Zero Waste Week 2015 Recap: What about intangible waste?

I can’t believe Zero Waste Week is already behind us! How have you all been doing? I didn’t have a specific personal goal other than finding new ways to re-use things, and I realised that re-use is not a temporary thing of going around your place and finding something to do your crafts with. It’s an ongoing process of taking a moment before putting something in the recycling/compost/waste-bin and thinking: what else can this be used for?

Chances are, there is something (which might or might not be useful) that you could do. During Zero Waste Week, I found there is so much more to re-use than just a cereal cartons. Today as a last recap, I realised that even resources like water and energy can be re-used!

Water conservation is taken to a new level by re-using your grey water or pasta water for other things. I take my own bottle of water when I go out, but when I leave it too long, the leftover water usually tastes stale and chlorine-y. Instead of pouring it down the drain, I collect it in a watering can and give it to my thirsty plants. When cooking pasta, I look whether I can re-use the boiling water for other foods I cook, or steam something while the pasta boils. If in doubt, I can use it to add to the water in my sink and wash the dishes with it. People who own their own home could even consider reusing grey water to flush the toilet. If you have a garden, why not having a rainwater collector instead of watering indoor plants from the tap?

Energy can be saved, of course, in numerous ways. But what about re-using energy? Technically its not 100% re-usable, but while you have the stove on, could you use the same energy for some more cooking instead of cooling it down and turning it back on later? What about leaving the oven door open after finishing your baking? It will warm the room in no time and you can turn down the radiator for a while.

The opportunities are countless, and I’m sure a more thorough internet search would have provided me with another 500 good and useful ideas. The point is, we hardly think about non-material things when it comes to reducing waste. So in the spirit of post-Zero Waste Week, let’s all re-consider before we throw, pour out or turn off something!

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6 thoughts on “Zero Waste Week 2015 Recap: What about intangible waste?

  1. Rachelle Strauss says:

    Wonderful post that goes into the holistic ideas of zero waste. Here’s our water usage on a Sunday when I make a roast dinner. Water used to par boil potatoes, that same water is used to steam the veg. That same water then used to make gravy or saved to make soup. It’s better for you too as it has all the nutrients in there, so it’s win-win! Thanks for sharing zero waste week with your readers and I hope you enjoyed the week!

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    • Annika says:

      Thanks Rachelle! And thank you for sharing your day, how do you save the water for e.g. soup? Do you put it in the fridge if you don’t immediately use it? I never thought if it myself, but then again our fridge is tiny πŸ˜‰

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  2. busygreenmum says:

    We keep a couple of 5 litre bottles with a funnel in the kitchen to pour used water into for reusing in the garden. We also have solar panels so make a lot of use of timers to make the most of the sunshine.

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  3. Brian says:

    Today I baked scones followed by biscuits… by the time I had prepared the biscuits the oven was down to the right temperature for them πŸ˜€ I also leave the door open after cooking in the winter for the ‘free’ heat… for fan assisted ovens it can also prolong the life of the fan if it’s one that keeps going until the oven has cooled down sufficiently. Also… drain boiled veg into a food can that needs rinsing πŸ˜‰

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