A few rubbish thoughts

Filed in Blog by on June 17, 2008 4 Comments
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Do you ever feel like the world is against your plans?

I think we’ll all agree that nature abhors a vacuum; if you’re a gardener, you’ll know this from experiences.

Gotta space in that soil of yours? No worries, Nature will deliver you a weed…….

I feel like it’s been the same with us this week and our zero waste challenge.

Little Miss Green came home from a school fete with, what could be politely described as, a pile of crap rubbish. Plastic toys that will break in minutes, lollies wrapped in plastic paper and a plate full of cakes wrapped in plastic wrap.

sweets and lollies wrapped in plastic

I went outside yesterday morning to see this in our front border:
plastic silicone packaging

Mr Green bought a well earned beer and we got home to realise we were given this with it:
plastic rings from beer

I took my camera for a walk down the garden to take some photos of the roses and saw that one of Little Miss Green’s construction projects had resulted in this:
broken plastic chair

The swingball had been left outside for the winter and ended up like this: (I investigated it and it’s now beyond use):
swingball rusty and brittle plastic

The bat had met its demise:
plastic bat

and I found a couple of pairs of these:
plastic rusty pliers

I then got thoroughly depressed about my life and about the fact that even if I use plastic things now, if they are useful and functional, one day, one day, they will end up in the landfill anyway, where they will pollute the planet for the next several hundred years.

Geesh, I realised just how many bad, no terrible, choices I have made over my thirty something years of existence. I realised that if present calculations are correct, of the average person throwing away their body weight every 7 weeks, I’m responsible for around 12,000kgs of stuff going into the landfill plus about 3 cars, three fridges, a couple of beds, 2 mattresses, carpets, 1 cooker, 2 washing machines, a couple of laptops, several printers and all manner of other things that I’ve now forgotten about.

It’s a sobering thought isn’t it?

I figured I had two choices in that moment of awareness. Either it could ruin my day and I could get thoroughly depressed about the state of the world, or I could be pleased that I’ve learnt this now, am passing on my knowledge to Little Miss Green and we’re reducing the amount of rubbish we send to landfillas I type.

It’s easy to be pulled down by the tales of doom and gloom that are in the media, and of course the state of our environment is a serious subject with serious consequences if we don’t act. But most of all I’m learning the most important requirement with this challenge of ours and that’s to retain a sense of humour.

I mean, come on, who else could have had an empty silicone container left in their front garden and given birth to a child who breaks so many things?

Then I found these, and life wasn’t so bad after all:

red rose
comfrey and bee

yellow rose bud

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 (4)

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  1. What beautiful flowers and lovely pictures! πŸ™‚ I love the bumblebee!

    What I love most about reading your posts is that you’re human too. That and really, your writing is lovely. πŸ™‚ Sometimes in reading green sites or tips etc, the people just don’t seem – well, human! The fact is we do make mistakes and watching you and your family on your journey makes someone like me who’s just starting out feel like this is an attainable goal. Even if we’re going to make mistakes.

  2. Hi Mrs G – I’m up there with Melissa. I loved this post and the great thing is you keep it all in perspective. I knew I set you an amazing challenge and you’re rising to it beautifully (literally).

    Hi to Melissa and good luck with your own challenge ;-D

  3. Jane says:

    And that bind weed… you don’t want to put that on the compost heap as it’ll ruin everything!

    So, that’s more landfill… hmm….. is it two compost bins, one for the nasties and one that can go on the garden.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    Oh Melissa, I was so excited to capture that bumblebee. I have to admit I LOVE digital photography – there are around 30 photos of no bee, missing parts of bee or totally out of focus bee, but there is just this one where she’s looking all lovely. We couldn’t have done that in the days of 35mm photography πŸ˜‰

    Thank you for your compliments Melissa and Mrs A. We really are hoping that this site will encourage others to have a go – not necessarily at zero waste; we know that is a huge commitment, but even if everyone in this country were to recycle one more item a week, that’s 60 million less things going into the landfill.

    I feel it is MORE likely that we will engage people if we show that we are completely fallible and that, as you put it, we’re just regular humans (well almost πŸ˜‰ )

    Jane, we tend to ‘cook’ our weeds in the sun before adding to the compost, but to be honest, we rarely get any useful compost that we can spread on the beds from it anyway.

    We have a visiting horse who sticks his head in the compost bin and eats everything πŸ˜€

    That’s even better compost – in one end, turn the tail, and out the other LOL!

    Mrs G x

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