Wednesday, 10 September 2008

White's trash August 2008

One month to go! That's right Sam and I have been watching our waste for 11 months. You may have noticed that the 'binometer' hasn't moved much recently. This is because after an initial jump after moving from a bin the size of a shoebox to one the size of a medium kitchen bin we found that the - mostly plastic packaging - rubbish would by its nature expand to fill the available space, but that you could always fit "one more bean in the can" or wrapper in the bin. So the kitchen bin is still full to the top, and I'd guess again that we're still at a third of a wheely bin.

A trick we've found to get round accumulating too much packaging waste when buying pasta – which we can't buy loose and reuse our plastic containers – is to buy spaghetti, which 'stacks' well and therefore comes with very little air in the bag and so less packaging than the equivalent weight of pasta shapes. Unfortunately although this helps us with our bin challenge it's not going to make much of a dent in those waste mountains!

The biggest waste of 'waste' recently in Reading must have been at the Reading Festival. I wonder how many beer cups were thrown away over the weekend? The festival could easily do a deposit on each cup which if high enough would ensure that they were returned to be washed and reused or recycled – if made from an appropriate material.

Then there are all the old tents, wellies and chairs that are left behind when the festival goers vacate their pitches. I heard from a contact that as usual there were tons of perfectly good items that had been left. Credit to the organisers who got a firm to collect a portion of the items, but there was still a sizeable quantity left which last I heard were probably going to end up in landfill as the clean-up company were soon to arrive...maybe next year local organisations could be contacted in advance.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Back from conference

First post! Just got back from a great conference.

Conference was a bit stressful at first, running round organising the Gurkha settlement rights emergency motion, but I felt a lot calmer after getting that passed - with almost unanimous support.

Talked to various members, MEPs and councillors and really feel as though I've learned a lot. Now back in Reading to apply it: to help increase our number of MEPs, get Caroline Lucas elected as the first Green MP and me as Reading's first Green councillor.