Thursday, 31 March 2011

For the sake of our planet


Recycle and actually, just cut down on your waste. (Please don't be put off by this eco-warrior style title, and carry on reading!)

I happened to spend all day yesterday at a landfill site in Essex. An active landfill site. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't the aspect of my job I love the most, but it was an eye opener. I'm sure, like me, you've all seen footage of huge landfill sites in developing countries such as India, where people live off the landfill, collecting rubbish to sell on. And you think this only happens in those types of countries. Well think again, what I saw looked very similar to this (apart from people scavenging of course).

Maybe some of you have seen the kids movie Wall-E? All I can say is this: yesterday, I felt like I'd jumped into that movie. Huge mounds, mountains of rubbish everywhere, the wind picking up plastic bags before lorries had time to cover the waste with the daily cover of clay.

What shocked me the most? That the most common item of household waste that I could recognise apart from supermarket plastic bags was the plastic bags loaves of supermarket bread are sold in. Suddenly I felt like there is a whole new reason to making my own bread. It's not all about saving money, the truth is it's pretty clear that shop bought supermarket bread would cost me less than home-made bread, seeing as I try and pick nice (and occasionally organic) local flour. And it's not about knowing exactly what I put in my mouth. It's about not making the planet pay for me by throwing away plastic bags after each loaf.

I found this really disturbing. What are we doing?! Surely being self-sufficient shouldn't just be some hippy idealistic version of the world, this should be what we all aim for. Trust me, every time I went to the bin this morning and threw something in, I felt a little bit sick inside. Pure guilt basically. Because when I saw things that I consume and that I don't actually need (salt and vinegar McCoys for example), I felt guilty. Guilty that a little pleasure such as eating crisps ends up like this. Is it worth it? Definitely not.

So there. I think all school children should have trips to local landfill sites to make them realise that we recycle for a reason. If you can, I encourage you to make you own bread when you can (bread maker I love you!). Recycling helps to preserve this planet, and I mean this in the least eco-warrior way. Surely there shouldn't even be a label for people who care, it should just be normal.


Now, onto something a little more light hearted. I'd like to say a big thank you to you my lovely lovely readers. After a dip, I now seem back on track and more "on it" blog-wise. I've had the nicest comments lately, so a special thank you to Deb from Dedanotions and Katy (who doesn't have a blog and commented about 10 days ago- hope the quilting is going well by the way!) . Deb, thanks very much for your offer to send me lip balms, I am so touched but can only turn down your offer, it's so kind of you, but to be honest, your comment is plenty reward for me, so thank you! Thanks for all your encouragements and congratulations to me busting my gross little habit, I hope to give an update on it at the end of the year, hopefully it'll be a positive one!

And Mooncalf, no I didn't write numbers anywhere (of the threads I wound up around little cardboard things, in case you're wondering what I'm going on about) because I'm not that fussed about that to be honest, I don't think I'll be buying more of that thread and I don't follow patterns to the letter, I just use what I have! I guess that just shows the limits of my organisational skills ;-)


mooncalf said...

VERY good points.

It is really good to be reminded about all the food packaging waste was generate unnecessarily. It is easy to let things slip.

And I admire your disregard for the colour number systems. I am a slave to the system. And I recently discovered to my cost that there are embroidery floss dyelots. You can't just buy the same number. Gah!

Diane said...

Good post. The Young Man is hoping to find a career in waste management and I am trying to get him thinking about what he throws away. I would love to make my own bread and will look into this - thanks for the prompt. x

skybluepinkish said...

You are spot on about making a visit to landfill a compulsory part of education. But I think there's more to it than recycling. We need to get people reusing, finding new uses for things that are worn out or empty. Clothes into shopping bags, plastic bottles into newspaper racks (I've seen a beautiful version, mine looked a bit blue petery!) and so on.

I usually do make my own bread but when I do buy the supermaket pap I keep the bags and use them for picnic bags - have to say the children aren't too keen but they're used to it now!!

Katy said...

Pattern selected, all the pretty fabrics due to arrive in the post tomorrow. And then for all the fun of cutting out little squares and triangles. Looking forward to it. Thanks for the inspiration.

Lucy said...

It's true, it's SO scary how much we throw away, and when you think that every single person in the developed world chucks that much rubbish away as well, it's terrifying. Then you add into the equation the vicious rumours that some of the recycling boxes etc are all tipped into landfill too....

Hazel said...

Very interesting and eye opening post! x

H said...

right on!

PinkCatJo said...

I love getting an insight into places that you know of but don't really know anything about. I'd love to have a wander round it.

Your post was really thought provoking and I'll think twice now before purchasing something with unnecessary packaging. x

lizzie said...

Recycling isnt the answer - we must reduce our waste at source. It takes energy to recycle and plastics never degade. REDUCE WASTE AT SOURCE.
Refuse reduce and finally recycle.

Sue said...

Feeling smug here as I do make all our bread. However I freeze it so I put it in plastic bags. I reuse them many many times though.

Reduce, reuse and recycle. Reducing is the most important thing you can do isn't it?

The Curious Cat said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you - more recycling and less bags etc. I hate how Morrisons shrink wrap their veg - what is that about?!!

What has been going on that I have missed - so sorry that I have missed - I've been a bit busy as of late but hope you're okay....will read on xxx