Rubbish-free year

A Christchurch couple attempt to go a full year without creating any rubbish

Rubbish-free year, week 22

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Well it has been a rubbishy couple of weeks for us, unfortunately. We discovered the dog food bag we switched to because we thought it was sturdy paper with a wax lining, actually has a plastic lining. Does anyone know of a good solution for dog food? If forced to we would look into making our own. I’ve seen people do it before - throwaway grades of meat with cooked rice, I think.

We also had a couple of things blow on to the section and a couple of items arrive in the mail. One was a package from a company that knew we were rubbish free but wrapped the item up in packaging tape and slapped a big plastic courier pocket thing on it. We are now half way through our challenge and all our rubbish still fits in the shoe box - it’s getting pretty tight in there now though. We took a couple of couches to the dump to leave in the rehoming section (in Christchurch anything usable goes to city- run "Super Sheds", which are giant second-hand stores). The guy came out and said, "Sorry, can’t take anything with rips in them, you’ll have to take those through to the dump." We did think about dumping them since we were there, but have taken them back home to rehome via Trade Me or freecycle.

We are still struggling to wean ourselves off plastic. At the start of the year we went through the house and put all the slow cycle rubbish stuff in a box, and then taped the box up and stashed it at the back of our highest cupboard. By slow cycle, I mean stuff that will become rubbish eventually, like a whiteout pen, which isn’t technically rubbish until it’s used up.

However, there has been some raiding going on - once for the whiteout pen , a couple of times for the glue stick, but repeatedly for my plastic disposable razor.

I wax my legs, which is all rubbish free (the tub is 2), but haven’t been able to/wanted to wax my under arms! I actually even tried scissors. I don’t recommend that.

I have been on the lookout for an epilady on Trade Me, but upon reading up about them, it seems they all rip the hair out at the root just like waxing. This last month the disposable plastic razor showed signs of blunting, which meant I really had to solve this problem. Last weekend a friend turned up with a mint stainless steel razor from an antique store which uses the old razor-blade system. I am sure the blades will still be for sale somewhere, but it will require a bit of a hunt around.

Since we went down to one blog every fortnight it seems there is always too much to say and not enough space to say it. I think this is partly due to the rules changing back to no bread bags, cheese packets etc, which makes it much more of an interesting challenge. So we are reverting back to weekly blogs, and Matthew and I will probably alternate writing them.

Keep up the good work, everyone. We constantly hear how our rubbish-free efforts are encouraging others to start recycling, composting or switching to the butcher.

It’s awesome to see our small efforts have an impact!

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