Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Zero Waste Report #3 - Mum almost fully on board!!:))

So, what can I say?

I started a blog in Slovenian (it's feeling very lonely still, & there's still more work to be done on it, but YAY!! I started it! :))
I also announced a 'zero waste week' around Earth Day on a Slovenian forum - some people may still be scared of it a bit? Hopefully at least a few will be intrigued to minimize their waste too..? :)
/I'm scared of it too, lol!! - but at least it will hopefully motivate me to do even better, even if we don't get to 'zero'!!/

Mum is now almost fully on board, and this is a great thing!!
/She has read my blog in Slovenian too, maybe it helped a bit! I asked her for input etc. I also tell her about stuff I find online, like the Biutiful Cauntri yesterday, and the poor sheep & cats../

She has now lectured cousin's wife & her mother-in-law (my aunt) extensively how it's bad to burn plastics at their farm!! (That's another set of relatives from what I wrote about before!) About the toxic gasses etc!
Mum told them to set up a mini-recycling station & she'll take the plastics etc to our recycling bins when we visit! :) YAY!! :)

Cousin's wife would even be interested in cloth diapers, but her husband wasn't enthusiastic about them! So more research into cloth diapers needed, I'll authorize Mum to take a look at some of the stuff I already found! :) /It seems real funny to send your own Mum e-mails! lol/ In any case, they can at least reduce the plastic ones and have some cloth, some others.. or maybe organic ones..

It would be ideal to have places or stores where a new Mum could go and 'test' some of these diapers (all that are available here), to find which would be best for the kiddie.. (as babies can be different & not all diapers may be appropriate for all babies)

As for Sis, she still likes to drink capuccino (in a million satchets!), even though she has bought zero waste (lower percentage) coffee mixed with fake coffee in a reusable glass container (I was impressed!), and could theoretically drink that! But she'd have to add sugar & with the little satchets, she has the impression it's no-sugar aka healthier! /faints/ It's also 'so good'!
I asked her if she'd drink capuccino from a zero waste container if I bought it & she seems open to that provided it tastes good -? (Now here's research! Any ideas?)

She has also bought non-eco bananas again, still puzzled about the peels /again/ :(
/Sis says I 'overthink' & 'exaggerate/over-react' to this! I told her some of her 'exaggerations' aren't fun for me either - she's allergic to dust and some other things, and we can't have flowers or cats in the house!! so at least we're at stalemate here. Probably if we splash out for eco bananas she'll eat them too, she prefers to buy cheaper on her own. Am not happy with plastic packaging for 'eco' bananas, so..? hm, what to do?/

I must also praise Sis (if I didn't before): she now puts empty tetrapaks on the counter for me to wash!! YAY!! :)
If they are fresh, they can be rinsed with water easily! & usually at least a spoon or two of yoghurt are still in them! (for me to lick)
/This is such an improvement, she just tossed them before..)

The yoghurt production has been started again, but Sis prefers to mix bought+homemade (don't ask!)

Dad has been away at relatives a lot, so didn't add much to the bin. Didn't eat much yoghurt either, so we may have too much of some!:)

Last week the bin did smell a bit, was still unsure what caused it to!
I talked to Mum about the importance of non-smelly bin, we'll see if it sticks? (Not sure if I talked to Sis about it, or if I dare to?;)

She's the one who has bought icky 'plastic' salamis and such before - they're both unhealthy and make bad waste.. (I'm really too disgusted to wash those!)
Hopefully 'real meat' can be substituted for that? (we still have some pretty much zero waste dried meats from Uncle.. not so totally healthy, but yummy!! I see she hasn't bought the iffy ones now..;) So probably the goal would be to always have some zero waste meat for snacks & suppers in the house..?)

Mum said we don't have so much waste & if it was all rolled up together it would be very little of it too - so the thing to work on would be the smell/food leftovers..
I told her at Clean Bin they wash the 'garbage' so it's clean and doesn't smell..
We developed a routine of washing up the dishes together after lunch - much quicker than just one person doing it, & it gives me a chance to brainwash inspire her with the zero waste superheroes & their daily adventures! :)

So, the key to a woman's heart may be through doing housework together.. (or whatever is very important to them..!) Also, she loves pictures & videos of kiddies! (like Little Miss Green!)
Some healthy competition with 'what other bloggers are doing' is quite helpful too! ;)

I'm also much happier to help now that Mum is on board with zero waste, so it's a double-win I guess?! :)

We still don't know many things..

How do you freeze rabbits zero waste? especially whole ones, to make 'em stuffed? (45 x 13 x 13cm or so) - I measured them & we'll look for any appropriate containers, if we find them.. for other parts they must be only 3 - 4cm high, and 10 x 19/20cm or 26 x 19cm or so otherwise.. Plastic bags used so far still.. :(

And what do you give to people as small thankyou gifts?
I used to give chocolate or such, do more zero waste little gifts exist?

& Mum's charity group will be giving gifts for the elderly again, for Easter - usually this meant (donated/sponsored) cookies or yuk! candies or coffee in (I think unrecyclable) plastic boxes/bags & such, also in plastic bags or unrecyclable gift paper bags (with a plastic layer).. both unhealthy AND not zero waste..
Have no idea what they could give that would be healthier, happily accepted by elderly people, AND zero waste?

Maybe to figure out until Christmas or next year, hopefully..?
(One year they gave oranges and they got bad before all of the gifts could be transported, stuff needs to be 'stable', so fresh fruit is out..)
So, more things to figure out & research..

