I thought I was losing it yesterday when I couldn’t find my keys (my entire set, for house and car, which are kept all on one key fob).
Has anyone seen my keys?
It was the first day back after the Easter holidays, so we were keen to be on time for school and work. Just prior to our normal departure time of 07:20, I looked in the zip compartment of my large tote bag and my keys weren’t there.
I remembered that I’d used a different bag over the weekend. Maybe they were in there?
Anywhere else? NOPE!!
My husband, Andrew, dug out the spare set of car keys, so we left the house not knowing if my own set was in there or not.
Hunt the keys
On returning home, the family game of Hunt the Keys began. We looked in all the obvious places, then began to look in the less-obvious ones.
Andrew asked me to think. Think about what I was doing the last time I remember having them. My mind was a blur. Remember that post about being present? I couldn’t even recall if I’d used the keys the previous day.
Are they in the bin?
As it happens, Monday is refuse collection day in our corner of Kenilworth. It was ‘grey bin day’ (the fortnightly collection for rubbish that goes to landfill). So, Andrew had pulled the bin back into the garden before its contents could be irrevocably lost.
After turning the entire house upside down, with reluctance, I donned my yellow rubber gloves and started going through two weeks of rubbish. This is a horrid job and I won’t go into details but it caused me to notice the bulky items in the bin that could not be recycled.
What do we really chuck into landfill?
As I searched through our household waste for the missing keys, I began to notice more closely what we threw away (rather than recycled).
In addition to cellophane wrapping (about which I wrote here), the three most noticeable categories of rubbish were:
- Tetra Pak cartons (from juice, almond milk etc.), which we cannot recycle in our fortnightly collection
- Polystyrene containers (fruit packaging)
- Disposable feminine hygiene products and cotton wool pads (from the two ladies in the house: me and Amy)
Seeing two weeks worth of trash in a single location made me really take stock.
If we, a little family of three plus Cockapoo produce this much in just two weeks, imagine the vast quantities across our town, throughout the county and across the entire nation!
Yeah, we need a change, yeah…. Do it today*
I have to make some changes.
We are already recycling a greater volume of items than we throw away each fortnight but I know I can still do more.
I’m going to redouble my efforts to make my own nut milk. It’s more expensive than the Tetra Pak option, but I’d like to see our personal contribution to land fill go down.
I will consider if juice in a recyclable carton is better than Tetra Paks. I’d welcome any views on this. Do you juice your own or avoid juice altogether?
I’m going to redouble my efforts to buy more fruit and veg loose.
Finally, I’ve ordered a Mooncup and will revert to my muslin cloths for cleansing my face, rather than using wasteful cotton wool.
What about those keys?
After all that searching, I went and sat next to Andrew who was working away in the study. And then it hit me. I knew exactly where my keys were.
I had placed them carefully in the glovebox of our family car the previous morning when we went for a dog walk. We had discussed it at the time and we both knew I’d done it. However, we had both completely erased the fact from our short term memory.
I didn’t even need to rush outside and retrieve the keys. I knew they were there.
At least the experience had taught me some valuable lessons and might just nudge me further towards some more eco-friendly purchases.
In the meantime, maybe I need to buy just one small thing.
Does anyone know where I can get one of those ‘find my iPhone’ devices for car keys?
*Lyrics from Heather Small – Proud
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