This is my kitchen bin for the 11-day duration. And no, I don't shop in Tescos - I just find their bags to be a suitable place for putting my rubbish...
The bin is a bit slimmer than usual, but there are still a couple of things that slipped through - a vacuum-packed cheese wrapper and a non-recyclable plastic chocolate tray. Also, someone caved-in to the cat and cracked-open a few plastic pouches. This is a valuable lesson for future challenges - you need buy-in from everyone in the house in order to succeed, and I'm not talking about the household pets...
So, what's changed? I've remembered 3 times to take veg bags back to the greengrocers, I'm going to carry on getting my coffee ground to order (and sold to me in a paper bag), and I'll probably stick with looseleaf tea if I can find some which avoids the inner foil packaging. I think I've probably managed to instill the beginnings of some better habits over the course of 11 days of actively thinking about unnecessary food packaging, so I'm hopeful that this is something I'll continue to think about when I'm shopping.
I'm lucky in that I live near to North Street in Bedminster/Southville - one of few remaining thriving high streets in our city. The Southville Deli and the Ashton Fruit Shop sell a lot of stuff loose - so it's down to me to remember to take my plastic bags back to refill them. I have felt a bit self-conscious about doing this in the past, producing crumpled bags from various pockets about my person, but today I have a good excuse. So I bought muesli, potatoes and tomatoes in pre-enjoyed bags. But new for this week, I had my coffee ground for me, and put into a paper bag (smells absolutely wonderful). And I bought loose leaf tea. The "misses" are the crisps (no way around this as far as I can see, unless you make your own), the cling-film wrapped cheese (see previous post), and the plastic-wrapped cucumber (why do they do that?!) The only things to go to landfill in the past 3 days have been the waxed paper from a marg tub which I'm pretty sure will rot-down, and some of the offending cheese-wrap. So really small lifestyle changes do seem to be slimming the bin.
As the internet was apparently built for cats, let me be the first to include one here. I consider her to be one of my environmental blind spots, but as she can't really be held responsible for her carbon impacts, I guess I should take charge. Once upon a time, cat food came in cans, and cats were grateful - well, sort of. Now cat food comes in individual plastic sleeves within cardboard boxes. This is not progress. Today I've been out and stocked-up with aluminium foil-packaged, or canned cat food, so hopefully that's a bit less for landfill. I've also been on a recce to the Farmers' Market in Corn Street to see where I can buy non vacuum-packed cheese. Sadly, Homewood no longer offer their lovely haloumi and feta-style cheeses off the block. In Bath they do, but in Bristol they don't. Surely Bristolians can't be scared of loose cheese? So if I want my haloumi in waxed paper, rather than vacuum sealed plastic, then I'm going to have to pre-order and have it especially reserved for me. Is that cheating or just great personal service?
I am going to see if I can manage shopping for 11 days without amassing any non-recyclable food packaging. I think I'm pretty careful about this already, but I can't help but notice that there's still quite a lot in the wheelie bin which couldn't be transferred to the black or green recycling box. I suspect that the cat is the main culprit, but then again she can't really be held responsible for the environmental time-bomb that is the Felix pouch... Let's see if I can remember to carry reusable bags with me at all times, and if the house can survive any cat rebellion.