It is the first day of December which signifies the first day without without the need to collect and photograph my waste. There is a great sense of freedom, accomplishment, and relief that goes with having achieved a goal, but as always, it is sad to say goodbye to something that you get used to doing.
As I mentioned in yesterdays post, we have had a houseguest, so it has been a little more difficult to keep track of the waste. Also for most of the Waste Weigh Up month I was on my own as my Mr. was away for business. It has taken a little time to adjust to having someone else contributing to the daily household waste and the thoughtfulness of others has seen me end up with three plastic bags.
They picked up some groceries for me and there was three bags involved in the haul. It was really difficult to control my feelings of disappointment at becoming the owner of three un-necessary plastic bags, but I had to remind myself that I was on the journey they had not joined me for it. They weren’t aware of the impacts of the plastic. I kept in mind that scolding people for being thoughtful wasn’t a great ‘win friends and influence people’ tactic and that being supportive and kind is a far better approach to increasing awareness. I will make a point of telling the gifter of the bags that they will be reused, then let them know I will be going to the supermarket to use the plastic bag recycling bin. This tactic will make them aware of the impact as well as provide a solution for disposal without making them feel like they did anything wrong with their kind and thoughtful gesture.
As promised yesterday the grand total amount of organic waste that was diverted from landfill by composting during my challenge was 8.85 kg, which all up is 5.17 kg more than the total of ALL my waste for the month. A frightening thought when you think about how much nutrient filled goodness is heading to landfill from every home each week when it could go back into the earth as ‘black gold’ composted soil.
Reading back over my reflective posts throughout the challenge I feel a great sense of pride in the reductions I have made over the month. Switching from coconut water to making my own electrolyte replenishing smoothies has been somewhat successful. However I am still unsure if two weeks of ‘foggy brain’ syndrome during our heatwave could have been avoided by droning coconut water. Not sure if the waste reduction (as the containers were in fact recyclable) is worth feeling totally unproductive for the whole of the wet season. My berry addition naturally came to a halt as berry prices increased and mangos decreased. Seasonal produce is aways the way to go especially when living in a beautiful place like Queensland where tropical fruit is in its prime! Better still when the seasonal produce has no packaging!
There had been much contemplation about making DIY projects from my waste. While I did create a few, I felt that by turning something that is recyclable in its current form, to an up cycled craft project would render it landfill in the future if I no longer wanted it in my life. As I have decided to take a minimalism approach to sustainable living, I feel like making unnecessary things for up cycling sake would be a step backward. So keeping them in their purest form and ensuring my reccycling practices are conducted in the right manner ensures that my recyclable waste will be made into a new product.
That being said I still have a bag of non recyclable waste in my kitchen that I don’t want to commit to landfill. Unfortunately the contents of the bag are pretty much junk, and the only things that could be made from them aren’t things I want cluttering my living space. So for now they will stay bagged until I can think of a useful way to recycle them that isn’t going to make my life ‘junkier’.
Today I had an e-waste experience. My beautiful House of Marley earbuds have died. These wonderful earbuds are made from environmentally friendly components and support a charity. All up they were a feel good purchase with excellent sound quality. The unfortunate thing is they don’t follow the product lifecycle all the way ’round. After emailing the company it looks like I am left with a set of dead earphones that I have no idea what to do with. I would love to have the repaired but it doesn’t seem like an options and they don’t recycle the components. Will have to look a little further into ways to dispose of e-waste like this as I don’t really want to throw such pretty headphones in the rubbish bin. Overall I would say that given the amount of wear and tear and the time they have been in my possession, the earbuds have survived well. I would definitely invest in a new pair as I haven’t seen a company that manufactures electronics like this with better ethos. Will get back to you on the matter if I get an interesting reply to the second email I sent suggesting that the company implement a recycling program to complete the sustainability cycle (I am such a busy-body telling people how to run their companies).
The mindful Christmas countdown has began!
Look forward to sharing the holiday spirit with you without the need to accumulate a credit card debt or stress over car parks at the shopping centre.
Thank you to those of you who played along with the Waste Weigh Up challenge. Hopefully you loved and learned as much as I did over the course of the month. It will be an ongoing passion of mine and hopefully one day we can all live waste free!