Announcing the winners of our September Pledge and Win competition.

Filed in Blog by on September 30, 2008 22 Comments
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competition winnersOk folks, this is the moment you’ve all been waiting before. I have to say, this has been one of the most difficult things I have had to do – I wanted to give EVERYONE a prize for all their efforts.

Responses were overwhelming and by the end of the competition we had over 180 feedbacks from people. The sense of participation and people really getting something from their challenges was wonderful. We loved how it was such a positive and uplifting competition. Yes, we asked you to do something, but do something you did and 160 of you joined in and helped to make the world a better place.

Feedback would suggest that many of you intend to continue with your pledges or add further ones, which was one of the aims of the competition.

The other aim was for you all to feel good about what you could do, rather than dwell on what you couldn’t. It would appear from the comments and emails we received that you all managed this admirably.

So, here goes with the list of winners:

Bobelle jewellery: Kris Ayres.

Kris spent a lot of time sorting out a good recycling system so that she and her family could recycle more. In addition, the challenge got her thinking about shopping locally and cooking more meals rather than resorting to ready meals that come with excessive packaging. Kris also bought a trolley bag and reusable bottle during the challenge  and made a decision on which system to get for recycling food waste. She took a trip to the deli with her reusable containers and is all set for making her own Christmas cards this year.

Carole Atkinson Slippers: Denise.

Denise got really stuck into her challenges and blogged about them on her own site. I know she bought lots of traffic our way too. Denise was already doing many of the pledges but took on board many others such as speaking to friends and family about recycling and Freecycle, stopping junk mail, switching to recycled toilet paper, using washable cloths instead of kitchen towel, making her own cleaning products and buying rechargeable batteries. She also had a ‘no shop’ week.

We also loved Denise’s support and encouragement for all the other participants.

Carry-a-bag: Another Mrs Green.

Another Mrs Green did lots of pledges too, she signed up for a veg box, sent ecards, cancelled her yellow pages and did a lot of pledges around food waste such as packing zero waste lunches for her children and making meals from leftovers. In addition she told her friends and clients about zero waste week. Spreading the word is vital to get the message out!

Eco Kitchens: sunshine_mel

What we liked most about Sunshine_mel’s pledges was that she bought a wormery for work which really helps to spread the message. In addition she spread the word about freecycle, set up a morsbag pod and got her friends to have a go with the mooncup.

Ecocentric recycled bathroom accessories: Flippa

Flippa set up a recycling system and started taking tetrapaks for recycling after realising they had been put in the wrong receptacle. In addition Flippa spread the word about recycling, switched to recycled products, stopped junk mail and cancelled a newspaper subscription.

We loved that she was so inspired throughout the competition week to keep adding new ideas to her own pledges.

Ecover Cleaning kit: John Costigane

What we enjoyed about John’s pledge was that he joined in even though he has been virtually zero waste since the start. John’s been producing less waste than us for a long time, but he showed that there is always room for improvement and jumped on board with his own pledge of trying to find zero waste alternatives to some of the things he had been regularly buying.

During the challenge he switched to an all metal razor, found LUSH toiletries and bought coffee in paper bags. John was supportive of other’s pledges and always jumped on board with helpful suggestions and comments.

Ecoutlet – three Copies of ‘Rubbish’ by Richard Girling: Karen Cannard, Louise Larder and Primavera.

Karen Cannard, also a zero waster long before us showed again that even though you’re practically zero waste there is always room to improve things. So she gave up one of her favourite treats for two weeks – Quavers crisps. As most of us are aware, there is no recyclable packaging yet available for crisps. Karen was even ill during the zero waste week and was craving her treat, but didn’t give in.

Louise Larder provided some lovely inspiration with her idea about a friend’s wedding present. She and her daughter made a wedding card and baked home made honey cakes for their ‘honeymoon’. We loved this idea and it shows that sometimes the simple ideas are the most wonderful.

Primavera shared her experiences with 5 friends and family and had a good clear out of her things. This resulted in charity shops benefiting from her offcasts and an orphanage in South Africa benefiting from some of her daughter’s outgrown washable nappies. We loved that this challenge was an eye opener for Primavera; as she said “we thought we were pretty good at reducing our waste, but when we really sat back and had a good look, it was shocking how much more we could do, with just a little effort. However it was really enjoyable Thanks!”

