Sunday, November 15, 2009

Falling Leaves for Yummy Compost! :)

Sorry I wasn't posting last week - had a bunch of posts planned, and still need to get some pics (of 'final products' he he..) and was kinda busy... (and my SD card is full /sigh/ Not sure if it's very eco to buy a new one? Or how to store and back up pics and little films safely in a zero waste way?)

So, let's see.

On Monday Dad and I took a neighbour's leaves off her grass - we need the leaves for our compost and she's had a hand injury! (Beware chemicals-sprayed thorns in your hand!! She's had 2 operations already and it's still not good! Her neighbours sprayed a fruit tree that's close to her roses, and apparently it then all got infected badly?)
It's good to have a big mouth (sometimes) though.

On Tuesday we got more leaves, as another neighbour I spoke to while handling the leaves (she gave us an odd look!) told a guy who didn't know what to do with them that our Dad might take them. So Sis and Dad went off and got a big load from a local sometimes-marketplace.
(Dad brought the guy a beer and was happy to chat about all evils of modern world afterwards too.)

On Wednesday I finally got to bring the 'zero waste reusable plastic containers' to a lady who makes the yummiest cheese ever!! (With walnuts or dragonwort or other yummy spices!) She was in town for a mini-event: November 11th is St Martin's Day and widely celebrated in Slovenia with new wine and ducks or geese!
Mom bought some cheese in a plastic foil ('Do you have the containers with? Do you want me to unwrap the foil?' the lady asked with concern - Mum shook her head and took two and phoned me and sent me to town with containers for future exchange. That involves a castle and a friendly pub owner. We'll see how it goes! :)
/We had to first empty some old cottage cheese plastic tubs from raspberries and such. This year almost 90% of our freezer stuff was in reusable boxes!:)/

On the way home, I caught the sub-mayor's wife handling the leaves!!

You can guess what followed. :)

Next day, Dad and I took the leaves. (There weren't many but I was furious at their pretty bags full of leaves and grass and other compost stuff whole year! I think a sub-mayor oughtta be an example, no?)
She was quite happy to give 'em to us, and told me she 'didn't know what to do with them'! /sigh/
My Dad had been embarassed to ask sub-mayor, his pal, and so I was at first a bit shy about it too.. Seeing how the other neighbour gave us leaves gladly, I decided to approach Mother Sub-Mayor directly - and, yup, sometimes women can be wiser!!:)

I was also in contact with some guys from another town, reading and listening to some stuff.. (That I wish I didn't know perhaps! /sigh/)

I still feel quite guilty for not doing more, you know!

At least we saved some bags of leaves from the incinerator!!
Any organic matter or plastics is BAD in an incinerator, as toxic dioxins and other poisons may be formed! And of course, when it's all mixed together with other trash, it can't be really usable, can it?

If composted, it'll make yummy compost for our garden!

Oh, and we made some YUMMY zero-sugar pear marmalade!! (That I'm now quite addicted to! /sigh/)
Previous years, often Uncle's pears just got thrown away to the compost (at least the compost got 'em!:) this year when apples are scarce, I thought it would be wise to get all the pears we can!
And yup, Uncle deserves at least a small jar! :)

I talked trash to Mother Sub-Mayor, one of the local girl scouts (they might be interested to hand out cloth bags!! Keep your fingers crossed!) and today, surprisingly even to my not-very-eco cousin! (He had good info on what it's like in Austria!)

November is a good month to sort and start again your compost, if you don't have one already? :)

What do you do with your organic waste, is it collected separately where you live? (Here it isn't, yet. Many people have compost, but not everyone. I was happy to see at least one new BIG compost heap (made of leaves mostly) - maybe result of my talk and articles? I'd love to think so!:)

And remember, November 21st-29th is European minimizing waste week!! What will you do to celebrate it? ;)

Thanks to the lovely Danda's blog for the info - apparently in Slovenia there is no official organizer? :( They just want to build incinerators??
I did see the 2nd biggest Slovenian city put up a notice for getting funding from EU for an incinerator there? :(

So, this week was full of ups and downs, of good news and bad.. I got invited to help film a documentary, it was sort of short notice though.. Got some cool new info though..
And today I just saw a local MP and almost invited myself to a meeting...? ;)
Probably better to get my act together and know what to say though!:) Any suggestions? ;)


  1. Goodness me you've had a busy week! Go you, you leaf saving, pear saving, trash talking superhero! :)
    We've been making leaf mulch/compost here too - I volunteer in a big garden that belongs to the national trust (a charity that preserves old buldings and land and opens them to the public) and we've been raking up huuuuge piles of leaves for compost - the garden has 5 different composting sections - one for leaves, one for wood and stuff and the other 3 for rotating the rest of the compost around! it's composting heaven! We've been putting our leaves at home on our compost pile too!

