Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Zero Waste - Part 2...

I like lists. I like to be able to add stuff to my 'to do' list and tick it off as I do it. Or better yet, already know I've done it.

So when I stumbled across zero waste home I thought I'd have a look and maybe follow some of it. Unfortunately as you may have read, I don't feel that zero waste will really work for us or fit with our aims at the moment. However, I thought I'd look down the list anyway and see what we can and can't achieve:

Taken from I have taken some of the points out so please do read the 'site if this interests you! :)


Here are my Top 10 tips in eight categories to help you lower your waste at home. Each section is a condensed version of a posting on the subject, so please follow title links for more information on each section. For product recommendations, please visit the store or follow the links.

Before you start:

Arm yourself with a reusable water bottle, a couple grocery totes, a few cloth bags and reusable jars and bottles. ~ I have started trying to use my water bottle a lot more and we already have the other items...

Get your 5Rs right: Refuse what you do not need, Reduce what you do need, Reuse what you consume, Recycle what you cannot Refuse, Reduce or Reuse, and Rot (Compost) the rest. ~ My biggest frustration at the moment is that we have a patio & a balcony so I would have to pay for the privilege of a compost bin that is collected. I hope in the future this will change though, maybe next year?


Welcome alternatives to disposables (paper towels ~ I have started but need to speak to DP about things like this, garbage liners, wax paper, aluminum sheets, disposable plates, cups, etc....): Swap paper towels for reusable rags, swap sandwich baggies for kitchen towels or stainless containers, drop garbage liners all together (wet waste is mostly compostable anyways). ~ We do currently use lunch boxes but they are plastic. However I am not about to go out and buy stainless steel bottles etc, or ask DP to use cloth to wrap his sandwiches. I can just imagine the response. This is a prime example of something we could do, but I choose not to bother suggesting to DP...

Buy in bulk or at the counter (see Zero Waste Grocery Shopping), bring reusable bags (dry goods), jars (wet items such as meat, deli, fish, cheese, oil, peanut butter) and bottles (liquids: oil, soy sauce, shampoo, conditioner). ~ We don't speak fluent French so I'm content to use reusable bags and buy refills of shampoo etc but I would struggle in the UK to do the other suggestions so it's going to have to wait (if ever) here...
If you cannot find it in bulk, find a supplier (bring your jar to the ice cream shop, a pillow case to the bakery for your bread, or your bottles to the winery/brewery)... or make it (mustard, salad dressing, hot sauce, jams, OJ, hummus, cookies, canned tomatoes). ~ We are trying to make our own bread more often.
Shop the farmer's market: they'll take the egg carton and the berries baskets back for reuse. Your veggies will also most likely be free of plastic and stickers. ~ I love this idea but it's just not practical for us to have to go to the market every Saturday morning.

Learn to love your tap water. ~ I assume this means don't buy bottled, which we don't...
Use bulk liquid castile soap as a dish/hand cleaner, baking soda as a scrubber (in stainless Parmesan dispenser) with a compostable cleaning brush (a wooden one with natural hair). Purchase dishwasher detergent in bulk. ~ I think we can/ do all of this?

Invest in a pressure cooker (halves the cooking time). ~ We rent so get what we're given.

YOU CAN ALSO... Reuse single-side printed paper for grocery shopping and errands list, use your lettuce cleaning water to water plants, open your oven after baking in the winter (cool your oven, warm your house)... ~ We either already do this or could do this :)


Use 100% recycled and unbleached toilet paper individually wrapped in paper (if you have solar you could install an electrical washlet to your toilet seat). ~ This is one that made me laugh - I mentioned this to DP who looked at me like I had gone mad. I guess that says it all!?
Use an alum stone or straight baking soda as antiperspirant. ~ I have recently read of various recipes to make deodorant that is better than shop bought so when I next run out I am planning on researching...
Any other ideas that were on the list we either do already or it's more hard work than I am prepared to try right now...

So actually I am pleased that we're not doing too badly. I thought there would be a lot more. However I am interested to know what you think?

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