Litter dropping shock at Chez Green

Filed in Blog by on June 12, 2008 9 Comments
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sweet wrappers
Confessionals are great things. You just share all your sins, receive forgiveness and away you go with a spring in your step and a lighter conscience.

Ok, so you open yourself up to ridicule and a fast track to hell as well, but we’re prepared to take a chance.

Hot off the press: “Little Miss Green is accused of litter dropping by neighbours”.


I love this story. Lemme give you a bit of background. I’ve bought Little Miss Green up to have a wholesome diet. I have this thing about sweets being the evil creation of the Universe, so she’s been having them at Christmas, Birthdays, that kind of thing and I’ve never had them in the house apart from those times.

<stands up to receive her ‘Evil Mother of the year’ award>

Well, peer pressure has hotted up over recent months and she was getting a little OTT about the idea of sweets. She talked about them everyday. She told me that she wished she lived with other ‘nicer Mummy’s’, claimed general neglect and starvation, asked me several times for the telephone number of the Samaritans and NSPCC and decided that ‘next time round’ (she believes in reincarnation) she was coming back as a boy (‘because I like willies’) who was allowed to eat lots of sweets.

After numerous conversations of ‘How old do I have to be before I can do what I like?’ to which I replied ‘Oooo, around 16 – 18 I should think’ followed by a ‘Good, that’s not long to go then and when I can I’m going to the shop to buy lots of sweets’ I decided I was creating a Biiiiiig problem and needed to address it.

So I bought sweets.

I went to Lidls of all places for some chemical free beauties. No artificial colourings, flavourings or additives; just basically a bit of fruit and sugar individually wrapped with that lovely bright plastic packaging that kids love. This was before we had stepped up to our zero waste challenge you understand.

I bought loads of them. Packets of them with a plan in mind. I’d saturate her with them, give her total free reign, let her overdose on them, be sick on them, get tummy ache on them, have her hair and teeth fall out on them, get constipated on them, have her eyes drop out and her legs fall off from them, let her eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and eventually she’d regulate herself, get her obsession out of her mind and stop talking and thinking about them.

After 5 days of feasting like a Roman Emperor she’d started to slow right down. Interesting psychology eh? In fact on Sunday she looked at them and said ‘You know, I don’t think I want any sweets today.’ Let that be a lesson to us, most of all me, about the idea of forbidden fruits.

It was too much to bear for Adam and Eve, so how can I expect my seven year old to deal with it?

Anyway, back to the plot. Little Miss Green is a sharing, caring girl and was taking these sweets out for her friends to eat. One day she came home telling me about a lady who had told her off for dropping litter.


We’re the GREENS, none other than no zero waste challenge family. It couldn’t possibly be.

Could it?

This is the child who came running upstairs with tears in her eyes the other day after she’d read an article about polar bears. ‘You have to stop global warming!’ she begged ‘The polar bears are dying. We have to stop putting things into the landfill!’ Bless her. She looked at me like I solely had the power to take charge of this situation.

As it happens, it was last Wednesday when the crime happened. And on Wednesday, Little Miss Green had spent the day with Grandma Green which meant I declared Wednesday a sweet free day. Grandma provides all sort of other goodies that we don’t normally have at home to make up for it.

With this understanding in place, Little Miss Green skipped down the drive with her sweets, promising faithfully that she wouldn’t eat any herself, she would just share them.

So to be told she had dropped litter was a bit confusing for her. She claimed that she hadn’t done it, her friends had done it, because on Wednesday she wasn’t allowed to have sweets.

Good call!

The lady told her that it was her responsibility to dispose of the wrappers because they were her sweets.

Gosh, good point!

I can see all sides of the argument here; I feel like I’m an umpire at a tennis match………….

My immediate reaction was one of embarrassment I have to confess. What if the neighbours read the recent paper article about us and then saw our daughter dropping plastic rubbish? Oh the irony of it all. I could see paparazzi photographers hiding in the hedges as I thought about it and I’m quite sure I heard cries of ‘Off with their heads!’ or similar.

I had nightmares of Almost Mrs A coming over, lifting the lid on our bin infront of scorning crowds to reveal a swarm of plastic sweet wrappers that flew out into the sky and littered the world forever, resulting in the extinction of the human race.

I must admit that Little Miss Green is definitely dropping litter in side the house. I’m finding sweet wrappers on the floor, stairs and on the back patio. Now unless we have a mischievous elf who particularly likes the lemon flavoured ones; which, curiously is her favourite flavour too, I’m guessing that Little Miss Green has her part to play in the recent littering scandal of the village.

Shocking huhn?

Well the sweets are almost gone, there are two left sitting on the worktop as I write and Little miss Green has said that next time I’m to get her the ones in tins because they don’t have plastic wrappers.

That’s my girl!

P.S. I’ve just emptied out her shorts pockets to find sweet wrappers, so I’ll guess we’ll never know who the litter bug was. There are some things in life that we’re never meant to know, eh?

