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    • dragonlily
    • By dragonlily 29th Dec 18, 5:12 PM
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    dragonlily
    Steps towards zero waste - 2019
    • #1
    • 29th Dec 18, 5:12 PM
    Steps towards zero waste - 2019 29th Dec 18 at 5:12 PM
    Through 2018 I have been reading a lot about the impact of our waste on the environment. I have made a couple of small changes but seeing our bulging bins at the end of Christmas isn't good! It is a little odd as once you start thinking about excessive packaging you see just how much of it there is everywhere!

    I don't think I am going to be able to completely change overnight but every little has got to help, and ironically I think old style ways of living, are well suited to doing this. If anybody else is interested in setting goals to work on reducing waste, buying more consciously and generally being fabulous in 2019 do join in. PS - I did a search for a post about this and couldn't see one, so if I have missed it, lmk and I'll move on over there

    x
Page 1
    • dragonlily
    • By dragonlily 29th Dec 18, 6:21 PM
    • 180 Posts
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    dragonlily
    • #2
    • 29th Dec 18, 6:21 PM
    • #2
    • 29th Dec 18, 6:21 PM
    Wrapping gifts for people

    This year I have been on year 3 of using up the crazy amounts of wrapping paper I had accumulated as I used to buy a lot in the sales every year, and then not even always realise what I had, due to being so disorganised. After present wrapping this year I am down (in christmas paper at least (loads of birthday wrap yet) to half a roll of a red foil coated paper.

    However, when I've been buying in the past I just assumed that all wrapping paper could be recycled so that was ok. However, apparently not ..........

    https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/wrapping-paper-1

    The problem is all the glitter, embellishments, dye and foil plus sometimes just being really poor quality. Resolution 1 for this year is to buy less 'physical' gifts and more experiences were possible.

    Then Resolution 2 is to switch to paper that is definitely recyclable, and more simple. I suppose in an ideal zero waste wold you would not buy paper at all, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet. I have bought our Christmas paper for 2019. My daughter is obsessed with space at the moment so I have got 6 rolls of astro printed Kraft paper that will def be able to be recycled.



    Also one roll of silver kraft and one of gold kraft paper, plus some ribbons in card packaging. It feels good to know that whilst not zero waste that next Christmas I'll be able to put all that wrap safely in the recycling.

    I've also found a local company that does biodegradable tape in both parcel tape and sellotape thickness, so am going there in the new year to get some of that, and that should end the tape issue.

    Furoshiki

    I don't know if anybody has tried this but in Japan they often wrap gifts in fabric, which can then be reused. I haven't tried this yet but have found a vintage square silk scarf in a charity shop with a lovely pattern so will give it a try

    How do you wrap your gifts?

    x
    • Well Preserved
    • By Well Preserved 29th Dec 18, 8:44 PM
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    Well Preserved
    • #3
    • 29th Dec 18, 8:44 PM
    • #3
    • 29th Dec 18, 8:44 PM
    I don't want to be a killjoy, because I'm with you in spirit and think your efforts are laudable. However I'm feeling a bit confused & disillusioned because I've just found out that our local authority is asking us to put ALL of our wrapping paper in the non-recyclable bins, because it's too labour intensive to go through it all removing bits of sellotape, ribbon & gift tags. That when I'd made extra sure that we didn't buy any with foil or glitter on. I think they incinerate what they can to generate electricity, but even so it's disappointing as we have large wheelie bins for our recyclable waste.
    • SmlSave
    • By SmlSave 29th Dec 18, 9:33 PM
    • 4,708 Posts
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    SmlSave
    • #4
    • 29th Dec 18, 9:33 PM
    • #4
    • 29th Dec 18, 9:33 PM
    We are planning to wrap the majority of presents in fabric next Christmas, even hubby is on board as he hates wrapping! This year we used plain white paper decorated with ink stamps which did look lovely
    Our waste is generally half our neighbours but we could do better.
    Another compost bin is needed!
    Boy Smllet born 23/06/2011 and Girl Smllet born 01/03/2014

    5 year challenge to pay off 20,000
    350 per month challenge
    • dragonlily
    • By dragonlily 29th Dec 18, 10:37 PM
    • 180 Posts
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    dragonlily
    • #5
    • 29th Dec 18, 10:37 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Dec 18, 10:37 PM
    Well preserved what a shame, although it must be difficult to not get a contaminated load. I suppose a lot of people do put everything in. I bet I have been guilty in the past of putting unsuitable paper in .

