Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Zero Waste Birthday!! :)

Well, word of advice: if you're thinking of having a zero waste week tied in with your birthday, uhmm, maybe not.

Thing is, at a certain age, a girl's b-day refuses to be a day of all delight, but becomes a day of somewhat dreaded anticipation!
Mix this with dreaded zero-waste week anticipation (will they or won't they?), and possibly some April-like weather, & you get yourself a big bundle of nerves! lol (which can maybe only be soothed with some zero waste cocoa!)

Also, there is a question of pressies (or their wrappings!) - as a fellow Slovenian zero-waster from a forum admits.
Not to even consider any b-day parties or such!

(gorgeous pic & lovely gift-wrapping idea found here)

So, this year I'm refusing to have any party or such, & also I'm refusing PRESENTS!
Yes, you read it right!

'What shall we buy you?' Dad said.
'Nothing!' I almost yelled. (I had been black-mailing them into co-operating with the zero waste week & hopefully this'll work?!)
I asked for a HUGE present: ZERO WASTE WEEK!

I think they would much rather buy me a car.

So, forgive me for a bit anguished post the other day. It was 2am and there was still BIG NOISE from an outside party-in-a-tent at a local hotel! Grr!!
(Horrible music too, or I would've gone there!;))

And Dad had been cutting wood (loud!) almost whole of the day!
With my hyperacusis (collapsed tolerance for sound) - not a fun time to be around at all!

So, with wood-cutting being on the menu for the next week too (by Dad & then the neighbours!) I must reconsider my zero waste week a bit.

You know, I had such romantic notions!
I would cook excellent zero waste meals & knit dish cloths. /sigh/

Now I may need other things to do to take me away from home (and how can I police my family & see if they behave if I'm away from home?!)

'We'll just toss things in the toilet,' Mum said.
'No waste - does this mean no poop too?'
Yes, they were kidding me (most likely - I hope?!) but still, after reading Mrs A's excellent back posts (of when she was getting ready for a zero waste week) I see I've left a HUGE step out - that of a family meeting!

I mean, I've tried to inspire Mum with videos of Little Miss Greeen & Jen@Clean Bin. I've talked to her about the importance of these things (as we all know, & as Dad today confessed, women are the decision-makers in everyday shopping for groceries etc!)
I scared Dad with reports of plastics being toxic, & talked about John Costignane's efforts (guys can relate easier to other guys!:)

Still, I'm feeling very doubtful if this will work.
I didn't manage to get to the farmers' market this Saturday (as planned), Sis is still sick (& refuses to use cloth hankies) & Dad has threatened to marry me off & have it done with.

What gives me hope is that they still took with a small reusable plastic container to get cake for Sis in (I refused any cake, even for my birthday! - felt really yucky after eating some at Uncle's anniversary!!)
/& I didn't bake cause I thought Sis didn't really need the extra non-nutrients!!/

Also, I realized we had a very zero waste lunch yesterday, quite 'by accident' (& without any further planning): homegrown potatoes & lettuce, & sauteed rabbit liver (frozen in reusable plastic containers) with homegrown onions.
(image found at WorldCommunityCookbook with mennonite recipes and such!)

Also, there was very little trash in the bin - a package from frozen peas & a few small cellophane wrappings (from previously bought dried fruits - BZW - before zero waste/visit to Farmers market that is) and such..

And Mum did buy just 2 yogurts & some tuna cans in the regular shop the other day! (She was afraid to buy anything else, bless her!)

Ideally we'd have talked more about all this & planned meals well in advance, but it was really hard to keep track of Mum & Dad coming & going, they've been chopping & sawing wood at our relatives' farm.. (& a bit resentful I didn't help, I'd love to but noise really really isn't a good idea to be around! even with earplugs, it's mostly too loud!)
Dad & I had a good talk yesterday, & I hope he'll come to terms with this.. He thought I was 'okay already' (& indeed I was much better than before) my hyperacusis still had occasional lapses though.. (especially if sleeping 4 hours only!)

(awesome pic found at this awesome site: ExperienceChocolate!)

& I hate to admit the chocolates I had gotten (from Granny & other relatives) say they are in recyclable #5 wrappings (?) - in fact the ones that aren't weren't even for me to nibble on!! /blushes/
/I hate to admit they're the yummiest ones though, so I guess I'll have to write to the manufacturers to consider different packaging!!/
I think I'll trade one of mine for one of those, but what to do with the packaging? It's half eaten so ideally it would be put into hiding until ZW week is over?!!
Some Euros by Granny were highly appreciated anyway, & at least those are zero-waste!;) /I wish they weren't accompanied with unhealthy yummies though!!;)/
& I did shudder at the sight of a Harry Potter DVD too (yes I'm a secret fan!) - as CDs & DVDs are non-recyclable here! /sigh/ But honestly, for a HP fan, this won't be trash for many many years - hopefully!! :)

(image found here)

I still haven't called the package retrieving company, out of fear what I'd find out mostly! (& to not put a hamper on my Sis's & Mum's recycling efforts & motivation! hmm!)
Sis has a solution for all our trash & $$$ worries: start a recycling biz! /sigh/
I did tell her how chemically iffy such factories can be, hope it'll get into her recycling-yes, reduce-no pretty head?!
(Of course that *is* the same person who thinks that CocaCola is the world's answer & healing aid for everything!!)

