Greetings Zero Wasters,
Thank you to those of you who were able to make it to last monday evening’s meeting at Rani & Ron’s, and thank you Rani & Ron for hosting. And thank you to everyone for so faithfully keeping to the business of the weighings. I hope you are not finding this too burdensome. If you are, please let myself, Rani or Ginny know and we will see if there is some obstacle that can be overcome. For those of you who made it to the meeting, I hope you were inspired by Jen & Grant’s talk and movie clip on their Clean Bin Project. (For those of you that weren’t there, their website is http://cleanbinproject.com/ . And Jen’s most recent blog posting is on our very own ZWC! It is interesting to see what she had to say about us…) This past monday march 29th also marked our last Baseline weighing.
Some other things that happened:
1. During this past week we have officially entered the next phase of the Challenge, which is actually the challenging part. Three of the families chose to take up the offer of a free composter from the City. We had 6 put aside – I’m not sure if the other three are still left if someone else decides they want one. Let me know if you do and I will ask. A couple of other families that did not want their own composter buddied up with a family that did have one. Those of you who are new to composting will definitely notice a very large reduction in your garbage weight (assuming you are eating lots of fruits and veggies!). Jen & Grant’s number one recommendation to reduce garbage was to start composting. The trick is to be organized – have a lidded bucket (ie. ice cream bucket) under your sink marked ‘Compost’ and diligently use it. Put in fruit peels and cores, veggie peelings, limp leaves, stalks, egg shells, paper towels, coffee grounds, tea bags. There is info on our blog that you can find to tell you more.
2. Peter Cech also delivered two Green Cones. Barb & John Simpson generously offered to have one placed in their back yard just off the alley (actually, it is behind Ninoo & Parag’s house at 730 Colborne), and they have installed it already. I just went there will Glen Henderson and dumped in a bucket of worms to get it going (maybe not necessary, but seems like a good idea). Glen also offered to install a latch and combination lock on it and will let us know the combo. Picture coming!
We are going to have the 2nd one put in the cul-de-sac but have yet to decide exactly which is the sunniest spot, which is crucial, and if the drainage is appropriate, which is also crucial. This week went by very fast and we have yet to dig a test hole for drainage. However, the Simpson’s cone is in and we can start using it now. Put in bones, skin, fat, mouldy food from cleaning out your fridge, mouldy bread. (Ideally we all would make sure we eat those leftovers before they have a chance to go mouldy!) We need to be careful to not overload the green cone, so I would suggest that we monitor the volume. Please use the composters for the fruit & veggie scraps so we don’t overload it. Apparently it can take up to one gallon (one ice cream bucket per day) when the conditions are fully in place – sun, warmth, drainage, a good colony of bugs and worms and bacteria. So for now, make sure we do not fill it up more than, say, 6 inches. For sure the volume should not exceed the depth of the black underground basket, which is 2 feet deep. Again, the trick is to be organized – another bucket under your sink, marked ‘Green Cone’.
3. I have also set up the Eco Shed on my front porch (721 Colborne). It consists of 5 blue bins for collecting those items that are recyclable, but are not allowed in our curb side blue bins or the recycling depot. There is a bin for #3, #6, #7 and hard plastics, and a bag for styrofoam, and a jug for batteries, and a jug for CF lightbulbs. The purpose of the shed it to encourage us to recycle those items that we might otherwise be sneaking into our garbage cans because it is not convenient to recycle them. It will also save us families from making multiple trips to specialty recycling places by “carpooling” these recyclables. Once I get a “critical mass” (ie, a full bag of stryrofoam), then someone can offer to take it away if (ie) their place of work takes it, or (ie) London Drugs will take it.
Remember, we are creating “new normals”. I have 6 different choices of where to put “waste” under my sink. Once you are set up it is easy to throw your waste into the appropriate container. It works and it is easy for our family to use and our garbage is way below the normal (we went 7 weeks before putting out our garbage this year, and then had to put it out before week one of the Baseline to we could start with zero, but could have gone a couple weeks longer).
Something to think about for the future: could we have some sort of a “free store” among ourselves later in the Challenge. ie, we could pick a day when the weather gets better, and put out on our porches stuff we don’t want. ie clothes, cleaning products or personal care products that we don’t use anymore (might be someone else’s brand), kitchen stuff, etc etc. Then we could always pack the leftovers up and donate them to (ie) 6th Ave Shilo church’s Hospitality Project where they just give the stuff away for free to those who come to the Food Bank.
That’s all for now!