Weigh in Wednesday – weight of trash (and me!)

In a twist to my Wednesday weigh ins, it will both be a weigh in of my non recyclable, non compostable trash generated in a week AND…. my weight.  At least this week, as I have good news on both fronts!

(For any first time readers, this is a weird post to start with, I’m sorry! I’m trying to go zero waste at home, and so I measure my land fill trash every week by weighing it.  Everything else is either recycled, donated, landfilled or… reused!  Most weeks, it’s just my kitchen bin, but I also have a bin in the bathroom and both bedrooms too).

First, trash:

Lowest in a long time! 82 grams!
Lowest in a long time! 82 grams!

The best in a LONG time, and under 100grams, which I think I set as my goal last week! The power of stating a goal right? Turn away now if you hate less than perfect photos, but here’s what’s in my bin

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you sure you wanna see?

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Skewers from kebabs, a zip lock bag, plastic wrap from meat trays, vaccum dust
Skewers from kebabs, a zip lock bag, plastic wrap from meat trays, vaccum dust

Now to weighing me. I do it nude, so there are no photos, not even of the scales. But I could do it. You’ve seen my skills 😉

Today I weighed in at 73.5kg (162lbs or 11.5 stones?!) after my run, which I ran 10.5 minutes continously. YAY on both fronts (hear more about my running and weight loss plans here).

My question to the readers – how long is the longest you’ve stayed at one weight?  Is it now, or some time in the past?

Waste Wednesday – home made coffee

Ready for some horrendous photos of my waste for the past week?  I bet you’ve been waiting all week for some blurry shots of just how much waste I generated :p

Blurry photos of 504 grams!
Blurry photos of 504 grams!

Yeah, it was a bad week: 504 grams. And after last week’s heavy weigh in too (434g).  I aim to get it between 100-200 grams realistically.

I emptied the catcher of pods from the coffee machine we’re ‘borrowing’ from my parents.  We’re not fans, so we plan to use up the pods we were given and return it (like cheeky children!).  The coffee isn’t that good, though I do enjoy having a milk frother.

That reused toliet paper bag hides a multitude of sins
That reused toilet paper bag hides a multitude of sins

There’s also skewers, bags from plastic, and some frozen meat waste, as the bokashi bin is choc-a-bloc and the empty one is still in the suburbs at my parents. The local community has a communal compost bin, so I did walk the streets with a lot of vegetable waste, but alas, they don’t take meats scraps.

I also toss any plastic bag that’s had feat cheese or meat in it.  Just too hard to be sure it’s clean.  I will reuse a zip lock bag over and over for grated cheese, cause it’s always getting like for like in it, after washes.

There’s also a used up dish sponge in there (eww). There’s some tags from the pot for the herb garden – took a while to make it’s way from the balcony floor to the bin 😉

Basically, I need to get my act together and get the second bokashi running for the meat scraps.  I need to work on the plastics generated from meat and cheese, seeing I’ve reverted to ‘normal’ practices there.

Where do your meat scraps end up?  For those who are vegetarians, do you enjoy not having to worry about meat scraps, and the smell?

Waste Wednesday – pepper grinders

It’s a Wednesday, which means it’s the day I weigh the (landfill) waste/trash my household of two has generated.

 

Unrefillable mixed material pepper grinder
Unrefillable mixed material pepper grinder

This week, the weighty glass and plastic contraption has tipped the scales, adding 136g to the week’s weigh in.  It’s being trashed, as it can’t be refilled 🙁  Thankfully, the other set that came to our shared household can be 🙂

So, what about the total weigh in?

Two week's worth of waste
Two week’s worth of waste

If I adjust for last week’s trash in that same bag, the week’s weigh in is… 434g.  Still, 300g without the grinder is on the high side for our little home. Alas, I’ll continue to work at it.

Do you find things that should be refillable aren’t anymore? Or things that are refillable (ie pens) and it’s near impossible to *find* the refills?  Share you latest experience.

Waste Wednesday

Sorry all – I made the long weekend a long weekend and then some from blogging. I really need to get some photos taken, so I can share some posts with you. I spent my long weekend mostly at the kitchen table with the radio on for the Hottest 100 which is the radio station Triple J’s annual democratic music countdown. As it takes about eight hours, so I occupy myself with a jigsaw puzzle (sadly bought new from Kmart, but only $3!!). That spilled into public holiday Monday (and the countdown from 200 to 101), before I got into some fitness testing. These will be my benchmarks for the next 12 weeks of my body transformation… more on that later!

