Journey to Zero Waste

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Aug 2018
2:21pm, 8 Aug 2018
3,206 posts
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run free
I like to talk trash :) Anyhoo thought this would be of interest for those who want ideas to reduce the amount of "stuff" in the house by considering to repurpose, reuse, repair stuff....as well as refusing disposables/single use stuff.

This has saved me money & allowed me to be creative, but at times have to move on from stuff if no one wants it in freecycle. I'll put resources as they come up in the side bar.

To kick this off:

REPAIR: the web has been a fantastic tool. Have fixed a washing machine, dish washer, vacuum cleaner and oven.....but I blew up the fridge freezer trying to change a bulb....whilst the appliance was still on (duh)..... so am using it as a keep dust out cupboard. Mr RF trying to get me to move on from that. Currently trying to find out how to fix a couple of the clock mechanism.....

REUSE/REPURPOSE: Had some work done and got the builders to use most of the rubble they dug up as part of the footings for the new build. The rest has been repurposed in the garden to make a stone wall. They were happy and so was I as no skip was required. Skip diving has been a past time favourite much to Mr RF's concern. Have used the stuff to nearly fully kit out a new bathroom (after some years of hoarding the junk) + underheating as the pipes and stuff, as well as a green house from someone throwing out polycarbonate from an old conservatory as well as a shed....ok so this past time has increased the amount of stuff....but it is unbelievable what is being thrown out into the skips.....BTW I always ask first before I dive into someone's skip.
Aug 2018
2:34pm, 8 Aug 2018
3,207 posts
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run free
Am still learning about how to make stuff....
Aug 2018
10:31pm, 13 Aug 2018
18,058 posts
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Lizzie W
I know we put less in landfill than most of the neighbours, but there is a lot less packaging I could buy!
I'd like to get things repaired, eg dodgy zip on a good backpack.

We recently visited the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales and were re-motivated about growing, composting, solar energy, building stuff...
Aug 2018
11:19pm, 13 Aug 2018
3,213 posts
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run free
Hey Lizzie - would love to check into the Alternative Technology centre. Think there is one along the Race to the Kings route (South Downs).

Would any of these tips work for your zipper?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=47&v=wrSFIWG-mqU
Aug 2018
12:06am, 14 Aug 2018
211 posts
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Jenelopy
Looking froward to learning from this thread. We have been minimised our landfill waste for a while now. The last bin bag we put out took us 2.5 years to fill, that was 18 months ago.
I think that a reuse/repair mentality helps, as does having a compost heap, worm form and chickens to deal with all the green waste.
We're building a new (Passive) house in the near future, so I hope that we'll manage to be careful about the waste generation but it is going to be a challenge.
Aug 2018
4:12am, 14 Aug 2018
3,214 posts
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run free
@Jenelopy - would love to chat and share about Passihaus. I know very little, however have been researching and attended a building and homemaking expo. Some interesting stuff. Saw the use of polystyrene bricks (which one company says helps Passihaus and a quick build).
Aug 2018
5:43am, 14 Aug 2018
212 posts
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Jenelopy
I'm still learning about passivhaus, not helped by the fact that although the concept has been around for decades in some countries (eg Germany), it is pretty new in NZ.

We're keen to build the house from sustainable materials as well as it ending up requiring very little energy to run. We probably going to manage to avoid polystyrene as bricks or in SIPs. I think we'll be timber-framed, with insulation either coming from sheep-wool, or recycled glass or plastic. We're very undecided on the external cladding. Aluminium lasts for ever and is easily recycled but uses a lot of energy to make, steel is similar. Timber looks nicer, has a much lower carbon footprint but needs regular painting/staining and still doesn't last as long. The paint/stain means it can't be easily recycled at the end of its life.
Aug 2018
6:01am, 14 Aug 2018
213 posts
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Jenelopy
Sorry if I have drifted a bit off-topic for this thread!
Aug 2018
11:27am, 14 Aug 2018
18,059 posts
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Lizzie W
At CAT they were aluminium cladding a shed with tiles made from opened out drinks cans. A bit rustic for a house, maybe!
Latest charity shop find: "Diary of an Eco Builder" by a guy who blogged in The Independent
Aug 2018
4:00pm, 14 Aug 2018
3,216 posts
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run free
Passivhaus is definitely on topic as it means a house design that has zero waste combined with Permaculture will defo be awesome. Too bad in my area you have to make the buildings + extensions conform to building standards. I once submitted planning to use eco-sustainable materials & it was rejected by my council :( Same design with "normal" brick etc & council accepted. So trying to understand the work arounds.

About This Thread

Maintained by run free
FT Article on how broken recycling is:
ft.com

Sustainability:
----------------
A growing "want" (consumption) has an impact on our world's resources. Historically we have gone through periods of frugality & eco-consciousness and always returned to the same apathy & couldn't give a damn about the environment we live in.

A linear economy means products head for the landfill. As landfills fill quickly, incinerators are now being put into place in the UK. Recycling is a broken system due to economics and incineration is simply the destruction of our resources.

The best would be for a circular economy and ways to close the loop.

Zero wasters care about their impact. On our journey to a zero waste lifestyle what are we willing to compromise on?

Resources for reducing landfill waste:

Freecycle: freecycle.org

or sell it on Ebay, car boot
Wrap: wrap.org.uk

How Stuff Works: home.howstuffworks.com

Food waste: consider composting. For cooked food waste have a look at Bokashi (FYI Anaerobic composting: http://www.alternative-energy-tutorials.com/aerobic-composting/anaerobic-composting.html)

Related Threads

  • environment
  • recycling

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