I entered a competition run by the local council a while ago. The prize for the best recycling idea was a weekend away in a plush Devon hotel. So I engaged the brain and sent in an entry that I thought was genius. It had made a real difference in reducing waste that we generated as a family and had saved us money too. Imagine my surprise and annoyance, when the winning entry was something that I do without thinking. 'Use up leftover food'. My runner up prize of a tea towel offered no 'consolation' and just increased my indignation!
My tip was to use a SodaStream to supply your fizzy drink needs. Just one 500ml of concentrate makes 12 litres of soda in reusable bottles and the gas canisters are recycled by taking them back to a stockist when a refill is needed. But the Lovelygrey family have moved on from our original fizzing device, negating the need for fizzy drink bottles altogether. The two taps on our kegerator (see my earlier post) are marked 'W and B'. Many mistake these initials for wine and beer but they're only half right. The W stands for water which is magically fizzed by a big gas bottle attached to the fridge.
By producing homemade cordials and syrups to add to the carbonated water instead, waste packaging is cut even further. And sometimes their production gives me an ideal opportunity to indulge in foraging, a favourite pastime. These are the elderflowers in a secret location near my home that I picked yesterday. Right now, they're soaking in two separate containers to produce a cordial and Elderflower Champagne. Just follow the links for the recipes I used. Sante!