OUR JOURNEY AS WE TRY TO LIVE A GREENER AND MORE ECO-FRIENDLY LIFESTYLE

top cashback

Online Cashback

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas Decorations etc


Dave and the boys put the tree and decorations up last night.

Now although this is an artificial tree it is the one I bought 17 years ago for mine and Dave's first Christmas together.

The most of the tree decorations are little wooden figures etc which I bought from a Fairtrade Catalogue 8 years ago when we had our first Christmas in this house and some of the other decorations are ones that we had when I was a child.

We do have the tinsel draped around the light fittings and stair banisters etc, but that is the one thing the boys really like to do.

I also have a few Santa ornaments which were made by local pottery artists and I have bought at craft fairs over the years.

When we take everything down this year I am going to look at it all and see what we have used and what I know we haven't used for a few years. The excess will be donated to a women's shelter in town I think.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

All Quiet on the Green Front

There is nothing major to report that has been happening lately.

We have continued following our green trends and are very pleased with the reduced amount of rubbish going into the landfill and the recycling bin.

I also continue to collect up the things that would normally go into the landfill bin but that can be recycled at our Recycling Facility, and take them there once a month.

The one "un" green thing we do during the winter months is have a coal fire, but as that is a heat source for us , and it is either that or the oil central heating; and the fire heats alot of the house not just the one room then we will be sticking with it. We just put the central heating one for approx one hour at night before the boys go to bed to take the chill off their rooms. They have hot water bottles and layers of quilts for sleeping.

Week Ending Monday 8 December 2008

This weeks rubbish going into the landfill bin weighed in at 340g. To add to this is a carrier bag on clinker from the coal fire as well.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Week Ending Monday 1 December 2008

The landfill bag this week weighed in at 427g, but did include a mug which Dave dropped, which was 209g, so this week has been very good as it would have been under 300g without the mug.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Week Ending Monday 24 November 2008

The bag of landfill rubbish today weighed in at 343g, so again not too bad.

It didn't help that DS1 had a friend to stay on Saturday night, so there were sweet and crisp wrappers which all ended up in there.

I cooked pizza for tea and although wrapped in the plastic film inside the cardboard box, the pizzas were on polystyrene plates which I can possibly reuse to put cakes on for cake stalls or as a last resort can be taken the the Recycling Centre.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Warm Sweater Wednesday

My friend Jackie over at http://ayearoflivinggreener.blogspot.com/ has decided to follow anidea from The Netherlands and have Warm Sweater Wednesday.

Basically you turn the heating down a couple of degrees and put on a warm sweater or two. This not only reduces the heating bill but also is better for the environment.

I've been tagged again

This is a different kind of tagging!!

The rules:
Find the 6th folder in your photos folder and then the 6th photo in it.
* Pray that you remember the details *
Post it on your blog
Tag 5 others, leave a comment to let them know they’ve been tagged





These are the dogs at Dave's work, the German Shepherd is Khan, the Rottweiller is Freya, both of these are rescue dogs; and the little Cocker Spaniel is Ria (actually the secretary's dog).

I'm now going to tag:

Just Gai

Mrs Green

Almost Mrs Average

Rhonda

Donna

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

I've Been Tagged

Just Gai has tagged me, this means I have to tell you 6 things about myself and then tag 6 more people.

Here goes:

1. I am the hot lunch server at DS2's school

2. I run the after school cooking club

3. When in the scouts I flew(with a pilot) in an open top glider over RAF Scampton

4. I try to live as much by the Old Style ethos as possible (make do and mend)

5. I believe that we should leave the planet as we found it, meaning it is there for future generations

6. My surname cause lots of problems with pronunciation (DALZIEL)


I will now tag the following bloggers

Jackie

Donna

Susan

Rhonda

EagleLearner

Beki

Monday, 17 November 2008

Week Ending Monday 17 November 2008


Todays bag of landfill rubbish weighed in at 337g, this is fairly close to the 300g that I am aiming at.

I can now definitely see a reduction in the amount of packaging coming into the house, even recyclable packaging.

My main problem is still crisp packets but with having children those come with the territory, and can't be completely abolished.

The boys have been very good and haven't complained too much over certain things not being bought since I started this; so crisps will be staying as that is their one waste producing treat.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Reduce Christmas Waste


I pinched this idea from Almost Mrs Average.

1. Use a present bag instead of paper, these can usually be reused
2. Give the gift of time - do a homemade voucher for the gift
3. Send e-Cards
4. Buy packaging free presents
5. Make your own gifts
6. If you feel you must send a card make your own
7. Buy a charity gift instead
8. Use last year's cards as gift tags
9. Choose one main pressie instead of lots
10. At work do secret Santa set to a limit rather than all individual presents

11. Don't automatically replace broken baubles etc, try to make a decoration
12. Agree not to do a pressie swap - some friends will be relieved

Monday, 10 November 2008

Actually had to empty the landfill bin!!!!


Today saw the landfill bin being emptied as it was nearly full; this was 10 weeks worth of rubbish plus extras though, so not too bad considering.

We might be able to only put the bin out 4 or 5 times a year or even less based on these figures.

Week Endsing 10 November 2008


Today saw a bag of 320g going into the landfill bin along with a bag of clinker.

So as the bin was nearly full I put it out for emptying, this was 10 weeks of rubbish plus the few extras.

Hopefully we might be able to manage on 4 or 5 collections a year based on these figures rather than the 26 that the council do collect.

The recycling bin was approx 2/3 full so good as well in that less rubbish is actually entering the house in the first place.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Weekly Weigh In - Mon 3 Nov 2008


Well this weeks bag weighed in at 320g; but DS1 cleared his room and so an extra bag weighing in at 570g was also added.

Along with another bag of clinker.

The landfill bin is not full yet but as it is due for collection next Monday I will put it out and then again at the collection before Christmas.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Trip to the local Household Recycling Facility

We went to the Recycling Facility today and dropped off all the plastic tubs etc(type 5 & 6) which can't go in the kerbside, I also dropped off a bin liner full of polythene (type 4) which previously I had been posting to Polyprint.
And I found out that I can take my used chip pan oil there as well and they will recycle that.


We did also take a couple of bits which will probably end up in landfill but there is not alot I can do about those:
1. the back part of an old car seat.
2. a computer modem and all the cables, it has been sat in the cupboard for nearly 3 years and didn't work then.

I do feel though that this will definitely become a monthly trip as it was so good to see all the extras going into recycling skips rather than into the landfill bin.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Week ending Monday 27 October

Todays landfill bag weighed in at 250g.

The landfill bin is now half full, that is from 8 weeks worth of rubbish, including one bag of fire clinker.

The recycling bin was collected this morning and it was only half full from the last 2 weeks.

I have noticed that the main items going into the recycling are, paper & cardboard, plastic (PET) bottles, plastic (HDPE) bottles and food cans.

I do still have a separate collection point for non-collectible plastics which I will be taking to the Recycling Centre on Wednesday, along with a few bits found whilst sorting some things to put on Freecycle.

I also have another carrier bag full of "Tesco" wrappers which do not state plastic origin which will be taken back to the store when I next go.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Week Ending Sunday 19 October 2008

This week, the bag of rubbish going into the landfill bin weighs in at 490g, this is more than has been usual for the last few weeks; but I did go round a few bit bins which haven't been emptied for a couple of weeks.

The landfill bin is now half full and that is since 1 Sept when I joined the Zero Waste week.

Energy Saving Week

This week is Energy Saving Week, but as it is also National Baking Week, I will be trying to do both.

This will produce some problems in that baking obviously uses energy, but if I make the best use of that energy then I will be saving in the longterm.

Other energy saving ideas I have are:

to use the slow cooker more.

double up recipes more so that the intial cooking is done in one go, then it is only a reheat.

batch cook and freeze things like tomato sauce which can be used for any pasta dish or chilli.

make sure the freezer has enough items in it to make it run efficiently, even if this is old milk cartons etc filled with water.

ensure that all unused lights/appliances are switched off on the wall.

use the timer more with the washing machine and dishwasher to maske use of Economy 7 electricity.

charge the mobiles from the usb connections on the computer rather than plugging into the wall.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Tesco Follow-up

Well either Tesco didn't get my letter or they are chosing to ignore it, as I have still not had a response from HQ regarding the package I sent to them.

So I will definitely send the next batch of plastic to the local store.