& I've yet to talk to local authorities of the street!
If the weather will hold I may venture out to Lush, or try to source some organic cotton for the dish cloths anyway...

& what on earth do you do with plastic bags that were used to hold meat in the freezer? (Mum says wash 'em & put in the plastics recycling bin, as our green guide booklet says plastic bags go in the recycling bin-?! Is it really safe to put 'em in?)

I think we may just have a let's-assume-they-recycle-everything-they-say-they-recycle week, & see how it goes!

Will we manage to go zero waste or not? at all?

Will I (& the rest of us!) be able to resist all the chocolate?!!

Stay tuned!

& if you want to give me something, I will shamelessly copy LittleMissGreen & ask for zero-something to avoid landfill! Maybe you can finally make (or knit?;) some dish cloths, or give up just a little something? doesn't have to be a lot!
any little bit will do! :)


  1. Hi Layla... but... did I miss to wish you happy birthday?
    Sorry if I did!!! I didn't really understand when your birthday was and when you have planned to make your Zero Waste week!
    You're very admirable in your effort to involve all your family in a so great challenge! I think that for me it is more easy becouse we are only in two at home, even that I haven't still planned such a challenge like this! I need it has to be perfect and I know that it couldn't be so, untill I'll remove any obstacle on the way!
    I fear that I'll never have a ZW week, even if I strongly need to have! But there's a truth, it is the fact that searching ZW options and alternatives everyday is a challenge itself!
    So if you have real problems you haven't to apologize, I think. You only need to add some days to plan everything in your mind and with your family! And you must to trust on yourself!
    So be quiet and have cure of your hyperacusis... perhaps you need a more quiet period to have the best result from your efforts! ;)

  2. OMG! (((HUGS))) I've been on holiday and I missed your Birthday - are you a hot headed Aries?

    I need to think of a suitable zero waste present for you. I've been planting my seeds in the garden so we can grow things instead of buying them (sometimes in plastic wrap). I also made cakes and 2 batches of biscuits yesterday.

    Oh, I know. I need to get back on track with reducing food waste. I'm going to focus on that for a couple of weeks and dedicate my results to you :)

    Hope you had a wonderful day!

    Lots of love xxx

  3. lol Yes, I am a hot-headed Aries!! :)

    /I think that explains A LOT of things!! ;)/

    Thank you very much for your lovely present, Mrs G! :)

    Wow, you've been busy with planting the seeds & making cakes & biscuits! That's great!
    (We made a pact at home that I would bake biscuits 1x a month so they wouldn't buy them in iffy packaging! Hope this will hold! - Yet to bake them tho, & thanks for reminding me!:))

    & Thank you for your kind words, Danda!! :)
    I am too much of a perfectionist too, & wanted the 1st Zero Waste Week to already be a great success!!
    ('If Mrs A could produce only a band-aid in the whole week...'?!! Yes, I am slightly competitive, lol!!)
    I think we will not do so great as Mrs A, but we have learnt and done a lot of things in the process, so overall it's a good experience & I recommend it!
    /It may give you the necessary push to do some things you've been avoiding & language to discuss things with other people!/

  4. Oh, & Danda - I preferred to keep quiet about the zero waste week because I didn't know if we will be able to pull it off at all! (in any form!!:)
    or when, lol... (it was just planned to be 'around Earth Day')

    & I preferred to keep my b-day a bit of a secret as for protection of personal information online etc. So no fretting, & REALLY glad you both stopped by!! :)

  5. Now I understand why you got headphones LOL. I too have been busy offline. Wish it had been a holiday though, more like sneezing, sniffling followed by some severe catching up. So as part of my catching up I'd like to wish you a belated happy birthday. And what a post! That is some celebration. I love the way that John's experience can be used to influence your that's very clever thinking :-D

    Family meetings are an important step in getting people on board. Even if there are members who might not agree or indeed feel least you know what you're up against. And don't worry about the pressure of that band aid. (I was determined too). The band aid now provides a hook, a story to get people interested. You'll find your own band aid.

    Anyway, in honour of your birthday I think I might just bake a cake over the next week or so. Once I do, I'll send you a photo :-D xxxx

    Happy birthday xxx

  6. Happy birthday from me too!!!
    Bigs hugs from Italy!

  7. Thank you Mrs A & Danda!! :)

    Too bad about sneezing, Mrs A, apparently the weather was somewhat horrible over there too?!

    Yes, my Dad relates much better to stuff told about men etc. Mum relates well to kiddies & other women/girls!! :)
    I think I'd need a zero waste macho to inspire my sis though!! :)

    Well, your band-aid is a difficult example to live up too, Mrs A! :)
    At least I hope to inspire other people afraid to take up a 'zero waste' week to dare & do it even if they don't expect it to be quite perfect! you know?

    Thanks for the cake too!! :) will be looking forward to see the pic! :)

    Thanks for the hugs from Italy, Danda!! :) Always good to get some hugs, especially ones from Italy!! :)