AIBU to be annoyed at how smug this couple seem (DM warning)

(114 Posts)
GreatBallsOfFluff Fri 07-Jan-11 09:19:45


I really do admire the effort that they have put in, and I'm all for being green and recycling as much as possible but there are just a few things in the article that really annoy me.

'After what we have achieved this year I don't know how much lower we can go with our rubbish disposal,' said Mrs Strauss.

and the bit about them speaking to the Council to suggest ways in which recycling facilities can be improved. I do try my best with recycling but I don't think I could ever get my landfill down to just one bag a year, and if I ever did get to that point then I would sit quietly proud of myself rather than shout about it to the world.

geezmyfeetarecold Fri 07-Jan-11 09:21:03

Oh well. At least they have a hobby.

MmeLindt Fri 07-Jan-11 09:22:41

Gosh, they are jolly worthy aren't the they?

Doesn't mention if they cycle to the various farm shops and butchers to buy their food, I do hope they are not driving.

horsemadgal Fri 07-Jan-11 09:23:55

3000 crisp packets in a month??

MmeLindt Fri 07-Jan-11 09:27:12

That poor girl has to go around school collecting crisp packets, I bet.

In Germany crisp packets are recycled, I think, but along with other similar items. It would likely be very expensive to set up a crisp packet recycling company.

belgo Fri 07-Jan-11 09:27:25

I wonder how much energy is used in collecting and sending off crisp packets to the other side of the world to be sanitized and made into something else?

GreatBallsOfFluff Fri 07-Jan-11 09:27:47

Exactly MmeLindt - they surely can't go around polluting the air driving a 4x4 grin when they've gone to that much trouble

Jux Fri 07-Jan-11 09:30:51

I think they've done well. I don't think it will make much difference to the overall problem, but hey. I'm not sure that I would call them worthy though. If a paper approached you about that, how would you talk about it?

(FWIW, I was approached by our local paper because I'd been overheard talking about something in our butcher's. I'm sure they'd have made me out to be worthy, indignant or whatever suited their purposes, if I'd agreed to be interviewed. You have very little control over how you are portrayed in the press.)

shhhgobacktosleep Fri 07-Jan-11 09:34:41

And I would imagine that the bulk of the products made with the transported and sanitised crisp packets are bought by tourists ( carbon footprint alert) who eventually bring them home and over time ditch them to become landfill in their own country. Transporting landfill round the globe first is not very green hmm

MmeLindt Fri 07-Jan-11 09:34:57

I wondered that too. We were told in germany not to wash yogurt pots before putting them in recycling bag, as it negates the good of recycling if you waste so much water. Or to wash them out in the water used to wash the dishes.

MmeLindt Fri 07-Jan-11 09:36:39
borderslass Fri 07-Jan-11 09:41:37

this from last summer
I thought i'd seen this before so checked if it was the same people.

sloggies Fri 07-Jan-11 09:51:10

This is really good if they can reduce waste - wish we could do better, but think we are doing as much as a (realistic) person can...
Am I just being a pedant, or did I only see about 3 razors - surely there must have been more than that, or did he have a beard until just before the photo? I wonder how she manages with leg hair etc?

belgo Fri 07-Jan-11 09:57:00

mmeLindt - We don't recycle yoghurt pots here in Belgium either.

Sloggies - maybe she doesn't shave her legs? I don't either for most of the year. It's not disgusting, it's the way we are made.

geezmyfeetarecold Fri 07-Jan-11 09:58:05

Maybe she isnt that hairy. I can get away with using one of those biy shavers for a year or so.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 09:58:33

I can't see any razors in the picture at all blush

However - I used one razor last year (I very very VERY rarely shave my legs - it's not a legal requirement you know wink).

And it says razor blades not razors -

sloggies Fri 07-Jan-11 09:59:18

I wasn't making a point, I can see how it gave that impression - but allowing for this, he hasn't got a beard though....

geezmyfeetarecold Fri 07-Jan-11 09:59:27

Mind you they seem to have chosen disposable razors rather than a more environmentally sound option.

borderslass Fri 07-Jan-11 10:00:48

Maybe they only use disposable ones occasionally and have electric ones.

sloggies Fri 07-Jan-11 10:00:52

See what you mean baroq

geezmyfeetarecold Fri 07-Jan-11 10:03:53

They seem to have string in their rubbish bag too. Surely they could use that.

sloggies Fri 07-Jan-11 10:03:54

I think I saw 3 blue things on the left of the pic, assumed they were disposable razors, but they are probably pens.

Chil1234 Fri 07-Jan-11 10:04:11

Anyone that obsessed with recycling and cleanliness is clearly using it as a displacement activity for ishoos. I wouldn't be surprised if they have unsavoury private habits and dark secrets...

"And now they're turning their attentions to other families' rubbish"

Ugh. I hope they are annoyed by that sentence, it makes them sound so... annoying

frozenfestiveflo Fri 07-Jan-11 10:41:44

I hate to say this but I just find it difficult to beleive. - what happens to unspeakable things like sanitary products? If they are incinerating that has it's own pollution problems - no?

