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OBEO – A Solution to our Kitchen Food Waste?

June 18, 2015
OBEO - A Solution to our Kitchen Food Waste?

Photo credit: weareobeo.com

How often do you find a new product on the market that really excites you?

It’s been a while since I came across something small, simple and affordable that instantly made life easier in the kitchen, but it happened a couple of weeks ago and I’m keen to share news of it with you.

I stumbled across OBEO® in the huge marquee at Bloom in the Park recently and along with many other shoppers, was offered a couple of trial boxes to try out at home. Having now composted both boxes I can’t wait to get my hands on more.

Since we began composting I’ve tried several different types of buckets, bins and bags to collect the kitchen food waste, before tipping them onto the compost heap. Some have been more successful than others but all have been a bit fiddly or a bit slimy or smelly and most have attracted flies. This generally results in someone, on occasion, not bothering to flip the lid, but instead firing the coffee grinds, orange peel or tea bags into the refuse bin and not into the compost.

Until now.

OBEO - A Solution to our Kitchen Food Waste?The OBEO®, a small Irish business’ solution to our kitchen food waste problem,  is essentially a water-resistant brown bag enclosed in cardboard which can be closed in between use then when full of food waste, fired in its entirety into the brown bin or onto the compost heap.

There are diagrams on the back of the bag indicating what should or shouldn’t be put into it if it’s going into a brown bin – handy if you’re new to separating food waste, and a foldable cardboard handle that tucks the box closed when not in use.

And it works!

OBEO - A Solution to our Kitchen Food Waste?Due to careful shopping (we menu plan and write a weekly list, a necessity when the closest shop is an 8 mile round trip) and feeding animals, we don’t have very much food waste so it took around five days for us to fill our OBEO® with grinds and scraps.

During that time there were no flies or bad smells, and it didn’t look out-of-place on the countertop where it was at its most useful. Once full, unlike our current composting pedal bin, the box was folded shut and walked straight out to the compost, instead of spilling out on to the floor which seems to happen in our kitchen more than I like to admit.

As soon as I’d used my second bag I was onto OBEO®’s website looking for replacements. They run a handy, online shop for bulk buying (great for business’ who are trying to green up but struggling with the food segregation waste or anyone overseas) and after a tweet to @weareobeo, I was told that many Dunnes Stores and SuperValu stock smaller quantities for us regular shoppers, offering them at an RRP of €3.85 for a pack of 5, which OBEO® suggest is two weeks worth of bags.

I’m really impressed with this simple yet innovative product. If you haven’t come across their answer to food waste recycling, take a look at the OBEO® website for more information and tips on reducing food waste in general.

If you haven’t started composting, it’s something I’d recommend for everyone as apart from offering the opportunity for FREE soil conditioner, just thinking about food waste in general could save you over €1,000 a year – enough for a summer break! Here’s a handy downloadable PDF that explains how to compost that can help to get you started.

Have you found a way of saving food waste that eliminates smells and untidiness or might OBEO® be the answer to your dreams too?

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Green

Compost – How each household could save up to €1,000 a year

January 9, 2012

Composting: How it can save you moneyIf you’re not already composting, the start of a new year is a good time to start afresh and plan to do so.

Last year I attended a very interesting seminar at the chambers given by Nuala on behalf of theStop Food Waste Campaign which, apart from giving us a free source of organic matter, explained why composting is so important. The campaign is a great initiative primarily aimed at reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfill each year, and encouraging us to think more carefully about how we shop, cook and eat.

Their website is a mine of information and well worth a look but a couple of points that were highlighted include:

  • The average person throws out the equivalent of three grown men of waste each year, 30% of which is made up of food and 7% of garden and landscaping materials.
  • One third of food that Irish households buy is wasted – the equivalent of a third of our groceries being stolen out of our shopping trolleys.
  • The average household could save up to €1,000 a year by avoiding this waste by composting.

From our own perspective I’m so glad we have chickens and dogs for the cooked food leftovers. We also keep our waste to a minimum by writing weekly shopping lists and compost as much as we can, just using a few old pallets to make a couple of containers to contain it. Those practices combined with recycling, means that our family of five produces on average one black bin bag of refuse destined for the landfill every two weeks.

Nuala highlighted a few different composting systems and I was particularly interested in the ones for smaller gardens, as I’m often asked about them.

One was a Bokashi which seems like a really handy way of composting if you don’t have a big garden but use an allotment. Wormeries are another great alternative to compost bins and heaps, especially if you don’t currently compost because you’re worried about vermin. It’s worth keeping an eye on the catalogues or in your garden centres as different products become available, such as this Earthmaker Aerobic Composter where research has shown that it will make twice as much compost as traditional bins over the same period.

If you have a few minutes, do take a couple of minutes to check out the Stop Food Waste website above.

For anybody who isn’t already composting and doesn’t have the Brown bin option for their ‘green’ waste, it was suggested that they get a small bucket with a lid and throw all their food waste into it for a week or two to see how much is thrown away.

Would you be willing to give that challenge a go?

If you’d like to know more about composting, there’s a free downloadable pdf file available in the Gardening Information and Jobs link above, giving full details on how to compost.