Saturday, May 19, 2007


Our day-to-day systems for living have been under review here recently. We don't have compulsory recycling in this area yet but the sighting of a rat around our dustbins a few weeks ago has made us think about what we throw away and how. We're paying much more attention to packaging, containers and recycling and our black binbag output is now much reduced.

I'm glad to see Asda is finally running a recycling service for its carrier bags. Whether you subscribe to the global warming theory or not, I like the idea of thoughtful waste disposal. It appeals to my organisational instincts. Like playing with a giant shape-sorter! Dumping it all in landfill is far too messy ;-) Here's our recycling tower:

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We're collecting tins, plastic bottles, newspaper, cardboard and glass. We were doing most of that before but we're doing a bit more now. We still can't recycle plastic packaging around here though. And I remember in my childhood things like silver foil milk bottle tops being collected for recycling, but nobody seems to do that any more.

Looking at the waste system made us think about how much food we buy and how we could reduce that by growing more fresh produce and composting more to help the plants. It's a good time of year to be thinking along those lines isn't it?

So we have peas, tomatoes and potatoes on the go and we might plant more this week. It means we need to cut back paths and repair walls and generally do more outdoor stuff, which is better for our health, no doubt. We've also been thinking about our water and energy systems here and wondering if these can be improved.

All this from one little (big) rat who is long gone, presumably oblivious to the major effects of his visit!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

tczgiExcellent. I always try and take carrier bags with me whenever I go shopping.

Have you seen the Al Gore film "An Inconvenient Truth"? It's life changing! (Well, it mademe go green, which is no mean feat).

Still loving your blog Gill.


8:34 pm, May 21, 2007  
Blogger Ruth said...

We are lucky here that we have quite a lot of recycling facilities. The council provide bins for plastic, tin, glass and fabric and a bin for paper. We also have a recyling place round the corner. Cardboard is a problem tho.

9:13 pm, May 21, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

No I haven't yet Julia. I must look it out, I've heard it's good. But I must admit to some scepticism about the causes of global warming. Glad you're still enjoying the blog!

Ruth, do they recycle plastic packaging where you are? They only do the bottles around here.

9:15 pm, May 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can see the film do. I was the worst sceptic about global warming, but the data they present is pretty conclusive.

Note: I'm always wary about stats, and how people lie with stats, but the film doesn't try to hide anything, and the photographic proof of how the ice caps and greenland are melting will have you reaching for your energy efficient light bulbs very fast! Plus Friends of the Earth and loads of other legitimate charities endorse it, and in the end, even if they were making things up, the changes they suggest you make are not too bad in fact most save you money!

The term Carbon footprint takes on a whole new meaning after seeing the film.

The causes of global warming he states are USA, China (driving cars and power stations) and a very high population worldwide. But he points out you can help reverse it with simple little things (like recycling).


9:28 pm, May 21, 2007  
Blogger Tech said...

Hmm, well there has been some controversy about the stats used in that film, with a fair few scientists suggesting that it is *bad science*. Agree that recycling/energy saving is good, but don't necessarily believe that the causes of global warming are mainly of human making.

No flames please though ;-)

10:46 pm, May 21, 2007  
Blogger Ruth said...

They take plastic ice cream tubs e.t.c.

11:12 pm, May 21, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Hmm, I wonder why they don't here Ruth! Also Tetra packs - you'd think they'd be reusable.

8:36 am, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Elaine said...

I cannot see my comment I left it here last night!! I hope it's not gone in your recycling bin.

3:28 pm, May 22, 2007  
Anonymous lucy B said...

hello Gill,

I'll try and remember to bring an Inconvenient Truth next time we meet :-)

4:59 pm, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Minnie said...

Did environmental stuff at uni and it made me get my finger out, do my bit and recycle. It's scary what could happen if we don't get a grip and just carry on taking things for granted.

There are some recycling facilities at the place where we have our weekly home ed meet, so I usually take my granny trolley and drop plastic, tins and glass off there. (have to chuckle as I do get funny looks when people hear the glass clinking as we walk by - I must look a right sight)!! lol. You'd think the ptb would do more to collect plastic, wouldn't you? Was talking to a health food shop owner and he says that there's no-one willing to recycle tetra packs anywhere in the country. Not enough money in it.