TheMeow Fri 07-Jan-11 10:45:14

Well our bins haven't been collected for over a month now, they were due next Tuesday but it's just started snowing again so I'm not holding out any hope. I'm avoiding the kitchen as much as possible theres so many bin bags and pieces of cardboard in there! I've lost count of the number of trips to the tip we've done.

They can have my rubbish if they're so concerned.

Pootles2010 Fri 07-Jan-11 10:46:52

God i bet their house is full of crap. My mum obsesses about reusing yoghurt pots etc, they all just sit around under the sink annoying me. grrr.

mylifewithstrangers Fri 07-Jan-11 10:47:00

frozen - I'll bet she uses the blessed Mooncup - very much not unspeakable, especially on MN!

frozenfestiveflo Fri 07-Jan-11 10:48:07

strangers apologies forgot all about that one

sloggies Fri 07-Jan-11 12:06:50

Probably use a Mooncup....

BuzzLightBeer Fri 07-Jan-11 12:09:39

i don't see whats smug about it, hardly a new or unusual thing is it?

sloggies Fri 07-Jan-11 12:10:29

Posted at the same time - not going mad.This place is so fast!

bupcakesandcunting Fri 07-Jan-11 12:16:06

I don't believe a jot of it.

iloveyankees Fri 07-Jan-11 12:20:36

This may be tmi so sorry in advanceblush but as soon as I read it I wondered what she done with her 'sanitary' products if she uses them . Please tell me she hasn't found a way of recycling them (puke)

iloveyankees Fri 07-Jan-11 12:21:48

sorry really should read the thread before I post! lol yes I would imagine she uses a mooncup grin

onepieceoflollipop Fri 07-Jan-11 12:24:16

mooncup (as others have said) and/or washable pads etc.

(also I think it may be possible to compost some sanitary items, not "standard" tampax etc but stuff you can buy. I vaguely recall reading about this, but can't fully remember so don't quote me!)

geezmyfeetarecold Fri 07-Jan-11 12:43:22

I flush my tampons....doest everyone?

BuzzLightBeer Fri 07-Jan-11 12:55:03

eww, you don't really flush them do you? thats gross! shock

geezmyfeetarecold Fri 07-Jan-11 12:57:47

I didnt know people didnt flush them lol

FakePlasticTrees Fri 07-Jan-11 12:58:03

oooh you didn't just admit to flushing tampons did you? That's very very bad! (they aren't flushable - they can cause blockages and can get caught on unsuspecting surfer's boards. Not very nice)

Anyway, I think this couple probably do have a house full of crap.

And re the leg hair, maybe she goes to a beauticians for a wax, the rubbish would then be the beauticians, not the family's, right?

geezmyfeetarecold Fri 07-Jan-11 12:59:01

Well there you go. I didnt know that. Standard practice where Im from.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 13:04:29

they may not have a house of crap though - if they buy loose stuff, take containers to buy meat in etc then I see how they could reduce their rubbish amount easily.

oh and it looks like they didn't send their daughter out collecting crisp packets

sloggies Fri 07-Jan-11 13:09:19

Going round those places takes so much longer, and is usually more expensive than the supermarket, which is a shame.

Meglet Fri 07-Jan-11 13:12:51

Can't they stick the razor blades in the metal re-cycling at the tip?

They're not trying hard enough are they.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 13:14:53

that's very true.

But I guess if they have the money to do it.

I'm confused by peoples comments about driving their car, or using electricity, or using air miles though.

Surley they're wanting to reduce landfill - that's their "mission" = not reduce their carbon footprint, or anything such like.

Actually I'm just reading her blog - and some of her ideas I quite like blush

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 13:17:14
Figgyrolls Fri 07-Jan-11 13:18:14

More importantly - Would you buy one of the gopping handbags or not, I don't care if it is recycled - it isn't very pretty stylish me. grin

narkypuffin Fri 07-Jan-11 13:22:14

Ewwww at the flushing of tampons.

narkypuffin Fri 07-Jan-11 13:24:31

As for the body hair issues- so MN to obsess over that grin- maybe she epilates.

greenlotus Fri 07-Jan-11 13:26:47

I saw the article last summer, IIRC they set themselves a challenge to see whether it was possible and blog about it for a year rather than setting themselves up to be smug. It made interesting reading.

"takes so much longer, and is usually more expensive than the supermarket"

that pretty well sums up the issue. The supermarkets have got us exactly where they want us - hooked.

The supermarkets are cheap and quick, at the expense of packaging, food miles and local business. But it's hard to vote with your wallet and not everyone has the choice.

jasper Fri 07-Jan-11 13:29:27

good on them

sarah293 Fri 07-Jan-11 13:31:41

Message withdrawn

sarah293 Fri 07-Jan-11 13:32:39

Message withdrawn

LaurieFairyonthetreeEatsCake Fri 07-Jan-11 13:34:34

I think they are amazing.

