stolen from the work kitchen fridge. Actually they were out of date, it’s a community service from my cleaning it out. Anyhow, I don’t usually buy non reusable yoghurt containers.
Tea box wrapper – just silly this is. I should look at loose leaf teas in the future, when I master some of my other waste offenders.
Pen – it’s not working anymore, so it’s just trash 🙁
Retractable pass holder – it stopped clipping onto my work pants, so it’s use was flawed. These fail far too often for my liking, and are all mixed materials. But carrying the pass in my wallet or pocket aren’t as reliable.
Salami packet – will start to buy at deli soon! (UPDATE: did that yesterday!)
Membership card – I’m fighting this company from sending me monthly magazines, when I conquer that, I’ll work on membership cards that I never need or use.
Toothbrush – this was the cleaning toothbrush, so a long and illustrious life. But it plan snapped in half
Sticky tape – removed from a folder, so the folder can have a new and improve use hopefully
Tissues – I’ve purchased a sheet and two baby throws, cut them down to size, next I’ll hem them and have a HUGE stash of hankies!
Matches – still in the trash for now?
Plastic bags from food – from corn flakes (which I could look into bulk buying), cheese (found a deli near the BFs and they are happy to accept BYO containers to fill), oat cakes (found a recipe to make them!), brownies (could have been taken to Coles form the top picture), Rice noodles (should see if I can buy at the bulk co op store)
So overall, a bigger overall total, and a little more in the kitchen bin since I started ensuring trash generated at work from my eating etc, was added in. Don’t want to be rigorous at home and lax at work.
Pleased to find a way to recycle plastic bags from cereal and the like, though I’m dubious at how successful the program really is – you know people like to put trash in whatever bin, even when they are special purpose. Suggestion, as always, are welcomed.