    We;re really lucky where I live, we have a red bin that goes out one week with normal rubbish in it, then the next week the red bin stays in and the green bin for garden waste and recycling boxes go out (we have to separate glass, metals, paper and cardboard and they're about to start collecting plastic too! yey!), so we only put each bin out once a fortnight, it's supposed to reduce waste, all the non-environmetally friendly people compain sooo much about it though!

  2. Hi Layla,
    Good News: There's an award for you on our allotment blog. We hope you will accept it.

  3. Hi there Layla! Do you remember the e-mail you sent me about what to do with old jar lids? I have a few solutions for you on my blog this week.
    Please stop by if your can :) Have a great Monday!

  4. WOW!! Thank you for the cheering Sooz - muchly appreciated! :)

    Don't feel like a superhero at all, especially as my back flared up again and I'm on gluten/wheat-free and other-yummy-things-free nutrition plan again! :)

    Your big garden and composts sound awesome!! It must be so great to be a part of this - I always admired historic places and gardens in England! So great they make their own compost! I could ask in the local park.. They used to get some donated from Germany, I wonder how 'eco' it was though! Surely local would be better..
    Do they have any machinery for handling the compost, or sterilizing it?

    Your pick-up system sounds really great! I wonder if the non-eco people have been educated enough how toxic it is to burn everything mixed together, or have a 'cocktail mix' in a landfill burn up occasionally?

    Gary Jen & Ruby - WOW, thanks for the award! :) Much honoured! Now who shall I pick... hmmm?

    Claire - so great to hear you picked up the terrible challenge!! :) You ROCK!!

  5. people BURN leaves? that is so weird! why?

    and i don't have a compost pile but it sounds like i need to get one!

  6. You are busy bee- good for you!
    That documentary project should be interesting...
    Great new week dear~

  7. Hi Layla!!!
    Thanks very much for having mentioned me as regards European Minimazing Waste Week! Even if your country is doing nothing for it, you can participate with some charity organisations if you want, but I'm not sure if there's enough time to organise something and subscribe... perhaps you can plan it for the next year! ;)

    You are rightly worried about incinerators there and we're worried here too... in many regions incinerators will be build soon and here, where I live, the new line is already almost ended. :(

    Leafs that fall along the streets are collected by the local waste company with special vehicles and then sent to incinerators... :(((
    So when it's dark, Irish and me go out and collect some bags with leafs. We save them from incinerators too, and they're going to make a very good compost! I know, it's few but at least is something good!

    This year our compost is going great, but it's still not enough for our plants. So leaf are very useful now! ;)

    Good luck with your great new events!

    P.s.: I've bought cheese with my own container for my very first time!!! Yayyyy!!!

  8. Hi Drollgirl!
    Is organic waste collected separately where you live? Is there a local composting facility?
    If not, you probably do need a compost!:)

    And even if it's collected and composted separately, such compost is usually much inferior to DIY! (Because people throw whatnots in it, & heavy metals may abound etc) In Slovenia it can only be used for flowers, while DIY can be used for growing yummy food too!!

    Lenorenevermore, thanks for the good wishes!! :)
    Hope you had a fab week too!

    Hi Danda!

    WOW, you got the cheese with the reusable container!! :)))) YAY!!! I was sooo happy to hear about it!! It's a small victory, isn't it? ;)
    My Mum was quite happy to hear she & I were your inspiration too! :)
    And did you look at the film/s on Clean Bin blog? Jen is so inspiring, isn't she? shocking the shop people so matter-of-factly! :)

    Yeah, I'll be planning for next year... At least I am talking to people about it, and/or about trash & minimizing waste! (And so is Mum!:)
    I'm still afraid to talk to the priest! /sigh/

    WOW, you save leaves too!! :)
    Please be careful with roadside leaves though. It's better to get them from unpolluted areas.
    There is no lead in the car fuel anymore, but Mum and I are suspicious of any other iffy ingredients or exhaust fumes! Maybe you can ask someone, a scientist, how it is with the leaves? Or look online... I'd say maybe for flowers, rather not for food..

    Otherwise, great work and I'm soo happy you guys are ROCKIN' IT in Italy!!

  9. I love that you're going to your neighbors to ask for their leaves! That's so awesome!