Back to ‘normal life’ for us?

Filed in Blog by on September 8, 2008 10 Comments
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non recyclable packaging from food
Well, after our zero waste week I’m a little out of words this morning! I think we’re still on a high over here and need to land ourselves gently into, what, ‘normal life’?

See, here’s the thing. Zero waste week wasn’t just like a Puppy for Christmas for us; it’s a life long choice. Once you’ve realised the impact of your consumer choices, spent a week with careful planning and survived several closes misses with some creative thinking, there is a sense of ‘no going back.’

This week we plan to continue with our ‘normal life’ but it’s a different one. One that has evolved and changed. It’s a bit like waking on the first morning after giving birth to a child – you know you will never be the same person again no matter how much you promise yourself otherwise! Yes, I’m sure Little Miss Green will be indulging in the occasional packet of crisps, she’s seven years old, but for Mr Green and I, it’s going to be interesting.

Will he go back to curry on a plastic tray? Somehow I doubt it.

He’s not up yet, so I can’t put the question to him. But he enjoyed the home made curry, felt quite rightly proud of making good choices that left us with no pesky plastic packaging AND he saved some money. Buying fresh meat, using up veggies out of the fridge which otherwise might have ended up in the compost and discovering that it was one of those never-ending curries that served three meals had to be a winner for him, the environment and his bank balance.empty dustbin after zero waste week

Naturally we can’t keep up the celebrations of zero waste week full time. We did indulge in things we would not normally buy and our bank manager would have something to say about it if we shopped in Waitrose every week. So how easy will it be to adopt zero waste when I can’t be bothered to cook and all we have down the road is a selection of Happy Shopper goods to erm, tempt us?

We’ll have to see, but one thing’s for sure; I guess you could say we’re ‘changed people’, we’ve seen the light as it were, or we’ve woken up, as Bag Lady might say.

Once you realise the impact of your choices, of throwing ‘away’ a piece of plastic into the landfill, of the effects on marine life if that carrier bag of yours finds it way into the ocean then it’s hard to go back to ‘life before zero waste’.

So we’re making no promises, putting no pressure on ourselves, but we’ll be continuing with our mission, spreading the word, writing to manufacturers to see how we can help change things and offering our help to our council to support the Gloucestershire Zero waste week.

We’ll be rifling through our box of  last week’s ‘rubbish’ later; we were just too pooped to do that last night to see what’s in there and give you the final verdict on whether we achieved true zero waste for the week or not.

You have another week to get your feedback in for our pledge and win competition, and we’ll be announcing the winners at the end of the month.

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, taking part yourselves and comments and emails during last week. You will never know how much this meant to us. We had over 25,000 hits last week with people logging in to find out how we were getting along. For a site that is only three months old we were thrilled with that!

So we raise our glasses to you, our dear friends and readers who share part of our vision, who show the environment that they care; it makes our personal journey so much more enjoyable when you are sharing it with us.

Finally, I want to thank Little Miss Green. She was amazing; and despite a few ‘can I have this?’ in shops, there was never a scowl, a sulk or a negotioation document drawn up when I said No. All it took was gentle reminders about what we were doing and why I had to say no. We think she did a stirling job in rising to our zero waste week and put up with her crazy Mum and Dad beautifully.

It’s a delicate balance between showing our children that we are ‘going without’ now in order to preserve the environment for their future, and letting them live in the moment with all the conveniences, joys and lures of modern 21st century life.

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 (10)

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  1. Kris says:

    Long may Mr Green be eating homemade curry and your life being changed by the experience of this week. Well done for being such an inspiration 😀

  2. Denise says:

    I can’t tell you how proud I am of you all, such a wonderful family … blazing a trail for all to follow.
    all love

  3. Hi Mrs Green,

    The week has been a huge success with the whole family taking part in the drive to Zero. The Gloucestershire Zero waste week, in the new year, is likely to a have a wider impact with full council backing. Your family effort has contributed a great deal towards this future project. We can but admire, and fully support, your achievements.

  4. Ooooh, I’m dead proud of you guys. Gloucestershire should be huffed to have you on board, a huge helping hand to reduce the county’s waste. Can’t wait to see your results later ;-D

  5. LOL…me and my typos…Ha, ha, ha…that should have said “chuffed”…not “huffed”…Gee, I think I need to get back to bed! LOL

  6. Well done, all of you.

    Now then, will this blog carry on? I shall miss it hugely if it doesn’t.

  7. just Gai says:

    Conratulations to you all, especially to little Miss Green. I have two daughters of my own and I am acutely aware of the efect my ’causes’ have on them. There is a very fine line between inspiring them to embrace them for themselves and putting them off them for life. You appear to have trodden it successfully.

    Bristol has just announced its own Zero Waste Challenge Week. I’ve included the link in my blog. I’ve registered and am going to give it my best shot. Any words of advice, other than what you have already included in your blog, would be appreciated.

  8. Hi just Gai,

    Great to hear you are taking up the challenge. Almost Mrs Average of TheRubbishDiet blog is looking for new Zero Waste Week individuals, like herself and Mrs Green.
    Leave a message on her blog, if you like. She is very keen to help others join-in, as we all are.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    Thank you all so much – you have all been a wonderful source of support and inspiration to us.

    Just Gai, good luck with your challenge in Bristol – we are here to hold your hand, and I’m sure Mrs A will be more than happy to support you too. Keep us posted on your progress and feel free to fire any questions at us. We’re cheering for you!

    I guess my piece of advice at the moment would be to spend the next couple of weeks practising and getting some new habits into place. Also use this time to get your family on board with your mission.

    As Maisie found out, her landfill rubbish reduced dramatically from just being more aware of the things she threw away.

  10. Mrs Green says:

    meant to say, Sarah – this blog will certainly be evolving and growing with us!

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