Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Finishing off the week...

Now the dust feels as though it has settled after Waste Free Week I realise that a waste free month is going to take a lot of effort... Already it seems as though I have slipped into my wasteful supermarket shopping ways so I'm going to have to get strict with myself and my husband! He recently admitted to hiding things in his pockets during waste free week, which I found pretty hilarious, but do feel asthough I need to admit to!

So as punishment last night I made him eat cabbage. We bought it so we have to eat it! He doesn't like cabbage, but I managed to disguise it bubble and squeak made with sweet potatoes. I never had bubble and squeak as a child so I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing, but I used my advance copy of "Eat Well, Waste Less" to give me some direction. I would definately recommend sending back your feedback form so you receive your free copy, you also get the chance to win £100 of M&S vouchers, tickets to Pensthorpe country park and a WILD WILD WILD card for Bewilderwood.

So back to the book, I have to say I think it's incredibly well set out and very easy to use, there is a handy A-Z of leftovers with tips for storage and "Quick and Easy" methods of using things up. The next section is basic recipes for making things like chicken pie, curries and sauces but this section is all about flexibility, it tells you what ingredients you can substitute and will hopefully give you the confidence to try some new ideas. The last section is called individual recipes and is full of ideas for the most common types of left overs such as vegetables and cold meats. I think I'm going to find this a great source of information, so fill in your feedback forms and get them sent in!

The comments you make on your forms will be invaluable to us, we will find out how people have done and what if anything has stood in the way of a completely waste free week! We will be able to use this information to help us make next year's campaign even more successful!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Final Weigh in...

Sorry for keeping you all in suspense, it's been a crazy week! So here are my final results... I was a little bit naughty and didn't weigh my rubbish from the week before, but there were three weeks worth in one bag so I reckon my average was about 900g per week. Not a bad place to start from!

So a drum roll please.....

My final week weigh in was 200g! This waste included: One milk bottle top, one broken container (grrr...couldn't it have waited for the next week?!), "wadding" from a meat container and various bits of unrecyclable plastic film.

It's not as good as a plaster, but I'm still very pleased with myself. I am considering taking the challenge further and doing a waste free month as the changes I have made to get my waste down have been really easy to implement and I'm sure I've saved money! I'll keep you updated!

Thanks to everyone who has been reading my blog and making comments - they have all been very gratefully received!

Lastly for today please head over to Tracey Smith's blog on Monday for a live chat all about rubbish! Tracey has written a fabulous book all about how to reduce waste around the home, so she is an absolute guru! If you get the book (which I thoroughly recommend) you may also notice a few familiar names...!

Friday, 31 October 2008

Waste Free Week Days 2-4

After my mammoth posting sesh on Tuesday I though I would let you digest all that exciting info before posting again!

So here is an update of the last few days...

Day 2

I managed to make some sandwiches before leaving the house this morning, so a waste free lunch was easy to achieve. A few fruit peelings and cores will be composted at home. Tuesday evening I made mushroom and spinach risotto, using up the stock from the night before. All of the chicken bones and soggy veg from making the stock has been put in my bokashi bin to pickle before being put into my compost bin. Bokashi bins are a great way of dealing with cooked food waste as they accept all meat, dairy products cooked and uncooked food. They work by utilising tiny microbes in a bran that you add to the bucket, they anaerobically break the food down, creating an odourless product that can then be added to a compost bin, or buried in a flower bed. The microbes are great for soil and encourage wormy activity!

The only near call to waste was when I finished the end of my risotto rice packet. I would usually throw this in the bin, but this week that's not an option so I will be sending it to local company Polyprint. My portion control wasn't very good and I used far too much rice! See day 3....

Day 3

Today I had the munchies. I really wanted a chocolately treat, but fought the urge to buy a chocolate bar. Instead I baked some cookies! They are sooooo easy and delicious! So that took care of that! We had waste free sausages and mash for dinner, using up the final dregs of stock for the gravy. All peelings made it safely to the compost bin! The leftovers from last night's dinner were eaten at lunchtime so no food waste has been created again!

Day 4

Today could create a problem for me. I have to come up with a costume for my aerobics class tonight. If we dress up in Halloween fancy dress for the class our instructor, Julia Thaxton, will donate half of her fee to Breast Cancer Care. Well I couldn't let the side down so I had to find something. Luckily the shop I went into mainly packaged it's items in recyclable cardboard, so I bought whiskers and ears and went as a Witch's familiar! Unfortunately there was a little bit of plastic film packaging around the whiskers, but I'll add that in with the risotto pakaging for Polyprint. Now I'm sure someone will tell me if this is cheating, but my friends kindly cooked us dinner after my aerobics class, so I don't know if any waste was created... They are very keen composters so I know any fruit trimmings will have been taken down the garden, but as for packaging? I don't know. I'm going to have to find out though aren't I?

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Junk mail

Most annoying, why would I want a wooden lorry?! Anyway I've told them I don't want this post, so they can have it back!

Pub recycling

Couldn't let good metals go 2 landfill, even before waste free week started!

Scary banana

Still delicious, just doesn't look it! This is the type of food that makes up part of the £10.2 billion of household food waste in the UK. Not this one though, I admit I wasn't looking forward to it, but there was nothing wrong with it! Promise!
For more information about food waste look at WRAP the food we waste report
For more information about reducing food waste see the love food hate waste website, and don't forget to send back your feedback form at the end of the week for your fantastic receipe book!

Beautiful compost

Rubbish can be beautiful! This is Clare's compostable waste from lunch. I'm not the only one with strange things in my hand bag!! If you would like to find out about the subsidised compost schemes available in Norfolk please see: