Zero waste week day 1 – let the celebrations begin

Filed in Blog by on September 1, 2008 10 Comments
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wiggly wigglers zero waste bouquets of flowers
We’ve decided that zero waste week is going to be a celebration. Too much of the media focus on ‘environmental issues’ is to do with deprivation. Many people dwell on what they have to go without, give up or get rid of.

Our zero waste week is going to turn that around 180 degrees and show that with a shift in mindset and a few lifestyle tweaks, a dash of inspiration and a dollop of creativity, deprivation can go into the incinerator, while we concentrate on celebration!

What better way to start our zero waste week of celebration than the receipt of a zero waste gift? I began my day by finding a large green box on my doorstep with my name on it. I opened it up to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a message of well wishes and encouragement, from the lovely Almost Mrs A.

Mrs. A has been cheering us along since the beginning of June when we took up the zero waste challenge. She has gone from strength to strength herself, metamorphosing from housewife and mother to semi celebrity in the space of a few months.

Mrs A has recently been head hunted to write a book about her experiences and we’re checking off the words with her and giving her a hearty high five as she strides through her word count at all hours, so that you, dear readers, can amass the wisdom and insight she has gained from her experiences.

With her encouragement, (for that read, kick up the derrière), we are finally here at the beginning of our own zero waste week eager to see how we get on. She rifled through our rubbish at the beginning of the challenge and set us a 50% reduction challenge. When we sailed ahead with that, she stepped up the stakes to zero waste, and, like the radio guy this morning asked “So, are you going to do it?” we’re mustering up a confident – sounding “Yes!”

What a wonderful and thoughtful gift from  wonderful and inspiring person. I used to treat myself to fresh flowers every week. But then I found out some disturbing facts about the floristry trade, such as the amount of air miles travelled, pesticides and dangerous working conditions for both farmers and their CHILDREN on the other side of the world. So I gave up buying them. That was about 18 months ago.

During the summer I can cut flowers from the garden, but this year, due to lots of rain and clay soil, we’ve lost most of our garden to bindweed and horsetail. I’ve found the odd rose, but it hasn’t lasted long once cut.

This couldn’t have been a greater gift for me and I’m so touched by Mrs A’s generosity and love.

These flowers are English, seasonal flowers grown in Hereford; courtesy of Wiggly Wigglers, which meant they travelled just 30 miles to get to me and no children handling machetes or toxic poisons were involved with the growing of my flowers.

The flowers arrived soaked in coir, that I can keep for next years hanging basket. They were wrapped in cellophane with a note saying ‘p.s. the cellophane can be recycled!’ (somebody knows me too well!). That’s ok, because I wiggly wigglers zero waste packaging for flowerswill keep it for re-use anyway. The bouquet was tied with raffia and string, all of which was carefully cut off for reuse. Everything arrived in a cardboard box, which I’m going to keep to burn on the fire one night – two presents in one LOL! The flowers will warm my heart and the box will warm my, erm, cockles………

All the bouquets from Wiggly Wigglers are unique. Depending on what is in bloom on the day, determines what you get. How lovely is that? These have been hand picked and chosen just for me. Maybe ten other bouquets went out on the same day, but none will be the same as mine.

And how many times have you had ‘perfect red roses’ only to bury your nose into the blooms to find, well, nothing! No scent, no life, no vitality. Well, I can walk into my dining room and I am hit with the aroma of summer. This bouquet is fragrant and bursting with life. It’s a shame you don’t have a scratch ‘n’ sniff screen really, so you can share in the delight.

Wiggly Wigglers currently have a sale on a few of their items at the moment. You can get reductions on bokashi bins (kitchen composters), a wormery start up kit and coir and metal plant pots. In addition, they’ve been having a clear out of their warehouse and you can grab a ‘mystery parcel’ which will contain £75 worth of gorgeous goodies for just £30. Hmmmmm, sounds intriguing.

Just like their flowers, the Wiggly Wigglers site is teaming with life – you can listen to podcasts, and keep up with the latest news on their blog.

Thank you Mrs A from the bottom of my heart – you really are a kind and caring person; so thoughtful not only in your choice of gift, not only for thinking of us, not only for your support and encouragement, but I know you went to a lot of trouble to make sure this was a zero waste gift and that means so much to me.

And Wiggly Wigglers – you have one happy customer 🙂

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. Anna-Lisa says:

    Happy Zero waste week! You have all worked so hard and been inspirational to everyone. I have only just made my pledges (did not have internet at my new flat until 2 days ago) however I am dedicated to having zero waste like you!

  2. Hi Mrs Green,

    That was a lovely touch from Mrs A. You and family have come along way in Zero Waste.

    Roses, which in my garden are as old as me, are difficult to establish. They are in a sheltered north facing shaded area. I use bone meal round the base and watch the flowers flourish. Clay soil is my type as well and I have raised beds using the spring compost bin emptying.