Been also busy trying to organize myself, but that is stuff for a whole another blog post, I guess!! :) /phew/

Thank you for reading so far, if you managed to!! :) Any ideas or comments will be appreciated!! :)


  1. Hi Layla - it sounds like brilliant news that you've influenced people to come on board, especially your mum.

    Regarding zero waste pressies, flowers are always good if you can get them without the wrapper. Also making your own cookies or doing favours for folks. And don't forget if you can recycle bottles and aluminium lids easily, there's always a nice bottle of their favourite tipple. I am looking forward to hearing how you get on :-D

  2. well done Layla - you're becoming quite the activist! I love the image of you and your Mum doing the dishes, discussing zero waste issues and putting the worlds to rights.

    Mrs A came up with some great suggestions. I quite like getting away from a gift altogether and giving experiences, such as a massage or offering to babysit for stressed parents.

  3. lol Mrs Green, what an image!! :)
    /nothing so fancy, I assure:) We try what we can do locally../

    About giving zero waste things & experiences, I'm all for it! :)
    /I've even given vouchers for washing the car etc before, as a kiddie already:)/

    Mrs A, thank you!! :)
    I think I could do the cookies thing for people I personally want to thank - planning ahead would be essential! (last minute-not so good!:)
    /It would be great if I could come up with some easy on-hand zero waste gifts too../
    By tipple - I assume you mean alcohol?:)

    As for 'mass gifts' for the elderly (for the charity, maybe 50+ or more!) - even homebaked cookies need something to be put in! (maybe need to set aside time with Mum & brainstorm upon this? Hm!)

  4. Hi Layla!!! I'm here again :)
    How many things to talk!!!
    I guess I can help you for some of those tips you've listed.
    Starting from cappucino. At home we consume it two days a week but we do it with a sort of coffee pot that was designed to do only cappuccino. It's name is Mukka. Find it on the web. It was given to us as a gift from my sister fifth years ago, but it's nice to know that it is made by 80% recycled aluminium, I discovered only few days ago!
    And cappuccino is very good! We have also a coffe maker that makes also cappuccino but we don't use it, because it's more complicated with it! But it works if you can buy zero waste milk and coffee. As regards milk we buy it from milk dispenser machines, instead for coffee we found a brand that sells it in tin jars with a lid in PP so recyclable (and coffee is organic too). In town I also found a coffee seller where I can buy it in bulk: they put it in paper sacks, but it is more expensive due to its high quality.

    We don't consume bananas anymore, since we became aware on their high carbon footprint and the conditions of people who works in those farms. So there'are fair trade organic bananas too but they are wrapped in a carton tray plus a plastic film. So wrong! :(

    I fear I can't help you about meat. My mate is vegetarian and I follow him in this diet at home (I break sometimes rules when I go out for dinner with friends or relatives). But in summer Irish' Mum come to stay here with us and every good proposal of zero waste falls, because she goes shopping! :(
    I think this year I have to concentrate my effort in convincing her to zero waste! ;)
    Anyway I think that you can suggest to your sister to consume meat cooked in different ways, perhaps more appetizing as you would do if you had a picnic. :)
    Surely meat package is the cause of bin smelling... we don't have it in the bin... no meat, no smell.
    I was searching for little gifts to do on Easter too... I found little tin cheap decorated boxes in a shop of my town. They could be great for cookies or chocolate little eggs (wrapped into aluminium foil of course). Even carboard boxes could be useful, if you put inside an aluminium foil to preserve cookies freshness.
    Also little flower plants or liqueur/raisin wine bottles, as Mrs A said, are surely appreciated gifts as much as jam/honey/fruit in syrup jars even better if homemade... there's a world of ideas! :)

  5. Danda, thank you for your excellent suggestions!! :)

    I will look those up!! & see what can be done..
    Sis wants to 'give up capuccino'/coffee.. so this is another problem.. ('I'll only buy/get it sometimes!') /So she said she doesn't want a machine..?/
    She also wants to lose weight - but succumbs to temptation of chocolate in the shop! - and just buys a small one so she doesn't eat too much - but that creates more waste!!
    She's given sweets up for Lent now, but doesn't want to give them up forever!
    And my 'zero waste' week is a week after Easter!! OoO (She said, 'just don't toss anything in the bin that week!' - 'toss next week!' - She really doesn't understand it yet, but at least we started talking..)

    I am still not sure what can be recycled and what gets burnt by the company that sorts & sends stuff to recycling! Not sure if they would tell me the truth if I ask them!
    Every garbage company has different info on their website, and the recycling company has different info - so frustrating!!

    For example: Garbage companies just say: 'Put plastic bags/all packaging/even toothpaste packaging/etc' into plastics. Rinse, but you don't have to wash.

    The sorting/recycling company says, 'Wash all, as best as you can, so it doesn't get moldy'! & they say some of it gets burnt.
    I even suspect they may have to give that stuff back to garbage people for burning, so garbage people may want a lot of stuff to burn?!

    Confusion everywhere!!

    And don't even get me started about computers!! aargh!! Is it even legal still to collect computers together with other 'big garbage' 1x a year?

    I thought it wasn't! But we just got the leaflet from our local garbage company saying they will collect them! (together with furniture, old bathroom sinks etc)

    I'm so confused!!
    /Maybe I need to put it in another blog post? Though I'm a bit uncomfortable blogging about this in public../

    Our local garbage company has advised illegal behaviour before, with regard to asbestos rooftiles.. At best they are not informed enough, & don't know the latest laws, at worst, they are breaking the laws intentionally (?) - I hope not!!

    Recently there was an article about old computers still being dumped in Africa, even from Great Britain - who knows what's happening in Slovenia?!

    Every year I have been upset with these 'big garbage' days - not sure if there's anything I can do as just one person, or just be miserable until it's over & hope to get something done until next year?

    Sorry for being so long & so confused, I'm really sort of upset about this!! :(