cTo analyse my food waste audit was not only to recognise how much organic waste I was creating, but also to ask the question: What was organic? One of the most concise yet still accurate definitions was the following; “Organic waste…is organic material such as food, garden and lawn clippings. It can also include animal and plant based material and degradable carbon such as paper, cardboard and timber.” (Environment Victoria, 2015, Para.1)
One of the most viable sources of organic waste in my own audit, that also seems a common thread through the blog generally, is eggs; the shell in particular. Everyone is eating eggs as a great source of inexpensive, high quality protein. However, as I analysed the life cycle of how an egg gets to our table I wanted to extend the lifecycle of it rather than ending it in our mouths. In some recipes, the egg white or egg yolk may be excluded; this is such an exciting use of organic (possible) waste as the possibilities are endless of what to do with it next, as opposed to putting it in our household bin!
“An egg shell is made of calcium carbonate, which is also the main ingredient in some antacids. Each medium sized egg shell has about 750-800 mgs of calcium.” (One good thing, 2013, Para.4)
To throw out this use of calcium would be such a waste of resources. Uses for the egg shells could include; a nourishing face mask, a powerful cleaner, mini pot plant for seedlings, cat deterrent and your very own powdered calcium supplement! It can be added to your morning juice for a slight boost in your step each day.
One of the most useful and intriguing ways of using an egg shell I found was to treat skin irritations. By mixing an eggshell and apple cider vinegar, you can create a healing treatment for itchy skin or minor irritations. Again, we have used our food waste back into our bodies in a positive way, at the same time eliminating our daily waste.
One alternative use of egg yolks or egg whites would be in further recipes such as meringue or dough. However, I thought into my practice again and also our design process coming up and in a small scale, how we could make even better use of this versatile product. Egg is a great product of starch that can be mixed into textiles to add a strength and hard quality to a fibre. A lot of the time, to add this quality to a fabric, we add similar products by heat transfer such as a fusing. Environmentally and financially, this is a poor decision. Instead, we could create a paste from egg whites or yolks that could dry into the fabric and wash fast to create an innovative product. The same system could be used to many construction fibres such as paper, plastic or wood grain to stick together. We are not only creating an innovative material to design with; we are also making our organic waste valuable again.
Environment Victoria, 2015, Organic waste, Carlton Victoria, Accessed 8th June 2016, < http://environmentvictoria.org.au/content/organic-waste>
Incredible Egg, 2016, Where eggs come from, American Egg Board, Illinois, US, Accessed 12th June 2016, < http://www.incredibleegg.org/where-eggs-come-from/egg-production-process>
Metropolitan waste and resource recovery group, 2016, Organics recycling at home, Victoria State Government, Melbourne, Accessed 12th June, < https://www.mwrrg.vic.gov.au/waste/organics/organics-recycling-at-home/>
NSW EPA, 2015, Organic Waste, Sydney South, Viewed 7th June 2016, < http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/organic-waste.htm>
NSW EPA, 2015, Managing waste at home, Sydney South, Viewed 7th June 2016, < http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/managewaste/at-home.htm>
Nystul, Jill, 2013, 15 Surprising uses for eggshells, Blog, One Good Thing, California, Date Accessed 12th June 2016, < http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/06/15-surprising-uses-for-eggshells.html>
Sutherland Shire Council, 2015, Where does my Waste go?, Sutherland, Accessed 12th June 2016, < http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Residents/Rubbish-and-Recycling/Where-does-my-Waste-go>
The Waste Wise Schools Program, 2012, Organic Waste, Department of Environment and Conservation, Bentley DC, WA, Accessed 9th June 2016, < http://www.wasteauthority.wa.gov.au/media/files/wws/organic-waste-fact-sheet.pdf>
William & Murphy , 2001, Rubbish – The Archaeology of Garbage, The University of Arizona Press.