    Your latest post on Chris’s blog was excellent and hopefully others will follow MyZeroWaste in the coming months.

    Dr Paul Connott (St.Lawrence Uni, New York) is looking into sustainable system in various North American and Australian cities. There is a youtube talk (7min) and is worth a look.


  3. Good morning Mrs G – am just taking a few moments to visit, while my children are distracted by a pillow fight.

    I’m so glad your pressie arrived safely and that you loved the zero-waste surprise. The photo of you and your flowers looks gorgeous and I must send a proper thank you to Wiggly Wigglers for taking so much care.

    My utmost thanks and appreciation go to you and your beautiful family for taking up the challenge in the first place and quickly deciding to go for a Zero Waste Week. With this site, you have really gone from strength-to-strength and I will be forever grateful for how you have spread the message and gained such fantastic support.

    I hope you enjoy the flowers for quite a while. I’m like you, rarely buy them these days and only buy ones that are in season and come without the cellophane wrapping. So flowers are now a special treat in my house. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll remember to change the water, cut the stems and pop the dead ones in the compost. Add a teaspoon of sugar and they should last a bit longer.

    I can’t wait to hear how you get on this week and will be following your progress each day. I think Anna-Lisa sums it up nicely…what more could be said other than “Happy Zero Waste Week”.

    I’d better be off now, otherwise I will be facing a challenge on how best to recycle pillow feathers.

    Good luck and lots of love

    Mrs A. xx

  4. maisie says:

    I have taped the kitchen bin shut and told both boys they have to check with me before anything gets thrown away.

    I have a box ready and waiting for any plastic that I can send to GHS for recycling, and also a bag for the polythene I can send to Polyprint Ltd.

    Both my recycling and landfill bins were collected and emptied by the council this morning so I am starting the 2 weeks I have pledged to with a clean slate.

  5. although zero w is located outside my narrow sphere, i enjoy the prompting and inspiration from my rural midwest digs..way out across the big waters.
    it is most difficult to form a cohesive community in wide spaces such as the US. at times i feel like an environmental voyeur peering into jolly old english activism.

    i have just decided to mirror your blog in very reductive form; detailing the minutiae of daily life of the poor (us).
    no poor little me chronicles, but all the simple things i do to make resources stretch across the great economic divide.

    as a close to zero consumer i will not have much advice to share with any of my readers, as a recluse i also will not have hardly any contacts or addresses to give…except, yours.

    anecdotes of quotidian travail may make a few laugh and others say ewww! fascinated as i am by your daily adventures, i believe that inspiration is contagious, many organic flowers to you green angels.

  6. Mrs Green says:

    Anna-Lisa, thank you for your comment and it’s great to see your gravatar. I’m glad you are now moved into your new home and can enjoy some zero waste plans of your own. I’m looking forward to hearing about your progress.

    Thank you John; our roses thrive in our acid soil, it’s just that they are buried amongst weeds this year. I’ll take a look at that You Tube vid in the morning.

    Hey Mrs A – Happy zero waste week to you as well. I hope you didn’t have too many feathers to recycle. Our thanks go to you, as ever for all that you have done and continue to do, to spread the zero waste message.

    Maisie – your message cracked me up about taping up the bin LOL! I’m wishing you the best of luck with your zero waste pledge – you’re so inspirational with your ideas.

    Nadine, what a beautiful message. Thank you. I shall certainly track your progress and enjoy sharing in a bit of your life too. I was a recluse until I started getting a few hundred visitors to the site per day 😀
    Good luck with everything; united we are, across the globe…..

  7. Thank you so much for the mention and the enthusiasm, and we wish you lots of luck with your mission. I had not thought of taking containers for our Indian Takeaway – great idea.
    Just to let you know all the Wiggly Flowers are not grown in our garden or Herefordshire (although lots are) but they are all grown in the UK – so very flower miles – no air freighting and they are gorgeous. In fact Farmer Phil’s sunflowers are just about to bloom – he reckons 10th September

  8. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Heather,
    lovely to see you and thank you for setting me straight on the location of your flowers. To know they are UK grown with no air miles and, most importantly, no children involved in the labour is perfect.

    They are beautiful and the sunflowers sound awesome; these are one of my favourite flowers 🙂 Thanks for providing such a great service; the little extras like the coir and the recyclable cellophane was wonderful and very much appreciated for a zero waste enthusiast.

    Feel free to take any of these comments within the post for your site if you want a testimony 🙂

  9. Kris says:

    There were sunflowers and fresh sweetcorn available on a new stall at Cheltenham Farmers Market last Friday. My sister gave in to the orders from her two little ones and bought some of each – first time I’ve seen pretty browny patterned sunflowers as well as the yellow.

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