The Weather Report: Hello and welcome to another RecyclingCDs Newsletter. We hope you’ve been enjoying what is left of the summer weather and remembering that although it may not have been a particularly hot one, we did at least avoid the severe flooding of recent years (mostly!) and luxuriated in some lovely weeks of unexpected glorious sunshine back (way back) in April and May. In the spirit of being content and thankful for what we have, let’s settle back into the cosy arms of my favourite season – autumn.
Ah, what bliss this season brings! Scarlet, golden leaves swirling all around from beneath a still warm and sunny, blue sky; chestnuts falling to the ground revealing shiny new conkers, arousing nostalgia of more youthful days and past times; a slight chill in the air requiring colourful scarves and cosy knits. Mmmmm, I love it!
In a Pickle: Traditionally autumn is a time of year particularly focused on reducing, reusing and recycling as we make use of the remaining summer fruits and vegetables and put aside food stores for winter by pickling, freezing and making vegetable chutneys and fruit jams – yummy! It is a shame that most of us seem to have lost the time, inclination or forethought to fill up our pantries and cupboards in this way.
In a Jam: But, the chances are, that you may know someone else who does take advantage of the abundance of UK home grown crops to make such products as jams, pickles, chutneys and other sauces from fruit and veg. I find that mothers (mine makes a particularly succulent plum jam) and grannies are often quite useful in this field so pay one (your own or someone else’s) a visit and offer to exchange help with chores or other good will for some home-made goodies.
New Friends: If you don’t know anyone who either grows or cooks then aside from setting yourself the task of making new, useful friends pronto, you would be best advised to get yourself down to the local store, farmer’s market or perhaps a church or community fete to see what fruitful delicacies are on offer. Supporting local growers and culinary artisans in this manner may take a little more time or effort than popping down to the supermarket to pick up a few jars and cans but the benefits will pay for themselves.
The Supermarket Option: This may appear convenient, but when you consider the extra additives, colourings and preservatives that go into many of the products sold there, not to mention the toxic pesticides and fertilisers that the fruit or veg may have grown up in and therefore absorbed before it got to the store, convenience becomes a little less rosy. We have heard of strawberries being picked for commercial jam manufacturers that are bleached grey after picking before being made into the finished product which is injected with food colourings to make it strawberry coloured – bleugh! Disgusting as well as totally pointless!
Sure, we can purchase organic products in most supermarkets but why buy something that’s been trucked up and down the country from farmer to manufacturer to warehouse to supermarket store, packaged in travel proof and storage proof packaging that is most often neither recyclable nor reusable, when we can buy the same product from a local source sans packaging. It’s an understandable strategy for foods like bananas or rice which aren’t too easily grown in our own climate but for food, particularly fruit products that are readily grown and easily produced locally, it seems a ridiculous waste of resources to buy anything else.
Reasons To Buy Local: By sourcing and buying local, we allow ourselves to not only gain a karmic sense of community by playing an active part in said community, but we may also make a few friends and who knows where that could lead! We could gain instant knowledge of where the food we consume comes from, how it has been raised and manufactured from seedlings into the finished product we buy thus re-establishing the connection between us and our food that has been mislaid for so long.
Excess Packaging: In addition, we may well discover a source of food that is most likely natural, probably local and possibly organic too. Apart from the advantages of better taste and nutrition compared to many commercial supermarket brands we will probably be able to get away without packaging too. Whilst some large stores have begun using plastic packaging that claims to be compostable or recyclable it is not at all clear how we should dispose of these. Compostable plastic for example won’t compost if sent to landfill as it requires certain conditions in which to compost successfully.
Compulsory clear labelling on all packaging explaining best disposal practice would be a positive step but the real answer to our increasing landfill problem surely is to forego the packaging in the first place. For most supermarkets that transfer products all over the country and from abroad, this is not a viable option.
The Simple Life: For us, the consumer, however the options are vast and relatively simple. We can shop for most of our groceries locally thus avoiding the need for surplus packaging. We can order from fruit and veg delivery companies who source local food. We can take our own bags to local greengrocers and whole food stores. If we’re lucky enough to live near a farm, we can find out about sourcing direct. We can form a co-op with neighbours, friends and family to order products in bulk thus reducing cost as well as packaging waste. We can grow our own food if we have space. We can work with or form community groups if we don’t have our own space enabling us to share allotments or other growing spaces. We can do a combination of these things or just a few. The choice is ours.
Take Control: The bottom line it seems is that we CAN reduce the amount of waste we produce as well as eat better and live more fulfilled lifestyles without spending more money and in many cases reducing the amount we spend. We DO have choices that lie outside of the supermarket and their over-packaged, over processed, unhealthy food. We are not obliged to use them, so let’s think outside the trolley and see where it takes us.
We will be adding links to groups and organisations you can join or get advice from about growing your own food, forming a co-op or community garden and shopping locally. If you are already involved in a community food and gardening project do let us know so we can add the details to our site.
Shared resources + innovative thinking = less waste + community growth = happier individuals!
If you’ve read our blog post earlier this month, you will know that our featured artist of the month is… drum roll please… Harlequin! Our latest artist recruit’s designs are inspired by electronic imaging and the paranormal. Harlequin’s designs for RecyclingCDs include astrological signs as well as Green Man and Che Guevara. Have a look at his work here http://recyclingcds.com/product_artist.asp?id=48 and remember to use the discount detailed below when making your purchase.
Discounts & Offers:
With these offers we are really spoiling you this month. Not only can you purchase any of our featured artist, Harlequin’s clocks for the reduced rate of £5.99 until the end of the month (September) but our RecyclingCDs’ website voucher is still valid so don’t forget to enter the following Voucher Code: CKR0030 when ordering CDClocks from the website to receive a fabulous 10% discount (limited time only). These offers cannot be used in conjunction because that would be rather greedy on your part and utter lunacy on ours!
Latest in the Forums:
I have set up a poll on ToLuna to discover how much household waste we all recycle. If you have a spare minute, pop over to the site and answer the simple multiple choice question here.
As usual you can get in touch and stay up to date with RecyclingCDs on Facebook and MySpace as well as our blog and website. Help us spread the recycling word by adding one of our banners to your own site or blog.
Until next time happy recycling!
From Rache & All at RecyclingCDs