I figure the best way to approach reviewing our progress is to have a set of questions that I will answer each week – to assess our progress.

What happened this week?

The first week of 2017 has been an out of the ordinary week as both adults of the household were at home for the majority of the week on annual leave. I don’t know about you but I find being at home more often than not means that you find things that need fixing or replacing – and this means purchasing in most cases.

One of the things that really suffered this past year was our vegetable garden – most years I have a lovely productive kitchen garden but a lack of time and conflicting priorities meant that the veggie patch was  let go a little this year.  This week I have been doing what needed to be done in the garden – a massive tidy up. Weeding. Picking up of things that have been strewn about the yard. Digging in compost.

I have purchased some veggie seedlings and mulch to bide us over until the winter – hopefully with some love and good weather they will get going and we will have a mini harvest before the frost.

I also de-plastic-ified my spice cupboard. I purchased small glass jars and moved all of my spices and herbs into them – finding many double ups and old unwanted herbs in the process.  Slowly slowly in the kitchen – one drawer and cupboard at a time.

How do I feel this week?

I have spent time this week observing – observing the things that are coming into the house and thinking about them as consumer goods. How much waste are they creating? Is there an alternative that would make this waste free?

I have thought about this challenge and continued my reading. What does it mean to me and what am I trying to achieve. I read an excerpt from a book by David Suzuki called Green Guide and his 12 principles for Sustainability  – and I resonated very much with his thinking. The point of this challenge for us is to reduce un-necessary and excessive consumption – to learn how to become better at the Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot process. Not to be pefect straight off the bat but to improve what we are doing throughout the year so that we are moving forward.

What have we bought this week? (non-food items)

A case of wine from Naked Wines – we don’t drink very often but to have wine to hand means that you always have a hostess gift. It also means less trips to the store. The wine came completely packaged in cardboard – so no packaging that was not recyclable.  ($70 – It was also a bargain)

Glass jars for Herbs and Spices ($40)

Two plants, Rocks and Potting mix to make a terrarium with a glass fish bowl that was not being used. I have enough left over to make a couple  more terrariums which I will make for gifts later in the year. with glass candle holders we no longer use. ($26)

Plants and Mulch from Bunnings – Consumable but did come in plastic packaging ($65)

Achievements for this week

  • I had my reusable drink bottle and shopping bag with me everywhere I went – so no plastic bottles or bags came home this week.
  • I took a big bag of plastic bags I have been collecting (Plastic packets, bread bags, old shopping bags etc) to the REDcycle bin at Coles. I will do this each week until we get to the point of having no plastic bags to recycle (Progress NOT Perfection !!)
  • I wrote the numbers that can be recycled on a magnet on our fridge – and I have made an effort to ensure that all plastics that can be recycled go into the recycling bin.

Items I have noted that I will need to find a solution to remove the packaging from our life:

  • Dry Crackers – I had a go at making some from a recipe on a blog and they were really great on the first day but soft and soggy by day two
  • Strawberries – always come packaged – even at markets
  • Baking paper – I can use a silicone mat for tray baking but I use baking paper to line my cake tins too.