This past week, I’ve thought a lot more about zero waste than I usually do. Mainly because of my weekend out and about, my run and then Beams festival, but I also went to a Sunday School party. Let’s work backwards:
Sunday School Party
This was held at the rectory on Saturday afternoon. The Sunday School coordinator asked the priest’s wife to supply paper plates, knives and forks. I ran into the priest’s wife as I finished the church flowers on Saturday morning, and mentioned the request – I could easily supply everyone with my ‘extra’ crockery set from when my grandmother downsized. (Yes, I could ‘declutter’ them, but I’d rather have them on hand than single use.) The priest’s wife agreed, but obliged also with the request.
At the party, I brought a banana cake on a grandma plate, rather than something single use. The best thing is that grandma’s plates aren’t my usual set, so I don’t miss them if they end up staying at someone’s house for a short while, which is exactly what happened. I was free to head to the museum unburdened by a plate! And because I’m zero waste, there was no cling wrap. It would have ruined the icing! But we do have it (inherited from the BF’s house). So I carried a cake a number of city blocks, uncovered. Nothing comedic happened. But I did realise I could have used a cake tin. D’oh!
At the party, there was both ceramic and plastic crockery and cutlery. Like a sheep, I got a plastic plate, but I realised, and used proper cutlery. You win some you lose some!
Did I feel smart or what, remembering to bring my bamboo knife and fork with me? I did, til I needed a spoon to eat sago pudding! Thankfully the fork passed. The rest of the food was ‘hand’ edible. Interestingly, the meals came in compostable containers, which I know Beth Terry’s (I’m currently reading her book Plastic Free) is dubious about. I was impressed that there were marked ‘recycling’ bins at the festival too – though lined in plastic wheelie bin liners. For non Aussies, this is a wheelie bin:
Firstly, last week I mentioned I had a need for textile recycling last week – I had a cotton interlock zip cardigan that had lost it’s mojo. Thankfully, I wore this to the run, and discarded it at the start to be collected for charity (so they tell us). Whilst it’s not ideal for charity given how worn out it is, it was a good compromise to keep me warm before the run, and not discard something I would sorely miss.
The run came with two or three drink pit stops. These were all stocked with plastic cups, most with water and some with Gatorade. As people finished them, they just threw them on the ground, and I was no exception. It was one of those instances that was dismaying to see the discarded cups extending every which way on the ground. But it also made me realise, there truly is no alternative. Glass or ceramics would break. Competitive runners will not stop to place a glass/cup down. No one is going to run with a reusable cup, and whilst some people have a strap with a bottles on them, it’s not really widespread. The water that filled the jugs came from hoses, at least. Hoses that filled bins (not wheelie ones ;)), again lined in a plastic bag. Surely the bins were bought new for this purpose, I’m just not convinced they needed a plastic bin liner too! SIGH!
Lastly, at the finish, everyone was offered a bottle of water, and a medal. I took the water bottle. I admit, we still use plastic water bottles which we endlessly refill here at Cohab Central. It’s not ideal, but small steps. I did not take the medal. The BF was aghast. I was adamant it would have been waste the minute I got it. I don’t have a place for a medal! And I don’t need proof of my run – although I have (for now) kept the baggage label as a memory. The bib I wore came with some techy doobie which means it’s chunkier and not as good to keep. And it’s in the trash, cause it’s that funny material that seems to be paper, but never tears, or gets wet?
Weekly Waste Weigh In
There’s two meat trays in there, and meat stained coated paper. I lost the battle with the deli lady this week, but it’s not over! Sorry for the horrible photo, for those who can’t see, it’s 195g. Down from 203g last week, but not as good at 88g a few weeks ago. I’m not too worried.
Gratitude (for Tuesday)
- Time in the office to catch up on paperwork
- Fundraising Caramello koala chocolate after lunch
- Healthy dinner made by 7pm
- Intelligent new graduate engineer working with me 🙂
- Mocha on the way into work (and I was still early!)
Do you actively think about the least waste option when you’re out and about? Can you think of creative ways the water situation could be solved at fun runs?