If they have chosen to ignore it would seem that this is not very good PR as how many other letters/emails do they ignore. (well my email about plastic for one).

So I will have to see what the reaction/response is when I send it to the local store.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Week Ending Sunday 12 October 2008

This weeks bag for the landfill bin is slightly bigger than has been for the last few weeks.

Having checked through the contents, there are 4 widgets from Dave's beer cans, quite a few bottle tops of undistinguishable plastic, and some plastic wrap that is not supermarket own label so I can't send it back to them, and a lamb bone from the joint we had during the week, which although boiled to death for stock as well, has to go into the landfill bin..

Anyhow the bag weighed in at ...... 447g, which is still fairly good.

I will be double checking everything again this week, as I would prefer it to not be above 300g if at all possible.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Follow-Up on the Letter to Tesco

To date I have not received a reply to my package and letter sent to Tesco HQ last week.

I'm not quite sure how to view this; either they are ignoring it or something will come later.

However I am this week going to send all the packets to my local store addressed to the manager and see if I get a response that way.

I will use an identical letter to that sent to HQ and will wait with baited breath for a response.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Week Ending Sunday 5 October


The bag of rubbish today weighed 279g.

This included a salt shaker from some "Geo-organic" sea salt I had purchased ages ago, and thought I could re-fill it; no it is a sealed unit and does not even indicate plastic type for recycling.

Some of the plastic packaging that would normally have gone in has been posted off to Tesco HQ, see copy of letter on http://www.ourgreeneryear.blogspot.com/

Letter to Tesco HQ


Here is a copy of the letter I sent to Tesco HQ last week enclosing all the unrecyclable plastic packaging from own label items purchased recently.

Lets see how long it takes for a response.

Dear Sirs

Un – recyclable packaging

I enclose herewith all your own label packaging that is either un-recyclable in my area or is not marked to tell me the type of plastic so I may make in informed decision regarding the recycling of said packaging.

It is Tesco’s responsibility to dispose of any packaging it produces if it does not provide the correct facilities and information for customers to do so.

It would be better if Tesco as one of the largest retailers in Great Britain provided recycling facilities at all its stores especially “Extra” stores so that customers may do this.

Further to this Tesco should be looking at its packaging and providing such that is made from recycled materials and that which is also easily recyclable.

For example, take crisps, which I have enclosed; these could easily be packaged in a recycled cardboard box similar to those which the own label teabags come in.
The next step from there would be to put the crisps themselves into something, which is easily recyclable, or provide facilities at stores for collection of the packets

Tesco could quite easily be a forerunner as the “Supermarket, which puts all own label goods in recycled and easily recyclable packaging”; and actually do this.
There is no reason why all boxed goods can’t be in recycled boxes, nor do oats, rice etc have to be in plastic bags inside boxes. Certain brands already do this so why not Tesco.

Yours faithfully

Monday, 29 September 2008

Week Ending Sunday 28 September

Our rubbish again weighed 320g this week, and the recycling bin was only half full for the fortnight so something is working somewhere, as this means a decrease in the actual packaging brought into our home.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Non - Recyclable Packaging & Rubbish in General


I have decided to post the packaging I have from goods I buy from the supermarkets which is their own label back to their Head Offices for them to deal with.

I have hopefully persuaded a few of my online "greenies" to also join in with this.

So today will see me sorting through the packaging I had saved from the landfill bin as I thought it could either be posted to GHS or I would take some of it to the HRF.

It will be sorted into 3 different categories:

a) that which can be sent back to supermarkets Head Office with a covering letter asking them to change their packaging
b) things that can be taken to the HRF to be recycled by the council
c) things that I can still send to GHS to be recycled.

Although some of what I am sending back to the supermarkets could be taken to the HRF, I want to get the message to the supermarkets that non-recyclable/not easily recyclable packaging is not acceptible.

With having children I accept that some items such as crisps, chocolate and sweets are part of the rubbish we will get as a family, but with buying mostly own label I can return the majority of this back to the supermarket Head Office.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 21

I have emptied the kitchen bin this morning and we are on 340g of waste to go into the landfill bin. 1 carrier bag again.

The majority of this again is plastic that can't be recycled.

I am really pleased that even though I untaped the bin the boys and Dave have not been putting things into it without thinking.

I do have a couple of ideas up my sleeve to try and reduce some of the plastic meat wrappers and will elaborate as and when they come into practice.

I have a good size box of plastics to take to the HRF or HWRC as the County Council like to call it; and will go armed with my email from the County Council, which states which plastics they accept.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Campaign to the Supermarkets

I wrote a long email yesterday to Tesco head office asking for recyclable and recycled packaging in all their own label/value products or at the very least information on the type of packaging so that as a consumer we can recycle it as we know what type of plastic etc it is.

I also asked that they provide recycling bins for all types of packaging and allowed customers to bring in their own containers for taking products home from the deli,butchery and fish counter, or provide readily recyclable ones as a choice.

I will wait with baited breath for a response but you never know.

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Landfill Bin and Recycled Waste

Following on from the last 2 weeks I have decided to not put out the Landfill Wheelie Bin for collection until it is full.

So I will be monitoring this now as an ongoing project to see just how long it takes us to fill it; based on the last 2 weeks I would hazard a guess at 3 months (12 weeks); but we will see.

Whilst taking DS2 to school this morning we were discussing how well we have done over the last 2 weeks and then discussed that the next step would be to reduce packaging coming into the house at source, so that even though we can recycle it; it is still waste/rubbish which has to be dealt with.

Alot of things which we use do not come in an alternative form so we will have to continue to put this packaging into the recyling bin.
A typical example of this is Dh's beer cans or my wine bottle, as well as the tins that certain products come in like baked beans.

Black Landfill Bin and Recycling Waste


Following on from the last 2 weeks I have decided to not put out the Landfill Wheelie Bin for collection until it is full.

So I will be monitoring this now as an ongoing project to see just how long it takes us to fill it; based on the last 2 weeks I would hazard a guess at 3 months (12 weeks); but we will see.

Whilst taking DS2 to school this morning we were discussing how well we have done over the last 2 weeks and then discussed that the next step would be to reduce packaging coming into the house at source, so that even though we can recycle it; it is still waste/rubbish which has to be dealt with.

Alot of things which we use do not come in an alternative form so we will have to continue to put this packaging into the recyling bin.
A typical example of this is Dh's beer cans or my wine bottle, as well as the tins that certain products come in like baked beans.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 14

Rubbish collected for the week to go into the landfill bin, which can't be recycled:

8 crisp packets (twisted & knotted)

1 tobacco packet from DH
2 plastic tops from cream tubs
1 glass bottle lid with plastic inside
1 butter wrapper (supporting the local milkman)
1 multipak crisp wrapper (twisted & knotted)
8 chicken drumstick bones
2 plastic sleeves from meats that were used from freezer

Total weight of rubbish put into landfill this week.........................309 g

So whilst not a total zero waste fortnight, our rubbish has decreased from 2 black bin liners and sometimes 3 every 2 weeks to just under 650g in the 2 week period; basically everything in our landfill bin would fit into a carrier bag even after 2 weeks.

I am more than pleased with this result, but will continue to moniter and even reduce further over the coming weeks and months.

The Zero Waste Challenge

Things have gone very well doing this challenge, and I have kept a log over on www.rubbishlog.blogspot.com for anyone who cares to look.

We have reduced the amount of waste going into our landfill bin from a black bin liner down to a 325g carrier bag each week.

I have now set up a mini recycling centre with pigeon hole boxes to sort the different types of recyclong until there is sufficient to deal with it.

I will now be looking at other ideas which I will post in later.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 13

Well we are here at our penultimate day of the challenge; I have been reading "The Book of Rubbish Ideas" by Tracy Smith both the blog and I purchased the book yesterday from Waterstones. It is a very intersting read.

On the recycling front I can't believe how much plastic we get that can now be recycled at the HRF. I have a small box full already and that is only after 2 weeks. I think the trip there will definitely be monthly rather than the bi-monthly which I thought originally; at least until we find some alternatives for some of the products we buy, which is the ultimate goal.

I have another box containing things which hopefully will be able to be sent to GHS and also to Kristal, who is an art and design student who is using bottle tops to make a dress (see http://www.myzerowaste.com/) for the info on that.

