Our journey towards zero waste – a year on

We have been a relatively waste aware family for some time.  At least I thought so.  Back in September last year our wheelie bin was only ever half full on the fortnightly collection day and with 2 compost bins in the garden, our garden waste bin was only occasionally used. Our recycling bin was however usually filled to the top. Still, not too bad for a family of 3? Cloth nappies and some other reusables had already been a no brainer, and I thought I already avoided excessive packaging.

I was looking online for a clip about zero waste week from a few years back that I wanted to share with a friend who was struggling with overfull bins.  It turned out to be zero waste week again right then and through that, with the help of Rachelle Strauss, I found my way to the Zero Waste Heroes Facebook group. Thanks to the amazing and friendly support from the group (and other groups I’ve joined along the way) I soon realised we could reduce our waste by so much more! With this support we have considerably reduced the amount of waste we produce over the past year and a bit. This has involved a change in shopping habits,  a few changes to our diet, and a bit more of making things from scratch, but  I am really pleased that we have been able to make a noticeable reduction without any drastic lifestyle changes.

We started out by asking our local council to swap our landfill and garden waste bins for smaller ones. This could already accommodate our fortnightly waste.  By gradually making a few more swaps for reuseables and being more aware of waste when shopping we now only put our smaller landfill bin out for collection, usually less than half full, every 6 to 8 weeks. The garden waste bin is still used occasionally.  We don’t have a food waste collection but have pretty much eliminated food waste to landfill by composting more and getting more out of things that would normally be wasted such as making stock from vegetable peelings and vinegar from fruit peelings (my first batch is on the go now).

The recycling has been harder to make significant inroads into but finally, after more than a year of trying to avoid packaging and reducing the amount of junk mail through the door we are at the point where we can ask the council for a smaller recycling bin too.  We have  just about reached the point where it is regularly only half full each fortnight.

So, we are still on a journey of waste reduction, but we are making progress.  I really wanted to write this post to say thank you for the support of the fantastic online community of fellow waste reducers , on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and fellow bloggers. We would not have got anywhere near this point without you all, and I look forward to continuing the journey.

I am sharing this post on Waste Less Wednesday with Skip the Bag

skip-the-bag

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4 thoughts on “Our journey towards zero waste – a year on

  1. I think we are at a similar point with our collections! I’ve not really been focussing on it all for the last few months but it’s comforting to note that many of the habits we established last year are still in place and that the reusables are still being used!

    Maybe I’ll make another push forward in 2017. I’ll need to reread your posts and check those links – thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooooh – vinegar from fruit peelings sounds interesting – off to google that now! We throw away far less than other people locally and in 2017 I will be working at reducing that even further … and actually that started today with a push to shop with as little plastic as possible. Blog post to follow! #Wastelesswednesday

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s awesome you live somewhere that has smaller options for waste pickup. Where I am it is either all or nothing. I like the luxury of not having to put a bin out every week, but it would be nice if we could pay less for fewer services! Thanks for posting on the Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop!

    Like

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