Using permaculture ethics & design principles to transform an old energy guzzling bungalow into a showcase of sustainable design. It's about energy cycling, building community, self-reliance,creatively using & reusing materials... all without spending heaps of money.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Binimum: 100 days (or so) to go

Principle 4: Apply self regulation and accept feedback
Produce available for swapping and sale without packaging at our second Black Market
Our mission to only fill one rubbish bin and one recycle bin for the year is hitting some challenging times. Our 240lt recycle bin is about 70% full, but our 120lt rubbish bin is about 90% full. I feel confident that we can use just one recycle bin for the year, but I'd pretty much given up on the idea of only using just one rubbish bin.
Then an interesting development unfolded, Kunie and the kids decided to go to Japan for a couple of months to visit family, while I stay at home to finish off some projects. So we might still be in with a chance to reach our goal after all. With a more productive time in the garden ahead as Spring begins, there will be less need to purchase packaged food.
As my 40th birthday approaches I've been thinking about how I'm going to manage waste if I have a party here. I'm madly brewing beer, and should have enough to supply guests. The garden will be pretty active, so salads should be covered. If I buy meat from the butcher then there wont be much waste, so a BBQ could be the go. I think that I'm going to have to request that guest don't bring anything that will need to be thrown out, and explain why. It will be an interesting challenge and education for guest.
We have been finding some reuses for our containers, like guards for seedling and containers for trading seedings at the Black Markets. I've been disappointed to discover that waxed milk cartons are now plastic coated, not waxed and 'biodegradable plastic' is not really that biodegradable. Really, we are better off avoiding packaging (especially plastic) all together if possible.
In some more positive news we've been using bamboo toothbrushes that are great to use and affordable, and we are trying out soapnuts to wash our clothes and dishes. So far the results have been very good, better than using our grated soap concoctions with less environmental impact.

Using milk cartons to protect seedlings from being scratched up by our chickens
A "100% biodegradable bag" pulled out of a compost bin that had been active for 6 months or so. It's still useable!
Plants in reused containers for swapping at the Black Market

1 comment:

purplepear said...

Wow that' fantastic. You could ask visitors to take home any rubbish they bring. Before we had a garbage service we used to do that and people were only to happy to oblige. We also use bamboo toothbrushes and find them quite affordable. Milk containers are our biggest problem here, but that will change once the cow calves and we have our own milk once again. I am really enjoying following your progress.