Waste from meals

Dinners from the last couple of nights have only produced recyclable/compostable waste.

Thursday:
Fishfingers, mashed potatoes, mushy peas

2 fishfinger boxes
potato peelings
2 tins from mushy peas

Friday:

Jacket potatoes with cheese and baked beans

2 baked bean tins
the cheese was bulk purchased previously and grated then stored in portion size tubs in the freezer.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 12

On my trip to Sainsburys yesterday I was also looking at the dishwasher products as will be needing some on the next trip, Sainsburys own "Clean Home" tablets come in a cardboard box (recyclable) and the tablets are wrapped in a disolvable film as you don't have to unwrap them when putting in the dishwasher.

I also bought some Fairtrade Organic Bananas which come in a package which clearly states on it that it can be put into the compost heap.

My friend has given me a load of cooking apples so these will be cooked down and frozen, or chopped and frozen for use over the coming months. There will also be some mincemeat made ready for the mince pies at Christmas.

I was a very kindly given a load of brand new jam jars by the boys Karate teacher who wasn't going to use them himself.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 11

Today saw a new dilema, what to do with the chicken drumstick bones??

We had chicken drumsticks with salad and new potatoes for dinner, but of course now how to dispose of the bones.

During the winter when we have the coal/wood fire burning I would put them on there, and although the fire creates "clinker" the food waste is disposed of.
I have toyed with the idea of a green cone but at the moment costs are prohibitive.

So I think they are going to have to go into the landfill bin, I will wrap them carefully in newspaper and keep seperate until the last minute just incase I find any other ideas.

Whilst shopping today in Sainsburys I had to make a descision do I buy fairtrade sugar in a plastic non-recyclable pack or non fairtrade sugar in a recyclable paper bag.

I have always gone for fairtrade over organic when it has been staple goods, but now I have the packaging to consider as well.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 10

Last night saw me making a big pot of Ratatouille mix to use up some veggies from the organic box which wouldn't have been used otherwise.
I prepared everything and then turned the slowcooker on as I went to bed, so that it was all cooked and ready to package into tubs for the freezer this morning.

So not only a waste saving exercise but also fuel saving.

Dinner tonight was hm shepherds pie using a portion of the ratatouille mix for extra veggies and mince, carrots, onions, oats and topped with mashed potato and cheese. I use the oats to bulk the mince oput which is cost saving.

Waste wise this created 1 freezer bag from the mince as I normally bulk purchase and freeze in meal size portions. All veggie peelings were put into the compost bin wrapped in newspaper
I will look at this again when I buy the next lot of mince as I may be able to still bulk purchase but freeze in tubs rather than bags.

Lunch today for both Dh and DS2 was egg buns, with bananas, hm cake, DS2 had a drinking yogurt and crisps, so the waste was:
banana skins - compost
drinking yog - totally recyclable
eggs shells - compost
hm cake - no waste
hm buns - no waste
crisps - landfill (twisted & knotted)

the buns were wrapped in a washable napkin and the cake in a small tub, DS2 drink was in the reused water bottle which will be totally recycled once he has used it for 2 weeks.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 9

I went to Tesco this morning to buy the ingrdients for the school Cookery Club which I run; I noticed that they had reduced certain items of school uniform so in true forward planning mode I snapped up some shirts in bigger sizes for both boys and also some trousers for DS2 made from recycled plastic bottles.

There was a programme on ITV1 on Tonight (www.itv.com/tonight) which was highlighting the problems with mixed recycling and all recycling.

Having watched this back this morning I have written to my council asking what exactly happens to the "mixed" recycling which I diligently put into my wheelie bin each fortnight.

We will wait to see what the response is.

Lunches for both Dave and DS2 have been zero waste again both yesterday and today.

Both had ham(gammon joint cooked and very thinly sliced) salad sandwiches wrapped in a cloth napkin, banana, cake in a small tub, and cookies in the mini cereal packet, DS2 also had a drinking yogurt but it was in type 2 plastic bottle with a foil lid so both recyclable.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 8

Today has been a quiet day, following on from last weeks adventure.

Although over on myzerowaste they have done a weeks challenge I signed up for a 2 week challenge, and will now be continuing with this during this week.

However I do know that The Greens will be continuing with their commitment to recycling.

My washing machine broke down a few weeks ago and it was not worth spending money we didn't have to repair it; however instead of buying a new one we have opted to rent as all repairs bills are covered with the rental, I can upgrade to a newer model once a year if I wanted to, and as the company I rent from ae a big electrical company they will have to conform to the WEEE code for dealing with any older/broken models etc.

So today I took delivery of my "new" washing machine. The delivery drivers took away all packagng with them, so I just have to worry!! about the old machine; we do however have a registered "scrappy" come round once every 3 months or so, so it will be placed outside until his next flyer comes through the door.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 7

I have not particularly looked for items when shopping which could be recycled, my grocery shop this week has been a normal shop; it has been more when the time has come to deal with the waste.

Total rubbish collected in the landfill bin for the week Mon 1 Sept - Sun 7 Sept.

Crisp Packets - 12 (all twisted and knotted)

Plastic packaging which can't be recycled :-

2 deli wrappers (twisted and knotted)

1 butter wrapper foil backed pastic (folded so small though you coudn't see what it was)
1 chicken wrapper (twisted and knotted)
1 Dove Farm Yeast wrapper ( contacted Dove Farm - all they could tell me was it was foil backed) looks like foil backed plastic.

1 gammon joint wrapper
2 multipack crisp wrappers (twisted and knotted)
1 bag which I had frozen mince in from a bulk purchase (twisted and knotted)
2 carrier bags which had been reused so many times they were disintegrating (twisted and knotted)


Some things I could have left out until another time but that is not the point of this exercise, it is to see just how much is actually going into the landfill bin and how much we can reduce it by.


So.........the total waste going into our landfill bin for this week weighs in at....... 325g

Certain things now I will look at whilst shopping, to try and find an alternative with better recyclable packaging.




This is the bag of rubbish from Mon 1 Sept - Sun 7 Sept

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 6

I can report that today despite having a big baking session all items used were in either recyclable or compostable packaging.

It did help that I put my dried fruit when I buy it into a big storage jar rather than leaving it in the bag, otherwise that would have been one bag which I'm not sure on the type of plastic (will investigate next time I go shopping).

The boys have today treated themselves to a new Wii game which I thought Oh no !!packaging but surprisingly, it came in a cardboard box with a cardboard inner and the bag which held the wheel was clearly labelled type 4, so all can be recycled.

Having found that I can take all my margarine tubs/yog pots/meat trays to the HRF has made a big difference to what has gone into our landfill bin; (see tomorrows report for the final outcome.

Another thing I have been forced to look at is teabags; they either seem to come in a recycled recyclable cardboard box with mini plasticised foil inners or a celophane wrapped cardboard box with no mini inners; either way one or the other part of it is non-recyclable.

I hope that with Sainsburys looking at all their own label products they might just do something about the celophane outer.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 5

I telephoned Sainsburys yesterday and asked them when/if they were going to package their own label fair trade sugar in recyclable bags not the type 7 non recycable it is in now; the chap on the other end said it was "in process" and that also hopefully within the next 2 years or so all own label products will be in recyclable packaging if at all possible.

Anyway scroll forward to this morning, I had to nip into Sainsburys for something whilst at that end of town, and lo and behold their own label fair trade granulated sugar was now in paper bags; the other varieties of own label sugar were very scarce which often means a packaging revamp when it is a staple product.

So I will give a big thumbs up to Sainsburys today for doing the right thing!!

I don't always shop there but have been buying their teabags and sugar as it is fair trade even better now the packaging is also recyclable.

Whilst there I also noticed that they have a few more own label organic products than they had last time.

Breakfast today for both boys was cereal and juice (no waste)

Lunch for DH was a chippy lunch which he alsways has but the shop uses all papers which can be recycled; for DS2 it was ham salad wraps, hm choc cake, juice and a banana (no waste - banana skin into compost bin)

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 4

Breakfast this morning was cereal and juice for DS2 and Banana and yourt for DS1.

No waste from DS2, DS1 Banana skin into compost bin, yogurt lid onto foil ball and pot into collection point for trip to HRF.

DH has agreed to create me a mini recycling centre similar to that of Mrs Green at
http://www.myzerowaste.com/ .

