The “wonky” food thing is a start but I believe they played a part in creating what a “perfect” carrot was.

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Kevin Blackledge author for zero waste week

Kevin Blackledge author for zero waste week

Continuing our ‘Dudes against Destruction’ series, Kevin shares why he hates waste so much:

So I hate waste, any kind of waste, food, plastic, electronics anything at all.

I think it might of been because my Granddad would always be fixing something from TVs to video players to lawn mowers and I have become the same.

It annoys me when someone throws something away that could easily be reused.

Recently our neighbour had placed a pile of stuff outside their garage and had paid the council to collect it the next day. I asked if me and my partner could have a rummage and they said “yes, we’re not car booters so we’ve asked the council to get it” so we had a good rummage . We found a tempered glass TV stand ( looked brand new ), 4 dining chairs, a water fountain and some garden lounge cushions. We used 1 of the garden lounge cushions as a dog bed and gave everything else away. I don’t know what the council does with the collection they make but hopefully we saved these items from the landfill but also helped people out.

Around the house I’m always questioning items to see if it can be replaced with something more sustainable and to avoid landfill. Slowly but surely when something comes to it’s end of life we replace with something more sustainable. Here are few examples :

  • We are replacing any old used batteries with rechargeable ones
  • We no longer use wet wipes these have been replace with cloths.
  • We have reduced the amount of baking paper we use by using silicone mats instead
  • We tend to buy things in bulk ie we have a bag of 1160 teabags
  • We have an Eco Egg for our washing which reduces the need for us to buy detergent
  • We’ve replaced straws with metal ones
  • We’ve grown a small amount of food too.
  • I use an electric shaver as opposed to the disposables
  • Bought reusable drink bottles instead buying a drink when ever we are out.

A few items next on our list are:

  • Replacing our toothbrushes with Bamboo Toothbrushes
  • Replacing hair brushes Bamboo brushes
  • Replacing single use dental floss sticks with stainless steel dental flosser

My motivation mainly comes from it being taught to me of not wasting and the good saying of “waste not want not”. Saying that though after the horrible heatwave we’ve had in the UK this year it’s definitely motivated me more to do even more. With regards to packaging waste I always recycle but it’s disheartening to read about how only a small amount of items are actually recycled so this means we have to do more.

The hardest thing I think is changing our ways. Changing the way we buy items and the way we do things. So going from the convenience of using wipes to wipe up baby stuff or the table to using a cloth only a small change but requires a different mind set. Another thing is when buying fruit and veg the shop puts the items in front of us in bags which we don’t need and it’s easy to pick them up, scan, pay and go. Also shops don’t make it easy to be sustainable they just make it convenient and cheap to buy everyday items rather than a proper choice so you have to talk to other zerowasters and also think of solutions.

The big supermarkets are in such a powerful position where they can quite easily cut waste down so much. The “wonky” food thing is a start but I believe they played a part in creating what a “perfect” carrot was.

We can all play our part even if it feels small it still helps.

Bio

I’m Kevin Blackledge a ambitious family man who loves spending time with his family and a zerowaster + minimalist in the making.

Rachelle Strauss
Rachelle Strauss
Rachelle Strauss is founder of MyZeroWaste.com and ZeroWasteWeek.co.uk Both are leading websites for helping householders reduce landfill waste. Her work has attracted media stories and engagement in documentaries, film and radio both locally and abroad.

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