I've honestly been like this shock about the mountains of rubbish piling up all over Britain.

We are utterly profligate with the planets resources - and I am including me in that statement. It's nothing short of obscene what people throw out.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 13:49:06

actually just reading more of her blog now and it's really quite amazing. (and human too

I just LOL'd (proper - made DS3 jump blush) at

" I had a severe case of CBA; otherwise known as “Can’t be Arsed”. It’s a terrible infliction which is incurable and currently has no known treatment. "

kickassangel Fri 07-Jan-11 13:49:58

i would actually love to know how effective it really is. on previous mn discussions, people have linked to articles that 'prove' living in a city is better than the 'lone man in a log cabin' type existence, and that recycling is pretty ineffective.

i used to know someone whose job it was to research & educate people about 'green issues' & he was adamant that recycling was next to useless. His golden rule was Reduce, Re-use, Repair, Recycle.

ie, Reduce how much you buy in the first place, Re-use things for as long as possible, Repair them as much as possible, then Recycle them.

He said all this collection of recycling things, taking them to a plant, then processing them, almost (but not quite) negates the point. The best thing we can all do is just reduce how much we buy in the first place. And that includes petrol, so anyone driving around the farm shops is actually causing more of a problem - one trip to the supermarket is better for the environment!

MmeLindt Fri 07-Jan-11 14:00:33

I do think that it is admirable what they are trying to do (my snide comments earlier aside).

But I think that if we want to reduce waste then we have to go about it in an organised, nationwide fashion - it is no use individuals doing this. Admirable but will make very little difference on the whole.

I was always amazed at how little was recycled in UK. In Germany (sorry to keep banging on about them, but they are miles ahead - or kilometers ahead - of UK on this) we had bins for:

Restmüll - Waste

Gelbe Sack - all sorts of stuff that could be recycled: tins, foil, plastic packaging, bottles.

Bio - Organic waste

Papier - Paper and cardboard.

All of these bins were emptied by the council on a weekly or twice monthly basis. Putting items that should go in the Gelbe Sack into the normal waste resulted in a fine, or if constantly abused, non-collection of waste. They were rather strict about it.

But this is expensive and unlikely to be implemented in UK any time soon.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 14:02:08

how effective it is?

Well surely it's effective in making sure there's less crap going into landfill sites??

Figgyrolls Fri 07-Jan-11 14:10:24

I agree that doing more to reduce landfill is a great idea, but the fact that local councils can decide what can and can't be recycled is a little annoying.

For example I have to drive 3 miles to drop off any glass for recycling, and yet everything else down to a composter for my kitchen and outside is taken away by the council hmm. Odd but there we go.

sloggies Fri 07-Jan-11 14:13:53

Baroq, are you going over to the Dark Side?

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 14:15:58

but is a buying vegetables (for example) from teh supermarket that have been flown from spain, holland, cyprus etc and lamb that was bred in the north of scotland (and then driven down to London) better for the environment that driving 5 miles up the road to the farm shop to buy the stuff they've grown themselves and then 10 miles to the butchers?


Of course depending on where you live you may have a farm shop with a butchery. You might not have to do much travelling at all to get what you need. One about 20 miles from us (never been there - just found it online seatching just now) has the following as their "main lines"

Home produced potatoes and seasonal vegetables
Home reared meats - including a selection of different flavour sausages
Free range eggs
Home made cakes
Locally produced fruits
Real dairy ice cream
Beer and ales from Hoggleys Brewery
Hay and straw
Local crafts

(Hoggleys Brewery being a local brewery).

If you had the money you could probably get quite bit there to see you through a week.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 14:18:44

sloggies - I've been trying to go to the dark side on and off for years blush.

I do (when I can afford it) try and buy local produce (otherwise I buy fairtrade if available). I'dl love to use more "natural" cleaners and the like and it was one of my aims for this year - to do much better at that sort of thing <<<<<<<<<looks at the black bags of rubbish waiting to go out once the bin is collected next week>>>>

sloggies Fri 07-Jan-11 14:22:57

MmeLindt our council collects all this stuff. I agree you could get your shopping as above if money no object.

sloggies Fri 07-Jan-11 14:25:49

Sometimes cleaning stuff that is natural is just not as effective (I know not always, but I got fed up of wasting money to find out ). I just can't do with the Fair Trade tea bags I have tried. I will use this stuff, but not if I really don't get on with it.

BreconBeBuggered Fri 07-Jan-11 14:27:37

I knew they looked familiar. What the hell are they doing going through my bins collecting 3,000 crisp packets?

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 14:29:57

Oh I went through a phase years ago where I used natural stuff and it worked perfectly well - I just got lazy (and have since forgotten what I used to use blush).

lol Brecon - they didn't - see my link above grin

Riven Do you send DD's syringes and feeding tubes to the medical waste in the yellow bags? Thats what we do with DS1 all his medical stuff, pads/syringes/tubes ect goes in a yellow bag to the councils waste disposal place. It took me years to realise I could do this though the council didn't offer the information! I spent ages sticking it all in the normal bin creating bags and bags if rubbish!

