Waste not, want not!

Posted November 2nd, 2012 by Claire S

As much as I enjoy having time with the kids over the school holidays, it's always nice to get back to the trusted daily routine. Hubby is also back at work having had knee surgery earlier this year, although he's still having pain and swelling, so I'm preparing for the fact that it may not be permanent - which would be a huge shame because after spending six months at home, he was starting to go a bit loopy and is thrilled to be back at work.

And the really good news… our eldest has joined the ranks of the employed! Yep, I reckon the most wonderful words parents with school-leavers can hear is… "I got a job" And that's exactly what my 18 year old came home and declared recently! It was a wonderful moment - I'm sure I heard the angels singing "Hallelujah!" as my heart burst with happiness! Just a few weeks after returning home from his intensive LSV course, he managed to get an interview with a fence building business and score the job. It's a HUGE relief to us for so many reasons. Firstly, it means he'll be paying us board (which will help cover his immense eating costs), he'll also be busy all day instead of drifting around with nothing to do, and he can buy himself stuff! He still plans to join the army or air force next year, which will be even better for him, but until then, he's a working class man! Hurrah!

So this morning, the 'lunch assembly line' was in full swing… bread rolls, ham, salad, fruit, snacky bits… all lined up and ready for distribution in to lunch boxes. But this term, I've decided to do things just a little differently. Our youngest daughter's primary school is encouraging parents to provide 'rubbish free lunches'. No cling film, no chippie bags, no yoghurt cartons… you get the idea. Yep, this term's lunches were going to be completely nude!

So over the weekend, I made a mission of clearing out the container cupboard. It boggles my mind that no matter how often I sort out all the mis-matches, the next time I do the clean out there are more stray lids, odd-bod containers and a general hodge podge of unusable containers! However, I did manage to locate two perfect sandwich containers, several 'just right for fruit and nuts' containers and a pile of EasiYo pots that all had their lids! (Which also served as the perfect reminder to make up a container of yoghurt in time for today - my current favourite is plain vanilla with a small handful of dried cranberries added - yum!).

I had to curse myself quietly however, when I realised that, despite having the containers all lined up and ready to be filled, I had already packaged two rolls into cling film without even realising it! It seems I forgot to disengage my lunch-making auto pilot before starting! Hmmm… as I write this, I'm thinking it might be a good idea to put the cling film away somewhere so I don't do it again tomorrow! I'll go do that right now…!

I'm aiming to make it through the entire term 'rubbish free' so here are a few ways I'm going to rid myself of wrappers!

  • No more multi-pack chips. I'll buy the occasional big bag and divide it up into airtight containers.
  • Sammies and rolls fit nicely into the containers I already have.
  • EasiYo yoghurts instead of store-bought pots! So much cheaper and nicer! Check out the vault for great tips on how to make your sachets last twice as long!
  • I'm breaking the 'wrap every little thing' habit. As long as the lunch box is clean and closes properly, you can probably get away without wrapping most things.

I'll be trying to extend our rubbish free practices around the home too. We certainly have plenty of containers - with perfectly matched lids - just waiting to be used! I can see that it's going to be a great reason to stop buying a lot of the junk that fills the kitchen cupboards too!

Surprisingly enough, I found the perfect quote to finish off my 'rubbish free' blog - written in 1959 no less!

"If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age." - Jacques Barzun, The House of Intellect, 1959

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January 2013