The week of 21-29th November is European Week for Waste Reduction and we’ve decided to put Cynon on the map by launching Zero Waste Cynon. There will be activities and competitions for people of all ages to join in with. Explore the site for more information and keep an eye on Social Media too.
We need your help!
At the Cilfynydd Little Garden we are only allowed to do essential work. March is here and it is time to start sewing seeds. SO we hit on the idea of a community grow along. In honour of St David’s favourite vegetable there are leek seeds for you to collect from the Pantry on Friday morning.
Please sew your seed 1cm deep.
Keep it watered and in a place where it has sunlight.
Look after your plant until it is as thick as a pencil, then bring it back to Little Garden for planting!
Share photos with Little Lounge on Facebook as your leek grows.
Our March Guest Blog is from Ally in Church Village who shares these great top-tips for reducing your waste. You can follow her on Instagram
I’m originally from Perth, Australia and came to the UK on a Working Holiday Visa by myself and doing my own thing.
I have been living Zero Waste for around four years, I came across it on YouTube while renting a room in Victoria Park, Cardiff and now I’m married to a lovely Welshman, live in Church Village and adopt a mostly Vegan diet (I do eat vegetarian options from time to time).
My experience has been pretty good, it has had it’s challenges and moving from Cardiff to RCT has had its limits to what you can get package free when I first moved to Church Village in March 2018.
Since the concept has grown, many more people are aware of this topic and either know a bit about it or have adopted this lifestyle to the best they can. Businesses like No Waste Living and Truffles who are both based in the Talbot Green / Pontyclun area have been operating for a few years now.
My tips are:
1. Take baby steps:
-Think about the purchases you make, do you need that bag of bananas? when you can get them loose
-If you know someone already that is living this lifestyle, talk to them about their experiences
2. Start with simple small changes:
-Borrow books from your local Library (It’s free to join and they are operating during Covid)
-Look in your kitchen cupboards and draws and see what you have already, more than likely you won’t need to purchase items and if you do, see if you can source them free from someone you know or look at the second hand market, I have placed ads on Gumtree and Facebook Market giving away free plastic containers and or glass jars as my collection at times can grow and I find someone else may need them and this means they get reused again before being recycled or disposed of
(Once you have done the above, you can complete this with other areas of your home)
3. Do your research:
-When I moved to Church Village, I wanted to know what options I had to get ZeroWaste or minimally packaged items and came across businesses like Pete’s Shop and stalls in Ponty Market. Supermarkets are also a good help too yet supporting local is the better option when you can.
4. Think about what matters to you:
-I support organic and Fairtrade items as they mean something to me, find brands that match your ethics and values
-These items that I buy may cost more money yet I’m happy to spend money on items that have many benefits (As someone who doesn’t eat animal products and consumes animal by-products like milk, eggs and honey from time to time, my money has been shifted to purchasing organic and Fairtrade more often without affecting my budget)
5. Try not to feel guilty:
-Along this journey, you will probably feel guilty at some point, try not to do this. Our World is based on a consumerism economy and changing this to a circular economy will take time, your small changes do help and the longer you do this the better it gets
6. Track yourself:
-Use apps or pen and paper to record your changes and how it makes you feel, other benefits include feeling a sense of achievement, saving money, supporting things that matter to you and educating yourself in how you can make your home a better place to live
7. Support Network:
-Having a good support network is a great start, finding individuals and groups can be easy and challenging to find, with Social Media and the topic being more common it has been easier to have a support network
-My husband supports me in what I do, he partially participates in how we live, he is not Vegan or Vegetarian. We try and purchase his animal-based products in our own containers when we can and when this isn’t an option we look at reduced to clear, larger volumes, better sourced packaging like tinned and glassed items and also look at brands that use minimal packaging and have better ethics
-The changes my husband and I have made have rubbed off onto other people, this includes my in laws who now get their milk delivered in glass bottles instead of purchasing plastic bottles from the shops (The price of milk is a little more, the benefits though are you don’t have to leave the house, you can change your order within a short timeframe, payment is made every few weeks, your recycling bags don’t need to be placed out as often and you don’t make any unnecessary purchases
like you would at the Supermarket!)
