Recently, however, I became aware of how much rubbish I generate. I tried composting my food waste on my balcony - and killed several plants before realising that it takes months, not weeks, to make compost, too long for my balcony system.
I then turned to the plastic packaging I put into the recycle bin, and into the ordinary rubbish collection each week. While some of this (such as meat trays) I can eliminate by how I shop, some, like berry containers, are not so easily eliminated (except perhaps for a few weeks at this time of the year when I could go to local berry farms and pick my own!).
I go through at least two punnets of strawberries and one of blueberries each week. I decided to see if I could find a way to reuse the containers.
I began with the idea of embroidering them - tracing a pattern on them, making holes along the pattern and stitching between the holes. I also tried using the holes around the sides of the containers to thread ribbon through and weave it. The coverage wasn't good enough - and was unlikely to be better using embroidery thread.
I decided to try a kind of fabric decoupage. I got out my bin of small fabric pieces, a pot of glue and some lacquer.
It's a relatively messy business.
The olive oil spread container that I happened to be ready to throw away proved an easy beginning.
It held its shape and looked OK.
Then for the strawberry container.
It wasn't easy to get full coverage, and I needed to be careful not to cover the edge that clips the top to the bottom.
But it more or less worked.
The blueberry container worked in about the same measure. With the help of a bit of lace, I got a bit closer to the edges in coverage.
All in all, three or four of these I could find a use for. Three or four a week is too much of an ask. These will need to go into our apartment block recycling bin and hopefully be usefully recycled. I also note that a couple of supermarkets are beginning to use more readily recycled containers - not yet, however, for berries.
Then, in November, a couple of things happened. I discovered that two supermarket chains in Adelaide collect soft plastics for recycling. This includes cling wrap, chip packets, linings of cereal boxes, bubblewrap and postbags. Then Adelaide City Council announced a composting scheme. Our strata opted in immediately. I now have a composting bin and biodegradable bin liners that I empty into a collection bin near my carpark. Between these two initiatives, I have had no rubbish go into landfill in the five weeks it has been operating.
I'm glad I satisfied my curiosity and had a go at covering these containers - but still more glad that local recycling advances have overtaken me. I can recycle the containers without feeling the need to reuse them!
I am posting this before the end of the year - mad idea behind me! More conventional embroidery projects in 2019.