I recycle everything I can but i have the biggest 'red' bin and it is still full before its empties every 2 weeks! I don't compost as I don't have a usable garden!

MmeLindt Fri 07-Jan-11 14:55:37

Of course every little helps and all that. But to make a real difference, I think that effective recycling needs to be rolled out nationwide, and be compulsory, not voluntary.

Lol at you going over to the dark side.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 15:07:19

oh absolutely agree that to make a really big difference it needs to be a nationwide thing. And councils have to recycle properly.

However in the meantime families like the Strauss's doing that (and ending up in the public eye) will hopefully encourage others to do more off their own backs (obviously not many are going to do it on the scale they have but if they think a bit more about what they're buying/what they do wit their rubbish) in can only help.

I am a great believer in "every little helps and is all adds up" - and if just 5 families resolve to make one less bag of rubbish in the landfill after seeing stories like (a week) - that's 260 bags less a year!! Certainly there'll be 52 less here (I hope) as I'm going to make more of an effort this year.

It does add up if more people get on board of their own accord

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 07-Jan-11 15:08:32

oh and I really am going over to the dark side - I'm ordering a mooncup grin

MmeLindt Fri 07-Jan-11 15:12:35

Well done. I have had a mooncup for YEARS now and really love it. Would never go back to tampons and pads.

Figgyrolls Fri 07-Jan-11 17:40:20

I love that I now live in the countryside where I can recycle my appropriate food waste to compost, I love that my council are now providing a service that means we can do this with food that can't be composted (or are about to anyway!) BUT I don't get the glass thing! Especially as the pub in the village has its own special full on lorry sent out to pick up the glass, so the lorry is going right outside the door of everyone in the village ffs! I know they pay more for it being business waste but what a waste of fuel for the pickup. I suppose I could take our glass over there but we don't have the best relationship so they would probably charge me smile
Oh well!

<<off to recherche the mooncup!>>

scottishmummy Fri 07-Jan-11 17:51:22

beyond me why mn people habitually link dm.and then get all harrumphy and well i never about the content

why do you feel compelled to link dm and then complain about it

Figgyrolls Sat 08-Jan-11 12:34:40

Something struck me this morning post hoovering - do they have a hoover with a bag or a bagless hoover - if so then they would have more than one rubbish bag per year if they were using it! Those dysons get full quite quickly and I hoover at least once a day during the winter. would that count as rubbish? If so I find it would be impossible for us to do - I reckon I could cut down to one wheelybin a month if really really pushed.

bronze Sat 08-Jan-11 12:43:07

I used to read this blog which was along the same lines

MyZeroWaste Sat 08-Jan-11 16:02:04

Morning ladies,

Good to see this story being discussed; I thought I'd dip a toe into the waters and come along to answer some of your questions. First off can I say that when there is a story about you in the national papers, as Jux has mentioned, you are at the mercy of the journalists. Some of them are fantastic and quote you word for word, some get facts wrong due to their tight deadlines and others are downright sloppy, putting words into your mouth, making assumptions and basically making up their own mind what the story is ;)

So, to go through some of the stuff that has been discussed:

@GreatBallsOfFluff "if I ever did get to that point then I would sit quietly proud of myself rather than shout about it to the world."

I hear you on this, and to be honest I don't really speak to friends, family or neighbours about it. I don't preach about what I do, but when the opportunity comes to help spread the word I'll do it because I'm passionate. Can I point out too that my website which I pour hours of my time into each week and speaking to radio, TV and papers is all done for free and in most instance the press come to me; not the other way around...

@geezmyfeetarecold "Oh well. At least they have a hobby."

I prefer to call it a passion ;)

@MmeLindt "Gosh, they are jolly worthy aren't the they?"

I really hope we don't come across as that. People who know me through the site or in real life tell me I'm very down to earth. But to be honest, down to earth, normal or 'nice' people just don't make it into the papers - the media like a bit of a freak show or someone to hate so they turn us into those people..

"Doesn't mention if they cycle to the various farm shops and butchers to buy their food, I do hope they are not driving."

We drive, we live in a village and the butchers and farm shop are not within cycling distance.

@horsemadgal "3000 crisp packets in a month??"
and @MmeLindt "That poor girl has to go around school collecting crisp packets, I bet. "

We set up a collection point in our local supermarket for crisp packets.

@belgo "I wonder how much energy is used in collecting and sending off crisp packets to the other side of the world to be sanitized and made into something else?"

It's part of a charity called the Philippine Community Fund. The containers are going back to the Philippines empty and the charity have been given 2 per year free - they can fill them with medical supplies, school desks, text books etc and we can use crisp packets as 'packing material'. So in effect, we are helping save resources.

