|My Glass storage Jars for dry goods on display|
Well my year of getting stuff done is certainly gathering momentum.
I think a more relaxed approach is paying off, along side good research and a feeling of positivity, I am surprising myself with how much I can do, although it is making me kick myself a little at how long it has taken for my eyes to be opened.
I did not watch Plastic Ocean, (I will do when I think I can get through it without sobbing) but its effects are starting show in other people. I have joined a few Facebook groups dedicated to reducing waste and making do and mending, plus up-cycling clothes and fabrics etc, They are helpful and infuriating all at once!
There is definitely a generation gap out there that really shows those who lived without much plastic years ago, those who have studied Home Economics/Cookery etc at school, and those who didn't. My approach is to just read the advice and do it how I think best, and what suits me and my circumstances.
For many years I have been aware of a problem with the amount of plastic we consume on a daily basis, but besides giving up carrier bags a few years ago (and feeling rather smug at the checkout with my reusable bags) I have buried my head in the sand with regards to everything else - And so I have been doing a waste audit.
I have been shocked at how much plastic, single use and otherwise, my life seemed to require to function normally.
Rather than have a knee jerk reaction and just bin it all and start afresh I am considering each item as I encounter it. Can I use it again repeatedly? Once its empty/finished can I find a better alternative? Do I even need it at all?
Small changes are already making a big impact on my rubbish and recycling bins.
First was to go back to getting doorstep deliveries of milk in glass bottles.
We always had a milkman deliver when I was growing up, as far as I remember milk just wasn't sold in the supermarkets - and when I moved into my own home in 1992 I got my milk delivered then, but after a couple of years the milk started to arrive later and later until it was being delivered after I had gone to work, and coming home on a hot summer day to sour milk on the doorstep was the last straw, so I ditched them.
I am so glad I have gone back (new milk man!) It arrives about 5am, so by the time we are up at 6.30am (toddler time...) it is there. I recon that's at least 4 large plastic bottles a week less going into my recycling bin.
I am currently on the Slimming World diet, and was becoming a little bit addicted to Muller-light - so my next mission was to start making my own yogurt for both me and my toddler.
I bought a wide neck flask and a small pot of live yogurt as a starter culture - and pow! I have yogurt! Apr another 18-20 less plastic items going to landfill every week.
I have been straining the yogurt to thicken it up and have had whey left over...so in the spirit of re-using I have thrown myself into the world of Fermented Vegetable - Wow, they are sooooo delicious
On the Right is my Husbands Whey free fermented Veg (He is milk and dairy intolerant) in the middle are my Whey Fermented Veg, and on the Left is distilled vinegar with lemon rinds infusing for cleaning
Fermented Veg in the fridge and jars of Whey waiting to be used
I have also used the Whey as a starter for my next batch of yogurt and to replace some of the water in my bread recipe - delicious!
Another issue on my list had been food waste. At one time this would have all gone to our allotment to e composted (apart from meat, dairy, citrus fruit etc etc) ut as we don't have an allotment anymore or much of a garden or a council food waste collection I have now invested in a Bokashi Bin!
We are in early days with it yet, but it seams to be going well. Basically this is an Anaerobic digestion /fermentation system that means I can eventually 'compost' ALL food waste, I mean EVERYTHING - raw, cooked, meat, dairy, fish, bones, shells - the lot!
It isn't taking up much space and is easy to use
Bokashi Bin with Bokashi Bran on top
And finally, I am trying to bulk buy, find places to take my own containers to fill, making veg bags etc. More an those adventures soon.
Results so far are;
1) less waste in both recycling and landfill bins
2) saving money - quite a bit!
3) loosing weight faster and eating healthier
win win win!
And that's just the kitchen...