We have some old Safeway green boxes which will be ideal size for storing things in, and then once every month or 2 months I will take it all to the HRF, combining it with a trip to the Library and Farmers Market in the local town.

Lunch today for both DH and DS2 was ham salad wraps, the ham we bought on the deli, although I am looking at how cost effective it might be to buy a gammon joint and cook myself; the salad is again from the organic veg box; there were also apples, from the market (no packaging - but air miles), and hm Millies Cookies wrapped again in the mini cereal packets.
DH drinks tea using his own mug whilst at work and DS2 has a water bottle which is reused over a 2 week period and then totally recycled.
DS1 has a canteen lunch at school, but also takes a water bottle which is reused over a 2 week period and then totally recycled.

DS1 school runs quite a good waste initiative, if drinks are purchased then a premium of 10p is added to the cost but if the can/bottle is taken back to be recycled the student gets his "deposit" back.


Dinner tonight was hm meatballs served with spagetti and hm tomato sauce.
Waste wise this produced (mince) a polythene bag, (bread crumbs) no waste, (spagetti) no waste, ( tomato sauce) tin from chopped tomatoes, tin from tomato puree (recycled), onion skin (composted). I made a double batch of the meatballs so half have been frozen to use another day.

I also made some Blackberry Jam today using the fruit which DS2 and myself picked yesterday.
Produce made - 6 jars of lovely hm jam;
waste - 2 paper sugar bags

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 3


We have a result!!!

I went this morning to the local Household Recyling Facility as I had a broken stereo to dispose of.

I decided whilst there to talk to the men who were dealing with the plastics etc; they told me that they had been told yes margarine tubs and yogurt pots could be taken there, but maybe a phonecall to Lincs County Council who manage the site might help to just confirm this.

On returning home I gave the Council a call and spoke to a very helpful chap who said yes any hard type plastic such as margarine and yogurt pots etc could be taken there.
The only type of plastic which couldn't was Polythene which is type 4 and I already post this to Polyprint Ltd.

Breakfast today was again cereal and juice as DS1 is now back at school, so no waste there.

Lunch for DH was hm bread sandwich with boiled egg and salad cream filling, wrapped in a cloth napkin, along with a banana and some hm shortbread wrapped in one of the mini cereal packets.

Lunch for myself and DS2 was grabbed whilst in Tesco, as we had to get DS1 some school trousers, he has shot up over the holidays and I hadn't realised quite how much by until this morning. We went to the deli and I had a piece of quiche (cardboard box) and DS2 had a Scotch egg (doesn't like pastry). I said to put both in the same box, no plastic bags etc. NO couldn't do that as had to have different barcode tickets.

Dinner tonight was Roast chicken, with salad and fried new potatoes. The chicken tray will be able to be saved and taken to the (HRF), the salad and new potatoes came in the organic veg box delivery this morning, I will just have to see about the plastic/polythene wrapper from the chicken.

DS2 also had a packet of crisps when we got home, so that has had to go into the landfill bin.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 2

Today breakfast has been cereal and juice.

These were the little ind boxes which were bought in an attempt to get my boys to try different cereals, and the pack of 8 only cost £1.21 but each box has a coupon worth 25p on the back which Tesco will accept even if you do not buy the product.

The coupons were removed the boxes were placed in the recycling bin and the inner wrappers will be used as bags for cookies (hm of course) in the lunch boxes in the weeks to come. Until a time when I need to find a place to recycle them.

Lunch was hm bread, with tuna and salad, followed by jelly and hm shortbread.
There was unfortunately the plastic wrapper from the jelly to contend with, which having no recycling info on it had to go into the bin. The tin from the una went into the recycling collection bin.

Dinner was hm fish pie served with carrots and frozen green beans.
No waste there as yet.

So on day 2 we have 1 very small piece of plastic, which has been duly twisted and knotted before placement in the landfill bin.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Zero Waste - Day 1


Well today we have managed to put nothing into the landfill bin.

All veggies and fruit peelings from making my Sweet Ratatouille Chutney went into the compost bin wrapped in newspaper.

The tray and film the mince for the lasagne came in will be put into the collection box for parcelling off to GHS .

The empty glass milk bottles were left on the doorstep this morning.

The tins from both the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree were rinsed and added to the recycling bin.

DS2 wanted a drink whilst we were in town today shopping, he chose a bottle that had number 2 on the bottle and when he opened it the lid was also number 2. These were both put intothe recycling bin when we got home.

Dave took a zero waste packed lunch to work with him; sandwiches were wrapped in a t/towel and cake was put in a small plastic tub, the banana skin went into the compost bin.

Week Ending Sunday 31 August


Well today starts the "zero waste" challenge.

The bins were emptied for collection this morning and we had a total of 743g going to landfill which is half the weight of last weeks.

This is a very good start as I had been tweaking the rubbish for the landfill bin all week in readiness for the upcoming challenge.

Obviously we want the figure over the next 2 weeks to be as close to zero as possible, with collection boxes for all the different types of recycling; be it:

a) directly into the recyclable collection bin
b) directly into the compostable collection bin
c) frozen for Dave to take to work for lunch or for "leftovers" night
d) sent to work with Dave for the dogs if not re-usable by us
e) collected to be posted to either of the 2 companies who recycle plastics which my council do not
f) saved to be sold at the next car boot sale we do.
g) saved to be taken to the recycling centre run by my local council
h) saved for a school collection "bag 2 school" for old clothes and shoes
i) placed on freecycle
j) directly given to charity

If any thing we no longer wish to keep does not fit into any of the categories above then it will have to be placed in the landfill bin.

I will be keeping a daily log as I have in the past to record exactly what makes up our rubbish.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Zero Waste Challenge


I have decided to join the "zero waste challenge" on http://www.myzerowaste.com/ for the next 2 weeks.

This will involve trying not to put anything into my landfill collection bin for the next 2 weeks and trying to reuse/recycle/sell/donate anything we do not wish to keep.

I will be keeping a note of how our rubbish is dealt with over the time period over on www.rubbishlog.blogspot.com .

Monday, 25 August 2008

Week Ending Sunday 24 August





This is the bag of "rubbish" which went into my landfill bin this week it weighed 1.3kg and was only a third of the size of my 45l swing bin.

There were a few yogurt pots in there as I had ran out of my own and had treated DS1, this was before I had heard about GHS the recycling company, which will take most plastics as long as there is sufficient quantity.

The rest of the "rubbish", seemed to be plastic wrap and crisp packs etc. and even though I twist and knot my plastics to make then smaller they will still weigh the same.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Phonebooks/Directories

I have found out that you can contact BT and they will take your name off the list for phone directories.

directory.products@bt.com

Mine have sat on the shelf the last couple of times not being used and I have had to unwrap them from their plastic sleeve to be able to recycle them.

This to me was just another item coming into the house which we did not need or use.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Zero Waste

I have been reading the following 2 blogs/websites recently

http://www.therubbishdiet.blogspot.com/ and http://www.myzerowaste.com/

and have decided to do a "Zero Waste Pledge".

This will mean that we will have to try to not throw anything into the landfill bin, things can still be recycled/composted but NOTHING if at all possible should go into the landfill bin.

I will be starting this on Monday 1 Sept as the landfill bin is emptied on that day so we will start the pledge with empty bins all round; this will continue for a 2 week period until Monday 15 Sept when the bin is due to be emptied again.

Zero Waste 2

Following on from the other day I have another site I have been reading
http://www.myzerowaste.com/ . This has again been both informative and interesting.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Zero Waste

I have been reading a blog today by a woman who has tried to a adopt a zero/minimum waste strategy in her household.

http://therubbishdiet.blogspot.com

This has been really interesting reading, and there a few ideas which I'm hoping we can adopt ourselves.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Found a link to this clip on You Tube, and thought it gave a fun catchy message about recycling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKdZYYmTT9A

Thursday, 24 July 2008

CATCHING UP

I have been a little lax in posting this blog but am happy to report that all is still going well on the rubbish front.

We are still only having one bag of rubbish a week and most collections the recycling bin is now only half to ¾ full which means we are now actually reducing the total amount of rubbish being brought into the house.

The glass recycling box gets emptied approx every 3 weeks which is also a good thing as this is more frequently than before but also backs up my idea of buying things in glass rather than cans as glass is a more readily recyclable material I believe, and I'm sure I read this somewhere.

Hopefully I will be able to post a little more frequently and keep things more up to date.

