Smart living tip: Waste lessSaturday, October 01, 2016
Since moving into our new place, I made a conscious decision to separate food waste from our general waste in the kitchen. Luckily there was already a collective worm bin in place in our unit, so we didn't have to get a new one set up. We already recycle pretty well, with a big blue wheelie bin going out to be collected every other week by the bin truck. The smaller red bin gets wheeled out weekly, but we've seen a substantial decrease in the amount of waste going into this bin since we've started composting. All the more so since we have started cooking more and more in the kitchen.
Our generic white composting bucket sits under the kitchen sink and gets piled up pretty quickly during the week, often having to be emptied half way through the week. Vegetable peels, evidence of lots of oranges and lemons, and used tea bags go here. Having a smaller bin for non organic kitchen waste also helps in minimising the things we throw out, mainly because we are too lazy to have to go outside and around the unit to throw our rubbish bag to the red bin in the evenings after work.
There are so much more we could be doing in the kitchen.
- Using less plastic takeaway containers - though we do reuse them as lunchboxes and in our freezer for precooked meals
- Switch paper kitchen towels with cloth wipes - must not forget to add this to the next shopping list
- Stop bringing so many plastic bags from the grocery stores
The last one is tricky because while we try hard to take our shopping bags for our weekly groceries, the habit hasn't stuck yet. Also, we use the plastic bags as our bin liners. Our non-biodegradable rubbish is carried out in non-biodegradable plastic bags each week. But, as more and more countries move towards plastic free policies, what alternatives are there for our bin bag solutions?
For me this poses as almost the biggest step towards a more eco kitchen. We could use paper bags, but the wet waste will tear through them. Not ideal. Buy and use biodegradable plastic bags? Why do eco options so often equal the more expensive and therefore the more inconvenient choice? Then a revolutionary thought enters my head - why do we need a bin liner, at all? We could just throw things in the straight into the bin itself! So what if the bin gets messy and starts to stink? Then how should we keep our bag-less bins from smelling too much? And so it goes on and on, down a rabbit hole of spiralling ideas, almost forgetting the reason for how this search started.
Tiny steps does it. Starting with the cloth wipes first!
Image by Unsplash/Correen