Cut the Rubbish

You might be here because you read my first entry in the West Cork People on our journey to ‘cut the rubbish’ for one year.  If you want to get involved or join us in the challenge, this is the place.  Please share any ideas by commenting, and if you want to join the challenge I will have a lovely voucher for chocolate to gift anyone who makes it through with us.  Just post a comment below that you are joining – welcome on board!

These are my made-up rules for the challenge :
1 – Do my utmost to make no rubbish, any rubbish I make (or have been gifted), document and keep for the duration of the year
2 – Rubbish in this project is defined as anything that cannot be easily composted, cleanly burnt or widely recycled.
3 – Minimize recyclables (giving up wine completely is too much) any glass/aluminum/tetra-paks shall be cleaned and kept in the shed for the duration of the project

So this is my first blog post on my journey of ‘the year with no rubbish’. I’m a week or so in and my main struggle seems to be the transition – as in clearing out the plastic wrap that I already have around the house, pasta, crackers, yoghurt etc etc etc.

We have collected up all the rubbish from pre-experiment and are going to drop that into the recycling centre when the snow melts(!)  Then we can start organizing any bits of rubbish & recycling we make into the shed for the year.

This week will be remembered for a long time.  The week of the big snow. Snow-maggedon.  Tuesday night I hopped on my bike to catch a spin to a social justice talk out at Darraragh Community centre, that is where I took the pic in the header of this post, an amazing illustration about the current state of the world and a conversation around our current consumption habits, sourcing, ethics, environment and of course plastic.  It was cut short because of the incoming snow, and by the time I got back to town I had to push by bike up the slushy hill.

Things to be celebrated on the Cut the Rubbish journey:

  • Our coffee man Shane from Red Strand Coffee is going to take back our bags and refill them. Oh yes.  Coffee is in!
  • Our butcher Mike ONeil is using our containers to sell us our weekly meat meal and he’ll even give you a paper bag if you forget!
  • The market is a gold-mine for BYO containers, thanks to Alan our fishmonger, James for the bag-free apples, Dutch for taking back our veg bags for reuse and Mioux at the olive stall for filling our Kilner jars
  • Olive Branch – refill your own cleaning/soaps etc etc

Main struggles already:

  • Business purchases and orders: things that arrive by post are tricky, as are small purchases like an ink pad I bought this week wrapped in plastic (!)
  • Butter: any ideas for alternative to foil wrapped?  Who sells butter wrapped in waxed paper?  I love butter.  Those butter packets and ketchup packets when you’re out having lunch and your cute wee son wants a bit of ketchup.  I’m going to have to BYO this type of stuff or ask the kitchen…  We are using a lot more Coconut Oil and Olive Oil but the air miles (?)… plus some things just require butter.

Since this is a year-long project I’m not going about it in an all-or-nothing manner, if I’m too hard on our family it won’t be fun, and it there is less likelyhood that we’ll stick too it for the long haul.   I’m hoping this will be a lifelong project, and perfection is not the goal, the goal is a major cutting back.  So, if there is something that makes my 2 year old completely confused (like his mother trying to persuade him not to have butter on his bread at DeBarras) then, for now, we enjoy the butter, and take the packet home to store in the shed

Any upcoming events that are along these lines, or any news please share below!   Happy snow weekend.  A x

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