When Sian and her husband Chris contacted us, they had four boys aged 11, 9, 8 and 19 months. The littlest one was still in disposable nappies.
Sian and Chris had very limited income with a budget of around £100 per week for food which means they tended to shop in supermarkets. They found pre-packaged food cheaper. Having one child in disposable nappies bumps up the waste a lot, but Sian had health issues which meant washable nappies weren’t an option. With a strong Christian faith, they believed that they should be good custodian’s of God’s creation, which included not wasting things or harming the environment.
When we met them, they were putting out one wheelie bin of rubbish a fortnight. We weighed her rubbish the day before collection and it was 12.5kgs. Sian’s goal was to halve this by reducing her waste to one wheelie bin per month.
After spending time getting to know more about their motivation for reducing waste, current time and energy commitments, looking at available space for storing recyclates and what she wanted to achieve, we suggested a five point plan for the family to focus on.
Two weeks later we revisited. Sian had managed to do everything we suggested and she’d found some washable nappies in the loft which she was trialing. When we separated the nappy waste out, the family had accumulated an astonishingly tiny 800gms of waste for the fortnight.
We estimated she would be able to last a good three to six months without having the bin emptied at that rate!
Sian found her new lifestyle easy to maintain. She said “this new regime adds no stress to my daily routine; all it takes is a little more thought. Instead of automatically picking something up and putting it into the bin, I simply put it into different bins”. Throughout our discussions, Sian kept reiterating how easy this was for her and stressed that it was simply a change of thought and an extra five minutes when washing up that made it all happen.
The family bin – before and after:
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