CATCHING UP

Well the boys are now both finished for the school holidays, so we will be trying to do things which don't cost a lot of money or involve loads of travelling.

We are lucky in that we live only 15 miles from the beach (Mablethorpe/Cleethorpes), so a picnic and some beach games and the boys are fairly happy.

On a brighter note, the weather has been glorious the last few days, so we have been eating salads etc which don't involve a lot of cooking only new potatoes.

I am also going to do an online delivery for groceries end of next week which will hopefully last us most of the holidays, with just a few bits of salad etc picked up if needed when/if we do go out; I will also be having my veg/salad box delivered each week so shouldn't need to pick up too much.

To help on the fuel front, where I live the trees were being pruned/cut back so I asked for all the wood, now have a nice pile for Dave to work through ready for the winter.
He will also be working on fitting the shower screen so that we can use that instead of baths. Will be alot easier when the boys have been playing out all day.


Thursday, 26 June 2008

FUEL ECONOMY/RISING PRICES

I have had to be even more vigilant than before with petrol usage as we have now reached £1.17/ltr (£5.30/gall), and on short trips we only get 30 miles to the gallon.

I have just been quoted 63p/ltr for heating oil whereas this time last year it was 43p/ltr.

Combine all this with the rise in food prices and people on the poverty line will be seroiusly having to consider heat or eat this winter.

As it is we only even in the winter use our oil heating as little as possible and use the open fire to heat downstairs and the boys have electric fan heaters to take the chill off their bedrooms.

I noticed yesterday when I went to the supermarket that some things have again risen in price by 4p since last week; or things that have been on offer have now gone back up to full price and the price has jumped by at least another 6p.
Things that used to be cheap options are now at a similar price to what mainstream options were last year.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 8 JUNE

The rubbish produced is still only 1 bag from the kitchen bin and every 2 weeks the recycling bin is full. As we are now cutting the grass and tidying the garden more the compostable bin is also full every 2 weeks.

RUBBISH - 1 bag kitchen bin

CLEARING OUT

Things are ticking along nicely, we are continuing with the clearing of things and alot has gone to charity chops this last week.

The boys old clothes etc are being given through the schools colloection programme again (the school gets paid per kg).

In the garden we have rhubarb galore and also garlic; I am also waiting for the elder tree to flower so I can make elderflower cordial, this is a drink I really enjoy mixed with iced water.

On the baking front I used up some cereal which the boys had decided they no longer liked, by using it in a cake (Maisie's Recipes).

Monday, 2 June 2008

CATCHING UP

Although we have been busy over the last few weeks not alot extra has been done on the "green" front. W ehave just continued with the day to day stuff.

The rubbish is still being kept to a minimum with the recycling bin full every 2 weeks, and the compostable bin also.

I still haven't managed to defrost the freezer yet as I got a nice haul of "whoopsied" meat including steak and whole chickens, which will nearly do us the month of June and it only cost £25 for £40 worth of meat.

After getting this lot I have on talking to the farmer where I buy my eggs from found that he will sell me pork,lamb and beef as and when I want, and you see the animals in the farmyard. His prices are good as well £70 for half a pig.

So yet again I am on a mission to clear the freezer so that I can take advantage of this meat after defrosting the freezer; the farm is only 5 miles up the road (closer than the supermarket) and the animals all go to a local abbatoir which is only 40 miles away.

I also managed to come in only just over my Grocery Challenge budget (£1.22) in May (MSE.com).
The whoopsied meat is from June's budget.

WEEK ENDING SUN 1 JUNE

The rubbish produced is still only 1 bag from the kitchen bin and every 2 weeks the recycling bin is full.
As we are now cutting the grass and tidying the garden more the compostable bin is also full every 2 weeks.

RUBBISH - 1 bag kitchen bin

Monday, 26 May 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 25 MAY

The rubbish produced is still only 1 bag from the kitchen bin and every 2 weeks the recycling bin is full.
As we are now cutting the grass and tidying the garden more the compostable bin is also full every 2 weeks.

RUBBISH - 1 bag kitchen bin, 1 bag extra plastics

Monday, 19 May 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 18 MAY

The rubbish produced is still only 1 bag from the kitchen bin and every 2 weeks the recycling bin is full.
As we are now cutting the grass and tidying the garden more the compostable bin is also full every 2 weeks.

RUBBISH - 1 bag kitchen bin

Thursday, 15 May 2008

USING IT UP

This is a duplicate post from my other blog.

I have been raiding the freezer this last week instead of sticking to my menu plan, for the following reasons;
1. I have stuff lurking in the depths of the chest freezer which needs using up
2. I need to be able to defrost this freezer so I can then move the stuff from the inside freezer into it so I can defrost that. This will make the freezers more energy efficient again.
3. No point buying more stuff if have enough things in the freezer to make a weeks worth of meals.

Also we have been having warmer days which influences dinner choices alittle as well, We have had salads twice and although I have cooked the other 2 nights it was because I had veggies which also needed using up.

I intend changing my veggie box order from next week to a salad box.

Monday, 12 May 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 11 MAY

This week the compostable bin os over flowing as Dave has cut the hedge and David has cut the grass and all clippings have gone into oyr "green" bin.

General rubbish is again 1 bag from the kitchen bin.

RUBBISH - 1 bag kitchen bin

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

BLOG AWARD


My friend, Susan My Peaceful Valley, just awarded me my very first Excellent Blog Award! How very nice of her to do that for me!!

As part of accepting the award I am supposed to award it to ten more bloggers. There are so many excellent blogs out there, but here are ten I enjoy:







5. Ceridwan Chez Ceridwan


7. NeeCee NeeCees My Life

8. Nikki A Satisfying Journey towards Simplicity

9.Nina Vindicate the Vegetable

10.Tammy Live Dangerously while Eating

Monday, 5 May 2008

MAY DAY BANK HOLIDAY- DAY 126


Although today is a Bank Holiday here in UK and it would be a chance for a day out, we have decided we will stay at home and do a few tidying jobs in the garden as things have been growing alot lately. Also saves petrol!!

David cut the grass Saturday afternoon whilst Thomas was working at his job. Thomas used to do this for extra pocket money , but obviously now he has a Saturday job David has taken over.

I have a guinea fowl and some chicken breasts (all whoopsied) cooking in the oven which will be used for meals for the next couple of nights. I will also bake some more bread as there is just enough for lunch but no more.

I have decided on the grocery front to look at what I buy this month and then see how much we use, to then do a bulk shop at the beginning of June for June's groceries, possibly using an online delivery for this; I used to use online deliveries but got a bit annoyed with the weird substitutions and things being said to be out of stock, but then me going to the store to get something else and said item being on the shelf, so I might just use this for staple goods which will not be substituted and get the rest when I go to the store for petrol.

WEEK ENDING SUN 4 MAY

Rubbish this week again was only 1 bag from the kitchen bin and a small carrier bag from the bit bins around the house.

RUBBISH - 1 bag kitchen, 1 small carrier

Monday, 28 April 2008

DAY 119 - Apr 28

I am continuing to look for more ways to make a difference with the things we use and the rubbish we produce.

I have sorted through some old paperwork today and shredded any personal documents, these will be recycled.

I will also in the next few weeks be sorting through the boys wardrobes and drawers , checking to see if the summer clothes from last year still fit and if not either putting Thomas' away in readiness for David or passing David's on to some friends who have 2 boys younger than David, any they don't want will be given to a charity collection we have at school.

I am still trying to come up with a better way to grocery shop, I have gone back to weekly which is not ideal as I use twice the amount of petrol doing this and the expenditure seems to be creeping up, more than just the price rises; most things I think could buy a months worth, and then maybe do a topup shop halfway.

I already make my own bread and cakes and freeze milk, I have a veg box delivered weekly so don't need to go to the shops weekly for any of these. Most of the supermarkets seem to have their deals on for at leaset 2 if not 3 weeks so if I worked it right, I would still be able to take advantage of the deals but maximise my petrol usage.

I will monitor this and see what offers the best solution.

WEEK ENDING SUN 27 APRIL


Well again we only have one bag of rubbish from the kitchen bin and a small bag from the bit bins around the house; and the recycling bin is full.

There just does not seem to be any way of reducing the amount of rubbish any further.

