The real Mrs Green – revealed

Filed in Blog by on May 18, 2009 18 Comments
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The Real Mrs Green - revealed

The Real Mrs Green - revealed

Wanna hear some gossip about me?

I’ve been hiding a big secret.

For the past year, you haven’t known about the real Mrs Green behind the façade at all.

It’s all been a scam, a publicity stunt, a big experiment with you as my guinea pigs and it’s great you know, because you’ve all fallen for it.

Oh, except for Mike. He’s the clever one who has sussed me out.

You see, last weekend I read about a woman called Lisa. Lisa is a mother-of-two living in Barrow. Recently Lisa has been given a smaller bin by her borough council, which she claims is too small for her family.

She has two toddlers, and we all know how much waste kids can generate. She has my full sympathy.

I think many people are really worried when they see their new reduced-sized bins. Without education, support and facilities it can feel overwhelming to suddenly be expected to reduce your waste. When you’re busy, stressed and have other things to worry about, washing up a can seems like too much trouble.

I know; I’ve been there.

If someone had told me 18 months ago that the size of my bin was going to be halved, I would have panicked. And I only have ONE child to think about. AND she is old enough to be out of nappies and helping me make good decisions …

So I popped over to Lisa’s story and offered the helping hand of Mrs Green – the one you all know about by now.

But wait; I told you it was a scam and Mike had sussed me out. The friendly, helping hand of Mrs Green doesn’t actually exist.

Mike has revealed the truth of the real Mrs Green to the internet world (and possibly all his friends,. family and work colleagues)

According to Mike, I’m living in a fluffy little world where all of natures fluffy little creatures fall over themselves to help me do the washing/cleaning/cooking/ironing/ holding down a job/shopping/child care and all that it entails…

Not only that, but I’m a patronising do gooder that lives in a cocoon of self delusional idealism which inflates my ego and elevates my own self-importance to such a level of God like intelligence that I can’t help but preach about it to everyone.

So there you go. The  real Mrs Green.

Revealed in all her glory.

I guess you’d better watch out!

But, you do still want to be my friend don’t you? I’ll be your best friend and share my sweets with you. And together we can toss the plastic wrappers on the floor …

But don’t tell the teacher.

Hmmm, it’s the first time I’ve been flamed and it’s kinda interesting…

Have you ever been flamed for something you believe in? I’d love to hear about it.

You can read all the juicy comments on Lisa’s story here.

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 (18)

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  1. Sam says:

    What a wonderful uplifting comment Mike wrote. Unfortunately, when you extend a helping hand, it is quite often bitten off by people who don’t want HELP, they want someone to do it all for them.
    Mass generalisation here, but I would hazard a guess that these moaners would also be the first to complain if the council planted an incinerator or a new landfill on their doorstep.
    If they close their eyes really tight, they can’t see the future rushing to meet them.

    Anyway, Fluffy Mrs Green 😉 – I would like to admit to being a little bit intimidated the first time I stumbled across your blog. “How is this possible?” But with a little thought, reading and reorganisation, I’m making huge strides.

    Without people like you, who would we have to inspire us to make positive changes?

  2. Poppy says:

    He he he!! What a card he is 😉

    Yes Mrs G, I’ve been there fairly recently and it does sort of knock the wind out of your sails for a bit. I was accused of wearing rose tinted specs and living in an Ivory Tower … mmmm….. actually I told him, I’ve lived in roundabout the same area for all but about 1 year of my life, so I know it well, warts and all 😮

    I did invite him to come and talk about it, but safe to say …. he didn’t show. Aaaah well, maybe he coudn’t find Ivory Towers on the map!

  3. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    This reminds me of the reaction on the BBC forum last year. There seems to be an anti brigade who love the status quo. Their efforts are in vain. Change for the better is coming and the sooner they grasp this reality the sooner Zero Waste will arrive.

    There has rarely been a negative poster here during the last year. Any such situations have been dealt with diplomatically by yourself. This shows consideration for others. My attitude is to counter such negatives with full explanation.

  4. John Costigane says:

    Hi again Mrs Green, The issue of handing out smaller bins reminds me of the criminal charge against a man who slightly overfilled his bin. That was last year. This is this year’s council stupidity. Action like this gives Zero Waste a bad name.

    The waste issue is not solely the householder’s problem since they are forced to use the plastic packaging in superstores. A council which thinks it can change things by making bin smaller, without any other measures, is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    I can understand Mike’s anger, though you are not in any way involved in this diabolical council decision. The Blame game is played time and again by the various sectors: supermarkets, councils, government. More often than not the householder is the patsy.

    This is a topic for SkyNews Forum.

  5. Compostwoman says:

    Yep, been there, done that …starange feeling, isn’t it, to be attacked in such a way?

    I found it best ( if I could) to just ignore the personal stuff and ( as you have done) reply, sticking to the facts…

    and your original post was so helpful and friendly as well…

    Shall we get a t shirt made up? 😉 with

    ” self deluded idealist ” on the front?

