Thursday, 16 June 2016

Produce No Waste


This is part six in my discussion of the 12 principles of permaculture. This time I am sharing my thoughts on the principle, "Produce no Waste".

The best way to produce no waste is to exercise care in what we purchase and produce, so that we generate less waste. Secondly we need to look after our resources/possessions with proper maintenance and repair to prolong their useful life. We can take time to consider how the waste product may be utilised in another system, such as compost. Finally with the waste we do have it is a matter of seeing how it might be reused.





Here are some ways I integrate this principle into my life:
Instead of throwing or burning our garden prunings (for example banana leaves) we put them through the mulcher to make mulch.
We have a food scraps container in the kitchen that is emptied into our tumbling compost bin, so our food scraps are recycled into compost.




Instead of purchasing a separate night cream I use extra virgin olive oil on my skin at night and instead of purchasing a separate facial mask I use greek yoghurt and honey together. These practices reduce physical waste, save money and time spent in running out to the shops to purchase –  so it also saves fuel.

Additional ways I could practice this principle in my life are:
In the future I would like to improve at reducing our food waste and preserve more of our harvest.
I would also like to have a ‘worm farm’ to recycle waste and provide nutrients for the garden.
I would like to become skilled in repurposing, and mending clothes.





For me, an inspirational example of this principle in action is the "Make Do and Mend" mentality that existed during the first and second world wars and during the depression. The people of those generations were skilled in reusing what we would now commonly throw away.

10 comments:

  1. Since getting our chooks our food scraps have ll of a sudden become hot property!

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    1. I just bet they have. And the chooks recycle all those scraps into eggs and manure.

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  2. Sherri, I do a lot of those things. You have learned a lot from your course I must say. Yes, my parents lived through both wars and certainly did 'make do and mend'. I grew up that way as well.

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    1. I did learn heaps from my course Chel, and I am still processing a lot of what I have learnt.

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  3. We have a worm farm, Sherri, and it's fantastic! Lots of veggie scraps go into our compost bins but some go into the worm farm. I use the "worm tea" to slosh around the base of my avocado tree and mandarin tree and I use the worm castings when I am preparing the veggie patch for planting. It was easy to set up, easy to care for. I wonder if you might an unwanted worm farm on Freecycle or similar???

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    1. Searching out a worm farm that is no longer wanted is a great idea Meg. Thanks

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  4. I like to think that producing less waste is something we can all have a go at Sherri, and I know many people in Australia are good at Recycling. Perhaps though we need to do more of the Reduce and Reuse part of the slogan, then we wouldn't need to Recycle so much, which in itself uses much energy. Our Grandmas certainly this down to a fine art. Hopefully one day we will get back to such a way of life.

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    1. Yes Australians are definitely much better at recycling, and I can't help but wonder how much of that recycling is done on site at peoples homes, or is it just that they are sending it off in the recycle bin? I certainly don't see a lot of people composting their food scraps etc. Most wheelie bins are full come bin day. Many people of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers generation were much better at managing their resources.

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  5. I'm gobsmacked at the waste in our society and it's the thing I'm most pedantic about in our life here on the farm. NOTHING is wasted. I've only just discovered your blog through your comment on my blog, and now eagerly await evenings so I can peruse all of your older posts. Loving what I've read so far and feel I've met another kindred soul.

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment Sally. Reading your comment on waste reminded me of something I read recently on another blog, and I am sorry to say I cannot remember at the moment which blog it was, but the writer said that he/she is often asked "how do you do so much with so little', and the reply was 'how do you do so little on/with so much" or words to that effect. That statement affected me very much and I felt so humbled because I know I can be a better steward of my resources. I am working toward the day when I too waste nothing, it is still a work in progress but every time I stop and review my progress I realise I am that little bit closer to zero waste.

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