This is just a quick post to report on how much waste we produced in the month of July. I have weighed and counted all items.
You might think I have too much time on my hand to sort and weigh all the rubbish but my aim is to be able to look back and see how much we actually produce and also I am hoping to be able to host some talks on reduced waste- waste free living, so I need some numbers to show people what is possible.
We had to buy a few new things in July so they came in some packaging. I hope that this is not going to be a regular occurrence. We bought a new lawn mower and a shelving unit for making a pantry. There are no pantries in these housing estate houses which is a shame, so we reserved a corner of the office to keep all our preserved food in a shelving unit (it has a door) I was searching online for weeks to see if I can get a second hand one, but no luck with anything in reasonable distance.
So, let’s see how we did in July:
14 Tetrapack milk cartons
1 small Tetrapack cheese carton
It is very difficult with milk here in Ireland, because it seems impossible to buy milk in glass bottles, let alone bottles that can be returned. This is crazy, since there are cows all over the fields and there are lots of dairy farms according to the internet. There are lots of small farms that make their own cheese etc…but none of them in a distance that I would like to drive every week. So until this changes we have to buy tetrapack. Tetrapack is recyclable but as far as I know it is a very costly and complicated process. I have no information on how much of the cartons that we bring to the recycling centre will actually be recycled. One can only hope.
Some would ask why we don’t give up milk altogether. I know that there is a huge environmental impact of animal agriculture, but at this stage we don’t want to give up on milk or any other dairy products completely. We have reduced our dairy consumption somewhat already. I have been trying to research plant based milks, but they also come in tetrapack. And because nuts are not locally grown here I wouldn’t like to buy more to make nut milks. Then I heard/read about oat milks and this is what we are going to try.
10 brown beer bottle
1 white bottle (whiskey)
I am OK with bringing the beer bottles back to the recycling centre.
The rest of the glass that we buy gets reused for preserving and storing food.
In the paper bin there are miscellaneous pieces of paper, soft cardboard. Most of the brown cardboard gets torn up and added to our compost.
I have separated the plastic into two groups. Old, that have been in the house and usually pre zw purchases; and new that we bought or received (gifts etc…) in July.
Old plastic: 295g
New plastic: 33g
And then I separated the non recyclable plastics:
non recyclable plastic: 81g
recyclable plastic: 247g
Please note that I have no information on whether the recyclable plastic actually gets recycled or not. It is brought to the recycling centre anyhow.
And this leads to the final group which is the
landfill waste: 290g
Still there are lots of receipts and stickers. There was one toothpaste tub that M used up. We are not going to buy this or any other mainstream brand anymore. I have found one brand that is organic and uses no palm oil or microbeads in their toothpaste which is great.
So this is us in July. I hope we can further reduce what we can in August.