    Ho hum, one day, soon, when Peak Oil has really begun to bite, people like “Mike” will look back on this and wonder why they didn’t “get it” sooner………

  6. I would like to be a patronizing do-gooder living in a cocoon of idealism too, especially if it means I get to wear a feather in my hair. 🙂 Good for you for attempting to help! Most people wouldn’t have lifted a finger.

  7. Carole says:

    I’ve just had a good long read of the whole Lisa’s Story thread, and mostly the comments were positive, only one or two really negative things.

    I agree that having two young children can certainly focus your mind on other things rather than recycling, but people who don’t do it need to be made to knuckle down to it along with everyone else. It’s all about re-educating bad habits, not just complaining that you can’t do it, when obviously you can.

    Eventually (I hope) companies will be made to cut packaging down to the barest minimum, or only have recyclable packaging, (I’m not talking only food packaging here, but for EVERYTHING we use), and that, combined with good council based recycling schemes, should deal with the majority of what used to be landfill.

    I think the government has a lot on its plate right now tho’, so we might have to wait a wee bit longer for those company aimed packaging directives.

  8. Karin says:

    This does seem harsh on Lisa and people like her. It sounds like she is tired and stressed by looking after her two young children and her local council doesn’t care. Our neighbours were given one large and one small wheelie bin when their triplets were born 7 years ago, but I guess we all need to cut back on our rubbish more now. I do think there should be incentives for people to do this, but cutting back on people’s bin size whatever their circumstances doesn’t seem the right way to go about it.

    As for Mike, well, he seemed pretty stressed, too. You were just trying to be helpful, but he aimed his anger at the council/life in general at you, for no apparent reason. There seem to be a lot of people like that about in some areas of the web.

  9. Cindy V says:

    Oh my, Mrs. Green. I actually kind of like you and am eager to see what you have to say! You seem very real and down to earth and quite humble. Which makes me like you even more!

  10. Clare says:

    Don’t worry about it Mrs G, whoever you are, this Mike obviously has personal issues to attack you in such a way. I find your posts insightful and never ever patronising. You are a good person who is trying to find a better way of living, and to spread that insight is a wonderful thing to do.

    We are very lucky to have a regular weekly collection of tins, glass, MIXED PLASTIC!, paper and cardboard, clothes and shoes, plus garden and food waste but I still read your posts for ideas and amusement.

  11. Sarah says:

    Hah! I’ve been flamed recently and apparently I am not a “proper” woman and I need a man to teach me the error of my ways and if I don’t I’ll burn in the darkest pits of hell for eternity…….

    That was for my feminism and he really wasn’t amused by my declaration that as the entire internet is the work of the devil (another of his views) then hell probably has the best broadband connection so i’d be fine thank you very much….

    I get nasty stuff through the Ethics Trading blog all the time but it’s mainly just unpleasant links and most are now caught in my nice spam filter.

    Rest assured I’m still your friend Mrs G, now pass the sweeties please while I put the kettle on?

  12. Mrs Green,

    I would say that the people who are really interested will take the time to read and re-read your blog and comments.

    Some will get a wakeup call when things come to a head and there literally isn’t an “AWAY” for the rubbish anymore and they have to apply the 3 Rs.

    Personally although I was already reducing my waste and have been recycling for over 15 years in one form or another; I still find your blog inspirational and thought provoking.

    It has made me step up my game to remove my kitchen bin, separate more plastics and take them to HWRC something which just over a year ago I certainly wasn’t doing.

    My landfill rubbish has reduced from 3 black bin bags every 2 weeks to a very small carrier bag weighing approx 200g every week. My wheelie bin is now emptied every 2-3 months instead of every 2 weeks, and this gap is growing larger.

    So Mrs Green I raise my glass (coffee cup) to you and all like you.

  13. It’s never nice to be attacked by a flamethrower, particularly when all you’re trying to do is help. The problem is that managing waste at home and recycling more is seen as an activity that reduces choices and takes away your freedom by taking time. Where actually the truth of the matter is it doesn’t take much time out of your day and by enabling a system that allows us to reuse resources we will have more freedom in the future, which in turn will help consumers maintain the lifestyles that they enjoy now.

