Not a load of rubbish

Attempting to live a whole month without contributing any waste to a landfill site.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Climbing the plastic mountain

I’ve been laying low for the last week because I feel defeated by this experiment.

But now I am feeling optimistic. If I am creative in my recycling, I can use up all this stuff I’ve been hoarding.

How can I recycle this? are experts in this field.

My favourite examples of innovative recycling are shredded court papers being used by a horse with a straw allergy and a Ghanaian architect’s rubbish home (see picture).

My first project is to make a handbag out of my cotton rice bag. If it’s good I could even sell it on Ebay. I’ll let you know how I get on. In the mean time, I want to know what you have made out of rubbish.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Dirty weekend

I'm not so much recycling and composting, more hoarding. I'm turning into Mr Trebus, the magnificent hoarder from the docusoap Life of Grime.

Most of stuff I'm hoarding is packaging for things I really want but know I can't recycle.

I spent the weekend away and came home with a box of rubbish. Hotels insist on putting everything in tiny packets - their milk, their butter, their sugar. Aaaah! Why can't they have a sugar bowl and a big slab of butter? Surely that would be cheaper.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Required to recycle

Here’s my first ever bag of recycling. I’ve started in the nick of time as my council is now considering making it illegal not to recycle.

I can’t believe anybody would intentionally avoid it – isn’t it just inconvenient? If you don’t recycle, tell me why not.

I found it difficult to work out what I can recycle as it seems to differ from borough to borough. I think I can recycle tins, plastic bottles, glass, cardboard and newspaper. Is that good or bad compared to you?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Guilty pleasures

I haven’t written for a few days because I’ve been feeling down about the whole experiment. Every time I go into the supermarket I can’t get what I want because of what it’s wrapped up in. Why is this packaging necessary?

This frustration drove me to the edge and I ended up stuffing my face with chocolates in a combination of foil and plastic wrapping. I knew full well I wouldn’t be able to get rid of the evidence in an environmentally friendly way. So I went all out and slid down the slippery slope to landfill hell. Before I knew it, I was eating a KFC and damning the consequences (see picture). Apart from all the waxed cardboard, they even see it necessary to put the salt and serviette together in a sealed plastic bag.

I’m not the only one getting annoyed. The environment agency wants food firms to pack in this packaging palava and here's someone starting a global war on plastic.

This guy thinks I should leave packaging at shops.

Let me know what you do to avoid the packaging.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

That time of the month

If you don't want to read about periods or sanitary products, look away now. Before you go, I know how you feel. I don't want to talk about it either.

Unfortunately for me, it is all very relevant to the living a zero landfill waste month. When in landfill, tampons and pads take at least 6 months to biodegrade. Plastic components such as applicators, wrappers, topsheets and backing strips can last indefinitely.

An alternative is the Mooncup. It's like a reusable tampon - you can see the American version, the Keeper in the picture.

The whole Mooncup thing fills me with horror. It distresses me so much I don't know how to start talking about it.

I contacted Kath at Mooncup Ltd who was more sympathetic than comforting. When I told her about the experiment, she warned me:

"If you are up for getting a mooncup for your month without waste, it's worth noting that it can take up to 3 cycles to get the angle and position right."

Aaaaaaah! If you know of another alternative, please tell me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I didn’t think through this experiment. I don't know how to compost or what is recyclable. So, I have a fridge full of compost and have lived on three chicken legs, beer and a chewing gum for the last week.

But I’ve faced up to it and am seeking help. I’ve posted on the friends of the earth and home recycling forums.

If you know someone who is particularly anal about composting, recycling or reducing waste, tell them I need their help!

Burnt offerings

I’ve been forced to go cold turkey on office biscuits because they have un-recyclable packaging. Two days ago I resorted to making shortbread from scratch for the first time ever. I proudly presented the results to my colleagues and we gobbled them up before you could say, “take a picture for the blog.”

Not so quick to take a biscuit today though are they? At least that means you can see proof that I made them. Even if they are burnt.

Any suggestions for what to do with burnt biscuits?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Nice people

I’ve noticed people change their behaviour around me. First my housemate started recycling. Then someone put their cigarette butt in their pocket to avoid offending me. Yesterday, I was phoned up to ask “what kind of food can you eat at my house.” Is this how nice people treat vegetarians? I try to corrupt them with bacon butties.