Ethical Superstore vinyl Clock: Tam

Tam plucked up the courage to take her reusable container to the butchers, but the winning vote went to her for inspiring others with her idea about kitchen towel. Tam suggested we cut up an old tea towel, then stuff it in an old tissue box to take out and use the bits as needed. From our feedback, this inspired three people to have a go!

Ethical superstore coasters: Jenny’s pledge

Jenny arrived at the site, in her own words “only slightly conscious of what waste I produce” But she said that this site had kick started her into being much more aware.

Since reading the site and taking the pledge, Jenny became more conscious about sorting her waste for recycling and found that her council also collect textiles and helped her neighbours by taking things to the recycling centre with her. She spread the word at work and with her family members about what they could recycle and offered to help out by dropping things off for them.

Ethics trading paper potter and soapnuts: Nikki Groom

Nikki sorted out a challenge that many of us have – actually remembering to take reusable bags into the shops! During zero waste week she organised herself to keep them in the car. In addition she got back on track with recycling. Having her recycling boxes stolen had put an end to her efforts, but zero waste week spurred her on to organising some new boxes. She also supported her local milkman by signing up for juice and milk to be delivered in glass bottles.
By the end of zero waste week, nikki had put some great habits in place and was inspired to keep up her good work.

Gossypium duvet cover: Maisie

Well between them, Maisie and John could probably run My Zero Waste website in our absence!

Maisie joined us in a bin slimming venture and put out an amazing 309g during zero waste week. A year ago, Maisie and her family were putting out 2 or 3 black bin bags out to landfill every 2 weeks. She recorded in depth details of her zero waste week challenge on her own blog as well.

To help achieve this brilliant result, Maisie started sending plastic packaging to GHS, and was writing letters to supermarkets and manufacturers.

She has been making all her meals from scratch for years and her family enjoy a ‘leftovers night’ every few weeks where containers of assorted goodies get defrosted and served up like a buffet.

Grolsch goblets: Ray Smith

Ray’s pledge was short and sweet, but we loved it. He pledged to start a neighbourhood rota for taking plastic bottles to the civic amenity site. We like how Ray is  taking recycling to the next step by looking at the bigger picture – how can I lower my own car emissions and how can I serve my community? The upside for Ray is that he now only needs to take a trip once a month and his neighbours share the rest of the month between them.

Natural Store recycled Doy Tray: Sunstarr

Sunstarrr discovered some new things that she could recycle such as aluminium foil and polythene bags. She took active steps to stop junk mail  and provided useful information for the rest of the entrants about how to stop yellow pages, BT directory and Thompsons. She also shared links for people who want to get rid of old computers.

Neals Yard relaxation kit: Sally Sisson

Thanks to Sunstarrr’s links, Sally stopped her phone books and junk mail too. In addition, Sally gave an old mobile phone to a friend and dug out her stainless steel water bottles. She has been actively promoting recycling amongst her students with suggestions that they can recycle the paper rolls used on couches or better still use sarongs rather than heavy towels when doing beauty treatments to reduce washing costs. She also promoted the refilling of bottles.

Ninny Noodle Noo voucher: Alabama

took active steps to reduce her waste. She ordered bokashi bins and started clearing part of her garden for next years planting. She created things for her child from old shelving and cardboard boxes with the statement “These pledges have really got me thinking about how to re-use things instead of just getting rid of them.”
She did a lot of decluttering, finding new homes for the things she no longer wanted and shared a link with us all for envelope reuse labels from Ecover.
By the end of the week her example had led her partner to making changes too.

Revinyl Box: Liz Fawcett

Liz has a ruthless declutter of her loft to make way for insulation.
She shared her experiences with work colleagues and ate leftovers instead of throwing them away. She has pledged to make her own Christmas cards and to give away any money she would spend to charity. An important point Liz shared was that we don’t NEED to upgrade things like mobile phones. If ours work, we can just keep the ones we have! This challenge made Liz think more about what she could do, even with 2 babies to look after.

Recycling CDs clock: Poppy

Poppy bought a yogurt maker and got stuck into reducing her consumption of plastic pots. Her increased awareness meant she refused to buy things in the shops that had too much packaging and even took food out of her brother’s bin to eat for tea LOL! She was sharing her recycling knowledge with her family throughout the competition week, so that they could be empowered to make better choices too. In addition, Poppy spoke to work colleagues and people at her son’s school to increase their awareness of recycling too.