    Smlsave, that is brilliant, you are a lot further on than me!

    Love the idea of stamped paper x
    • Shropshirelass
    • By Shropshirelass 29th Dec 18, 11:11 PM
    • 328 Posts
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    Shropshirelass
    • #6
    • 29th Dec 18, 11:11 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Dec 18, 11:11 PM
    It is possible to wrap present s using only ribbon, as in former times, before sellotape was invented. Lots of advice demonstrations and easy to find via search engines.

    Some methods look similar to the way we used to cover exercise books (in the old days!).

    Apparently young ladies used to be taught the art at finishing school, perhaps it will become popular again.
    • CarshaltonClaret
    • By CarshaltonClaret 30th Dec 18, 8:38 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    CarshaltonClaret
    • #7
    • 30th Dec 18, 8:38 AM
    • #7
    • 30th Dec 18, 8:38 AM
    I have been awoken this year to the shame of excess plastic. I am very much a minimalist and don’t have a lot of “stuff” per se but have been amazed at how plastic is everywhere!

    I wrapped all my presents this year in brown paper and ribbon. Had mostly leftover plastic ribbon which I used up but then also had some paper ribbon and paper tags which I tucked under the ribbon. Interested in the plastic free tape. I used up all the odds and sods in our Christmas card collection which saved buying more. I’m seriously thinking of limiting the number of cards next year.

    I painstakingly removed all the plastic tape and ribbon from the paper on Christmas Day so do hope it’ll not be a wasted effort. I always separate waste for recycling but at the same time feel like it’s a bit of a wing and a prayer!

    Next year I am definitely focusing on reducing plastic waste, rather than just recycling. We got a lot of Christmas presents that help with our plastic free endeavours: OH and I got lovely new water bottles, I got some amazing bees wax wraps (no more cling film - yay!) We have already gone plastic-free in the bathroom by using solid soap and shampoo but OH got bamboo razors and a shaving soap/brush kit to help that along a bit.

    We are in the fortunate position of having a bit of spare cash to be able to spend out on some more expensive items to aid our endeavours but appreciate not everyone can do that.

    Next year I’d like to focus on cleaning products (honestly, who needs 10 different plastic bottles for different products when washing up liquid, bicarb, white vinegar and essential oils will do the job?) and food. I had been pretty good a couple of years ago at going to the local butcher and grocers but they are in opposite directions so convenience slipped in and I found myself back at the supermarket - AKA plastic central. Need to review my routine and find out the best way to make it work.
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 30th Dec 18, 9:27 AM
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    pavlovs_dog
    • #8
    • 30th Dec 18, 9:27 AM
    • #8
    • 30th Dec 18, 9:27 AM
    The kitchen is the one area where we have made the most gains. We invested in lidded pyrex bowls and silicon can covers which have allowed us to drastically reduce our use of cling film.

    THESE have been great for cheese and cold cuts

    Towards the end of the year I started buying larger pots of yoghurt instead of the individual serving pots. This year I want to take it a step further and get back into using my easiyo.

