Sunday, June 16, 2019

One step in the right direction, one step back

This post is not going to be about pretty things so I am going to start with a  picture of Dora for you, snuggled against my legs while I read - just to set us off right. I will post some pictures of the garden too, which is going so well now the rains have arrived. 

Produce No Waste

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my desire to find a compost bin for cheap or free which I could use to process the contents of the Kitty Litter tray. I found one this week -offered by a neighbour -with the most wonderful composted leaf litter inside. The leaf litter went on the garden, and the large compost bin has gone down the back under the grapefruit tree, where it will feed the tree whilst processing this litter. We use recycled paper for the litter tray, and have at times just chucked it around the garden under the fruit trees (it is recommended that we not use this on the vegetable garden)  but the smell and the time it took to decompose put us off doing that. I objected to weeding amongst the litter! Then we tried a half olive barrel -but the composting process was too slow and the bin filled up too quickly. I am hoping this bin will solve this problem. If so we are making good strides with the 'produce no waste' goal.

Unfortunately at the same time we had a setback in the whole 'produce no waste" thing. About a year ago, we swapped out the bottles of shower gel and shampoo in our ensuite, for soap. It went pretty well for a while, but then we noticed soap scum accumulating on the glass shower screen-and with our Perth water it stuck hard on it. I tried all sorts of natural solutions for cleaning the glass -bicarb and vinegar worked pretty well, but it took a LOT of scrubbing and I wasn't happy. We also noticed that the tiles were also becoming coated in the same soap scum, and all my scrubbing was ineffective. Eventually we got a tool which is called a ceramic cooktop scraper -like a razor blade in a handle -and DH took to work scraping off the soap. There was a LOT of soap- imagine piles of lux flakes!

Now, DH is being treated for carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands at the moment. I have arthritis and over-rotating joints which are painful. This amount of cleaning was not going to be sustainable for us in the long term. 

I have tried the no shampoo/bicarb/vinegar rinse approach to shampoo, but my sebhorric dermatitis was inflamed by it.

I tried the bulk shop near us to purchase product -refilling my own containers -but it was exorbitantly expensive and the products actually didn't work very well.

Reluctantly we have gone back to  shower gel and bottles of shampoo. I can buy both of these in bulk -which means fewer plastic bottles -but this is not a 'no waste' solution. There is a place in Perth which makes these products -I wonder if I can persuade them to take back the empty containers? Other than that, DH thinks we can turn the 5 litre plastic bottles into planters for the garden -and this would at least mean that they don't go out in the bin for recycling. Australia has a recycling problem at the moment -did you know that we used to ship it overseas and that places like Indonesia and China have stopped accepting it and started shipping it back? We need to process it here -which means that we need to find and buy products using recycled plastics.

I am trialling a shampoo from the Body Shop. They take their bottles back and say that they recycle them in India -but oh, what about the carbon miles!

So, not a great result for the planet, but I am aware that none of  us can do this perfectly. We will persevere.

In other news

We gave away another bucket of lemons.

I made some herb and feta scrolls which were very yummy.

We have started on the winter pruning: the mulberry got the treatment yesterday. DH has re-potted one of our blueberries into new soil, given it a prune and put it back in the pot. We were given two bushes by my brother about two years ago, and had great crops from them.

Thanks for reading, thanks for those who leave comments. I always read them and appreciate your time and contribution.

1 comment:

Nil @ The Little House by the Lake said...

I hope you will soon find a no waste solution to the shampoo problem.

I too recently read about Philippine sending back trash to Canada. I think people will not start thinking about recycling seriously until they see mountains of trash in their own backyard. It’s easy to forget how much waste we produce as long as it’s dumped thousand miles away.

Good for you for reducing waste at home and recycling.