Garbage Auto Pilot

Here is the under sink system I worked out yesterday.

Very Simple.

 Bin with no liner for rubbish that I just can't do anything with.

Compost for food scraps and paper and a tub for recycling.

When I was cleaning out drawers in the bathroom today I was thinking about the proper place for plastic. I am not a person that will reject plastic as total evil and weigh every ounce that comes in/ heads out the door.

 I am not that disciplined.

 I thought today that the idea is to KEEP plastic things ( that aren't rubbish as such). After all, it was designed to be a durable, non breakable, long lasting replacement for a lot of things.

Therefore I will KEEP all the plastic no rubbish things I have.

This includes tubs, containers, Tupperware and the like. The theme for me will be to simply not acquire anymore and not dispose of any more. I am not going to go through the house and replace everything with an 'eco' product, after all, it is the disposing of these items that is half the problem! If I do need to downsize I will donate not dispose.

Thanks to all the people who commented on the previous post. It seems to be an issue that lots of us are thinking about. I think for me success will come when I can break habits - things that we do without thinking. One way I thought to break the habit of using particular items is just not to have them in the house! It often amazes me when we go camping or away on holidays just how little we get by on because we become RESOURCEFUL with what we have.

Habits which immediately come to mind are things like reaching for the Glad Wrap to cover leftovers, half an onion, to wrap the cheese etc. I will now simply reach for a Tupperware container. The bin liner was an automatic thing, but really, there should be no wet rubbish in the bin. Food scraps should go in the compost and leftovers to the chooks.

Today we made our own bread which is always a good thing because it does away with the plastic bread bag but I still had to buy some things that had plastic packaging. Milk, which I bought in a three litre bottle, Sao biscuits as a back up for when home baked supplies are low or for times when I am totally disorganised and brown rice - for which there was no alternative. Basmati rice comes in a 5kg cloth bag and I often go halves with a friend in this, but brown rice? I have never seen it packaged in anything but plastic.

 I dream of a large store where I can go in with my own containers and scoop out flour, sugar, rice, then pour out my shampoo, honey etc. I know this happens in some health food stores but we don't have anything like that around here. Maybe I should approach the local store and tell them of my interest. Perhaps there would be other people that would shop in this way as well.

But for now..... small baby steps. Auto pilot habits. The goal is once a month for the rubbish bin. I wonder when/how/if we will get there.


Ladybird World Mother said...

Love the under the sink organisation. Mine is full of....plastic containers for house hold stuff. Golly, its quite a job, isnt it. Thousand mile journey and first step and all that... would love a shop like you describe. Always am made to feel rather 'inconvenient' when I dump all my un bagged veg onto the conveyer belt, if ever, (hardly ever) I buy them from the supermarket.
Will keep up with what you are doing and make that start myself. Thanks as ever!

Minni Mum said...

I was just thinking to myself this morning "Gee, M hasn't posted for ages", and when I checked my blog list I discovered why: I forgot to put you back on my list when I swapped domains! Sorry! I have now rectified that oversight ;-) Anyway, I like your garbage plan it sounds very workable.

Cheers, Julie

jimmycrackedcorn said...

Bravo on a well thought-out plan! You are exactly right about the silliness of replacing something useful that's already around just so you can "look the part." Very good!

Anonymous said...

I am a new reader to your blog and went back and read about your journey from the start - very inspirational!

I admire your new challenge. One thing that we consume a lot of is juice and therefore plastic juice bottles, how can I get away from using and then disposing of these?

We are composting and feed our other veggie scraps to guinea pigs, but I wish that they were chooks! What can you do with scraps that are cooked? I read that you can't put them in the compost and our piggies don't eat anything cooked other than crusts? Any ideas?

Nelbel said...

Hi there! I agree totally with the packaging issue. When I lived in Melbourne years ago as a teenager, my family used to go to a Health Store where I could aquire products such as shampoo/conditioner and p-nut butter freshly crushed as well as cereal etc and other items in our own containers. Makes alot of sense!

Leilani Schuck Weatherington said...

Something that works well to cover bowls that don't have lid or contain too much to decant into something is a shower cap (also handy to cover bread that is rising). It can be washed with the dishes if necessary and hung up to dry.

Anonymous said...

I too would love to go to a store that can scoop out dry goods but I wonder if the food standards and regulations would allow this in our state? In the last 6 months I have changed buying habits and have sourced a local butcher and wholesale fruiterer. I get my orders placed loosely in a couple of boxes; one for fruit, one for veg. They are really sturdy boxes we either re-use or can return or break up and recycle at worst. Thanks for your ideas in this and the other post on "garbage control" We can all do better here at our house this year with it.

Anonymous said...

oops! Just realised I didn't add my name to my anonymous comment. I do not have a blog, so am pleased you have kept an anonymous identity option.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on doing your bit for our earth and us! I'm surprised, though that what I consider normal practice (sorting garbage into bins under the sink etc etc) seems 'new' to you. Once a month for the garbage is probably the best thing you can do - having no garbage collection is even better! When you have to take the garbage to the recycling centre, tip etc you have a whole new view of things. I try to keep in mind always the motto 'reduce, reuse, recycle' (in that priority order) and then things become easier. Currently in Australia glass recycling lags behind paper and plastic so if you're going to reuse anything glass is the one. Plastics are well used after shredding and compressing but so far the glass isn't being successfully 'pummelled' enough to be useful.
I agree that packaging such as that on rice crackers is the hardest to recycle so your idea of making savoury biscuits is great. When you're not busy working at your job you have more time for cooking etc. We have a few fruit trees so make jams and stew fruit which we then bottle in recycled jars and freeze in reused plastic containers. It's really pretty easy and you're on the right track.

Will continue to read with interest.


April Theme: Re-organise and Transition

In the Southern Hemisphere, April is in Autumn.  The days here are still warmish, but there is a sneaking whisper in the wind. That whisper ...