RUBBISH - 1 bag kitchen bin, 1 bag from bit bins


Thursday, 24 April 2008

DAY 115 - Apr 24

Today my eldest DS is off school because of the NUT strikes.

He is however making himself useful by washing the car at the moment.

Petrol in our area has now reached £1.10/ltr and diesel is £1.22/ltr, this is getting to be very expensive now to be able to go anywhere, especially when as we do we live 15 miles from the closest main shops in town.

I am even moreso now combining journeys as we also every weekend have football matches to travel to as both boys play for teams. Which obviously uses petrol; not that we would stop the boys playing just because of the petrol costs, would just have to find the money elswhere.

Car is now finished and he has decided to make Banana cake using up the over ripe bananas from the fruit bowl.

Monday, 21 April 2008

DAY 112 - Apr 21

I have noticed the big drop in mailshot that we get now so I think the mail preference that I signed up to is finally working.

Whilst in Tesco on Satuurday I checked a few prices on things which had been rumoured to be going up, rice seems to have gone up by approx 20p per packet and this is value range, bread flour and value range flour were still at their normal prices, but I know other stores have already increased these so I stocked up as with alot of scratch cooking/baking I use alot of flour.

Now whilst this isn't going to have much relevance on our being greener in certain aspects it will in others as without the correct ingredients I won't be able to produce the home made things which I choose to do instead of buying the processed pap. Also bread for a decent loaf has now risen to over £1 per loaf which is ridiculous for something which is a staple food; especially when I can make a loaf for under 50p (present prices) and in my opinion it is much better quality.

WEEK ENDING SUN 20 APRIL

Another good week, we only have one bag again from the kitchen bin, there is also one small bag of cinders etc from the coal fire which have to go to landfill and can't be used on the garden.

The recycling bin is also half full with one week to go.

The compostable bin is also nearly full due to some more gardening work clearing away overgrown ivy etc.

RUBBISH - 1 bag kitchen bin, 1 bag clinker

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

DAY 107 - Apr 16

Today my eldest son became a teenager.

He didn't want the fuss etc of everyone knowing but all his Aunties have sent cards with badges and nice comments written in them.

Ever the dutiful recycler all stamps were taken off envelopes and put into the charity collection bag and all envelopes were placed into the recycling bin, this was before he put his cards on display.

Today on the news I heard mention that there is an initiative to bring back the deposit scheme on bottles etc so that although you pay more initially you get money back when you take the items to be recycled. We used to do this years ago and it was a money making scheme for kids in the holidays to get some extra pocket money by tidying up the streets and parks etc.
Thomas school do this as well in the lunch canteen, they pay extra for the can or bottle of juice but get money back if they take it back for recycling. This is good as it encourages the kids to take the items back.

Also on the news today there was an article saying that petrol prices are fast approaching the £5($10)/gallon mark diesel has already passed this.

Monday, 14 April 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 13 APRIL

Another good week the recycling bin was full and there was only 2 kitchen bin bags and one bag of extra plastics to go to landfill.

RUBBISH- 1 bag kitchen bin

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

DAY 100 - Apr 9

I have noticed recently whilst doing my grocery shopping that the prices on basic groceries have been gradually creeping up, and heard talk the other day that there was going to be a shortage of both rice and tomatoes, to add to the onions and potatoes already said to be in short supply.

Whilst I still wish to continue with the purchasing of organic fruit, vegetables and milk the costs on other items is making me have to re-look at which section of the grocery shelf I buy items from. I have never been brand loyal, buying store brand or generic but have also started looking at extra items from the value/basic/everyday section which I would not usually have looked at.


I use a comparison site to compare offers/prices at the major supermarkets and have signed up to the email flyers for the other and the European supermarkets we have here in UK so that I can really be a "price queen" and only buy items on offer(providing it is best price), just have to get the rotation of these offers right so I buy enough to last until the next offer. I have noticed though that alot of basic items never seem to go on offer, or if they do the own brand items are often still cheaper.

I bought a big 5ltr jug of white vinegar and a big tub of baking soda and will be looking at making some of my own cleaners for now.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 6 APRIL

Again a good week as only 1 bag from the kitchen bin, this does also include the bit bins from around the house.

I have probably mentioned this before but with bags etc that have to go into the bin I twist and knot so they are more compact and do not expand back out to their full size, therefore filling the bin quicker.

I learn't this whilst camping with the Girl Guides as obviously we had to take all our rubbish away with us depending on the sites used.

RUBBISH - 1 bag kitchen bin, 1 small bag extra plastic

WEEK ENDING SUN 30 MARCH

Rubbish OK again this week, seem to have hit the minimum we will be throwing out which is a bag a week.

The only other thing I have been doing different is buying more things in glass jars then decanting at home. Specifically ketchup and those condiment type sauces.

The recycling bin was once again full which is good but still means we have far too much stuff coming in to the house; not sure where/how else I can change this.

RUBBISH-1 bag kitchen bin, 1 bag non recyclable plastic

Monday, 31 March 2008

DAY 91 - Mar 31

Well we are now a quarter of the way exactly through our year.

So far I am fairly happy with the progress we have made.

We still do have a lot of boxes of "stuff" to sort through and decide what to do with. Once the weather is better though we will definitely be doing some carboot sales.

I have joined my local Freecycle group, althouigh I haven't as yet put anything on.

I also listed some books on ebay and then the ones that didn't sell went onto Green Metropolis . Donna thanks for that link.

We joined in Earth Hour on Saturday, it was easy for us really as we had to up early Sunday morning we all just went to bed, and surprisingly fell asleep.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 23 MARCH


Not quite so good this week but that is partly due to the boys Easter Eggs which came in non- recyclable type 3 plastic - Cadbury's very bad.

The Nestle eggs they also got came in type 1 plastic which is recyclebale so for once a thumbs up to Nestle.

RUBBISH - kitchen bin 1 bag, extra plastics 2 bags

IDEAS TO BE WORKED ON DURING THE COMING YEAR

This is a list of ideas following on from the audit I made which we can work towards during the next 3-9 months.

1. Get the greenhouse erected and start growing some salad foods for the summer.

2. Continue scavenging/beachcombing wood so that again next winter we will not have to purchase any.

3. Continue de-cluttering, have made a start but got a little side-tracked ; Jackie is my inspiration for this.

4. Continue to monitor the amount of rubbish we put out for landfill, and try to reduce this as much as is possible.

5. Write every 6 months to both the Local and County Councils and MP about the lack of certain recycling facilities in our area (may just get fed up of receiving the letters and actually do something).

6. Continue to use the car in cumlative journeys rather than lots of little trips.

Monday, 24 March 2008

GREEN AUDIT - after 3 months ( DAY 84)

As we are nearing the end of the first quarter of our greener year I have been doing a little "audit" to see if we have come any further than when we started.

I have found the following things:

1. All lightbulbs are now eco - friendly, as I have even managed to find some for my spotlights in the kitchen.

2. All paper, cardboard, steel, aluminium, glass, and plastics that the Uk recycles are recycled.

3. All veggie and fruit waste is composted either in the home composter or the collection bin provided by the council.

4. All garden waste is dealt with the same as in 3 above.

5. I have purchased plugin timers for my washing machine and dishwasher, so they can be run in the early hours on cheaper electric.

6. The central heating (oil) is only ever on if really cold or someone is ill, we use extra layers instead, and the boys have a small electric heater they use if necessary for short time in their bedrooms.

7. We do have a coal/wood fire in the living room and the wood is all scavenged/beachcombed, admittedly we do buy coal and this is something I will be looking at.

8. I use the car only one maybe two days per week now for errands, making sure I combine all trips into that one or two.

9. We have cut down on our consumption of processed foods, ie. cookies, pies, pasties etc in favour of more home cooked/baked items.

10. All junk mail has stopped since I signed up up for the scheme run here in Uk which deletes your details from mailing lists which are sold to marketing companies.

11. Any clothes the boys have outgrown are either passed on to someone who can use them or are given to charity for them to sell/use.

12. I have found 2 companies whom I can post things to to be reycled, although this does cost me postage I feel this is better than it going to landfill, these are water filter cartridges, and type 4 plastic.

Monday, 17 March 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 16 MARCH

Again this week we have only put out 1 small bag of rubbish to be taken to landfill.

The recycling bin was again full, so again a good thing in that it isn't going to landfill but still too much excess packaging.

