Friday, Food Waste

I threw out a cup of chopped celery. It was getting brownish and no one who looked at it would eat it. I cut up vegetables to have ready for meals,and to get rid of any rot-producing soft spots. They are stored in glass or plastic containers in the refrigerator, and I do try to use it all up in a week. Celery isn’t really popular here, but we still use some. I wish I could buy it by the half package instead of the full.

I regret that we can’t compost here yet. Most of our waste is compostable, except for a few disposable diapers (almost to toilet training for Patience, and we all hope it is soon) and some overwrap. Our trash has been one small kitchen bin full for a couple of weeks, with an occasional large item that couldn’t be recycled.

Now I need to know what to do with the solar powered yard lights that have met an untimely demise in the snow. Must they go to a toxic waste site? I assume that they are the equivalent of batteries (and they have replaceable batteries in them; I’m not sure how “green” this solar product is!)

My goal in the next two years is to get to zero waste, preferably with almost no recycling! It is possible – between composting, reusable containers and homegrown/homemade products, why couldn’t we get close? If it means keeping chickens, goats, sheep and a good sized garden, count me in!


13 thoughts on “Friday, Food Waste

  1. Yay! We try to be zero waste with as little recycling as possible. With five of us, we usually have one kitchen-sized bag of garbage a week. We’d have less if our compost wouldn’t fill up so fast. Thank goodness for reusable glass jars!

    I always wonder why in church, where we pray “For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it…” but we have an enormous stack of paper service leaflets, extra lights on, and so many paper mailings.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    • I tell myself that a little vegtable waste in the landfill makes it cook faster – although that means that it releases methan, ebing trapped as it decays. Composting would bebetter. I suspect that when we build a composter, we will need to build two. We eat mostly fresh foods.

      I stopped using bulletins and handouts in church in my last parish, primarily to save myself time, but also save on the paper waste. And I had parishioners who would sneak into the church during the week to cop a bulletin when they had skipped church on Sunday. I told the congregations that if they wanted the news they had to attend church to hear it. In the summer, I sometimes left lights off in the church to save electricity and keep down the accumulated heat. We opened windows and doors instead of using air conditioning.

      • That’s why the BCP was so good. Didn’t need a leaflet to know where you were in the service. Just start at the start and turn each page when you get to the bottom. With the BAS book we use every week (when not in Ottawa) it seems we are forever flipping through the book looking for the right page.

      • The Anglican Church of Canada needs to do something about prayer books. Either write a revised liturgy that is easier to handle (no menu options!) or just update the language in the BCP and use that. But there are theological issues, of course. I am a firm BCP theologian; I think the whole “we are really good people, let’s celebrate” attitude of the revised liturgies is erroneous.

      • I love the BCP service. That’s one of the things about St. Barnabas in Ottawa. When Colin and I were married I had the minister use the BCP service, though she felt the need to point out the difficult words and wouldn’t use ‘troth’ in our vows. I was a little ticked.

        St. Mary’s (Toronto) and St. Barnabas both have made up their own prayer book for the full mass. It’s about 20 pages and you start at 1 and keep turning. All the BCP prayers are there with some language changes. There’s no flipping around, except to look to the leaflet for the collect and the readings. Then you flip to the back page for the Angelus at noon. Sigh, I wish Ottawa was closer.

      • I’m not high church enough to do all that! There’s also the issue of changing the wording without permission. Technically, it has to be approved by Synod, but practically, it should be approved by the bishop. Besides, we have the prayer books, why print something new? I can “translate” the liturgy as I go if I have to. The language isn’t really that dififcult to follow – most people are familiar with thee and thou – it’s the idea of the archaic language that’s the problem. It’s much of a muchness, I know.

        What’s wrong with the word “troth”? It means “pledge”. Honestly, some priests need to go back to school.

      • I didn’t really mean ‘change’ the wording, I was more meaning change the BCP to make it more PC like in the BAS (i.e. people for man, etc). St. Mary’s did that shortly after BAS was forced upon us. It really helps cut out all the fiddling between books. All you really need is the booklet and the hymn book. The priests don’t have to be calling out page numbers and everyone can concentrate more on the service -as they should.

        I was ticked with the ‘troth’ change but it was the middle of the service. She really didn’t need to imply that we wouldn’t know the meaning.

        Have you ever thought about worm composting? I don’t know much about it but it sounds like a very good way to compost when you don’t have room for a ‘real’ compost pile.

      • Yes, in my last diocese we were instructed by the bishop to substitute gender neutral language for the word “man” if it didn’t refer directly to Jesus. (We didn’t have to say, “Behold, the person!”) But I’ve seen priests go so far as to delete words they didn’t like, or drop in prayers from who knows where. A priest (well, two priests, now that I think about it) wrote his own mass and started using it without the bishop’s permission! So not-Anglican. There’s a reason it’s called “common prayer.”

        Ooh, worms…but the same problem – what do I do with the wrigglers whenImove, abandon them? I’m too tender-hearted!

      • And I want to add that city priests need to stop thinking that if you are not in the metropolis, you must be ignorant. How patronizing!

  2. We have to buy bags from the county for garbage and we fill one about every two weeks. We recycle 3 boxes worth (too much pop,etc) which is a lot out here in the country but not really that much. I admit, I get lazy with the garbage in the winter, but I hate having to trudge through boot high snow to the compost pile. As to the lights, if the batteries are removable take them out. Home Depot has a deposit box for batteries of all kinds -I save ours in old pb jars until full (or some leak) then run them into town. It’s free and usually easier to find than the dump. The lights themselves might be recyclable (if plastic) otherwise they’ll just go in the garbage.

    Good luck on the potty training. Ella’s been day trained for a while now but still wears pull-ups when sleeping. She just sleeps so soundly she doesn’t wake up and I don’t want to wake her in the night to go because she wakes up so completely that I fear we’d never get back to sleep. I’m not too worried, everyone figures it out eventually 🙂

  3. magdelaina,

    re compost, my brother and sister in law have an open compost built out of salvaged non-rust corrigated metal. (Zincalum, I think) it is separated into three sections, one for the fresh sscraps straight from the kitchen, garden clippings etc, the second an intermediate phase and the third good compost as sweet as any ‘potting mix’ or excellent topsoil money can buy! When in Canberra, for 3 years, one of the townhouses I lived in had a brick compost in the back garden, open, into which I threw my kitchen vege scraps. It never smelled. The trick is not to have the pile too moist, otherwise foul bacteria will build up, compost grubs will move in and you’ll have a fettid stinking bog on your hands. think of it as layering; vege scraps, dry such as sawdust or even straw, and garden clippings. Turn it regularly and let God’s creation do its work. This pile is not too far from the house; it doesn’t smell and their dog & cat don’t seem to be at it much (however I’ve had my guide dog, at friends homes, in the past, out playing with their dogs, sneak onto an open pile, lie on it (during Winter) and munch away!!!!! Dog heaven!!! much to my embarrassment!! had to give her an impromptu bath because I needed to use her in her guide dog capacity later that afternoon at a church meeting and social afterwards!!


    • One of the problems with composting here is that we are likely to move on this year, and I don’t want to start a compost no one else will attend. We have a major raccoon problem here – worse than feral cats, as they are dexteroous, and can pry lids off trashbins. So we ahve to keep it covered. They’ve managed to break into the kitchen shed and strew things about already. My own dog is wicked about the compost piles, since she loves veggies and fruit. Yuck!

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