@shhhgobacktosleep "I would imagine that the bulk of the products made with the transported and sanitised crisp packets are bought by tourists ( carbon footprint alert) who eventually bring them home and over time ditch them to become landfill in their own country. Transporting landfill round the globe first is not very green"

Some are bought by tourists, yes, but what we are eager to do is get a high street chain to stock them in the UK; this would enable the charity to raise more money.

@sloggies "Am I just being a pedant, or did I only see about 3 razors - surely there must have been more than that, or did he have a beard until just before the photo? I wonder how she manages with leg hair etc?"

My husband uses an electric shaver, the razor blades are mine. I don't bother to shave my legs in the winter - I wear thick tights or trousers, so I only bother in the summer and don't get through that many.

@frozenfestiveflo "what happens to unspeakable things like sanitary products?" and iloveyankees "As soon as I read it I wondered what she done with her 'sanitary' products if she uses them . Please tell me she hasn't found a way of recycling them (puke)"

I use washable pads; I appreciate they are not for everybody

@ Pootles2010 "God i bet their house is full of crap."

No; I'm big into decluttering and if you've seen any of our TV work it's all shot in our house which I guess is just normal. Our garage has lots of pieces of wood, but my hubby has an annoying habit of his 'one day' stash actually coming in useful <sigh>

@BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree "I guess if they have the money to do it."

I've totted up savings over the past year and reckon we've saved around £2000 from making our own food, not wasting food, not buying disposable crap etc but I appreciate what people say about not having choices except to shop in supermarkets; I'm aware I'm lucky that we have local stores and farm shops etc

@Riven "Like to see what they make of old feeding tubes and syringes"

Another thing I'm acutely aware of is my family are blessed with good health and I never take this for granted; I don't know what your circumstances are but I wish you well. If I had feeding tubes and syringes to dispose of then of course they would be landfilled or I guess you can take them for disposal at a hospital as medical waste??

@kickassangel you raise some really important points and these are not things we take lightly ourselves. We definitely follow the 3 R's in that order, reducing where we can and our personal goal is to keep reducing recycling as well, because, as you say, it might not be all it's cracked up to be. We definitely use it as a last resort where possible.

@MmeLindt "I think that if we want to reduce waste then we have to go about it in an organised, nationwide fashion - it is no use individuals doing this. Admirable but will make very little difference on the whole."

I completely agree hence the info about us helping our local council and other families; we also spread the message through our website if people are interested. You're right - one person cannot make a difference, but if we can inspire, say everyone in the UK to recycle just ONE more tin can, that's 60 million cans staying out of landfill; which is similar to the point BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree made. We're all for the collective impact of actions and are aware we can't make any significant changes ourselves.

@figgyrolls "Do they have a hoover with a bag or a bagless hoover - if so then they would have more than one rubbish bag per year if they were using it!"

We have wooden floors downstairs and natural fibre carpets upstairs so everything in our vacuum and swept up off the floor can be composted.

I hope this answers some questions for you - if you have any more, please ask!

hobbgoblin Sat 08-Jan-11 16:06:11

she must have a mooncup
that woman looks a little emaciated - maybe they didn't actually eat at all last year

greenlotus Sat 08-Jan-11 16:44:35

MZW welcome to MN (unless you are already a regular but then you'd probably have be a Mooncup user).

thanks for your thoughtful answers

What are your top tips for the cash and time poor? How do you train yourself to avoid waste/disposable things coming into the house in the first place?

poshsinglemum Sat 08-Jan-11 16:52:16

YABU- I think that it's a really good example. It did make me feel really guily about the amount of crap that I throw away but at least someone's doing something about the environment.

MyZeroWaste Sat 08-Jan-11 18:16:55

Hi greenlotus

>>What are your top tips for the cash and time poor?

I would say the first thing is to be honest about the amount of food you waste. It's interesting that whenever I talk about it people say "I don't really waste much food" but the reality is different! Not because people lie but because we are so used to throwing stuff away without thinking that we don't even realise. So maybe spend a week putting food waste in one particular place and spend a moment taking an honest look at what is going in there.

Here we don't have 'leftovers', we have 'ingredients' :D So getting creative in the kitchen is a great way to save cash and it doesn't mean you have to be standing in your piny for 4 hours a night; you can chuck leftover veggies in a slow cooker and leave it to take care of itself for a few hours or whizz things up in a blender and voila - soup!

The other area where you can create waste and waste money at the same time is falling for the BOGOF offers. It's great on things that keep, but on fresh foods people usually end up throwing things out, so my advice, as boring as it may sound is to write a shopping list, planning it around the foods you already have in your 'fridge, fruit bowl and veg rack and stick to the list...

And then there are the 'best before' dates; do we really need them? It's a bit of a contenscious issue and I'm not about to advocate eating gone off meat, but don't just throw things out because they have reached their best before date, use your eyes, nose and tentative sense of taste to see if that food can be used.

I know all of these ideas focus on food waste, but that is the biggest area of waste in most households.

