So I have been thinking about arrogance lately – I decided I had a problem with arrogant people – mostly myself! Hmm, that was a bit of a shock so I looked up the definition of arrogance:
“offensive display of superiority or self-importance”.
The problem I had with myself was that I had an epiphany when I was putting plastic in the rubbish bag and I thought to myself “How arrogant you are to expect others to deal with your (unnecessary) waste!!”
So that was a bit of an eye-opener and has made me focus a bit again on being plastic-free. Luckily I had a bit of an easy week to start my actioning - Michael was away so I could get-away-with very little food purchases, basically just enough fruit for the kids and I for the week and that was easy to choose from the loose piles and use my fabric bags. Milk was use up what was left, then go to the UHT/powdered milk supplies; bread was keep on making our own – too easy; dinners were use up whatever was in the cupboard/fridge/freezer – no problems (we ate a lot of pasta ;-).
As soon as I planned to be plastic-free for the week I also had a bit of a think about being zero-waste. Zero waste has a bit more of an all-encompassing ring to it I think – but when I thought about how I have read it is implemented as a life-style, a lot of it is making sure you recycle what you can – including plastics – so you have an absolute minimum in refuse. Now plastics are getting easier to recycle – some supermarkets take back the plastic shopping bags and plastic food bags (did you know that – soft and crinkle plastics can be recycled?) – and our council has even implemented recycling of all ‘numbers’ of plastics into the recycling bins, so it really has got easier for us too. But – and it is a big BUT to me – recycling plastics doesn’t stop you purchasing them in the first place now, does it?!! So, for me, being plastic-free was actually a better way to think about being zero-waste than my interpretation of zero-waste. Make sense – no?
I am sure my interpretation of zero-waste was/is too simplistic and I probably missed the bit about it being plastic-free in the first place. I think the intent in zero-waste is to purchase as ZERO waste, not just to switch your purchases to be “recyclable” waste. That makes a lot more sense!! Maybe the recycling bit is just to get people to take account of their waste – and then they can see what they purchase as waste – recyclable or not – and get it down to ZERO! Wow, another epiphany folks – yay! Ok, I need to think about this some more – what do we tend to buy that feels ok because it is in recyclable waste? Are there any things that can be switched to zero-waste for these products?
From my quick thinking, it would actually take a change in my cooking to change our “staple dinners” that I buy as recyclable waste. Yes, I can buy zero-waste pasta from the bulk bins (ok, could probably even make my own – been meaning to give that a go), but buying pasta sauce is recyclable waste (glass jar) and non-recyclable lid (except for home re-use)! Yes, I can and do make my own pasta sauce from our home-grown tomatoes – but this doesn’t last long (ie, at the end of summer we now only have 4 jars left) – we eat a lot of pasta - and we are not even Italian! To zero-waste the pasta sauce situation – that would actually take finding someone else who would sell me masses of their home-made passata, or making up a year’s supply by purchasing in toms (and probably equipment) and having a passata day (this idea has merit! – maybe except for the bit about storing approx. 150 jars of pasta sauce – hooley dooley!) – or changing our menu!! Arrgh – more thinking required!!
And this now brings me to my tangent of “Of course, traditional cultures are zero-waste because they eat locally sourced (wild) fresh food – and save on the washing up by cooking and eating from leaves!” I think I will save that tangent for another time!!!
PS – I roasted up what will be close to our final batch of tomatoes on Friday – made another few jars of pasta sauce ;-)