Totseat: Ben

really made an effort with his shopping habits by buying loose veg and fruit wherever he could. He shows us that you can use a deli with your own containers and shopping bags and even thought had a mishap with his reusable drinking bottle, he took a mug to work instead to keep up with his pledge. Ben supports his local milkman and uses a vegetable box scheme to cut down on waste.

We Want Tap bottles and stickers: Soly and Susan Jones.

Soly set a target to be consistent with taking zero waste lunches to work and remembering her water bottles.
She spent the night in with friends educating themselves about the different types of plastics. We wish we had been there as I’m sure there was a lot to learn. She gave up crisps and reminded us of a brilliant way to ensure soft fruits get home safely – by taking her old fruit punnets and trays to buy loose fruit.
By now, Soly should have harvested her pear trees and have made fruit crumbles and other delights!

Susan Jones gets our stalwart award!
Despite a husband who wasn’t in the least bit interested in recycling when the pledge started, Susan sighed up for the competition and gave it her best shot. She retrieved things that were suitable for recycling from the bin after her husband had put things in there and to solve her kitchen food waste she bought a bokashi.

By the end of the week her husband was remembering to take his own bags to the shops and beginning to leave recyclable items out of the bin.  Yay!

It remains for us to give a huge thanks to all the wonderful companies who donated prizes. We’ve decided that due to the success of this event, the first week in September will officially be ‘National Zero Waste Week’.

Thank you to all of you for participating, all the companies for supporting us and to everyone who gave us publicity for this amazing event.

It was exhausting to organise it, but we learned a lot and the rewards of seeing you all out there doing your bit was worth it. Thank you so much for being a part of our first Zero waste week and for making it the huge success it was!

We’ll be in touch during this week to get your details for sending your prizes.

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 (22)

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  1. Kris says:

    Eeek!! 🙂

    Thank you so much – I’ve been enjoying myself with the challenges as well, and will certainly be carrying on.

  2. Susan Jones says:

    Thank you thank you thank you. 😀

    I had got to the point where i was buying a bottle in the supermarket, very few use glass bottles, now i can take it in with me from home saving me money and the glass recycling.

  3. Thank you so much…I’m looking forward to receiving my book. What a fab idea to have a competition and to have a national Zero Waste week. LOL – I’ll be happy to donate a few books of my own next year. Huge congratulations to everyone who took part…and at risk of sounding cheesy…everyone who participates in Zero Waste is a winner, if they get a prize or not. Yes, that is true cheese…but you can blame it on the Quavers ;-D

  4. Liz Fawcett says:

    Thank you re:vinyl. I didn’t expect to win anything so this was a lovely surprise. It will be useful & less to landfill – what a great idea. Have now dug over a bit of my garden for veg patch & relieved a person of wood pallets 2 streets away who said he would only have been taking them to the tip in order to make up my raised bed. Still selling/freecycling/swapping my loft contents so I don’t have to put so much back up again & can get space back in my garage. Brings pleasure to those who want what I don’t want anymore :o)

  5. maisie says:

    Thankyou, you must be telepathic as I have been thinking about a new duvet cover for a few weeks and hadn’t quite decided where to get one from.

    This has now become a way of life for us and I/we will be continuing with this regardless, as it is the way forward if I want my grandchildren/greatgrandchildren and beyond to have a planet to enjoy the same as we have done.

    I think it is great that we have a week each year that is “National Zero Waste Week”.

    Hopefully if enough people talk about this then it might actually become a council lead national event.

  6. sally says:

    Wow how fantastic to have won something. I actually really enjoyed thinking about the changes I made and having the forum here to learn new ideas too is greatit really spurred me on to make changes that I kept meaning to get around to. Its also meant I am now helping friends and family do the same.
    As for a Neals Yard prize that will be bliss thank you.

  7. Hi Mrs Green,

    Thank you for the kind words and the useful prize. This was the single choice as my cleaning products are a weak area. Hopefully I can now change that situation and reduce plastic waste further.

    The number of newcomers who I am delighted to say surpassed my efforts in many ways was a big surprise. Their prizes were well earned. Next year they can also enjoy the week from the experienced viewpoint.

    ‘National Zero Waste Week’ is a good title for this new fixture in the calendar. It can only get bigger and I just wonder how big!

  8. Poppy says:

    Thank you, thank you!

    My young man will be even more inspired now that he sees we can win prizes too!