Right, as is customary, this is the photo of this week’s weigh in, at 152g.  I’m quite happy. It’s empty enough (and smell free) that I will use the same liner to get us another week.  So in four weeks, I’ll have used two plastic shopping bags for our two people’s worth of landfill waste!  It’s weird how I think this is perfectly normal, when I know full well it’s not.  Most neighbours have a 120L “small” bin, though there is one size smaller, this is the normal.

Weighing in at 152g
Weighing in at 152g

Now, just so you’re not caught unaware, tomorrow is my birthday – the last birthday before I’m “really old” according to the BF. I best not publish my age, as there’s no way to retract it (or muddle people up as the years continue!). I have pretty simple things planned for the day:

  • a take away mocha on the way into work (I’ve limited myself to one per working week)
  • the BF’s famous mac’n’cheese
  • fro yo from the best place in the city (thankfully being a Thursday, it will be open late for late night shopping)
  • brownies to treat my colleagues… though I will try not to have any, given the above planned dinner!

Beyond the actual day, I have a family dinner on Friday night (roast chicken!), and then a small dinner with some friends at Aria the following Friday (as per my 12 in 2 list!)  I’m also hoping to try out paddling boarding over the weekend, between all the dinners (perhaps to work them all off!)

What ways do you like to celebrate a birthday?  Do you have any wacky traditions?  I know some people fill toddlers’ and childrens’ bedrooms with inflated balloons, special breakfasts, or double desserts.  How about you?

Waste Wednesday & the new herb garden

Why, it’s Wednesday, the day when I weigh my waste to see if I’m any closer to being a zero waste home.  Here’s how I weighed in for the fortnight:

Wednesday 22 Jan 2014 - 395g for two weeks worth of waste
Wednesday 22 Jan 2014 – 395g for two weeks worth of waste

Less last week’s weigh in:

Waste weigh in for WEd 15 Jan 2014
Waste weigh in for Wed 15 Jan 2014

Making this week’s adjusted total weigh in at 211g.  Not great, but it’s to be expected with a 50L bag from potting mix!

Aside: 

  • 67g (2.36oz) was my best and lightest weigh in, in July
  • 3,102g (6.8lbs) & 1,071g (2.36lbs) were my heaviest weigh ins whilst moving house in August.
  • 325g my average weekly weigh in, including the above outliers
  • 240g per week is my average, excluding the listed outliers
  • 41 weeks since I started tracking this at Easter 2013
  • 13.36kg has gone to landfill during this time
  • 7 weeks where the weigh in was less than 100g (3.5oz)

As the title gives away, it’s because we created a herb garden (savy readers from yesterday post would notice the $142 spent at Bunnings  – Australia’s hardware megastore).  It’s about $2 to buy a bunch of fresh cut herbs at the green grocer.  To buy the little (plastic) tubs is about $4, but I hope they last us a lot longer!

Plastic herb pots, ready and waiting
Plastic herb pots, ready and waiting

 

We also bought a big trough to plant them all in

Herb garden trough
Herb garden trough

Naturally, we bought one that matched the lemon tree’s pot we received as a gift at our housewarming

Lemon tree - suffering neglect, but since we've (well the BF's) returned some attention to it, we've seen new leaf growth!
Lemon tree – suffering neglect, but since we’ve (well the BF’s) returned some attention to it, we’ve seen new leaf growth!

And the waste-iest bit was the potting mix 🙁

Plastic encased vegetable and herb mix.
Plastic encased vegetable and herb mix.

With a yard, I’d consider a bulk drop off of soil sans plastic, but this is apartment dwelling. And I could have scoured Freecycle, but this was easy to buy, easy to transport, and (hopefully) good soil.  Shame about the plastic – and with all the toxic stuff in soil, I didn’t like my chances of washing it out, or fobbing it off to the grocery store plastic recycling stations.

