For the first seven chapters click here 🙂
Chapter 8 continues:
Mrs Tebbut continued.
“Now can anybody think of ways in which we could reduce our waste in the first place?”
Several hands shot up.
“Draw on both sides of the paper.”
“Very good. Yes, Katia.”
“Stick a note on your door that says ‘no junk mail’.”
“Good thinking. Yes, Simon.”
“Get your shoes re-soled instead of buying new ones.”
“Ooh, yes, well done Simon. Repair things instead of throwing them out. Good one. Ok, well done, you’re all thinking now. What about the choices we make when we buy things like food. We have to buy food, but how can we reduce waste before we even get it home?”
The class went quiet again. Everyone was thinking but they weren’t quite sure what she was after.
“I’m thinking packaging here,” she explained, “we eat the food but we throw away the packaging. How can we reduce that waste?”
“Buy food with recyclable packaging!” Butler shouted out.
“Yes, if we must, but what would be even better?”
Joe’s eyes suddenly lit up and he opened his mouth as if to speak but didn’t. Mrs Tebbut noticed.
“Joe? Did you want to say something?”
“Buy stuff without packaging,” he said quietly.
There were a few snickers.
“How ya gonna do that? Everything comes in packets!” someone scoffed.
Joe went red and looked down at his hands. Mrs Tebbut frowned.
“Quiet! Pay attention to Joe, he’s got the right idea!” She turned to Joe, “well done, that’s exactly what I was looking for. We need to avoid the waste coming into our homes in the first place by choosing things with the least amount of packaging, and even no packaging when possible. Kenny – see me at the end of class!”
Mrs Tebbut went on to explain their class project: a week on Friday they would all make a presentation to the class in which they would explain how they had reduced waste in their household. As visual aids they were to bring with them everything being thrown away in their house that week (after it had been cleaned if necessary) and tell the class where that rubbish was headed: recycling or landfill. She gave them printouts which told them all about recycling.
After tea on shopping night, Luke was rummaging through the kitchen drawers.
“Come on Luke if you want to come, I want to get this over with,” said Mum.
She hated shopping.
“I’m coming …” said Luke, but didn’t.
“What are you looking for?” asked Mum.
“The shopping bags. I thought they were in here.”
“So did I. Oh, I don’t know. I think I put them in the wash. I don’t know where they are now. Never mind, just leave it. Let’s go!”
“Hang on!” said Luke and he rushed upstairs.
Mum picked up the car keys and headed for the door.
“If you don’t come now Luke, I’m going without you!” And she went outside.
Just before she released the handbrake Luke opened the passenger door and climbed in.
“What are you doing with those?” Mum asked with alarm as she looked at a large crumpled pile of flower-print and cartoon superhero pillowcases on his lap.
“Bags,” he said, “we need reusable bags.”
Mum inhaled deeply, checked the mirror and reversed out of the drive.
continues tomorrow 🙂
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