01 June 2011

Zero Waste

It's such a nice day today. The sun is shining and looking out the window you'd think it was spring. Take a step outside and you'll know it's June, it is absolutely freezing.

It's such a bright, sunny day I ventured out early this morning and put the washing on the line, rather than over the clotheshorse. I may as well take advantage of the "solar" clothes dryer while it's there. I know that the heavy things will still be damp when I bring them in, but that's ok. I love the smell of washing that's been outside drying in the sun, even if I have to finish it off in front of the fire.

Speaking of which, we can't use ours at the moment and boy do I miss it. We have had the ducted heating on in the evenings and it's just not the same as the fire.  The top of the chimney/flu has come off, we think by one of those absolutely huge magpies that have been bombarding our roof for weeks. Wayne will get up at the weekend and have a look and make the necessary repairs and it will be back in action.

It's the first of the month and as I was uploading the Journal last night I was thinking about the challenge I've set for Cheapskaters this month. Zero waste. Is it possible to go a whole month and have zero waste? I wonder. I think it is, you just need to think ahead and be conscious of your goal all the time.

I think it will be easy to have zero waste in the kitchen. We already compost (we have a bokashi bucket), anything that can't be composted is either re-used or re-cycled. Yes, I'm one of those freaks who re-use foil time and time again and store everything in Tupperware or similar containers. I wash and re-use ziplock bags, glass jars, bottles, paper bags and pill bottles (we have a few of those since Wayne's been unwell).

Leftovers are either planned or eaten.  I can put a plated up dinner in the fridge for another meal and it will disappear overnight.  We have fridge fairies that visit our fridge during the deep, dark hours of the night.  I'm sure we're not the only family they visit, I just wish they'd call ahead first so I can plan to lose the dinner I'd planned on having the next day.

I was reading Amanda's comments on the Zero Waste Challenge thread in the forum and it brought back so many memories, especially the watching water usage.  I remember bucketing the bath and shower water into the washing machine too. Thankfully the bathroom was off the laundry, so not to far to carry the water. And re-using courtesy of the suds save option on the washing machine over and over again.

I'd do the whites first, then the light coloureds, coloureds, dark clothes and then the dirty farm clothes. Sometimes I'd have to top up the water, but not often. When the washing was finished it was carried out to the trees and garden.

Wayne would mark the tank every day so we could show the kids how much water we used. It was a competition to see how much water we didn't use each day. Now that really was zero waste.

I challenge you to join us. This week we're focussing on zero kitchen waste and you can join us here.


  1. I'd never thought to reuse bath and shower water in the washing machine. Would it matter what type of washing machine you had?

  2. I would think only a top loader - I can't see how you could fill a front loader with a bucket.

  3. I noticed on the pic for zero waste a clothesline full of washing. It just reminded me of an old time recommendation for hanging clothes that goes - what you wear on the top you hang by the bottom and what you wear on the bottom you hang on the top. Just the way it was done in the pic!


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