A weeks worth of rubbish!

Zero Waste Week 2014 ran from 1st September to 7th September and I pledged to throw nothing away during the week.  I didn’t want to make life too difficult though so I carried on as normal, but kept any rubbish that I would have thrown away. I haven’t had time to blog about what happened until now, but this is what I would have thrown in the bin during Zero Waste Week:
Most of it (except the yoghurt pots) fitted into one small ice cream carton.  There were also a couple of things I did put in the bin – a paper towel I used in a public toilet, a soiled bed wetting mat (despite planning to buy reusable bed wetting mats for ages, I now admit defeat and know that it just isn’t going to happen as my kids are so nearly past that stage now) and a plaster.  
I was pretty pleased with producing such a small amount of rubbish during the week and it made me feel as though all my hard work during my Year of Eco Challenges is definitely paying off.  I may not be zero waste, but I’m not too far from it!
What did I do differently during the week?
  • I  took my main rubbish bin out of the kitchen.
  • When I swept the floor I tipped the rubbish into the compost bin instead of the rubbish bin like I do usually (anything that couldn’t be composted I separated out first)
  • I poured crumbs from the bread board into the compost bin which again I usually pour into the rubbish bin (mainly because I thought the bread board was too big and the crumbs would go everywhere except the bin, but actually it was fine)
Why did I still have rubbish that I couldn’t recycle or compost?
  • Yoghurt pots – I make yoghurt but occasionally I need to start a fresh batch and I buy yoghurt to get me started.  There are two because my husband also bought himself a flavoured yoghurt.
  • Stock cube wrappers – I don’t actually use stock cubes because I don’t eat pasta or rice and haven’t made soup any time recently… My husband however likes them and I cooked with them…
  • There are various bits of plastic wrapper from a cucumber.  I can get them without plastic wrappers, but I have to go considerably out of my way.
  • My kids went to a party and got given some sweets/ chocolates in a party bag.
  • There is a lid from a bottle of wine in there – I don’t think I can recycle them anywhere
  • The scrunched up piece of foil was from a sandwich I wrapped up for a friends child. I didn’t use our reusable boxes as he has a food allergy and I wanted to make sure there was no way the sandwich would be contaminated.  It is possible to recycle foil in Brighton (read more here), but I would have to save it up until I had a bag full, which would probably take me quite a long time…
  • There is a butter wrapper in there – I only occasionally find butter with a purely paper wrapper in my local shops.
  • There is a cheese wrapper in there – brie.  I don’t know anywhere that sells it without plastic so far and since having a holiday in France I have a bit of a brie addiction going on…
  • We got a takeaway on the last night of Zero Waste Week as I had family to stay and they wanted to get us a takeaway.  I said that was very kind of them as long as I could take reusable containers.  I wanted photographic evidence so I got the guy in the takeaway to pose for a picture with my containers and the freezer bag I wanted him to put the food into.
Unfortunately my takeaway wasn’t entirely zero waste as I forgot to take the lid for the box they put the naan bread in and I forgot to ask them not to cover it :(.  I also didn’t have a box big enough for the poppodoms and I forgot to ask for the onions without plastic bags.  I did remember to ask for the dip for the poppodoms to be put in my reusable container though…  Lessons I learned  – be very specific about all food being placed in reusable containers and remember to take all the lids!
So that was my Zero Waste Week 2014!  Well done to everyone who joined in this year and if you didn’t (or even if you did) you can always sign up for the next one here!
I am currently undertaking a Year of Eco Challenges . If you have a moment I would really appreciate it if you would consider sponsoring me with an action (no money involved) on my DoNation page. Also if you liked this post please click like on Facebook and follow on Twitter – thanks so much!


  1. That is pretty amazing!

    Just think if everyone did this, there almost certainly wouldn't be all the problems we are facing in the World right now. Good inspiration for the rest of us.

    Loving the idea for the takeaways as well.

  2. Zoe

    Thanks theFIREstarter! I don't know if I have all the solutions to the problems in the world, but it would be great if everyone threw a little less away 🙂

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