Another idea is with household cleaning products - do we really need one product to clean our floor, another for our work surfaces and yet another to shine the sink? If you look at the ingredients you'll find that most products are the same, just with different ratios of ingredients. Stick to one multi purpose product which does the job and ditch the rest (or make your own if you're really green; I'm a big fan of baking soda and white vinegar for cleaning and for using micro fiber cloths which you only need water with).

Another suggestion is to swap disposable options for reusable - kitchen towel is a classic example; use cloths instead and save yourself some money.

>>How do you train yourself to avoid waste/disposable things coming into the house in the first place?

It's all about baby steps. We've been doing this for 2 1/2 years and our success has come from focusing on one thing at a time. And I always point out that this is not about a deprivation lifestyle or being a martyr it's just about making conscious decisions about what you buy. We all have things we feel we can't live without and it's good not to get too hung up on things like that or to beat yourself up, but to focus on the things you feel you CAN do and to celebrate those instead.

We made heaps of mistakes in the first few months, and we still make them, ( ion/ and nd-of-day/) but like anything in life you learn from them, have a laugh at yourself and try and do better next time ;) I found it terribly hard to give up kitchen roll and I still have an emergency roll hidden in the cupboard !! but like most things, it's a new habit to put in place to reach for the cloth instead of a shiny piece of white paper ...


Figgyrolls Sat 08-Jan-11 20:40:52

MyZeroWaste - I didn't know you could compost the contents of the hoover! Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! So natural fibres are ok - but what about pet hair - am assuming that and human hair (sorry i have long hair and shed like mad post baby!)are also able to be composted.

And welcome to MN, If it helps having worked for the DM for a while I don't trust what they say about anyone but there we go! I admire what you have been doing and will try and do this myself in the future. Now if only I can get dh to do the same we are laughing, he seems think everything goes in the bin hmm. If it helps I have converted my 69yo dm! Except for the glass thing - if we had the ability to recycle glass from our homes then we would be ok but driving to do it seems daft especially as we mostly shop via the internet for groceries (convenient - dm doesn't have to carry things, and I don't shlep with toddler and baby!)

blackeyedsusan Sun 09-Jan-11 01:51:27

We don't send any of our rubbish to landfill

Smug? no! the 2 1/2 binbags we put out every week go to be incinerated in our LA grin

We recycle as much as possible and tend to buy things with less packaging, but life is too
short and space is too small to wash nappies.
<dons flame proof suit.>

<looks around for hard hat, wonders whether ds's toy firefighters helmet will do>

we do not have recycling facilities here for anything. we take glass and paper/card to the supermarket, that is our only option. we can not compost as we do not have anywhere to put a composter. However, I am surprised to find we are doing some things right with food/ cleaning cloths. confused

come on it is really cold here, I need a good flaming to defrost!

MyZeroWaste Sun 09-Jan-11 08:19:21

@Figgyrolls Pet hair is fine as well, but in the spring, if you have hedges around your home you can stuff it in there for the birds to use as nesting material ;)

When we started this recycling, my DH was not interested at all - he would throw everything in the bin and thought I was crazy for wanting to try. But then he read an article on how plastics were affecting marine life in the oceans and that really touched him. So sometimes, the most unexpected 'wake up call' can occur ;)

CheerfulYank Sun 09-Jan-11 08:36:02

Hello and welcome, and for the record I didn't think you sounded smug.

Thanks for the tips, I've been looking for ways to reduce.

dockate Sun 09-Jan-11 12:25:28

YABU. Good on them. At least they're making an effort. I think its a bit sad that they are trying so hard to do the right thing, and doing very well at it, and yet get labelled as 'smug'.

dockate Sun 09-Jan-11 12:30:36

MyZeroWaste; I posted above before reading your post. I'm very impressed, and think you're doing a great job. I am nowhere near as efficient as you, but trying harder now! grin Thanks for coming on here to clarify some things to the cynics among us. Really useful info.

saintknickerless Sun 09-Jan-11 12:34:47

I can't believe that that women used only 1 Venus razorblade in a whole year. She must have given her legs their annual shave before she filled the bag grin
And why didn't they repair the punctured globe. Love the way they have one bag of rubbish for the whole year and people on here (myself included) are looking for things that could be re-used!

bronze Sun 09-Jan-11 12:42:27

'that women' sic sounds awfully rude when shes on the thread

saintknickerless Sun 09-Jan-11 12:43:46

Yes sorry only realised after I posted. Apologies for that and my spelling error.

saintknickerless Sun 09-Jan-11 12:47:30

In all seriousness though it is an amazing achievement. I use a mooncup so no sanitary waste here, I also use terry nappies and try to get as little packaging as poss from the supermarket (never use bags for fruit and veg etc) - yet I have more rubbish that that every day!

bronze Sun 09-Jan-11 12:56:06

Sorry wasn't picking you up on your spelling as such, just very wary of getting it wrong to find out thats not what someone meant at all. Mn can be throatjumpery. My spellings appalling a lot of th etime (as is my typing)

It is pretty amazing isn't it. It has given me a kick to try a bit more. We went down and its started going up again recemtly

ZillionChocolate Sun 09-Jan-11 13:04:55

I'm amazed such feats are possible in Gloucestershire. They seem to recycle the least through the doorstep collection scheme than any other Local Authority I know.

frozenfestiveflo Sun 09-Jan-11 15:58:48

Ah I think your point zillion about Glos depends on which part. I am city and we have a good doorstep collection scheme

flyingvisit Sun 09-Jan-11 16:06:34

Compost. We dont garden so is compost any use?

