National Zero Waste Week – some thoughts

Last week I took part in National Zero Waste Week. This year’s theme was Food Waste and, as it’s the first time I’ve taken part, I tried to cut down on the food waste in our house. As I mentioned in previous posts we have a great compost bin. If I had been a real die-hard food non-waster last week, though, this would have been a very hungry bin. However we still seemed to generate compostable food waste in the form of peelings, teabags, egg shells and leftover cereal from breakfast. While I guess it would be good to tackle some of this in the future what really opened my eyes was the packaging of food that is our single biggest source of waste. This is the one thing that I am determined to tackle having taken part in Zero Waste Week.

So far it has only been baby steps but when shopping yesterday I went to the deli counter to buy ham, rather than pick up another plastic pack of pre-packaged ‘square’ shaped ham. The price per gramme was more expensive at the deli but the meat seems more substantial so we should be able to use less slices for sandwiches etc. It also came in a paper bag with a single sheet of grease-proof paper which is a big improvement.

I am also investigating getting a veg and fruit box which would cut down on all of that packaging. The greengrocers in our local town also offers paper bags for its veg and fruit so I could try that as well. In addition I am going to increase our milk delivery so that all our milk is delivered by returnable bottle. This is a more expensive way to buy milk though and it does seem to be more expensive to shop using less packaging which seems the wrong way round (surely the cost of packaging would be added to the price of a food item?).