I am feeling the need to start buying my groceries at places that do not have packaging, and would love to be able to shop in an old style store where butter etc was cut froma slab and then wrapped in recyclable greaseproof paper.

All in all a fairly good week.

Rubbish - 1 bag

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

DAY 72 - mar 12

I have continued to look at the packaging which comes into my home. Still too much, but alot is unavoidable as it is part of the grocery items. Certain items come ready wrapped and there is no avoiding this type of packaging.

I have been keeping a separate bag for non-recyclable plastics and have just put a bag full into the rubbish bin for collection on Monday, this is 2 weeks worth of type 3, 5, 6 & 7 plastic which is not recycled in UK.

The bag from my kitchen bin is smaller than the one posted in the photo, due to my separating the plastics out. This is now a large carrier bag size rather than a small bin liner size.

I have emailed my local and county council to ask them when they are going to recycle type 5 as that is the one with the most volume, ie. margarine tubs, yogurt pots etc.

Monday, 10 March 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 9 MARCH

Only had a large carrier bag to go into the rubbish bin this week due to the fact I have been keeping non-recyclable plastics in a separate bin liner. 2 weeks worth has made a bin liner full.

These are type 3,5,6 &7 plastic which are not recycled in UK.

The amount of non-recyclable plastic used in this country is shocking, but I don't really know how we as consumers can make any changes when in some cases we have to buy the things in these particular types of plastics as there are no alternatives.

I have emailed my local and county council asking when they will be recycling type 5 in particular as that is the one with the most volume ie. margarine tubs and yogurt pots.

RUBBISH - 1 small bag and 1 bin liner of non-recyclable plastic

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

DOING WELL ON THE RUBBISH FRONT - DAY 63 - mar 3

Again we only have a similar size bag to last week and the recycling bin was full, this is good, but some of the recycling was excess packaging which shouldn't be there in the first place, so that is an area to re-look at.

I am going to keep pestering my council to provide a recycling collection or place for type 5 plastic, this is the main thing in my bin now.

Maybe if the government banned plastic bags from supermarkets and shops then the retailers would have to find an alternative form of packaging, ie corn starch bags or recycled paper.


Monday, 3 March 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 2 MARCH


We again had a similar size bag to last week.

Can't seem to get it down any further than this.

The main problem being that my council do not recycle type 5 plastic and there are only so many tubs you need/can use for storage.

I will just keep pestering them to improve their recycling facilities.

The recycling bin was full again, which is good but some is excess packaging so that can be re-looked at.


RUBBISH - 1 bag from kitchen bin

Monday, 25 February 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 24 FEB


Please look at http://www.ourgreeneryear.blogspot.com/ as I have posted a photo of the small bag of rubbish we put out this week.

RUBBISH for week 1 bag from kitchen bin

OUR LACK OF RUBBISH - DAY56 - feb 25



Thought I'd post a picture of the rubbish we put out this week.

The bottle next to the bag is a 2litre pop bottle.

All the rest of our rubbish has gone into either the recycling bin or the compostable bin

Thursday, 21 February 2008

DAY 52 - feb 21

Today is the first day this week I have been able to put laundry outside to dry as we have had alot of fog, and this does not help clothes dry!!

I was really impressed with the recycling facility on Monday; it is designed in a horseshoe shape with the different units in the middle and parking either side of the roadway running around these.
It was clean and tidy and all units were clearly labeled, there were even 3 men to help with heavier items if you had them.

I will definitely be looking more at what we can take to this facility in the future. Maybe make this a bi-monthly trip depending on what we have to take, I don't have very many tetra-paks and that is the main thing for me, although I could combine a glass run with it instead of the normal bottle banks that I use at the moment.

Monday, 18 February 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 17 FEB

Again all things seem to have going into the correct bins and also we only had 1 bag to go into the rubbish bin; can't seem to get this any lower.

Today myself and David are taking a trip to the local recycling centre to take a few items we can't put into the normal bins which are collected.

RUBBISH - 1 bag from the kitchen bin

Visit to the Recycling Centre - Day 49 - feb 18

Today myself and David who has an extra day off school are taking some items to the recycling centre. These are things we cannot put into any of our collected bins.

2 printers
1 old nonworking monitor
1 nonworking deskfan
bag full of tetrapak cartons (can be put into rubbish bin - but I want to recycle these).

This is also a newish facility which is supposed to have a better setup than the last one so worth a visit anyway to have a nosy.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

DAY 45 - feb 14

The service I joined to stop junk mail seems to have worked as I don't really get any uninvited junk mail now. YAH!!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

DAY 42,43,& 44 - feb 11,12 &13

The boys are off school this week (half term) so I am not really able to do much in the way of sorting etc.

I seem to be constantly baking though, I have used a dozen eggs just on snack items for them and will require more baking again for the weekend.

As David is on a football course tomorrow and Friday and I'm combining taking him with my errands and grocery run, also keeps him happy as he doesn't have to shop with mum. Thomas will stay at home whilst I do this.

I have found a comparison site for 4 of the big name supermarkets in UK which allows you to pick which one you want to shop in then at the end will let you know if your trolley would have been cheaper elsewhere or if you swapped to a similar but different product how much you would save. There is also a offers section under the individual aisles so you can do a comparison on what offers are available.
I have 3 supermarkets all within 10 minutes drive of each other so I can quite easily go to all 3 if necessary to pick up the bargains.

The website is www.mysupermarket.co.uk .

This all helps a challenge I'm doing to try and lower my grocery budget by approx £10 per month by the end of the year, not alot I know but if we are still eating good healthy homecooked food, then there is no need to line the supermarkets pockets, better off having that amount in a savings account.

Monday, 11 February 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 10 FEB

As we have been getting our rubbish throwing under control, it seems all things are going into the correct bins. The boys are also checking with me if they are not sure on where something should go.

It is taking quite a bit of time to note down exactly what we are throwing and where, so I have decided that as we logged it all through January we will see for the next few weeks if we can keep on track, if the landfill bin starts getting more in it than I feel good about then I shall log again.

RUBBISH TOTAL - 1 bag from the kitchen bin, 1 small bag of the excess stuff I found whilst sorting the kitchen cupboards.

Not quite as good as previous weeks but it has removed a few things which have not been used in the 7 years we have lived in this house, unfortunately some things had to be put into the rubbish as they could not be recycled.

The compostable bin was full to bursting today as we had spent some time in the garden on Saturday afternoon tidying things up a little.

The recycling bin will also be full by next Monday when it is collected.

The glass recycling box is full and needs emptying.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

DAY 39,40 & 41 - feb 8,9 & 10

As I try to do more things in the home which are greener I'm finding I have less time for the PC, also the boys have decided that after school they would like to use it and now have a rota which schdules times for usage according to their after school activities etc.

I am continuing to use the car as little as possible on a daily basis and do a combined trip on 1 or maybe 2 days per week depending on where I want to go.

I have made a new menu plan to incorporate alot of the bits and pieces lurking in the bottom of the chest freezer; this is in addition to "leftover night" as these bits are stored in the upright freezer.

I have also noticed that the boys are eating more bread and home baked goodies, just can't keep up at the moment; they must both be in growth spurt mode.

We are still having nice sunny days which facilitates hanging laundry outside, a big pleasure for me.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

DAY 37 & 38 - feb 6 & 7

Wednesday Dave had the day off so we could go into town and find some parts for a minor repair to the car boot; the gas struts had run out of gas, so the boot would not stay open.

We had phoned Ford and they had quoted £75/pair.

We decided it was worth checking out a couple of scrapyards first and would pay up to half price of the new, as you get a warranty with new.

Visited 2 different scrapyards and got a pair for £5 this was an easy job which Dave could also do without having to pay a mechanic, so a good job well done.

The weather the last couple of days has been sunny and windy so I have had laundry on the line both days.

Dinners have been as per the menu plan and this is working well.

I have now worked out a 4 week plan and as I shop 2 weekly I can see exactly what I nned to buy on those shopping trips.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

DAY 35 & 36 - feb 4 & 5

Yesterday was a grocery shopping day, so again I made the point of checking packaging as well as ingredients before I purchased items.

The main thing I was looking for was the packaging recyclable.

It is surprising how much still isn't or comes in one wrapper and is then wrapped inside another or a box.

Today we have a sunny blowy day again so I have 2 loads of laundry drying as I type.

