Week 1 of the waste less weeks… I don’t feel like we have come very far. We are starting the year using up what we already have, and will work our way “waste less”, week by week. I knew the first few weeks would be a learning curve, but I wasn’t prepared for the biggest lesson- how much we were already wasting. I thought we had room for improvement, now I feel more like we need a full over-haul.
We could make excuses about Christmas, and visitors and the baby… but that’s not what this is about. I want to celebrate the changes we make and waste we reduce, but I also want to be honest about where we have fallen short in order to improve. Before Christmas I read an article about how much waste is produced over the festive period in the UK. Some awful figures were displayed and I felt genuinely upset. More upsetting was the statistic that 60% of people don’t even care, as they don’t think their waste counts at Christmas. We are not in that majority. We love Christmas and enjoy celebrating each year, but we try to be careful about reducing waste. We use old magazines or newspaper to wrap gifts and tie them with paper string to avoid any plastic tape. We buy second hand gifts when we can, such as books, toys, even clothes. We avoid waste plastic, like the pointless cracker toys that are thrown out with the scraps of Christmas dinner (I made the crackers this year!). These are just some examples, but the point is, we try. Despite our efforts, and the fact we were hardly even home, we have somehow accumulated A LOT of post-Christmas waste. You know the culprits… biscuit trays, wrapping paper, food packaging, Amazon boxes, more Amazon boxes, bubble wrap, plastic film, beer bottles… We need to try much harder next year. Hopefully, this journey will get us there.
Now I am done crying over our merry mess, I’d like to reflect on this week and the little glimmers of progress we have made!
We have had family visiting this week, and my husband wanted to cook his speciality for them. The recipe is quite specific and he had a long list of supplies to pick up. When he got to the shop and realised he had forgotten to bring any bags, he came home and got them! I am still impressed! Chris is totally on board with this, but he is still a little more slack than I would like him to be… he came home with a share bag of sweets tonight and argued that he was saving waste by getting a bigger bag. Meanwhile, I was busy baking cookies because I knew he was starting to find the lack of snacks a challenge now we are through the Christmas stash (nan, if you are reading this, yes he has finished them ALL). Baby steps.
I went on my own quest for ingredients this week. I went into the local Tesco Express to pick up a few things for dinner. I actively looked for packaging free produce, but when I couldn’t find it I found myself settling for the packaged stuff. Once this realisation hit, I put everything back and left the store. I then spent the best part of the next hour visiting multiple shops on two different high streets trying to complete my shopping. Not ideal. My goal for the next few weeks is to get to know the local area better, and hopefully find a few hidden gems where I can shop conveniently and guilt free. If anyone is reading this, feel free to point me in the right direction!
Also this week…
- We introduced our baby and his two tiny teeth to a bamboo toothbrush.
- I baked! I baked the way my mum does… I used what I could find in the cupboard. I managed to make banana bread (amazing recipe here) and cookies, and I froze some cookie dough for another time too. Goodbye snack packets!