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(No) Rubbish Day

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Today is rubbish day. The street is lined with dark green wheelie bins full of waste but there’s an empty spot on our footpath. My husband informed me last night that he was not taking the rubbish out. He wanted to let me know that he had made this decision consciously and not forgotten. He explained that this week we had produced a single bag of waste. The rubbish bin was practically empty and there was nothing in there that couldn’t wait until next week.

I’m not exactly sure why we only have one bag. I think perhaps it is the culmination of all the changes we’ve made to our lifestyle slowly over the past few years. Now that we have a compost bin most of the organic waste goes into the garden. Animal products are bagged and frozen until bin day. We reuse or recycle as much as possible. Takeaways are a rare treat so we don’t bring in the extra waste associated with outsourcing our meals. I’ve done away with glad wrap, aluminium foil and baking paper. And we also don’t buy those disposable cleaning wipes that are always advertised on TV.

Perhaps the biggest change this week is that we have survived without any disposable nappies. Absolutely zero. Up until now we have used disposables overnight, on holidays, during illness, and when we’ve gone out for the day. I’ve noticed that when my husband changed Miss M’s nappies, he usually grabbed a disposable rather than a cloth nappy. So last fortnight I devised a little experiment – I left disposable nappies off the grocery list. If they weren’t available we wouldn’t be able to use them. It worked! And now I won’t be adding them to the shopping list next fortnight either. I wish I had done this from the start, but my theory has always been do what you can manage and concentrate on the good of every cloth nappy used rather than every disposable. Each and every nappy helps. Besides, I’m a first time mum so I’m still ironing out the kinks of new motherhood.

How many bags of rubbish does your family produce each week? And, what things do you do to reduce your trash?


6 responses »

  1. Congratulations on your efforts to save the planet. It was bin day for us today too. The recycle bin was nearly full. Must get serious on giving up Pepsi Max and that will reduce it some but I don’t think I have much chance of getting the boys to give up beer. Our normal rubbish bin only had 2 bags in it. There are often weeks when we only have 1 bag but then I fill it up with palm leaves – too many to try to compost them in our yard space.
    It is great to see that cloth nappies are starting to make a big comeback. You are not only reducing landfill but also carbon emmissons from the manufacturing of them. I’ve never understood how the budget can cope with the cost of disposable nappies.

  2. My two year old is still in disposable diapers. I tried cloth with my first one but my husband wa uncooperative. So for a little bit we still have to fork oer money for Huggies. This week I announced that we would have two cans under the kitchen sink. One for just diapers and one for all the other real garbage. I have a feeling it will be really eye-opening. I also will be able to see what my husband is sneaking into the garbage that is recyclabe! We usually have 1/4 to 1/2 a can a week. We can easily skip a week because we green bin all of our food waste (including bones, meat and cheese).

    • Hey Stephanie, thanks for your reply 🙂 it really makes a difference when your husband is on board. I was only able to convince mine by showing him how much money we save by using cloth. The reduction in waste was simply a major bonus.
      I’m interested to know how your green bin works, is it another bin provided by the council, or a composting system at home? I know that Bokashi bins can take meat & cheese waste but I don’t think they can take bones as well.
      It would be interesting to see the results of your new two bin system. It’s really amazing how much waste nappies create, even over a short period like a week or two. Cheers 🙂

      • Hi Sally,
        Our green/solar cone was bought at our towns recycling center at a reduced price. I think it was around $50. If you type solar cone into You Tube they have awesome videos on it. It is 1/3 into the ground and 2/3rds above. The heat melts the food into liquid so you don’t have to do anything for 2-3 years at which time you bury it.
        I have given into the diapers but plan to have the youngest potty trained early 🙂 So far there isn’t much other garbage in the one bin. I’ll definately share the results!

      • Wow, I’ve never heard of them before. That’s fantastic.

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