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 (9)

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  1. LOL – how I empathise. We have those little plastic sweetie demons too, everytime we visit nanny the boys get a bag of lollies. They soon forget about them afterwards, which is a good job because it is Mr A and I who eat them ;-D x

  2. Sue says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. It has left me wondering who the litter bug is, and I’m wondering if i missed the ‘To be continued’ line at the bottom!

    I liked the bit about V wanting you to stop global warming, DS7 wants people to stop killing animals, I remember his reaction when he first discovered that people really eat cows and sheep, he thought is was a joke!

    I must admit that I saw myself in the the first bit, the evil mother who doesn’t allow sweets. Mine have sweets at Christmas Birthdays and Easter, and then I prefer them to have chocolate. I remember once the older children were going on Scout camp, they had begged me to get them some sweets to take, as all the other children were taking them. I thought ok, if I buy them something that I believe to be ‘alright’ then at least they have their own ‘alright’ sweets to eat rather than something worse that their friends might give them.
    I haven’t bought sweets since I was a child, I went to the supermarket, I must have spent maybe 30 mins to an hour looking at sweets. Brightly coloured plastic bags of horrible sweets. I wondered what to buy, choclate would be best, but it would melt. Hmm, this has gelatine, that has gelatine, thats a boiled sweet – they might choke on that if playing, Hmmm. I ended up buying green and red string, or laces, or whatever they are called. It was the ONLY sweet which met most of my criteria!
    They are not bothered about sweets really.
    Grandma buys ‘treats’ every friday, over the years the type of treat has improved, we now get a Yeo valley yoghurt and a chocolate swiss roll (until recently we were getting mini rolls in individual packets and lots of little yoghurts (if you could call them that).

  3. Oooh, community responsibility…..

    It’s an interesting concept – are we all responsible for everything that passes through our hands? Am I still responsible for any packaging I use in my business? How could I possibly control what my customers do with the packaging I send them?


    But I can make sure that the packaging I use has as little impact as possible while doing the job I need it to do.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Ladies,

    Thank you for your comments ladies. It *was* quite funny in the end, Mrs A, but I was horrified at the time of course πŸ˜€

    Sue, I’m glad it’s not just me who takes nearly an hour to find the ‘best’ sweets LOL! A yeo valley yogurt and a chocolate swiss roll sounds yummy πŸ™‚

    I must admit Sarah, I thought that expecting a child of seven to take responsibility for what her friend’s did with sweet wrappers was a bit harsh. But it led to an interesting conversation between us. I suggested to Little Miss Green that she might like to gently point out some of the consequences of dropping litter to her friends. Most kids love animals and have pets around here, so telling them that an animal might come along and eat it and then get get stick might appeal to them rather than the landfill / global warming route.

    Unfortunately, dropping litter seems to be ‘cool’ .

    Anyway, we’ve agreed that sweets will now come in tins with no individual wrappers, so this shouldn’t happen again.

    All I’ll have to do is scrape sticky patches out of the insides of pockets on hot sunny days no doubt LOL!

    Have a wonderful day everyone,
    Mrs G x

  5. Queenie says:

    Its not just children that drop litter though, I think the worst culprits are ADULTS. I regularly walk and cycle into our local town and the street leading off the shopping centre is littered with chip wrappers (often with the chips still in them), pizza boxes, drinks bottles and cans, chocolate wrappers – you get the picture. My son, who is 4, will often go around picking up litter and putting it in the bin. I don’t ask him to do it, he just wants to.
    I also saw a man toss and empty cup just on to the street. He was so pleased when i picked it up and ran after him, excuse me love, i think you dropped this by mistake…

  6. Mrs. Green,
    What a funny, well written story! πŸ™‚ I was riveted! Our four year old picks up litter too, he just can’t understand why people would do that. Then again, he drops plenty on the floor of the house…

  7. Mrs Green says:

    Queenie, you are so right and I’m not going to begin to tell you what Mr Green admitted to me last night when we were discussing this – maybe that will be for another confessional sometime πŸ˜‰
    Did you really give that man back his cup? Too funny; I would be too scared to do that. Your son sounds gorgeous – you must be very proud πŸ™‚

    Melissa, you have a litter picker too. It’s delightful isn’t it? Little Miss Green comments on other people’s litter, but doesn’t seem to count her own as being bad πŸ˜‰
    Funny creatures. I’m glad you enjoyed the story!

    it’s good to see you here.

    Mrs G x

  8. Mrs Jackson says:

    Interesting article…I am glad that during zero waste week I don’t not have to include the litter my neighbours drop in my garden too – and we definitely think it is mainly the adults.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Mrs Jackson; interesting that you think most litter dropping is due to adults. In that case, how can we blame the children when they see this behaviour modelled to them. We get a lot of beer cans dropped outside our house, so that’s definitely adults – well at least I hope so!

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