Huge congratulations to all who took part in our European Week for Waste Reduction competitions. Prizes are available to collect from Cilfynydd Community Pantry between 18:30-19:30Thursdays or 10-11:30Fridays.
The poster competition was judged by Cynon MP Beth Winter, she said;
I really enjoyed looking through these entries which are all absolutely brilliant, thank you so much for giving me the chance to judge them.Beth Winter MP
Here are the winning entries;
Little Garden/Grow Pontypridd Family Grow Kits are available from the Cilfynydd Community Pantry this Friday but even if you miss out you can still start growing from home now! Grow Pontypridd will be giving out more grow-kits over the coming weeks too. Watch this space!
Make a newspaper plant pot
- Black and white newspaper
- Small glass jar
- Lay a full sheet of black and white newspaper flat
- Fold the paper in half lengthwise twice to form a long, narrow strip of folded newspaper.
- Lay a small, glass jar on its side and place it on one end of the strip of paper. Roll the newspaper around the jar. The jar is used only as a form to roll the paper around. About half of the strip of paper should overlap the open end of the glass.
- Push the ends of the paper into the open end of the jar. This step doesn’t have to be neat and tidy; just stuff the overlapping newspaper into the jar.
- Pull the jar out of the newspaper pocket so you have the newspaper pot in your hand.
- Push the bottom of the jar into the newspaper cup, squashing the folded bottom to flatten. This step will seal the bottom of your pot. Once the pot has been filled with soil, the bottom will be secure.
- Pull the jar out and you have a finished paper pot, ready to grow seeds in.
Since having our baby 9 months ago we have tried to significantly reduce our use of single use plastics. The main swap we’ve made is to using cloth nappies and baby wipes. Modern cloth nappies can be a minefield as there are so many options but there are great social media communities full of advice and tips that have helped us along the way. There is an initial cost associated, but there are options to suit all budgets and the nappies should last for multiple children and there is a good second hand market for them. One big bonus is the patterns are beautiful. Since swapping to cloth nappies we have saved more than 1000 nappies from landfill. The cloth nappy world has also given us ideas about other ways we can reduce our waste and we are hoping to switch from single use kitchen items to reusable ones too.
In the picture is Rosie, age 9 months, with her cloth nappy stash.
We buy in bulk and use storage jars as much as possible, saving money and waste. We do this for cereals, flour, toilet rolls, washing up liquid, washing powder and even hand soap.
Zip locks previously used for dry goods get used again. Of we buy foods that come in plastic pots we refuse pots as much as possible. We have recently started taking out reusable cups and mugs for coffee and soft drinks to reduce plastic waste. We use clips and reusable silicone covers for food storage, from ikea. (Pictured covering an avocado. They keep things air tight, perfect for apples, cucumbers, mugs etc.
We’ve stopped using cling film to cover food for microwaving, we now use loose plates to reduce waste.
Finally we make use of resources around us. We collect from our local pantry weekly and use what we bring home to plan meals around. We do our weekly shop the next day and make use of what the pantry have given.
Anything we haven’t used or don’t think we will use in time can be offered to friends and family or put on Olio. The Olio users can pick them up (at a safe distance) for free. We are mindful of ‘use by’ date too. We’re aware that food can still be fresh after these dates and there’s different ways of finding out. Smell, consistency and colour. Anything we’re not sure of we can quickly search online.
Hey peeps, if u like smelly candles in jars: scrape out wax remnants and clean thoroughly then use to contain other things… bathroom bits, sugar, rice…etcetc!
Best way I’ve found to remove wax: prise out with sharp knife, use wire wool scourer thingy to scrape off excess. Hot soapy water should finish it off nicely. (If wax is a bit squidgy due to central heating etc. pop in freezer for a bit). Hope that’s helpful! xx