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I saw in the local paper a couple of weeks ago an artical asking families to get involved with the council to reduce the amount of rubbish they send to landfill each week. Having moved from a smallholding where I grew my own vegetables and produced our own meat to a normal convential house where I have to use shops has been challenging, wonderful in many ways and quite liberating but a bit depressing as well because it seems everything you buy it wrapped- sometimes double wrapped in plastic. And so much of it you over buy and end up throwing away.
As I have said in previous blogs we are very lucky around here with our local shops but even with these shops there is packaging so we had a good thinking session at home to find different ways we could prevent this. I looked at a site called My Zero Waste which is by a family based in Gloucestershire who have made the decision to try to produce ‘zero waste’. http://myzerowaste.com/ they had some great tips on clever shopping so I thought we would try a few. Today when we went shopping we took our own tubs so that we could hand them over at the point where any bit of food needed to be wrapped or bagged. http://myzerowaste.com/2009/05/reduce-plastic-food-containers-and-packaging/
First we went to a supermarket, the children had a great time finding the things we needed without compromising on the plastic, they also had a go at working out how much less it costs by buying things out of bags and packets. Very surprisingly we have enough food for the week and it cost us about £50 less than usual!! Things that had to have packaging like loo roll we made sure we bought the recycled option, but I suppose we didn’t buy all the extras and offers because they seem to be the ones with extra branding and packaging.
Then on the way home we went to our favourite Lobbs Farm Shop http://www.lobbsfarmshop.com/ and did the same. The staff in there were fantastic as ever and were really interested in what we were trying to do (a much nicer shopping enviroment) they thought it would be wonderful if everyone came with their own little box. I also spoke to one of the owners of the shop and he thought it was a potentially a very good step to the future of their packaging problems, they could get a set of tubs produce with their name on and use it as a ‘tub for life’ like we have the bags for life, and as long as the customer is responsible and brings with them a clean sealed container each time it could really cut down on everyones rubbish.
We also met up with Sue who is our wonderful ‘council recycling buddy’ her job with us is to help us with the rubbish that can be recycled, she gave us ideas on re-using food and how to shop well, to make sure you have a list and to only buy the items on the list! eek will-power! She brought with her a fancy new compost bin for us which is rodent proof so you can put all food waste in it as well. We are feeling very lucky. As a special treat outing we went over to the Eden project and met the recycling team who closed the compound for us so that they could safely show us around and explain all aspects of the recycling they do at Eden. Thank you ladies!
For the next outing we are hoping to visit a landfill to see for ourselves to true horror of the rubbish produced in our county. I’m expecting this to inspire us to work even harder to recycle and encourage others to do the same.
We have had the best, most relaxing, wonderful Christmas ever!
It’s great to be back in Cornwall by the sea, it really makes us very happy. It’s even better than I had expected because when we moved we had so much to leave behind. I thought we would miss the space of having our own land, being able to grow our own sprouts for Christmas day, but how could we when we are so completely spoilt around here for local produce. I read on the days leading up to Christmas about the stress people were going through to get all the things they needed for the few days over christmas when we are surrounded by our families, when we want it all to be, look, smell perfect! but I sat happily & cosily with a cup of tea, sticking cloves into oranges with my children, knowing I didn’t need to be part of that stress.
We made quite a few of our presents which kept us busy for the last month then for the extra ones I took a trip to the gift shop up the road at Heligan gardens www.heligan.com. for our Christmas day bird & food we went to Lobbs Farm Shop www.lobbsfarmshop.com any extras we needed I took the two minute walk down the road to our local shop & post office ‘Cakebreads’ What an amazing place! Our vegetables this year instead of coming out of our gardens came from the veg stall by the farm gate up the road, I am so pleased to be able to support them because I know how much hard work goes into growing them now. I have included photos of these places because they are so good!
And as for the new year, it’s going to be a busy start- My children haven’t been able to get a place in the local school yet because it is a bit full… so until the appeal comes I am home-schooling them, easy
Lastly but wonderfully my partner of 9 years asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve so I’m looking forward to the excitment of that in the New Year 2011.
New Years resolutions are; To enjoy this unexpected time with my children, Volunteering to help a charity, to carry on enjoying life here & explore as much as possible.
Happy New Year!