In tomorrow nights dinner I will be making the curry with frozen excess veggies I had last summer which I cooked down with curry powder to make a veggie base. There will be all sorts in it, onion, courgette, peppers, carrot, cauliflower, mushrooms.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 3 FEB

Monday 28 January:
recycle - glass milk bottles back to milkman, passata jar, squash bottle & lid, lasagne box
compost - veggie peelings, fruit waste
rubbish - meat wrapper
posted - batteries from Wii handset,

Tuesday 29 January:
recycle - milk carton & lid, junk mail, tuna can, mayo jar & lid
compost - veggie peelings, fruit waste
rubbish - chicken wrapper, egg shells
posted - wrappers from Tom & Dave magazines

Wednesday 30 January:
recycle - cereal box, glass milk bottles back to milkman, fish finger boxes, tp tube
compost -veg peelings,
rubbish - cereal box inner,
posted -

Thursday 31 January:
recycle - milk carton & lid, sweet & sour sauce jar & lid, batteries, junk mail
compost - veggie peelings, fruit skins,
rubbish - pork wrapper, yogurt packet, rice packet,
posted - junk mail wrapper

Friday 1 February:
recycle - glass bottles back to milkman, tp tube, kr tube, tuna can
compost -
rubbish - large outer wrapper from ind crisp packets,
posted - water filter cartridges

Saturday 2 February:
recycle - softner bottle,
compost -
rubbish - cheese wrapper, coleslaw tub
posted -

Sunday 3 February:
recycle - sugar bag, washing powder box, juice bottles, sauce bottle, mushroom bag, baked bean tin
compost - veg peelings
rubbish - meat wrapper, sausage & bacon wrapper, egg shells

RUBBISH TOTAL - 1 bag

DAY 33 & 34 - feb 2 & 3

The weekends are getting busier with the weather getting better so more football is being played.

During the weekends we continue to recycle and do all the things we do during the week, it is often a time for me to do some extra baking if it is needed in readiness for packups for the following week.

I have noticed though as I am trying to buy less things in packaging and buy more fresh and unadulterated foods that we don't seem to have as much waste going into the normal rubbish bin.

I have always cooked from scratch but would use bought items for cookies and packed lunches etc. there are certain things which are just not feasible to make at home (crisps - chips in US), but other items now if bought will be for treats or if it is easier to have something in a throw away wrapper rather than a box.

I have also noticed that now the chocolate treats etc aren't in the house the boys are going more to make a sandwich for a snack rather than grab the previous, they have always had fruit and yogurt but choc bars as well.

Friday, 1 February 2008

DAY 32 - feb 1

Today I made some Hobnob cookies, instead of always buying them when grocery shopping and having to deal with the packaging.

They went down a treat, big hit with Thomas and his friend, David isn't so keen but he doesn't like oats and flapjacky type things, so I will make him some Choc Chip cookies tomorrow.

Recipe is at http://www.maisiesrecipes.blogspot.com/ .

This idea also fits in with my ideals of home cooked food rather than convenience over prepared.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

DAY 31

Tuesday night we had chicken for dinner so in the essence of TG and not wasting I have made another dinner form the strippings and by boiling up the carcass for stock, (rubber chicken).

I took the 2 legs off and dave had those in in his lunch yesterday, then the remaining meat I stripped from the carcass, set aside then boiled up the carcass to make a lovely chicken stock, drained the stock off then added rice, onion, carrot, pepper, plus some bits of veggies that needed using up, once the rice was nearly cooked added back the bits of chicken and it made a lovely risotto style soup.

This we will have for dinner on Friday and then any remaining will be frozen in lunch size portions, for me for future days.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

DAY 30

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but one of our supermarkets provides freepost recyclable bags in which you can post to them batteries for them to recycle.

My water filter jug cartridges can also be posted back to the manufacturer and they will recycle these; this is also a freepost address. Again these are not major things but the little things add up.

We today have a bright sunny day again although it is cold and the forecast for the next few days is saying it will be getting colder down to -6°C overnight on Thursday.

I have been re-reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette and there have been a few ideas which I am going to use; one being kindling for the fire, Dave normally chops up a few of the smaller logs for kindling but we are starting to run out of these.

In TG it suggests that you roll up a sheet of newspaper and then fold in half to make a triangle shape then fold it over from each side to make a concertina type pattern this is supposed to work as well as wood kindling because of the density of the paper. There are always alot of newspapers at Dave's work which he brings home for us to use for the starting the fire and then recycle the excess, so I will try this idea and see how we get on.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

DAY 28 & 29

Well Monday David woke up feeling sicky so had a day off from school, so not alot done really as we had a snuggle in front of the fire with dvd day. He's still young enough to want to do this.

Today he is now back at school, so I have been having a sort through my cupboards in the kitchen to see what there might be lurking in the background that I have forgotten about.

I have found a bag of basmati rice and some ground almonds, nothing major but can both be used during the following weeks in meals and baking.

I am trying to limit the amount I spend each grocery trip and also make the most of any bargains I find, bogofs etc, that will help in the future.

This will also involve not buying so much prepackaged stuff and maybe baking more treats instead of buying cookies.

This will be more difficult in some ways as I have just been told that the school lunch provider has gone bankrupt and there will be no more lunches, however the amount of prepackaged treats has dropped considerably so even a small increase will not be as bad as before.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

WEEK ENDING SUN 27 JAN


MONDAY 21 JANUARY:
recycled - glass bottles back to milkman, milk carton & lid, junk mail, salmon can, bread flour bag
compost - veg peelings,
rubbish - sausage wrapper, cheese wrapper
posted -magazine wrapper

TUESDAY 22 JANUARY:
recycled - junk mail, juice bottle & lid
compost - veg peelings, banana skin,
rubbish - crisp packet
posted -

WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY:
recycled - cereal box, glass milk bottles back to milkman, bread flour bag, dishwasher tablet box, milk carton & lid
compost - veg peelings, banana skin, apple core,
rubbish - meat wrapper
posted -

THURSDAY 24 JANUARY:
recycled - cereal box, suggar bag, junk mail, tortilla packet
compost - veg peelings, banana skin
rubbish - yogurt sachet, meat wrapper, crisp packet (david lunch)
posted -

FRIDAY 25 JANUARY:
recycled - glass milk bottles to milkman, 2 glass jars
compost - veg peelings, apple core
rubbish - haggis wrappers, crisp packet,
posted -

SATURDAY 26 JANUARY:
recycled - milk carton & lid, oj tetra pak, soda bottle, J2O glass bottles (boys)
compost - banana skins
rubbish - cinders from bottom of fire
posted -dave beer ringos,

SUNDAY 27 JANUARY:
recycled - milk carton & lid, baked bean can
compost - veg peelings, banana skins
rubbish - meat wrapper, sausage & bacon wrappers, egg shells
posted -

RUBBISH - total put into bin 1 large carrier bag plus cinders

DAY 25, 26 & 27

This weekend has again been a footballing weekend. David had training on Saturday and then a match on Sunday. Thomas didn't have a fixture as the pitches at both the home and away grounds were under standing water.

We did have a bit of a sort out in the garden on Saturday afternoon as the compostable bin is collected on Monday, so it was useful to get as much into there in readiness, and it makes the garden look tidier.

We had a leftover night for dinner on Saturday, there were odd portions of lasagne, chicken curry, egg fried rice, bolognese, mashed potato, garlic bread so i did a bowl of salad and everyone had what they wanted, this has now all been used up so will start again putting portions into the freezer for another leftovers night towards the end of next month. I keep one drawer in the freezer specifically for this purpose so I can see how much we have accumulated.
At one time all these little bits and pieces would have just been thrown into the bin, and we have basically had a free dinner.

Rubbish from the kitchen bin is only a large carrier bag size this week which I am really impressed with. The boys still double check with me if they are uncertain as to where a piece of rubbish shoud go rather than just putting it into the bin.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

DAY 24

My postable bag is already full so needs to be posted on Friday when I go to the post office, this means that I have been able to recycle a cereal box full of plastic, which would normally have gone into landfill in 2 weeks.

I thought I would fill it in a month but this just shows how much plastic there is about which would normally go into landfill.

We have had another bright windy day so more laundry out on the line. I have also changed my bedding so that this could be washed and line dried. So along with what I have already washed this week it is only the bathroom towels to be washed tonight, and then the boys school uniforms and PE kits on Friday night.