Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Waste watchers

Big brother is watching you. At a bin near you?
In order to help us all recycle our rubbish, the government in the Uk is going to allow local councils to have wheelie bins with chips inside that will measure the amount of waste created by each household. I can see a few issues with that :
people will drive to the countryside and tip rubbish if they do not want to pay for it by weight.
on bin day, people may put rubbish in their neighbours bin to avoid paying.....
Some may even bury their waste in the garden or take it to town to put in the community bins.

Another article which caught my attention about how Bristol Council has tried to cope with recycling and forcing changes on its inhabitants.

In order to save the amount of rubbish we create, we can only achieve changes if we bring less into the home. If we buy apples loose, and pack them in a paper bag, we can eat the apples, compost the peel and the paper or recycle the paper. If you buy 6 apples, wrapped in plastic on a plastic tray you are left with the tray and the plastic which will cost you money to deal with in your rubbish collection. To counteract this, we need to become more savvy while shopping and reduce the amount of things we buy and the amount of packaging they come in. I wrote to the council saying that plastic bags from supermarkets could not be recycled and at my last visit I noticed a wheelie bin specifically for those bags, so again, maybe someone needs to communicate about these issues.

What will happen with all the packaging and gifts coming up at Christmas time. Lets have some ideas on virtual, clutterfree presents. I can think of the following :
food with packaging that can be recycled
activities together
vouchers to spend time together
bubble baths, clothes and candles ( of course not for me as I have a collection of these)

what are your ideas for a clutterfree Christmas?

On the other hand, here is a way to raise money for your school by collecting second hand clothes, bags,shoes etc. The fundraising activity has been organised by the parents of our local village school and hopefully the whole community will see that this is a positive way to raise money for the school and recycle clothes etc. Of course, they will travel to other countries and this is only one solution to a complex issue.

This is a small village and not only are they responding to the above, they also filled 192 shoeboxes with gifts for children in Roumania. Not a single electronic toy was in it, pencils, paper, soft toys, hats, socks, soap and toothpaste to name a few useful things.

In my opinion, and it is only my opinion, to reduce rubbish we will have to pay for, we need to bring less of it in our homes, and so we need to be savvy when we buy things and look beyond the convenience of it all. It will require a shift in our behaviour that it is cheaper to buy new than to repair or do without.

A lot of changes have happened with for instance, washing powder. It used to be in a box, then it became liquid in a bottle, now small liquid pouches in a box. I suppose it requires consumer responsibility...is there such a word?


Anonymous said...

Recycling is in many ways a feel good thing. We need to reduce waste AT SOURCE. We need legislation to do this and people will have to obey the laws.

cleangreenbags said...

We need the supermarket industry to pull their collective heads from where the sun doesn't shine and wake up. Paper and plastic bags are ruining our environment. The facts are available at www.cleangreenbags.com.

Anonymous said...

I think one can never go wrong with homemade food type gifts. Canning done in reusable glass jars is always good and who doesn't love cookies? Why buy wrapping paper when newspaper is usually on hand, easily recycled or composted?

I do think it takes a great shift in buying to reduce waste and it's something that most people do gradually unless forced to pay for it...

SockknittingMama said...

gifts in a jar sounds good as well as a movie bucket, movie rental at haome with popcorn