Week 12 – Quarterly Report

Being a quarter of the way through our challenge we decided that it was time to take stock of the items that are either in our rubbish bag, or are pending inclusion unless other uses can be found for them. Despite our desperate denial of the symptoms, the bathroom lightbulb finally blew this week after a number of days of flickering. We also discovered that a florist had used some green plastic tape in a bouquet of flowers we were given in January. The full inventory of items are;

  1. half a supermarket bag of paint chips from scraping and sanding our weatherboard house in preparation for painting,
  2. approximately 50 cigarette butts found on the property after having it rented out to tenants,
  3. a broken plastic peg,
  4. plastic tags that are used to hold labels to new clothing,
  5. an universal car petrol cap which was rejected at a recent WoF test,
  6. plastic wrapping from around a wine bottle lid,
  7. tape used by a florist in a bunch of flowers given to us,
  8. a blown light bulb.

We made a conscious decision at the start of our challenge to not put off doing things till the end of the year to avoid creating waste. Instead, we felt the challenge would have longer lasting effects on our generation of waste if we were to continue with projects but try to find sustainable, alternative solutions and generally this has gone well. The paint chips are an example of this not going well, there didn’t seem any way around painting the house without scraping and sanding the flaking paint unfortunately. Because the old paint being taken off the house has lead in it we need to be quite careful about disposal and understand that the landfill is the best place for it. However, if anyone has suggestions for alternative uses of the other items we’d love to hear from you and if you can make use of an universal petrol cap its yours – we’ll even send it to you package free!

8 thoughts on “Week 12 – Quarterly Report

  1. Inspiring stuff and how fascinating about something so boring (usually) as a bit of green tape. I’ll be following your progress with interest


  2. This is the first time I’ve seen your site (got details off Earth Hour News). All really inspiring stuff. I’ve just got a comment or two about the things you are yet to re-home.
    2. The cigarette butts – I read somewhere that when soaked in water, they make a good general purpose garden insect spray. However I would just put them in the compost. Vegetable matter surely and so will break down.
    3. I save all my broken pegs – it’s usually only one side that breaks then the good side can be joined up with another to make a good peg again. But I agree, what can you do with the little broken bits? (I occasionally find the odd bit dropped in the garden – no worse in the garden than a pebble, really) Maybe switch to the good old wooden dolly pegs next time you have to buy some.
    7. I’m sure you grow flowers – next time you visit someone, take them a bunch done up with the bit of florist tape.
    8. One of our daughters collected lightbulbs (weird, eh!) She’s have welcomed it but that was about 20 years ago and she got over it!
    Oh, on the subject of what to do with hair (out of brushes, or when you cut it) – just put it out somewhere in the spring for birds to use for making nests. Ours ends up in the compost, along with vacuum cleaner dust – doesn’t matter if you find a button in the garden a year or two later, it will clean up!
    Enough ramblings, I’ll try to keep up with your blog.


  3. Old light bulbs – when we were kids I remember making percussion shakers by covering a lightbulb in paper mache and then when it was dry banging it so that the glass inside smashed. You could make them as presents (probably not for very yound children who might break through and injure themselves on the glass!)


  4. Keep up the great work you two!! I’ve been making small changes in my life as I track what you are doing. 😉


  5. 12 weeks and only 8 things! that’s great!
    As for the lightbulb paper mache shaker thing, if you put enough layers around it and then paint it up (non-toxic water-based paint of course) in a funky design it should be pretty hardy. BUt yeah, I suppose still not a present for babies… good luck with the rest of the project.


  6. I’ve seen light bulbs (the old style) turned into small hanging vases for flowers. You would still need to find a use for the metal part though. It’s somewhere on the internet – I think on craftzine.com

    That is a great idea, cheers!


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