Thursday 9th June 2016 – Waste produced and collected:
End piece of loaf of bread
Coffee grounds (not pictured)
Zip lock bag (not pictured)
In general I am wary of the things that I buy and the waste that I produce. I have a garden and a compost bin so all vegetable matter gets composted, all lawn clippings are used as mulch, everything that can be recycled gets recycled, clothes that I no longer want or need get donated and I’ve even gone as far as donating old towels and sheets to the RSPCA. As a household of four adults we regularly produce only two bags of garbage per fortnight and completely fill the recycle bin. Where possible I use containers, reusable bags and items and regularly decline bags from retail stores, after all we have opposable thumbs for a reason. After laying out the collected waste from Thursday I was slightly surprised by the small amount that I produced. 60% of my collected waste (all organic) ended up in the compost bin, the rest in the garbage. I know for a fact that on other days I produce more waste but I was working a late shift and decided to treat lunch as dinner.
I redid my garden back in December last year and emptied and mixed the compost in, within a week a truss tomato and what ended up being a Jap pumpkin had sprouted. This is quite surprising as many of the vegetables we buy from supermarkets are hybrid varieties and don’t have the capacity to reproduce. It is a nice feeling to be able to pick and eat something from the backyard that was grown with the help of scraps and food that has been left in the fridge too long. While my garden is only small and has minimal plants, it can be enough sometimes to reduce what I need to buy from the supermarket. It has been enough to be able to create sauces and preserve things for use later on and even give some of it away to friends and family.
Not only do I try and reduce my waste I also try to reduce my intake. I am primarily vegetarian, only eating meat a couple of times a week on average and what meat and animal products I do eat I ensure they are ethically and responsibly sourced. By reducing my consumption I have over the last year and a half not only reduced my waste but also my waist, my spending (which is important as a poor student) and my environmental impact.