    Once I have used up my shower gel stash I want to switch to bar soap
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
    • dragonlily
    • By dragonlily 30th Dec 18, 9:46 AM
    • 180 Posts
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    dragonlily
    • #9
    • 30th Dec 18, 9:46 AM
    • #9
    • 30th Dec 18, 9:46 AM
    Shropshirelass I'll have a look. I'm thinking biodegradable tape might be a good middle ground alongside something like this to avoid needing very much

    CarshaltonClaret, well done on the present wrapping. I love the pics online of brown paper wrapped gifts with ribbon, and am excited about being able to try it. I'll let you know what the biodegradable tape is like after I have got some.
    Where did you get your beeswax wraps from? I have been considering getting some with my Christmas money to try and make a move away from cling film as we use quite a bit of that and foil.

    BTW re cleaning products, I have moved to soap nuts, and white vinegar w/ a couple of drops of essential oil in replacement of fabric softener, It has been about six months now and it works really well. I do also buy an Astonish stain remover bar that comes in a card box to treat any bad marks. The soap nuts are actually pretty good . I haven't done much other than that. I have bought Dr Bronner's orange liquid castle soap but was a fail for me as my skin really really doesn't like it, even heavily diluted. I am going to use all of this but need to wear gloves. Think I will stick with white vinegar and essential oils in a spray, once all the other products have run out. Have that at least to hand from my laundry efforts lol.

    Pavlovs_dog I love that Lakelands dish, what a great idea. Have you tried buying your meat and cheese yet from the supermarket without packaging (from the counter). I have been thinking of going and trying and haven't yet built up the nerve, or thought through how).

    I have switched to bar soap, and that is so much more cost effective too. It lasts ages in comparison to shower gel!

    x
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 30th Dec 18, 9:55 AM
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    pavlovs_dog
    Have you tried buying your meat and cheese yet from the supermarket without packaging (from the counter). I have been thinking of going and trying and haven't yet built up the nerve, or thought through how).
    Originally posted by dragonlily
    Not yet as our main supermarket doesn't have a deli counter. We are also intending to cut down on meat consumption in 2019. Don't want to go fully veggie, but eating less meat will help our waistlines, wallet and the environment
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
    • Grouchy
    • By Grouchy 30th Dec 18, 10:05 AM
    • 357 Posts
    • 502 Thanks
    Grouchy
    I found this interesting and timely from The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/29/how-to-live-without-plastic


    I've found if I don't buy X I won't have to be thinking about recycling it. And for other things have found substitutes for many things.

    As for wrapping paper etc., I stopped buying most gifts (most everyone I know has more than they need) and donate the money to charity instead, everyone has been happy with this in my circle. As for youngsters, minimize by buying book tokens or similar or suggest they buy something they want and I send the money on. For a while, people got used to my gifts wrapped in recycled newspaper.

    For me, change has been stepping away from consumerism in tandem with cutting waste, they really go together I think.

    Still a way to go for me though ...
    • dragonlily
    • By dragonlily 30th Dec 18, 10:06 AM
    • 180 Posts
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    dragonlily
    We are also intending to cut down on meat consumption in 2019. Don't want to go fully veggie, but eating less meat will help our waistlines, wallet and the environment
    I would agree, we do eat meat with most main meals. It isn't the best, just don't have a lot of confidence in making the shift. I'd be happy if we could reduce the amount of meat, as totally agree meat is not good for the environment.

    x
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 30th Dec 18, 10:09 AM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,045 Thanks
    Ilona
    I made some re usable drawstring cloth gift bags, using offcuts of cotton material. Sold some at our Christmas Fair. not many though, 25p each. I gave a lot away to friends after. I think it will take a while for people to get used to them.



    ilona
    I love skip diving.
    • dragonlily
    • By dragonlily 30th Dec 18, 10:27 AM
    • 180 Posts
    • 1,543 Thanks
    dragonlily
    Grouchy, thanks for the link, southing to read with my cup of tea

    I'm with you re consumerism.
    I don't know if you have read 'A life less throwaway' by Tara Button? If not I'd recommend it. It made me think a lot about the impact of advertising and also of the use of planned obsolescence.

    I still have such a long way to go though, I still got sucked into buying too much in the way of presents before Christmas. You have done a great job making such big changes!

