One set of bins for the entire year - can it be done?
|An unusual sight, as we are planning on putting the bins out again only once for the whole of 2011.
Many people in our neighbourhood manage to fill them up, but we don't produce anywhere near that amount of waste / recycling. I suggested to Kunie that we should keep track of how much rubbish and recycling we collect by only putting the bins out when they are full. Kunie's response was to suggest that we only put the bins out once for the whole year! I was a bit taken aback, but thought that we might just be able to do it - if we really put our minds to it.
Our 'binimum' approach has been:
- growing our own fruit, veg and herbs
- buying fresh produce (not canned) locally where possible
- buying dried goods in bulk about once every three months from Melbourne
- feeding food scraps to our wormfarm or compost bin
- making our own bread, flour, mayonaise, yogurt, nut butter, laundry liquid, beer, cordial etc
- using cloth nappies
- using the library and toy library to borrow books, movies and toys rather than buying them
- buying and donating 2nd hand goods at the local Op-Shops
- giving and receiving food / clothes / and other stuff to local friends
- loaning and borrowing tools / books / videos etc to friends
- visiting and being visitied by friends with kids to use toys we / they don't have
- maintaining and fixing things rather than throwing them out
- taking apart broken gadgets and saving useful materials from them before disposal
- carefully choose products with minimal packaging or in useful containers
- buy more products that we really 'need' and less that we 'want'
- reusue, compost or burn all paper and cardboard
- creatively use 'waste' for art projects or storage systems
- find alternatives for packaged products like dish washing liquid and toothpaste
- grow more of our own food and preserve it in recycled containers
- get chickens to eat premium food scraps and produce eggs for us
- wash and reuse plastic bags
- find a local fresh milk source
- not buy the weekend 'mega' newspaper
While disposing of unwanted material is going to be an issue for us we are going to miss out on some of the great resources that you get when you buy stuff from the supermarket regularly, like newspaper (for cleaning and starting the fire), jars (for preserving) and plastic bags (for putting stuff in). Fortunately our neighbours still throw out plenty of this sort of thing, so we will be asking them to put some aside for us as we need it.
While the temptation is there, we wont be putting our rubbish into our neighbours bins just so we can reach our goal (we'd only be cheating ourselves anyway). But I think that it's okay for us to use bins elsewhere as we normally would. One of the big issues that we will be facing is when guest bring food to share, especially wine or beer, as bottles take up a huge amout of space. I think that we should deal with the waste they bring into the house, as they would deal with ours. Part of this whole process will be sharing our story to educate people along the way. We feel confident that we can do it.
We will be setting a new website up soon called binimum.com that will discuss how to reduce waste / recycling and how to reuse materials creatively.
|A gasp in horror as a large piece of plastic falls out of the recycle bin during collection. Fortunately the driver got out and picked it up.