We don’t mean to be extreme, honest! But after having spent the last two months living amongst beautiful native bush and birds in the Waitakeres, we’ve now moved into a 34sqm apartment, on the 33rd floor, in the Auckland CBD! It has one bedroom, and what is affectionately called a ‘Juliet balcony’ – it is only wide enough to stand on…just! And now that we’re here, we’ve absolutely no intention of giving up our rubbish free ways.
Perhaps surprisingly to many people, we’ve always been drawn towards high density living and are wrapt we’re finally getting to give it a real go. As we’ve ranted on about in the past, our primary concern that drives our rubbish free ways, is the pre-consumer waste generated in the production of the products and packaging we buy. In Story of Stuff they suggest that for every bag or rubbish we send to landfill, seventy equivalent bags of landfill waste have resulted from the production of the items in our single bag! For a long time I’ve been telling people it was 1:7, not 1:70 as it just seemed to unbelievable so I thought I must have it wrong. But the other day I watched the video again and there it was…70 times!!!
What’s that got to do with apartment living? Well it is consumer pressure that is going to force manufacturers to rethink their packaging and products and a whole lot of those consumers live in apartments. We’ve always said that although we had chickens, a large vegetable garden and plenty of space when we were doing our Rubbish Free Year, those factors weren’t essential to succeeding. So now it’s time to put our money where our mouths were!
After one week we’re off to a good start. The bokashi system is ideal for apartment living as it is small, doesn’t smell, and the product is welcomed by anyone with a garden! We’ve discovered the Recycling Room, (actually called the Rubbish Room but we think it should be renamed!), and have found that they are very keen for separation of paper from other recyclables. Best of all it turns out there is a Farmers Market a block away every Saturday morning which, when we explored it last weekend, seems to be a great source of unpackaged organic veggies!
We’ll keep you posted on how it is going and in the meantime any tips or suggestions anyone can share on apartment living rubbish free would be greatly appreciated!