Wednesday, 2 December 2009

But it was free!!!

So, I kind of went a bit squiffy on Buy Nothing Day and was pressurised into going Christmas shopping with my mum, and although I really wanted to avoid the shops altogether at least I didn't buy anything (she did though!) and I talked to some really cool girls on a council recycling stall about what the council's doing for the environment in my area. In return for filling in one of their questionnaires I got a free green goodie bag (even when I leave the house intending to come back empty handed I still managed to get something, even if it was free!)....

Inside the Act on CO2 reusable shopping bag I got a Fat Trap (not too sure about this device, it's a cardboard box with a plastic bag liner that you pour your used cooking oil and fat into, rather than down the drain where it clogs up the pipes and sewers - I very much dislike the plastic bit though, although it probably is less waste than putting used oil in an old plastic bottle in the bin, which is what we do on the rare occasions we have oil to throw away - anyone else have any opinions on the fat trap or what to do with old oil???), a water saving device for the toilet cistern - you put it in and it swells up and displaces 1 litre of water, so you save a litre per flush, we already have at least one in each loo here so I'm saving this for when I move out (not sure about this one either - I think you could put a brick in your loo and avoid the plastic this things made from), an energy saving lightblub - another item for the 'when I move out' pile! And some leaflets about 100 ways to save energy, ways to keep warm (this ones really fun cos it has a thermometer that tells you when it's too cold, ideal and too hot so you can experiment and get your heater settings to the right levels to stay warm and save energy) and a leaflet about what the council's doing to be more eco.
Not bad for a days work!


  1. Don't you just love how half the time the "green" goodies you get aren't really that green, as in plastic! Ah well, at least the bag's not plastic!

  2. I know Julia! I would have left the plasticy bits behind as well if I'd have looked in the bag while I was there!

  3. Yeah, very cool for talking to the girls, but I am a bit miffed about the plastic and not-so-eco 'green' bits too!!

    Soo much of stuff labelled green is actually quite hmm, iffy?
    The Fat trap - don't get me started! I have no idea why anyone would need that! Cardboard? Are you sure? I thought it was plastic & used for collecting and then emptied and reused?

    Old oil is collected here together with dangerous waste, and we just put it in plastic bottles or jugs, and take there for collection. This is not ideal cause I don't know what happens to the oil then, some of the stuff collected goes to special-waste-incinerators or old salt mines in Germany or so..

    I would muchly prefer it to be filtered locally and have a jeep run on it or something (a local guy has used old oil from restaurants and it smelled lovely of french fries when he drove by! lol!) Again, not sure how doable or eco that is either..

    Ideally, perhaps there would be oil-drop-off points at local restaurants, and/or local people would collect it and then purify it & use it?

    Some small amounts Dad says can be put on the compost, not sure if this is totally 'legit' either, Dad says the compost can tolerate some, but not too much (?)

  4. No, this fat trap is cardboard with a plastic bag liner attached, it says it's made out of 'the most biodegradable packaging possible', but I doubt this! It's a one use only thing, you're supposed to put it in the bin after it's full, I suppose it's because we don't have any oil collection facilities here so binning or puring down the drain is the only option :(

    I don't know of anyone with a veggie oil powered car, but thats a good idea, I think you're right, community collection points would be the best idea! I fI ever meet those recycling girls again I'll tell them what I want!

    I looked up the oil-in-compost thing, you're dads right it can go in the compost, in small amounts and mixed with brown matter (like cardboard) before hand and aerated often (otherwise it slows the composting down and attracts rats!) I also found the suggestion that used oil can be reused to make soap or mixed with solid fat to create birdfeeders - so maybe thats my best bet at the moment!


Thanks for visiting!

You can also find me on Twitter @secondhandsusie and Facebook