Himalaya Sun 09-Jan-11 17:51:17

Flying visit - do you have any garden or a yard -a little patch of earth to put one of those compost tardis things on? If you only put veg, fruit pealings, egg boxes and loo roll insides and vacumn bag contents in it it will hardly ever fill up, you can keep adding stuff for years and it will rot down and worms will work it down into the soil. If it ever does fill up invite someone who gardens to come round with a wheel barrow.

If you have a potty user in the house, a bit of wee on the compost heap also helps.

flyingvisit Sun 09-Jan-11 17:52:59

We do have one of those but never bother . It was full when we arrived here and we just left it alone. My husband doesnt like me to use it as it encourages rats?

greenlotus Sun 09-Jan-11 18:01:58

I have been filling up my compost "dalek" for about three years and never taken any thing out of the bottom, it's permanently about 2/3 full. I don't think it's brilliant compost as I don't layer it properly but it does eat up the spud peelings.

It doesn't encourage rats I believe if you stick to vegetable waste and garden cuttings/cardboard.

MyZeroWaste Sun 09-Jan-11 18:18:19

Thanks for the welcome, @CheerfulYank and @dockate

@saintknickerless it doesn't say anywhere that there was 1 razor blade in the bag ;)

I didn't realise you were a neighbour @frozenfestiveflo Over here we have kerbside collections for glass, tins, paper and green waste, so it's pretty tough, but we take things to bring banks while we are on other errands.

@flyingvisit there are loads of people who would LOVE your compost if you made it - freecycle or local allotments if you have them. And as greenlotus says, as long as you don't put cooked food into it, you shouldn't have a problem with rats.
Tbh people get stressed about rats, but they are around anyway - they don't arrive because you set up a compost heap. Apparently you're never less than 6 feet from a rat anywhere in the UK shock

saintknickerless Sun 09-Jan-11 18:31:01

Sorry was just joking becasue I could only see one on the picture. I am a fellow hairy mary in the winter grin

MmeLindt Sun 09-Jan-11 19:54:02

Apologies for my snide comments at the beginning of this thread. Baroqin was already winning me over before you came on the thread and you have answered all questions so well, despite the fact that we were making fun of you and your family. Good on you.

And I am glad that your DD does not have to collect crisp bags at school.

Can I ask about compost. Ours is collected by the local council (we are in Switzerland) and someone recently told me that we could put animal waste in there. Is that true? I thought it was only vegetable waste.

We don't have a lot of animal waste, as our dog gets the meat scraps but if we have chicken then obviously the bones are left over.

CheerfulYank Sun 09-Jan-11 21:12:32

We're the same with scraps...we don't compost (yet) but our dog and rabbit take care of most of it.

frozenfestiveflo Sun 09-Jan-11 21:35:56

Myzerowaste yes I previously saw your story in the Forester/Citizen.

We have collections for glass, tins, plastics, paper/light card. They also ask us to seperate food waste but to be honest we dont have any! I compost, have a dog and chickens - after that there is nothing left.

GrendelsMum Sun 09-Jan-11 22:04:56

Wow! Good for you, MyZeroWaste.

p.s. have you tried a Mooncup? It would save you washing your sanitary pads?

MyZeroWaste Mon 10-Jan-11 08:36:24

Morning @MmeLindt to be honest I don't know about animal waste; you'd need to check that with your local council. It's bad enough trying to give advice to people in the UK as each local authority can do what it likes; but I really wouldn't like to say about animal waste; it would depend on what system of composting they are using...

Hi GrendelsMum, I've heard lots of good things about the mooncup, and I know women who LOVE their's, but it's not for me.

Mme, when we lived in Switzerland I would put chicken carcasses etc in the green compost bin. I used to see fish heads in the communal one too [vom]

Thanks for coming on MyZeroWaste - very brave grin

You know I'd often thought about composting, I don't garden (- a proven track record of killing even plants such as cacti blush and although have an outdoor space here there isn't soil at all. I hadn't thought of the fact that my gardening friends could come and get compost from a compost bin if I had one.

Have just looked on my council website and discovered that I can buy a subsidised composting bin for £7 (plus £5 delivery charge) so am ordering that this morning [smile

Himalaya Mon 10-Jan-11 12:53:53

MmeLindt - our council compost can take all sorts - meat, bones, fish, cooked left overs. I think they compost at a higher temperature, and more securely than at home.