    As Maisie has said, this is a way of life for us now and we find it incredibly frustrating when either the systems aren’t there to help us or others don’t listen.

    Junior was staying over at a friends and was shocked when told to throw his apple core in the bin, but I think his reaction has made the mum stop and think, so hopefully another one on board! I’ll have to send him back round soon to reinforce the message 🙂

  9. Alabama says:

    Thank you so much! Not just for the prize but for encouraging me and my family to do more for our planet. It’s been a great experience and has been something the whole family can get involved in. 🙂

  10. Ben says:

    Thank you very much for the tot seat! This is a great initiative – I really like the way this competition has drilled down to the level of individuals sharing their practical experiences of greener ways of living.

    I’ve just returned from a holiday in lovely Derbyshire – we hired a car (rather than owning one, we hire only when we’re travelling to places we can’t reasonably get to by public transport), and had a hit and miss (mainly hit!) time with getting used to the local council recycling approach: the first week, they refused all my cardboard and tin cans, but took the glass bottles; so towards the end of the holiday, I took plastic bottles, tetrapaks, tin cans and cardboard in to Bakewell, found out from the tourist information office where the public recycling bins were, and deposited them all there, before getting on with a pre-planned shop (i.e. this wasn’t an extra journey just to drop off the recycling!).

    Thanks again for this initiative, and let’s all keep on the green and narrow!

  11. zingiber says:

    Well done everyone – what a great result all round! This challenge spurred me on to make further waste-reducing changes and to re-evaluate some less positive steps I’d felt financially compelled to take (so I’ve now switched back to the veg box rather than supermarket packaged veg), so I feel like I’ve really gained something from taking part.

  12. soly says:

    thank you!

    i have been in thesis write up hell…so sorry i haven’t been updating with progress.
    i haven’t bought bottled drinks since the pledge and i am still a regular face at the market… the pear tree is still giving us loads of fruit which i have started giving away since we have eaten enough pears for the rest of the year!

  13. Jenny's Pledge says:

    Thank you so much for choosing me as a winner! I have kept up with my recycling effort and I am slowly getting into the habit of recycling now without having to stop and think with everything I use.

    Thank you for showing me so many ways to recycle and be environmentally friendly!!

  14. Denise says:

    no way, if you knew the “rubbish” day I’ve had, you’d know to come home and find out about this, is incredible .. wow.
    thanks so much and well done everyone.
    together we CAN change the World.
    big love
    Denise xxx

  15. jen cleanbin says:

    Great job with the competition. It’s so inspiring to see what people are doing out there! The little things really do add up. Congratulations to all the winners. i hope you check in regularly to let Mrs Green know if you’re keeping it up!

  16. nikki groom says:

    Can’t believe I won a prize ……. thanks so much, really chuffed!!! Have really enjoyed doing this challenge and am keeping up with everything and actually enjoying every minute of it! It feels great on Monday mornings to only have one black rubbish bag rather than 3/4 – maybe one day we’ll get to zero waste???? Don’t think ready to pledge that one to anyone though!

    Many thanks again for prize – have always wanted to try out washing nuts. Well done to everyone else, we’re all winners really xxx

  17. sunstarrr says:

    thankyou!! it’s so exciting to have won something and very useful too!

    it’s great to read what everyone else has been up to – and inspiring – i’ve been encouraged to join the north london “watch your waste” week (the aim is zero waste but i guess the word “zero” is offputting/daunting….but i’ll be aiming for it 🙂

  18. Flippa xXx says:

    Thanks so much Mr & Mrs Green…and thanks to all the companies who organised the prizes!

    Not only am I very chuffed with the prize, I am also chuffed at everything that I (and everyone else from their comments) have achieved over the last month. Let’s just all make sure we keep it up and spread the word to keep doing our bit to make a difference!

    Thanks again xXx

  19. louise larder says:

    Thank you ever so much for choosing me. 🙂
    Thank you to the sponsors too for supporting the Greens !!
    Your way of life has really inspired me and my family to think every time we open the bin.
    Well done to all who took part 🙂
    Lou XXXX

  20. sunshine_mel says:

    hurrah! 😀 that’s awesome, thank you so much – for both the prize and the inspiration!

  21. Another Mrs Green says:

    Brilliat – thanks for the prize! Am still continuing and have signed up for Glos’s zero waste week in Jan 🙂

  22. Ray Smith says:

    Wow – I never win anything! Thank you. Ray

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