Now we have landed in our life after our move and gotten back into routines after the summer it is time to start monitoring our trash situation again. I did a challenge where I took photos of my plastic waste every day for 14 days which was enlightening and there was only two days out of 14 where we didn’t throw any plastic out. This time I want to get data on the total waste that we throw out so that we are able to compare month to month and to get a grip over how much trash and recycling we produce per year. So every month I will write down how much trash and recycling we’ve thrown out.
Below are the 5 Rs of zero waste and the core principle is not throw out any trash, not even if you recycle it that is why it is far down in the list. The goal of this exercise is to collect data on how much trash we produce per month to see if we can minimize both combustible waste and recycling in a measurable way and keep moving towards zero waste. My feeling is that we don’t throw out that much compared to a “normal” household but it will be interesting to get a more quantifiable number.
I am going to divide my data collection up per fraction: combustible waste, cardboard and paper, glass, metal, plastic and food waste.
We collect all our combustible waste in a glass jar. We are quite good at minimizing combustible waste and recycle most of the trash we produce. This jar we’ve had since the 4th of September and the one before we started with the 22nd of July (6 weeks to fill up one jar). It’s mostly reciepts (when we forget to say no) and letters in our jar (and yes, a bubbly cork). So our bin that get’s emptied every week by the municipality is almost always empty.
Cardboard and paper
I will measure cardboard and paper in the amount of containers that we throw out since that is the easiest measurement. I would say that we go to the recycling station every week or every one and a half weeks and then we usually have a full container.
Glass and metal
Glass and metal I will count the number of containers we throw out. The containers we use are usually sauces, coconut milk, tonic, kombucha and apple cider. We always pick glass containers over plastic.
I will measure our plastic waste per bag of plastic. Unfourtunately we still have quite a lot of plastic waste becuase it is really hard to buy food that isn’t packaged in plastic. I try to buy everything I can without plastic or in cardboard, glass or metal containers instead but for a lot of things there isn’t a choice. I have written a post on ideas for avoiding plastic packaging to take inspiration from.
Our municipality collects food waste to make biogas so that’s why we collect it in brown paper bags that we have a seperate bin for. We have a bokashi which I will use once we start growing food but for now we throw our food waste out. We always try to minimize food waste and Mr LIL has a saying we live by: In our home we don’t throw food. Selina Juhl has a great video adressing the craziness of throwing food.