Monday, September 19, 2011

No Impact Week: Day One - Consumption

The first challenge dished up to participants in the world wide No Impact Week was Consumption. Essentially, we buy a lot of stuff, and although it may take a lot of resources to get to you, an amazing amount of what we buy is discarded within six months.

If you want to take a roller-coaster of how our society consumes, watch The Story of Stuff.

So my challenge for the week is to try and not buy new stuff, except for food. The hope is that instead of using shopping as an activity, I can spend time with friends and family and socialising or giving back to my community. I wouldn't say I consider shopping a pleasurable experience, a "hobby". However, I do occassionally shop so it still applies to me.

The task I was given: write all the items I am planning on buying this week, apart from food. Then I was asked to cross off whatever I could live without for the week. Third, I had to creatively think how else I could get these items without buying new. This might be borrowing, buying second hand, swapping or making second hand. Here are my potential items and what I can do instead of buying new (keep in mind I'm organising a permaculture conference):
  • texters - swap via Freecycle or zillch
  • Blu-tac - borrow
  • butchers paper - swap via Freecycle or zillch
  • Decor plastic containers - buy 2nd hand on eBay, swap via Freecycle or zillch
  • a top - can live without for a week
  • casual shoes - can live without for a week
  • eucalyptus oil - swap via Freecycle or zillch
  • garden stakes - swap via Freecycle or zillch
  • dish cloth - buy 2nd hand facewasher at the Salvos or Vinnies
  • scourer - can't think of another option but new. Could wait
I need garden stakes because I potted up my fruit trees. I thought I had 12. I have 16. And an obsession with buying fruit trees. An investment in the future, I say!

Heritage apple, persimmon, cherry, peach, almond...

Monday's focus is Waste, so I had to collect all my garbage and recycling from Sunday. The food waste will be a bit high, as because I am trying to reduce over-processed foods, I decided to make chicken stock to freeze. Only $2 for a bag of bones, and I get a stock that is only real ingredients, no numbers (you know, the number codes on ingredient lists) and no salt.
Stock pot and finished chicken stock
I made pumpkin chutney so added pumpkin skin, pith and seeds. Hence it has a slightly orange tinge.
Pumpkin chutney
The pumpkin is homegrown!

I'll let you know how I went with Day Two-Waste.

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