    It reminds me of the time when seatbelts were introduced in cars. Many of the more experienced drivers I knew wouldn’t wear one despite the law. They felt trapped and didn’t like to be forced into doing something that they weren’t used to. It wasn’t cool, despite the fact it would keep them safe. These days, all drivers I know wear seatbelts. Just shows how time has moved on, enable attitudes to change accordingly

    Anyhow, I know how you feel. I’ve got my very own challenger in my local community, who I can’t even leave behind on the Internet. Just stick with your passion and help where you can and I’ll join you for a virtual cup of tea 😀

  14. sandy says:

    well really, where dose this Mike think our rubbish is going to go in twenty years, I am not going to let my grandchildren live on a rubbish tip. you keep going mrs green, you have really inspired me. thanks

  15. indiebird says:

    erm… yes to all of the above Mrs Green!! Please keep doing what you do. Always remember that you cannot please all of the people all of the time and that we all think differently. I think you were supposed to say ‘oh dear, nasty old council’ just so you know for future reference 😉

  16. Layla says:

    lol Mrs Green!! 🙂 I was wondering what I’d read!! 🙂

    This is my reply to Mike at that site, but they’re probably gonna censor me, so I’ll post it here just-in-case (if that’s okay?)
    lol Mike, you sure seem upset about a lot of problems..

    Well, rubbish (or ‘unimportant issue’) is CREATING a LOT of them!!
    Look at your bin! What’s in it?
    Chances are, plastics from iffy products full of artificial additives, food colorings, sugar or sugar replacements – that all make kiddies hyperactive, ill & allergic SO THAT teachers’ jobs nowadays are MUCH more difficult than a couple of decades ago!
    Oh & old TVs or CRT monitors? Full of highly toxic LEAD that causes kids (& possibly MPs?) to be STUPID!! (among other things!)
    So one cannot help but wonder if healthier nutrition & lifestyle, with no excessive packaging (as plastics leach iffy chemicals that also disrupt health or your endocrine glands, just look up bisphenol A or phtalates!) wouldn’t actually save all world’s problems?
    ‘Unemployment’ you say, well, thousends of people living in blocks of flats with no food – having to buy goodies & trash – where’s the logic in this? give ’em gardens & at least they’ll have something to eat! (zero waste style!)
    Give ’em green jobs to redesign our consumerism & mend our ways & teach others to live more healthy & happily..?

    & ‘terrorism’? Well, stop dumping toxic waste on world’s poorest countries, stop being addicted to oil (oh well, what are plastics made of again? – & how smart is it to attack & rob other countries of oil just so you can landfill or burn it in an incinerator?), say no to nukes yourself instead of saying ‘we can have ’em & you can’t’ & maybe, just maybe, all your troubles will go away?
    of course if you’re not living in bunny-land yourself, where terrorists appear out of nowhere & kids (& MPs) are stupid for no reason whatsoever?
    hm, maybe you are.. & there’s no help for you…? but I have high hopes for next generations, including Lisa’s kiddies…

    I agree the scheme to just give a smaller bin & not educate is not enough.. Personally, I’ve been greatly inspired by Mrs Green & her website, Jen @ Clean Bin, The Rubbish Diet & other blogs.. so from making 1 bag a week we now haven’t made a small bag in a month!!
    & how much garbage do you make? 😀
    /or how exactly are you fighting terrorism, unemployment, and educational crisis personally?)

  17. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Everyone, thank you for sharing your thoughts, experiences and comments. And thank you for your kind, supportive and loving words.

    I guess, when you’re passionate about something, you open yourself to being flamed down. I was surprisingly ok about it. That’s good – a year ago I would have taken it far too personally and it would have effected me deeply; but now I guess I’ve toughened up and don’t see this as a personal attack at all. How can it be? The guy wouldn’t know me if he passed me in the street.

    People who write like that are fearful, angry and feel dis-empowered or overwhelmed. The easiest way to deal with that feeling is to attack other people and their motive. What better way to feel better about yourself than try and belittle someone else? I am quite sure we have all done the same in the past.

    So we have a choice in these situations. We can never expect to change anyone else or enforce our views, but we can change the way we respond to these criticisms. I have no need to defend my position – which is what happens if you stand in your own truth.

    99% of the time, I prefer to offer solutions, rather than wallow in the challenges, as most of you will be aware. However, a good whinge from time to time is a good release, as long as it is kept in perspective.

    We ALL face challenges, each and every day. We can choose whether they become brick walls which defeat us or we can take down the bricks of that wall and use them individually as stepping stones towards a brighter future.

  18. Layla says:

    Hi Mrs G! Awesome thinking again!! 🙂

    I hate to say that this week I’ve been ‘flamed’ too, & alas I wasn’t so graceful!!
    You are right about feeling overwhelmed & then just lashing out at someone..

    still got a long way to go… 🙂

    I still don’t get it why people need to ‘trash’ something or someone, just because they don’t agree with you?
    Wouldn’t a reasonable debate be more constructive?

    I was told cause I use & promote cloth pads I must be ‘smelly’ ‘nasty’ & horrible overall!! & how it’s terrible hygiene-wise etc..?! OoO Why do people read a thread like ‘menstrual cup’ if they are apalled by the talk of different products etc…?!! /whinge over/

    apparently I was too graphic or something, & a different approach may be needed for more ‘mainstream’-thinking people..

    soo.. was there something in the air? people opposing reasonable greenness had a secret meeting & ‘trash’ party? 🙂

    must repeat 3 times, ‘never feed the troll’… 🙂

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