Thursday, September 10, 2009


My latest mission on our journey to become a greener family is to reduce the amount of packaging we bring into the house. Our recycling bin is collected every two weeks and I want it to be at a maximum 1/3 full.

It took me a while to realise that Reduce, Re-use, Recycle is written in order of priority (duh, you may well say). So I’ve moved beyond feeling all warm and fuzzy about recycling and become determined to have less that needs recycling.
All this may explain why I was spotted this morning chasing a young lad down the road while brandishing a new phone book and shouting, ‘we don’t need this!’

We have the shopping bag thing down pat at this stage, I keep spare bags in the car and changing bag, so we don’t really accumulate those anymore. We read newspapers online, so no waste there either.
Toy packaging is no longer issue since we began the No More Stuff Challenge. But on that subject, we got a present of a tiny wooden tea set recently and there wasn’t a piece of plastic packaging in sight. Everything was wrapped in little brown paper bags. It was made by PLAN toys, check them out here.

Kids yoghurt tubs are another source of packaging that were upsetting me, not least because I had to wash all the tiny tubs and lids. Anyway their banishment had led to our discovery of a great new lunch time game for mummy and toddler. It involves:
1 large tub of yoghurt
1 pot of sugar free jam
Berries and chopped up fruit.
Rice crispies
A bowl each
Plenty of spoons
Full body armour bib (for toddler).
I think you get the picture.

So what’s left to fill the recycling bin? There are empty tins, jars, bottles, cardboard milk/juice containers, egg boxes, plastic wrapping, tubs, and trays.
We’ll have to see what we can do to keep it to a minimum. The jars I’ll keep for my jam making friends. Egg boxes can go back to the farm or be used to balance the ph levels in the composter. We’re going back to real butter and have started to use nut butter (cashew is yum), so tubs are rarer now. When we go to the market on Thursday I’m going to get myself organised enough to bring my own tubs to be filled and reuse some of my paper bag collection.
I haven’t been able to source organic chicken locally without packaging, but I’ll make more of an effort to buy full birds (less packaging) and use all the bits. With two tinys I’m not sure how I’d manage without my tinned tomatoes and corn, and my stash of frozen vegetables, but sure we’ll keep doing our best.

All this has me thinking……..maybe we should get a few chickens and a cow.

I’m not sure our little garden is suburbia is up to the task…but check this out.

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