Halfway through my zero-waste month...

These past 2 weeks I have been undertaking the beginnings of a sponsored zero-waste month. This entails me reducing my landfill waste over July to the volume of a coffee jar (seen in the picture). Most, if not all of the waste I produce should be recyclable or compostable.

I was cautious in approaching this ambitious challenge. However, environmentalism has long been an important issue to me. An appreciation for nature and respect of ones surroundings should be the norm for all inhabitants sharing this special blue planet of ours. Nature, to me, represents something greater than ourselves, an epic power which has provided the conditions for our survival, but can equally provide the conditions for our extinction. 

Apart from the dramatic power of nature, I simply feel it represents a kind of liberty. There really isn't anything like taking in a deep breath of fresh air. The taste of a crisp spring morning as your lungs expand as wide as they can, aching to get a little more of that gaseous elixir of life. Having experienced places where such a pleasure cannot be enjoyed has taught me to cherish it more strongly. It fuels my determination to protect the environment and ensure that every inhabitant of this blue planet can enjoy their right to a clean and productive surroundings. 

But back to my task at hand! In just 2 weeks I feel I have become a master of the Oxford farmers' markets, an exceptionally better cook (considering that prior I could count the number of meals I'd cooked on one hand!) and am excited to continue the challenge. 

To sponsor me in this zero-waste challenge please donate at my Virgin Money Giving page: here

It has been a busy few weeks as I have had great interest in my community services. As such I have been unable to post zero-waste tips and experiences, as I had promised. However, from this point forward, expect to be up to your ears in zero-waste tips and tricks, beginning with a comprehensive breakdown of what all these recycling labels really mean. You'd be surprised how companies are exploiting the popularity of recycling by using misleading symbols which don't actually mean the product is recyclable! Such as this one:

Watch the video for some recycling label information and scroll down for a more in depth look.

The most important thing to do is check your council's website to see exactly what they are willing to recycle! I am lucky enough to live in lefty Oxford which provides a wide range of recycling. However, other councils aren't so supportive. Solution: get out there and demand that councils priorities the environment.

Widely recycled (green with circular arrow)

75% or more of councils provide household recycling collection facilities for that packaging type in their area.

Check local recycling (black with circular arrow)

Used when 20% - 75% of councils have household recycling collection facilities for that packaging type in their area.

Not currently recycled (black with circular arrow and cross)

Used when less than 20% of councils have household recycling collection facilities for that packaging type in their area.

Mobius Loop

Indicates that an object is capable of being recycled - not that the object has been recycled or will be accepted in all recycling collection systems. Sometimes this symbol is used with a percentage figure in the middle to explain that the packaging contains x% of recycled material.

The Green Dot

The Green Dot does not necessarily mean that the packaging is recyclable, will be recycled, or has been recycled. It is a symbol used on packaging in many European countries and signifies that the producer has made a financial contribution towards the recovery and recycling of packaging. Be careful!


Dispose of this carefully and thoughtfully. Do not litter. This doesn't relate to recycling, but is a reminder to be a good citizen, disposing of the item in the most appropriate manner.


Identifies the type of plastic resin used to make the item by providing a 'Resin Identification Code'. It is represented with a 'chasing arrows' symbol surrounding a a number between 1 and 7 that defines the resin used.

Waste electricals

Waste electrical items - from household applicances to mobile phones to IT equipment - can be recycled if you see this symbol.


The 'seedling' is the registered trademark of European Bioplastics. Products certified to be industrially compostable according to the European standard EN 13432/14955 may bear the 'seedling' logo.


To be given the National Association of Paper Merchants' mark, paper or board must be made from a minimum of 50%, 75% or 100% genuine waste paper and/or board fibre, no part of which should contain mill produced waste fibre


Please dispose of glass bottles and jars in a bottle bank (but remember to separate colours) or use your glass household recycling collection if you have one.

Recyclable aluminium

The item is made of recyclable aluminium.

Recyclable steel

The product is made of recyclable steel.


The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo identifies products which contain wood from well managed forests independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC.

For more info please visit: Recycle Now


  1. Excellent post, Yasmina. Very proud of you. Keep up the great work.


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