    I did a little print for my office, by using the old poem, and adding a verse of my own. It is a helpful reminder every day when I'm working. Keep thinking every little change will add up, and then when I go wrong to dust myself off and try again!



    Ilona, those bags are fabulous! I'd have bought them from you if I'd been at that fair!

    x
    • VJsmum
    • By VJsmum 30th Dec 18, 10:38 AM
    • 5,466 Posts
    • 80,306 Thanks
    VJsmum
    Wrapping gifts for people

    I don't know if anybody has tried this but in Japan they often wrap gifts in fabric, which can then be reused. I haven't tried this yet but have found a vintage square silk scarf in a charity shop with a lovely pattern so will give it a try

    How do you wrap your gifts?

    x
    Originally posted by dragonlily
    I am definitely going to do this next year - at least for the gifts within my own family. I have a stash of paper still for outside gifts that will last a few years yet. Aldi were selling ribbon at half price yesterday, so i have bought four rolls of that for embellishing pressies, rather than those plastic cob types.

    The kitchen is the one area where we have made the most gains. We invested in lidded pyrex bowls and silicon can covers which have allowed us to drastically reduce our use of cling film.

    THESE have been great for cheese and cold cuts

    Towards the end of the year I started buying larger pots of yoghurt instead of the individual serving pots. This year I want to take it a step further and get back into using my easiyo.

    Once I have used up my shower gel stash I want to switch to bar soap
    Originally posted by pavlovs_dog
    Same with the yogurt. i have a lakeland yogurt maker and the strainer to make greek yogurt, so i am going back to using that - it will save two large plastic pots a week. I am also going to experiment with how to flavour it for DD, anyone got any ideas?

    I made some re usable drawstring cloth gift bags, using offcuts of cotton material. Sold some at our Christmas Fair. not many though, 25p each. I gave a lot away to friends after. I think it will take a while for people to get used to them.



    ilona
    Originally posted by Ilona
    These are fab, Ilona. can't believe people didn't buy them. I am on the hunt for suitable materials. I hadn't thought of offcuts. i wonder if hobbycraft are selling any christmas themed fabric cheap?

    I have started using beeswax wrap in place of cling film and also have some silicon can and bowl covers. I do have a couple of rolls of clingfilm still, but hope not to need any more - ever.. I also have nylon vegetable bags to use in the supermarket but am also planning to visit our local market and / or farm shop more for fruit and veggies.

    My friend, who I visited last week, has started making eco bricks with non recyclable plastic wrap, but I am not sure what you do with it when it's full? Or whether it's donatable....

    https://www.ecobricks.org/

    I also don't think I will ever have a suitable stash of bottles to fill. i think it's probably better to just cut down on such wrap - although it isn't easy...
    I wanna be in the room where it happens
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 30th Dec 18, 10:53 AM
    • 3,403 Posts
    • 9,102 Thanks
    tori.k
    They are beautiful Ilona, you really are the clever bunny we kinda been doing the same reusing gift bags each year for the very few gifts we give


    I've found if I don't buy X I won't have to be thinking about recycling it. And for other things have found substitutes for many things.

    For me, change has been stepping away from consumerism in tandem with cutting waste, they really go together I think.

    Still a way to go for me though ...
    Originally posted by Grouchy
    ^ this is the truth of the sorting the issue, I've read so many threads where its ended up so unproductive with throwing out all the plastic and replacing with reusable, when the easiest and cheapest way to limit waste is to just stop buying.
    It never ends I have a handle on my landfill waste but still recycling way more than im happy with. I have enough plastic containers to see my life out, im lucky that Christmas is now not much different then a normal week as my kids have grown and cash is king.
    Principles do cost I don't save money limiting waste as we try and limit food miles on all our purchases and that tends to negate any savings but over the year it averages out.
    Im so excited for you to be on this journey it will challenge you in ways you wont expect.
    Best of luck
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
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    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 30th Dec 18, 11:26 AM
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    Ilona

    These are fab, Ilona. can't believe people didn't buy them. I am on the hunt for suitable materials. I hadn't thought of offcuts. i wonder if hobbycraft are selling any christmas themed fabric cheap?
    Originally posted by VJsmum
    You can get some nice fabric from charity shops or car boot sales. Look for cotton frocks, skirts, childrens clothes, and mens shirts. If you use Christmas themed fabric the bags can only be used for Christmas gifts. If you use floral multi coloured the bags can be used for any occasion.

