National zero waste week thanks!

Filed in Blog by on September 14, 2009 13 Comments
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Thanks to all who joined in with National zero waste week

Thanks to all who joined in with National zero waste week

Every blogger knows how terrifying it is to write a ‘thanks for the support’ post, because you know you are going to forget at least one person.

Well, I’m going to take that fear into my hands and have a go anyway, secure in the knowledge that if I DO forget anyone, you’ll know it isn’t anything personal. You can always add a comment or send me a rude email and I’ll edit my post.
Last week’s National zero waste week was amazing. I don’t mind admitting that I was feeling horribly defeated at the beginning of the week. I had SO much to do away from my cyber life that I didn’t have the time and energy to put into zero waste week this year.

Last year it took months of planning, heaps of follow up calls and mails and a lot of organisation. This year I simply could not do that, so I was relying on the good will of fellow bloggers and friends to help spread the word.

The amount of support we have been given has been way beyond anything I even hoped for.

People everywhere have been spreading the message, taking action to reduce their waste and it’s been a huge success.

Thank you, sincerely, to everyone who made a pledge, helped spread the word, talked to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues, blogged about it, tweeted it and pulled together to make National zero waste week the success it was.

I know that for every person I know about, there will be many more who do not take such an ‘extrovert’ approach to their actions. These are the unsung heroes, the ones who go about life in a conscious way, making informed decisions about reducing their waste but don’t sing and dance about it.

Mrs A has been unearthing some of those people this week over on The Rubbish Diet.

So without further ado I’m going to do that scary thing and give a big shout out and hearty thanks to the following people who helped make National zero waste week what it was:

Kathryn across the pond in the US wrote about us on Examiner.

Sharon, our favourite  frustrated housewife told everyone about her carrier bag use.

LJayne over at Baby Center – We don’t know who you are, LJayne, but thank you for sharing the information!

Cat Lewis, an active artist who has taken to leaving plastic in the supermarkets blogged about us.

Katy Wok Stanley from the fabulous Non-Consumer Advocate wrote about National zero waste week

Kate, at an exercise in frugality penned a piece about trash consciousness

Julia at Easy to Go Eco shared zero waste week with her readers

Adam at the Guardian gave us a shout on his piece about food waste.

Leah at Suddenly frugal helped spread the word

Karen over at Green Pepper posted about her pledge to grow more food

Sooz at The last biscuit told the world about her pledges

John spread the word on Sky Forums

Maisie over at Our year of greener living kept readers up to date

Poppy shared our link on Facebook

And the following people tweeted National zero waste week into cyber space:
@JumbleAID, @rekindled, @carpenterco, @RecycleMatch, @CanarsieBK, @missfitcreation, @easyecotogo, @therubbishdiet @1stGardening, @Wormexpert, @FreshTies, @Boho_Butterfly, @ooffoo, @altepper, @ethicaljunction, @VegBoxRecipes, @anaelisaphoto, @therubbishdiet, @clareybabble, @RachelPattisson, @teatraveler, @kusasi, @Mrs_Smiler, @icount4myearth, @borderpup, @simonscotland, @ecocycle, @Sillybrit, @Veggiebarn, @newforestfood, @Zerocredit_UK, @friskyfun, @geekowarrior, @NewForestBnB, @andyredfern, @fionX, @thegreengod, @wildelycreative, @greenpep, @mruku, @BeeDancer, @fairsnape, @robinbrittain, @frugaldoogal, @ @greenpep, @leangreenmom, @noimpactproject, @greensuffolk, @Jimmisav, @WasteAwareScot

I have to take this opportunity to give a special thanks to Mrs A. Not only did she limp on blood shod (well, ok, with her wrist in a splint), but she acted like a Personal Assistant of the highest magnitude for the entire week. Mrs A, you certainly restored my faith in human nature by your sharing of information and the way you encouraged people to take part. Thank you SO much for all your effort, help and enthusiasm!

So that’s it for another year, or is it? What new zero waste habits have you put into place this week that you will continue with for longer?

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 (13)

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  1. LJayne says:

    Hi Mrs Green, thanks for the mention! I’m going to blush now!

    I’m just a mum of 3 who woke up to what we were doing to ourselves and the planet when I had my first child 6.5 years ago. I think ZWW is a fabulous idea and I’ve felt really challenged this last week to try and do even more than I’m already doing.

    Lesley aka LJayne

  2. Hey Mrs G – LOL it is the least I could do for inflicting my crazy ideas on you in the first place and feel grateful that you’ve helped me realise that I am not actually that crazy. My thanks will always be with you for gathering the enthusiasm that you have both through your own ventures and amongst the visitors on your blog.

    It’s fab that everyone has done so much this year. The more the merrier. I’ve enjoyed this week, despite having this blimmin’ wrist injury. It’s getting better though, and I’ve managed to ditch the wrist support a couple of times (truth is it got lost in my disorganisation).

    Hope you’ve had a relaxing week. Will catch up soon.

    Karen 😀 x

  3. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Thanks again for the mention. The amount of new contacts is very heartening, and that was without prizes. Maybe next year prizes could be reintroduced to expand interest even further. An idea might be to have prizes from the main group of enthusiasts who could even judge their own winners to save you from overload.

    With the North American Plastics Industry aiming at Millenials (born 1970-90), using a $10 million dollar kitty, things could be even hotter. I could see them paying the public to use plastic bags they are so desperate. Websites will be set up to foster interest among that age group. If it is anything like the American Chemistry Council forum you hosted, their attitude will be totally uncompromising and seriously out of touch.

  4. Very well done to you Mrs Green and everyone who joined in National zero waste week! I returned from holiday in the middle of last week and missed out on the whole enterprise. Still, there’s the 51 weeks of the year till the next one for me to try to reduce my waste in practice!

