I hope you’ve all got Zero Waste Week in your diary – it started yesterday. Have a look at the website to get some great ideas for things to do and please add your ideas.
I am repeating what I did last year which was to rummage at the back of the cupboards, freezer and fridge to find all the “forgotten” about things that needed eating up. I then used the internet and great sites like Love Food Hate Waste to find recipes to use up those items.
My challenge for today is that I’m away from home all day and evening. I had breakfast at home, then made sandwiches for lunch – in a tupperware container and reused bottles to bring water with me. But I haven’t planned ahead for dinner – so am going to be struggling to find something while I’m out and about, without any packaging that can’t be composted or recycled. So the challenge is on later – any ideas gratefully received.
After the success of last year’s Zero Waste Week – it is being repeated this year…
When: 5th Sept – 11th Sept 2011
Theme: Recycling waste away from home
Suggestions: As long as you end up reducing your waste away from home in some way, you can choose anything you like such as:
- Use your own travel mug rather than disposable plastic cups
- Take home fruit peelings and cores to compost at home
- Use your local ‘on the go’ recycling bins
- If you’re eating out ask to take your leftovers home to reduce food waste
- Avoiding straws, disposable cutlery etc when eating out
How to participate: Join in via one of these three ways:
WEB – Leave a comment on the website
FACEBOOK – Sign up for the facebook event and join its page
TWITTER – Use the twitter hashtag #nzww and folllow My Zero Waste.
Yesterday I was helping Tweed Green (a voluntary organisation in Peebles promoting local food, local energy generation and reduction of energy use and waste) with their stand at a Farmers Market – part of the Peebles Food Festival. The message on the day was very clear – by eating more local food, we can significantly benefit the environment by reducing the miles that our food travels and also support local businesses. We were getting people to pledge to eat as many meals made from local food as possible. To make it easier for people, Tweed Green also produced a local food directory telling everyone where they could get local produce from, and a recipe book showing great ways to use those products. This campaign was for the Peebles area, but anyone can follow their lead by challenging themselves to eat more local food. Visit your local shops and speak to the staff about where the food comes from. Go on, give it a try!!! (For more information on Tweed Green, see; http://tweedgreen.org).
Tweed Green at the Farmers Market
Well my first season of growing veg is coming to an end and there are bare patches in the raised beds. The last of the potatoes went into a cottage pie last night and the last of the beetroot is being made into soup. Some things worked well – others could have been better, but it’s been fun and it’s been great being able to go and pick fresh veggies when I’ve needed them.
So what now? Well it’s time to plan my planting for next year, but in the meantime, I can still try to do my best to eat good, local food and not to waste anything. The local greengrocer is a great place to go and ask what was grown locally and see the wonderful things which are now in season. This reduces the miles of transportation that much of our food is subjected to. And by shopping carefully and planning meals, I can make sure that the food isn’t wasted. See www.wasteawarelovefood.org.uk for advice on reducing food waste and try shopping at places that stock local produce such as greengrocers, butchers and farmers markets (http://www.scottishfarmersmarkets.co.uk/).
Vacancies in the veggie patch
The “Master Composter” volunteer programme is now the “Zero Waste” Volunteer programme. This is a network of volunteers who can give talks, set up information stands and run workshops on composting. They are now also being trained up to cover other campaigns including “Love Food Hate Waste“, “Stop the Drop” and “Peat-free“. To find details of your local group to invite a volunteer to your event – or to become a volunteer yourself, see the Waste Aware Scotland website.
New volunteers in West Lothian getting their initial training from Zero Waste Scotland and Changeworks
http://myzerowaste.com/ was promoting their “Zero Waste Week” last week and encouraging people to pledge to do something in support of the week. I agreed to go through my kitchen cupboards and find those things that I’d forgotten about and need using up. It was actually great for making me try new recipes. I had a packet of Chick Peas (not sure why I’d bought them – I very rarely cook with them). I ended up making a Summer Couscous Salad with Chick peas (gorgeous) and still had loads left, so made a Chicken and Chick Pea Curry last night (gorgeous again) and some hummus for lunch today. So 3 enjoyable new meals from one packet of forgotten chick peas. I’d encourage everyone to have a rummage at the back of the cupboard and look at the recipes on http://www.wasteawarelovefood.org.uk/ for ideas of how to use them up.
I had a stand at an event on Saturday at the Hirsel near Coldstream, which included a farm tour. I was very impressed with a project called “From Farm to Fork” which is an outdoor learning experience for primary school children. Children get to visit a farm and actually get to see and touch crops and learn about what they are used to make (very useful when we keep hearing reports that children don’t even know what animal their meat comes from). They can also learn about growing their own, composting, and various other aspects of the environment. The facility is run by the Co-operative, and they have one other farm site in Scotland at Blairgowrie, Perthshire. For more details see http://www.co-operativemembership.coop/en/fromfarmtofork/home/
I had a visit to a wonderful example of land sharing in East Lothian last week. An elderly lady was no longer able to look after her garden, so some of the neighbours have been given permission to use the land to grow fruit and vegetables in exchange for looking after the land (and I believe the elderly lady gets a share of wonderful healthy free fruit and veg). It’s a great example of using land to its full potential, to the benefit of all the neighbours – and a solution where no allotments are available.
Land Share in East Lothian