This week started with a phone call from Chris asking if he could buy some crisps. I’m not sure why he asked, but he quickly wished he hadn’t – the answer was no, followed by a question about whether he was even taking this seriously (blame the lingering baby hormones and lack of sleep). It didn’t take long to realise that maybe this was a bit mean, especially as we agreed at the start that we couldn’t change everything over night. So, the oven went on, potatoes were sliced, and crisps were made. They were awful. Some were burnt, others were soggy, and the seasoning was just wrong. Seriously, how can it be so difficult to bake slices of potato? At the time, this felt like it might be a moment that would undo our progress, that the realisation that crisps might also be off the snack menu would be a step too far. However, when Chris got home, and generously ate (and pretended to enjoy) the horrible substitute crisps I’d made, he said it was fine because he really didn’t need them anyway. Need…such an important word on this journey. In this context, Chris wasn’t only referring to waste, but to his waistline.
We’ve come across a few new learnings on the waste less life this week:
1) We snack less.
It must seem like we are slightly obsessed with snacking. We used to frequently demolish a pack of hobnobs or a share bag of crisps while watching Netflix. Now, it’s much more difficult to do this. Especially as the packaging on our favourite treats can’t even be recycled. Instead, we have baked homemade cookies and picked up the odd donut from the bakery while on our quest for a fresh and waste free loaf. That is a huge improvement! We are definitely feeling healthier.
2) We spend less.
Reading other blogs and looking through online zero waste group posts, expense seems to be a barrier to a zero waste lifestyle for a lot of people…for some reason, buying things without packaging seems to cost more. The key to overcoming this barrier? You buy a lot less. It is extremely difficult to impulse buy anything! Partly because you are desperately avoiding packaging (I think Chris and I may be in some kind of unspoken contest to see who caves first now) but also because your attitude is changing. You are thinking about what you need, and about what you don’t.
3) We cook more.
It seems the only way to create less waste at meal times is to cook. We cook for each other, the baby and the dogs. Chris is the chef in our household. He does it properly using recipes which taste AMAZING, whereas I take more of a ‘throw it in and see what happens’ approach. It’s usually edible (crisps excluded).
This week our vegetables were ordered direct from an organic farm and delivered by Farm Drop, along with a few other treats from local sources. The delivery driver came in to the house, unpacked the shopping and took away all the packaging to be used again. Loved it!
There are so many ways we generate waste in our daily lives that our routines make us oblivious to. By changing things up in the last couple of weeks, we are learning a lot about ourselves, our attitudes and the things we genuinely want and need. Change isn’t always easy, but as you can see, we are finding enjoyment in it. Celebrating when things go well, like cooking a meal without single use packaging, is important. It’s also important to accept the occasional crisp packet and not be too hard on ourselves or each other. We are not perfect, and this isn’t about perfection, so until my crisps actually become edible. I’ll have salt and vinegar, please.