    You don't want to be paying out for new fabric, that defeats the object of money saving.

    ilona
    I love skip diving.
    • Caterina
    • By Caterina 30th Dec 18, 11:28 AM
    • 5,781 Posts
    • 40,129 Thanks
    Caterina
    I am so happy to see this thread, thank you dragonlily for starting it. It's a very important topic and one that, as you found out, doesn't seem to have been explored yet on the OS forum. So appropriate for this forum!

    I feel like I have banged on about the negative impact of plastic for decades, only for people's eyes roll and glaze. Only when Attenborough showed the impact of it on Blue Planet, it became national news and not a second too soon!

    After all these years of trying to live plastic-free I have a few points to make, hope they are useful to others attempting to go this way.

    It is not possible, in the Western world, to live 100% plastic-free because it permeates every aspect of our lives. So just do your best, taking it a step at a time aiming to improve but do not despair if sometimes it doesn't work.

    It is really expensive, and not always accessible to people on low income, people with disabilities, people living in remote places, to mention some, to eliminate plastic completely. But there are actions that most people can take.

    I won't make a list here because there are so many "what to do" lists kicking around now that this is a widely spoken about topic.

    I just wanted to say, really, do your best, spread the word, make your voice heard, stay informed. More and more businesses are taking on board the requests of customers to be more responsible about packaging etc.

    Good luck on this journey!
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
    • Happy One
    • By Happy One 30th Dec 18, 8:03 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    Happy One
    Ilona, loved your bags and would have bought loads at 25p each. When my kids were young,many years ago, I used to make bags like yours in all different sizes to use for storage, especially good for Lego bricks!
    Used to use curtains from jumble sales, very cheap back in the day.
    • RicardaRacoon
    • By RicardaRacoon 30th Dec 18, 8:07 PM
    • 283 Posts
    • 5,286 Thanks
    RicardaRacoon
    Hello everyone


    Can I join in please? I will never be a zero waste guru with a years worth of waste in a jar... Not least because most of my waste is generated by my cats... But I make small changes along the way and try to avoid plastic where I can.



    wrapping paper; for those of you who still want to use wrapping paper, IK€A has brown paper with a print on it that can be recycled. I'm still using up ribbons, but once I will have parted with all of that I will move to natural string or just left over yarn, I might just throw all the mini-left-overs in christmassy colours into a box during the year and use them for gift wrapping.


    WellPreserved, what a shame, although I can in a way understand them that it is just too much of an effort....



    cling film... This is one of the things I never thought I could go without a few years back and now totally can. I realised this year that I didn't even used it for christmas baking. Dough that had to rest in the fridge went in there in a bowl with a lid, the ones that had to go into the freezer first were wrapped in baking parchament that I later reused for baking and for the very sticky dough a ton of icing sugar on the surface and rolling pin did the trick.
    I am guilty for buying two huge packs of ziplock plastic bags lately though, but after I found clothes motts in my knitting yarn I decided to put my yarn in bags. But since they don't get dirty I can just use them for years.



    Illona, the bags are lovely!



    I sometimes find it hard to avoid waste because it colides with another thing. For example, I try to only buy organic dairy and eggs. We have someone selling cheese and eggs from a van once a week and I could get everything into my own container. But it isn't organic... So I decided to value animal wellfare over reducing waste in that matter.
    Resolution for 2019 "Live better on less" - Less stuff, less waste, less silly spends but more make do and mend and more fun
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