Here’s the finished herb garden

All planted
All planted

I decided on thyme, parsely, sage and shallots, with a side of mint. Is mint a herb? It’s not really savoury like the others, but I know it grows well, and I love a mojito.  Hopefully everything has enough space to really thrive!  Our balcony gets the afternoon sun, so that should be enough to keep them growing without singeing them in this heat.

What herbs are in your garden (or the herb garden you wish you had)?  What couldn’t you do without?

Waste Wednesday – a normal week

Welcome to Wednesday’s weigh in…  Every week, I try to be zero waste, as per my council (City of Sydney’s) catch phrase.  Despite the garbo telling me it’s all a marketing ploy, I choose to track my landfill rubbish, and look at ways I could improve,

Here’s this week’s picture:

Waste weigh in for WEd 15 Jan 2014
Waste weigh in for WEd 15 Jan 2014

184 grams is pretty good.  It certainly helps when there’s no broken plates in there, like last week.

My shopping had a small contribution, all the little plastic hangers from the socks, and the stickers from the toes, ended up in landfill.  I’m wondering, would Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home find alternatives with no waste, and pay more?  Or would she politely give the cashier back the non recyclable rubbish these generated?  What do you think?

So how am I going with this weigh in business?  Well how about a nerdy little graph for you?

My weigh in's since moving in August
My weigh in’s since moving in August

Not too shabby for a two person household, though I don’t really have a benchmark to compare to.  Here’s my cumulative total since I started at Easter 2013.

Tracking my cumulative total of landfill
Tracking my cumulative total of landfill

Hopefully I can make a year under 15kg. And then next year, I can try and beat it.

For those who are wondering, most non recyclable waste I generate at work, I take home to add to the weigh in. I don’t take home wet tea bags though, that’s just a bit much! I also keep, wash and rinse most single use coffee cups that we end up with out and about. I don’t bring home food soiled packaging, such as if we were to have fish and chips, or a burger out. Sadly, I’m not yet ‘crazy enough’ as some would say, to insist on using my packaging for ‘fast’ foods. Where possible, I aim for little or no plastic with my food, but I don’t always achieve it.

So would Bea Johnson, or you, return the sock’s hangers and stickers to the discount store cashier?  Or would you find somewhere else to buy your socks, and foot the possibly increased cost?

Waste Wednesday – flying saucers

I spent the real Wednesday morning in bed trying to recover from a persistent cough.  The cough has passed, but I’m not 100%.  In any case, I’m out of bed, and back to normal programming, even if it is Thursday now in Australia!

Yes, this week, my drying up stack failed, and a small saucer cartwheeled off the bench.  I really don’t break much in my arrangements of drying up, so it’s ok to lose a tea cup saucer every once in a while, it really is!

So in my waste weigh in for a week (which resumed on Wed 1 Jan when we returned from Perth – a perfect return date for my weekly waste weighing obsession) was 412g.

Total waste weigh in on 8 Jan 2014
Total waste weigh in on 8 Jan 2014

The sorcery saucery shenanigans weighed:

The saucer that didn't fly
The saucer that didn’t fly

Alas, that would make the ‘normal’ weigh in at about 240g.  Respectable compared to a few weeks of 285g-ish.  There was also a lot of vacuum dust, cause I feel wrong adding whatever I suck up to compost – what if there’s $2 coins in there (true story!) or paper clips, or plastic bits or synthetic carpet?

Then it was the usual stuff – more pills in blister packs and the plastic film on the top of meat trays.

It is a shame that crockery shards can’t be recycled.  What’s the last thing you broke around the house?

Christmas Waste Wednesday

Seeing we flew out on Tuesday evening, there was just enough time to commit to weighing my waste.  Just what you want to open in a blog post on Christmas morning right? 243 grams

Good Christmas present - 243g
Good Christmas present – 243g

There’s a lot of plastic zip locks that got sweaty from produce spoiling in the fridge.  Into the bokashi compost container.  There’s also a broken pair of sunglasses – that’s how these $3 sunnies from a second hand shop emerged from my bag on Saturday afternoon.

Sad but true.  I should have tried glue...
Sad but true. I should have tried glue…

There’s also a Chinese noodle box – seeing it’s semi water proof I figure it’s plastic coated, and it did have a plastic handle, so trash it is.