BaroqueAroundTheClock if your compost bin isn't sitting on soil you won't get worms burrowing up from underneath and doing the mixing and munching which makes it quicker and nicer. Ask one of your gardening friends to bring you a bucket of worms and compost to get it started (they can see it as a downpayment on all the good compost you will give them back in the end).

MmeLindt Mon 10-Jan-11 13:05:33

Thanks, will ask the council. Or rather check out their website, with the help of google translate and a BIG glass of wine.

I have a mooncup. It is FAB. I hardly even notice that I have my period.

Tbh, it was convenience rather than ecological reasons that convinced me to get one.

switchtvoffdosomelessboring Mon 10-Jan-11 14:02:27

Just a question on compost ladies (blush) but does your homemade compost look, well, pretty minging? I thought it would end up looking like the stuff you buy in a garden centre, but mines is more sticky and still has identifiable bits (mainly pineapple) in it?

hobbgoblin Mon 10-Jan-11 16:37:29

bronze I didn't know she was on the thread actually, but I wouldn't speak one way in someone's prsence and another behind their back.

I just didn't recall name from article, that's all.

MZW - you do rather remind me of my vegan friend at Uni. She was very earnest in her cause but also very ill. What is the motivation for such an extreme effort when most of us only manage to do a fraction of what you have.

Of course it's commendable but are you sure it is clinically 'normal'?

PS do you have a mooncup, and not shave ever?

hobbgoblin Mon 10-Jan-11 16:40:06

Oh, I see the mooncup qu has been answered - which leaves me wondering if you flushed loads of stuff down the lav and not include it??? If you free bleed don't tell me, I can only cope with reading about that when I can't see the person.

Himalaya Mon 10-Jan-11 17:01:18

switchtvoffdosomethinglessboring No my compost never ends up looking like the stuff in the garden centre. Mine usually has loads of bit of eggshell, orange peel and other identifiable stuff in.

I think if you want to use it as 'potting compost' you have to sieve it and mix it with soil and all sorts of complex stuff. But if you just chuck it/dig it into veg. plots/ flower beds the bits quickly disappear.

It shouldn't be wet and nasty smelling though (too much grass clippings...) ripped up egg boxes and toilet roll tubes are good for drying out the compost mix...its all about the brown/green mix apparently.

Anything that hasn't broken down can just get chucked back in.

Big stuff (like cabbages you never got round to eating blush) break down quicker if you remember to chop them up a bit before putting them in.

Adding a bit of wee (not mine, the DCs..) to the compost heap once in a while speeds up the decomposition process.

Don't put leaves in (leaf mulch them in bin bags) and don't put twiggy bits in.

hobgoblin - she's already says she uses washable pads confused

MyZeroWaste Tue 11-Jan-11 13:46:53

Great news on the compost bin @BaroqueAroundTheClock I admire you for doing that when you have little use of it yourself

@switchtvoffdosomelessboring you've probably not mixed your browns and greens my lovely, as Himalaya mentioned Greens are the veg peelings and grass cuttings which people have lots of. If your ingredients is all greens, you end up with stinky stuff. You need to add the same (by volume, not weight) of browns which is things like shredded cardboard, paper, twigs etc Does that help at all?
Some things will remain intact for longer like pineapple and eggshells - just chuck it back in for starting the next batch...

@hobbgoblin You wrote : "Of course it's commendable but are you sure it is clinically 'normal'?"

I'm not at all sure how you expect me to answer that or whether you actually want me to.

However, for me it's perfectly normal and now part of my chosen lifestyle. My motivation is that I care about leaving my daughter a beautiful planet to live on. I have a 'normal' lifestyle - I get takeaways, buy stuff, have a laugh with my friends. I'm really not sure I understand your question...

If you think about it, many of our great grandmothers lived in a time where it wasn't 'normal' for them to vote - it was unheard of. Not that long ago it was 'normal' for rich people to have slaves. During the war it was 'normal' and expected that we did not waste a thing.

Just because other people don't recycle to the extent I do and it's not classed as 'normla', does that mean I shouldn't do it? Not at all! I am fortunate enough to reach thousands of people through my website and lots of people have been inspired to make small changes. My belief is that if everyone makes one small change the collective impact of that can be massive.

I never expect people to recycling to the levels we do, but as I've said before, if everyone in the UK were to recycle just one more tin can, that would be 60 million cans saved from landfill - and that IS a result.

I cannot let the fact that my effort is small in comparison with the bigger picture stop me. If we all had that attitude nothing would ever change for the better.

What sort of world would we live in if women had never pushed for the vote and if slavery had not been abolished? What sort of life would you have if you were second only to cattle in your worthiness, which is how women were viewed until relatively recently? What sort of parent would you be if it was 'normal' that children were seen and not heard or if, at the age of 7 your kids were taken away as slaves? What sort of position would you be in if it was still 'normal' that a man could treat you in any way he wished without punishment and that rape was a commonplace part of a marriage?

For your other questions, yes I do shave which is why I have razor blades in my landfill waste and I use washable pads when I have my period.

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