5:15 pm, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Tech said...

You certainly used to be able to send tetra packs away to be recycled - I have some labels left in the filing cabinet...

6:52 pm, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Elaine I've looked & can't find it anywhere!

Hi Lucy :-) Coming tomorrow? Didge workshop..

Hmm... didn't the Tetra pack family become mega-rich because of the invention? I wonder what they're doing about a recycling programme. Something about it here..

9:00 pm, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Daddybean said...

Tetrapaks can be recycled in some LA's - ours collects them, not sure if they are recycled relatively locally or shipped off somewhere else. Problem has been seperating the cardboard/foil/plastic laminate structure, which is why they need specific plant to do this.

In fact overall ours is pretty good really, the only household rubbish we can't at the moment recycle really is plastic wrappings and containers - though bottles can be. The local 'tip' is good as well, with endless different skips and bins for things, and places to put furniture, and other items that can be reused.

As for collecting foil, well we can put ours in the bins, but also a lot of places have foil collecting bins with the bottle banks usually run by a charity.

Of course our multiple bins means we have the dreaded 'two weekly collection', which is working some people into a tizzy, but I have no problem with at all. In fact given the relatively small amount of rubbish in our waste bin (say 3 bins worth a week unless we've had some sort of clearout), collecting every week would seem rather silly

8:25 am, May 23, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Oh, will look harder for a foil skip then. Maybe there is one around here somewhere.

Our local tip is good too - we quite like going there, it's very clean and well-managed. And there are always locals gossiping there by their car boots - it's quite the place to hang out! LOL

8:29 am, May 23, 2007  
Blogger Claire said...

Supposedly the only council that actually recycle tetra packs is Fife.

Because of the layers of plastic, card and foil they are tricky.

I don't buy anything that uses them.

Soy and rice milks etc are not sustainable even if they were available in other opackaging simply because they are not grown in this country (the rice and soy beans etc) the amount of energy that goes in to the transportation of the beans and grains and the production and then the tetra packs! All for a drink! Making various nut milks can be super easy once you have done it once.

As for juice, various juicers out there can be cheap enough. Also by juicing at home you escape the pasturisation process which zaps your juice of vitamins etc.

Alternativly one could recycle them by turning them into something else. We had a session at a home ed. group where we made them into little purses. They actually looked pretty cute.

Should I post a how-to on my blog perhaps... or nut milk recipes?

We get local unpasturised goat milk in our own containers. It seems the best option for us right now (from an eco point of view.)


8:08 pm, May 23, 2007  
Blogger Claire said...

Oh god that sounded some what smug - not intending to sound that way at all :lol

Took a lot of effort and changes to get to not using/buying the crazy things.

8:10 pm, May 23, 2007  
Blogger Daddybean said...

hope those aren't imported nuts Clare :-)

Re carton recycling, there are lot more LA's now doing it, though still a minority and I imagine that the total proportion recycled is still pretty low. A lot though just offering collections via collection banks, rather than from the home, which is never going to be so successful.

I'm also not convinced that the plastic and aluminum layers in the cartons are actually recycled in the UK at the moment, from reading the TP site

8:40 am, May 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

daddy bean - :lol I got off the 'puter and thought -ahhh now oat milk would be the way to go :)

Admittedly I have never made the stuff, only the nut milks. But I will give it a try sometime.

Still transporting nuts seems slightly less of an energy cost than the whole tetra pack version of getting the milk.


10:25 am, May 24, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

I've tried oatmilk years ago - someone must have produced it commercially. It's very good - the best non-dairy milk I've tried.

10:44 am, May 24, 2007  
Blogger mamadillo said...

oatly. And I have some address doofers for sending tetrapaks off to recycle. Our house is way too chaotic atm to cope with that level of recycling sorting (also a certain amount of snobbery precludes from having it 'on display... not my snobbery either...)

12:34 pm, May 24, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Hmm I might look it out again. Thanks!

And ooh we're loving having the recycling tower in view on the fridge there. It makes us want to go around finding things to put in it for recycling!

A bit sad, but never mind.. ;-)

7:23 pm, May 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you find it horrid the proposals to fine people who don't recycle and put chips on their bins and such stuff?

8:17 am, May 26, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Yes, absolutely.

3:10 pm, May 27, 2007  

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