Thankfully, the gifts we’ve recieved to date haven’t generated much trash – some wrapping paper and sticky tape.  There were some plastic boxes from some candles (which I decided weren’t recyclable either).  I’ll share photos of my gifts in the new year.

Stinky Waste Wednesday

Scales reading 285 grams

For new or irregular readers, I weigh my landfill trash every week in an effort to work towards having a zero waste household.  Sure, I may never get there, but tracking and watching what I use, I remain mindful and try to limit the useless waste of materials where I can.

You’d think when your trash smells nasty, you’d remember to take it out, right? Nope, Wednesday morning came around, and thrown by the BF being up early, I forgot to get my regulation photos and weigh in done before work. Rest assured, it’s the *first* thing I did when I got home (or maybe second, after some rocky road was scoffed).

This week, Wednesday 18 December, I weighed my non recyclable, non compostable land fill rubbish in at 285 grams.

Scales reading 285 grams
A weighty sum of 285grams

Almost on par with the week before last at 288g. It must have been an odd week last week at 129 grams.  My overall average since I started at Easter is 327 grams, but if you take out the two big hauls when I moved house, it comes down to 221 grams.  For those who know me well, from Easter to July I lived alone, now we’re a household of two.

Given I wasn’t lugging work lunches and handbags, I took the recycling out at the same time.  Here you can see a normal week of rubbish for us.

A couple's week of trash and recycling
Recycling for a week and the trash for a week.

Yep there’s a purple (turkey) meat tray in recycling! I removed the thin film and put that in the landfill trash. As for the ‘nappy’ that soaks up blood in meat trays, well, let me tell you from a VERY messy experience, do NOT try to squeeze out excess fluid in an effort to lessen the water weight in your trash. Of course, go for it if you like the look of speckled clumps of redish goo everywhere. Finally, Lois, I cursed those open shelves!

There’s also a pair of the BF’s boxer shorts in there. No good for charity, and I’m a little icky about using underwear as rags. Out they go! One day soon my bra will join such a trash haul, but not yet.

As to the nasty smell – I don’t know what it was.  There was something leaking from the plastic bin bag liner, and it was dark and sticky but I figured I didn’t really need to know.  It’s funny, it’s been months since I’ve dealt with rubbish smelling bad – composting sure smells nasty, but my landfill trash never does.

Anyone else out there exploded a meat tray nappy?  No? Good for you… will  you use old underwear as dusters?  What about bras?  How out there are my readers 😉

Waste Wednesday once again

Hello loyal readers, so kind of you to drop by to see the weekly photograph of my bag of trash, and oh and ah and the weight for yet another week!  Despite the gingerbread house making, the weight is low.  I craftily donated the calories excess lollies from decorating it to my lovely friend Christmas elf, though the bags I did end up with will go to the supermarket packaging recycling efforts.

How’s this week? Like the biggest loser, I got a low weight, then I shifted the bag and got a higher weight, and one more shift and I ended up with the weighty total of 129g.  (To think I could have deceived you with a 89g misweighed bag this week).  That’s the lowest it’s been since October, when I had a partial weigh in due to the holiday (97g).

Final weigh in at 129grams
Final weigh in at 129 grams

I’m pretty pleased with the weight, but here’s what took me to this number

  • foam meat tray – those aren’t recyclable in our area.  Funny, I didn’t know they still existed, the BF did the shopping and got it
  • plastic Christmas card box – alas, I’ve found plastic free normal greeting cards, but not so for the Christmas cards (which are radically cheaper on a cost per card basis than any other cards)
  • ice cream wrappers – it’s been hot hot hot here, and on Sunday we splurged $9 for two magnums from the corner store
  • Mars Bar wrapper – I think the BF’s stopped reading these recently, so I’ll confess to my Monday weakness
  • cupcake wrapper – probably compostable, but I don’t know.  Oh, and that was Monday too.  Tough day, evidently… or the long work earnt me more calories?
  • receipts & movie tickets – I’m not sure if the movie tickets are plastic coated, but to be sure.

I wonder how long until we don’t need actual movie vouchers (and the pretty little folder)?  I mean, you can board a plane, I hear, without any paper documents, just your mobile phone.  Where can one buy Mars Bars in bulk? I did not just think that, promise!  What chocolate bar do you wish was available in unpackaged bulk?