Inspiring rubbish champions

Filed in Blog by on June 25, 2008 2 Comments
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holding hands across the world
Yesterday I promised I would talk about some people who are doing their bit to reduce the amount of rubbish they send to landfill.

There are two people in our village for example, who put out virtually nothing for the rubbish collection each week. They don’t write a website about it, talk about it or write letters about it; they just get on and do it without needing to draw attention to themselves. To them it is a natural, and normal part of life.

One friend is in her 60s, grew up as a post war babe and was bought up with a ‘make do and mend’ quality that has never left her. The other friend is the same age as me with a young child and feels that she benefits the environment by throwing less away.

Then there is my friend whom I call the ‘quiet activist’. She makes positive consumer choices, reducing packaging wherever she can. She is constantly contacting our local council to find out what changes are afoot, what their plans are for extending recycling facilities and how they are going to improve things in the future. She writes to the papers and simply won’t buy from manufacturers that use excess packaging.

A friend of mine, Sue, has recently started her reduce waste 2008 blog about the amount of rubbish her family of 6 throws out. She lives in the same county as me, so has the same difficulties with throwing away plastic. Sue has been recycling for nearly a decade; as I discovered when I tried to give her advice the other week – doh! Sue combines her bin slimming with making frugal meals, so her blog is inspirational for cutting down the amount of money you spend on food too. Sue shows us that you don’t have to make expensive choices to reduce the amount of packaging you end up with and is great at avoiding food waste. Got a few tablespoons of cooked pasta left over? Sue will help you make it into tomorrow’s lunch.

Then of course, there is wheelie bin mentor extraordinarie, Almost Mrs A writing her blog and becoming a bit of a celebrity over there in Bury St Edmonds. Mrs A has three bins on a diet, including ours, and is a real champion of waste. She’s been on Radio 4’s Women’s hour and was invited to the recent WRAP conference. As well as us, Mrs A has Ruby and Joe under her wing, so pop along and see what they are writing about with their bin slimming experiences too. Mrs A was the kick up the butt we needed to get us on our way with our own challenge, and we are eternally grateful to her (most of the time 😉 ).

Along with these people is John, who is quietly doing his own challenge up in the North of the country. John, as I wrote yesterday, is challenging himself to produce just one black bag of rubbish in a year. He’s not writing much on his site about it, preferring to just get on and do things his own way, but you’ll find him on various forums around the internet and also see his name on many news articles from various sources, talking rubbish.

There is the fabulous Linda Ware, aka Auntie Plastic who is a real purist. Unfortunately, she is no longer keeping her blog up to date; I believe she is focusing in writing a book about her experiences, but her blog is well worth a read. She has been bin free for over a year now. What a woman! She shows you how to live simply and tread lightly on the earth. Her posts offer humour and wisdom and a good dose of reality.

Over in the US there are many friends doing their bin boogie too. The gorgeous Beth at Fake Plastic Fish is an amazing woman who is seeking to eliminate plastic from her life. She’s quite an activist and founded ‘Take back the filter’, a campaign for US recycling of Brita water filters. Her posts are funny and thought provoking. She happens to be a lovely lady to boot, so no excuses; go along and give her your support. She has a huge swathe of readers who frequently leave metre long pages on her blog by the time they’ve all written comments on her posts! Beth’s energy and enthusiasm is a real inspiration.

This week she celebrated a year of her life reducing plastic and produced ZERO plastic. While we at My Zero Waste are teetering on the edge of 24 ounces of plastic waste this week, Beth has weighed in with between an ounce and four ounces of plastic over the past couple of weeks. What a woman!

In Chicago, Life Less Plastic is now virtually plastic free after beginning her quest in September 2007 for a plastic free existence. She shares her experiences and talks you through the steps she has taken to virtually eliminate plastic from her life. There are some great posts on her blog and some really useful information. She’s currently having a bit of a crisis with her hair washing regime in her bid to ditch the plastic. No girl likes to have a bad hair day, so go along and give her a cheer.

I came across Sustainable Dave this week who has set himself his 365 days of trash experiment. In it he is *storing* all the rubbish he generates (apart from obvious health hazards) in his basement rather than throwing it away. What a reality check that will prove to be! Dave has a bit of a challenge in that he appears to be doing this himself, despite living with others. What a guy! As I have said before I would struggle greatly without Mr Green’s support; in fact I don’t think I could do this at all, so round of applause for Dave.

What I love about these people is that everyone has their own unique twist on the same subject. One just gets on and does it without fuss, another pushes manufacturers to change their ways, others get out there in the public eye while some just blog quietly about their experiences. Some are real purists, while others are showing examples of what can be done with just a little forward planning and shift of mindset, yet more are focusing on just one thing – plastic.

What is heart warming is that everyone is working towards a common goal – one of reducing the amount of stuff they send to landfill. And that has to be good.

Do you know of any great people reducing the amount of rubbish they send to landfill? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (2)

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  1. Hi Mrs G – it is always inspiring to see what others are doing isn’t it. I am always amazed at other people’s stories. What is great though is that those people who as you say, live so lightly, often take it for granted as it is just their way. That is how I would love things to be, a world where we don’t have to encourage change, purely because it is part of behaviour and a lifestyle that doesn’t cause surprise. However, I am proud to be one of those that write about it, because as you said the other day, it’s the small seeds that help ideas grow. 😀

  2. Mrs Green says:

    Hello Mrs A **waves**

    I agree with you; that it will be wonderful when producing little or no waste is the ‘norm’.

    I had an interesting conversation in a shop the other month when I asked for half a dozen eggs.
    The guy asked me if I wanted ‘free range or normal?’

    Ahem; I kinda figured that free range WAS normal – but it does illustrate a point.

    I love that you wrote a similar post last week and you had mentioned many *different* people to me. It just goes to show that there are more and more garbloggers (love that term!) all the time. Not to mention the ‘unsung heroes’ who just tread lightly on the earth without making a fuss.

    Mrs G x

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