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @LJayne: Hi Lesley, great to see you and thank you for getting a topic going on your forum! Did you have a specific achievement that you are proud of during the week?

    @Almost Mrs Average: You had a great week, Mrs A and I’m pleased to hear your wrist is on the mend. Take good care…

    @John Costigane: Hi John, well thankfully we have a whole 51 weeks to plan next year’s fun and festivities! I never knew this about the API; I’ll look into it; thank you!

    @the green gal: Hi Green Gal, good to see you again; I hope you enjoyed your holiday!

  6. LJayne says:

    I knew anyway, but this week has reinforced how much unnecessary plastic is around. So I’m proud of actually finding the time to tackle some of the manufacturers about it. The makers of Radox have switched their handwash – which we use a lot of, having 3 kids – into plastic “5” instead of the recyclable “1” or “2”. So I emailed them and am currently awaiting “the full response” they asked to be able to send me via the post. Might make interesting reading!

  7. Hazel says:

    It’s full time job isn’t it?! Thanks for all yor work Mrs G
    We didn’t do badly, just puttng out a smal (not full) carrier bag of waste for the week. I knew I wasnt going to manage zero, and wanted to make sure I could keep up anything I started. I seem to spend a lot of time fishing stuff out of the bin, so education of the masses (aka the grown up bin saboteur and 3 mini-N’s) is the way to go in this house. Grown up BS will do the big stuff now, but can’t get past the ‘it’s only a dust pan full of dust/little bit of paper’ way of thinking.
    We have also been using up existing stores, involving plastic wrapping. My shopping is changing, and though I’ve always been okay at it, it often slipped. I began being stricter about seasonal eating/shopping at the beginning of the year, and that helps as it’s more likely to be available packaging free. We still have the odd tropical fruit etc, but we can live without apples in June. So hopefully next year, my bag of waste will be non-existent :0)

  8. Mrs Green says:

    @LJayne: It’s fantastic that you found time to tackle some manufacturers Lesley – well done! That’s the thing I seldom do and should do more of it. Let us know what Radox say – we might feature it on the site 😉

    @Hazel: Hi Hazel, lovely to see you. A small carrier bag of waste for the week is fabulous. I used to fish stuff out of the bin as well, but I seldom need to do that any more – just keep educating!
    Buying seasonal is much better for packaging, as you say and it sounds like you have some great ideas in place for the coming year. Keep us updated on your progress!

  9. As you know we now average 200g per week of landfill rubbish.

    This is a level I an be happy with at present.

    I don’t think as it stand at the moment we will get to Zero Waste but, by keeping landfill to an absolute minimum we are as a family “doing our bit”

  10. LJayne says:

    Radox replied and said

    “Thank you for your email enquiry and for bearing with us while we spoke to the relevant people.

    ‘5’ is PP and its what we have been using on Handwash and shower gels for years. It’s ideal for these products, due to its flexibility. ‘1’ is PET and this is what we use for our Herbal Bath. PP is a widely used and versatile material, giving a balance of clarity and durability. It is unfortunately not as widely recycled at the moment, but WRAP are investigating how to get more councils to collect this material

    PET gives a glass-like clarity which is ideal for Herbal Bath, and it’s also commonly used on fizzy drinks bottles a lot and has been a target of councils to collect this material due to the amount of this type of
    plastic being consumed and thrown away. However, the functionality of the shower bottles is different from the herbal bath bottles and this plastic would not be suitable for our shower products.

    ‘2’ HDPE is mainly what is used for milk bottles and is why councils and recycling companies have been tasked with collecting these like they have with PET used on fizzy drinks. The plastic is milky in colour and
    would not be suitable for shower products such as ours.

    There are no plans to move to PET on handwash and shower in the near future as it’s not as suitable for these products, and it would also be likely to result in a higher cost for the consumer.

    We do currently produce Radox Handwash refills in 500ml packs, which produce 75% less plastic per ml than the bottles.

    Thank you for contacting us and please do feel free to contact us again at any time.”

    I replied and said “not good enough” lol. The fact remains that many of Radox’s competitors DO use plastics “1” and “2” so their argument just doesn’t wash (forgive the pun!). They are also no more expensive, like they claim they would probably become, because we only ever buy handwash when it is on BOGOF and every major manufacturer has their products in these offers regularly – I used to work in a supermarket so I have years of experience of behind the scenes as well as being a front-end consumer.

    I can see that shower gel bottles need to be squeezy but handwash comes with a pump so it doesn’t. The refills that they mention come in sachets that are totally UN-recyclable so that is no better alternative!
    I said that I could quite understand them not listening to a lone voice consumer about switching from “5” but I said I felt they must remove “widely recyclable” from the labelling because their email admitted it wasn’t any such thing.

    Am waiting for a further response and I’m thinking of contacting WRAP direct and seeing if I could get some figures on how many councils do collect/provide facilities for “5”. It really bugs me when big companies put stuff on labels that just isn’t true.

  11. Mrs Green says:

    @maisie dalziel: Hi Maisie, I think your target and achievement is wonderful. If everyone did as you did, the planet would be in a much better state, the landfill would last for many more years and there would be no need for incinerators..

    @LJayne: Hi Lesley, what a disappointing reply. As you say, many competitors do use 1 and 2 plastics. Great that you picked up on the ‘widely recyclable’ claim too – well done you! It will be interesting to hear what else you find out. Thanks for taking the time to post back here, it’s really useful for our readers to be kept up to date.

  12. Sooz says:

    Thanks for the mention 😀 xxxx

    And thanks mostly for the inspiration, I’m thinking up many more ways I can reduce my waste!

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @Sooz: Glad to hear it Sooz – how are things going for you?

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