Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Day 3

I've been approached by a journalist from the Evening Post who is hoping to write a few pieces on Bristol's Zero Waste Challenge Week. We spoke on the phone this afternoon and he's sending a photographer round tomorrow evening to take my photo. I'm pleased to be able to help publicise this event and hope that my experiences will encourage others to take up the challenge.

Today was a good day. I popped into our local Real Olive Company shop and was delighted to discover that they would be more than willing for me to bring along my own containers to fill with olives rather than their plastic ones. It appears that I am not the first to have asked if I can do this. There are other Zero Wasters out and about in Bristol.

Next I popped into our local healthy living shop to buy a packet of natracare natural panty liners. The subject of feminine hygiene has troubled me for some time now. There are a variety of zero waste alternatives, including mooncups and disposable sanitary pads but, although I am full of admiration for those who produce and sell them, I have always baulked at the thought of using them. So I was relieved to hear that there is an easier option and that it is available locally.

Today's waste comprised:
  • Tesco's plastic mince container (left over from yesterday's dinner)
  • Sainsbury's organic butter wrapper (marked non-recyclable)
  • Tunnock's Caramel biscuit wrapper
  • sticker from Tesco's extra large onion
  • 2 Cheddars packets (from the girls' packed lunches)
  • 2 antihistamine blister packs

This list raises two issues. I do 'the right thing' by buying organic butter only to find the wrapper is non-recyclable, whereas another non-organic butter would have had a recyclable greaseproof wrapper. Which do I chose? I had a similar dilemma the other week with fairtrade sugar in a paper packet and non fairtrade sugar in a plastic packet.

The second concerns medicine. I take medicine for hypertension and my younger daughter for eczema. Tablets come in plastic blister packs. Cream comes in plastic tubs and dispensers. Neither of us can do without our medicine, so waste is inevitable.


Maisie said...

I found the same dilema over sugar which should I buy the fairtrade in the plastic non-recyclable or ordinary in paper bags.

Although Sainsburys now do the fairtrade white granualted in paper bags, and I am told by the Careline that the other varieties will be fololowing suit.


Ethical dilemmas are something I was writing about yesterday, when outlining my shopping chapter. It is so hard. Best advice is that do the research now and try and balance your morals during the week itself, but also get in touch with the manufacturer to tell them about the issue and find out if they've got plans.

I know what you mean about the sanitary products thing. I had the same feeling. And even though I could not even bear the thought of the mooncup, I must say that I have been very pleased with the lollipop washable pads. They are pretty, feminine, easy to wash and without going into too much detail, my self-conciousness is easier to manage in a household full of males than having disposables lurking in the bin. The best bit is though 8 months ago, I would never have thought I'd be writing a review like that. LOL.

Good luck with the press and keep enjoying the challenge.

Rachelle said...

Wahee - day three and you have a journalist at your door - go you!

The ethical dilemmas are very real to all zero wasters, but you need to be true to yourself most of all. We all struggle with it though :)

Mrs g x

just Gai said...

Thanks all three of you. I think you're right about contacting the manufacturers. If pester power works for children on their parents it should (in theory) be equally effective for customers on their suppliers.

Sarah said...

I just can't get my head round a mooncup, but then I never got on with tampons either. I use home made cloth pads now and they're great.

Jen said...

Don't give up on mooncup and other alternatives! Cloth is great, but not for all occasions (like swimming), and it's a bit of a pain to wash out. I have been using the diva cup, and it is surprisingly convenient. If you're not sure about it, try switching from regular tampons to applicator-free tampons like OB first. When you're comfortable with that, you can go for the reusable options.

Glad to hear your joining the garblog scene. Keep it up!

just Gai said...

Hello Sarah & Jen and thanks for your comments.

I've browsed your Ethics Trading site Sarah and was particularly interested in what you have to say about soap nuts. I bought some a few months ago but only used them once or twice. I must dig them out again.

Wow Jen! In comparison to your commitment to buy no material goods for a year my humble pledge to eliminate waste for just one week pales into insignificance. I'll be popping back to see how you get on.