Happy new year!

Filed in Blog by on January 1, 2010 17 Comments
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Happy new year from the Green's

Happy new year from the Green's

I would say good morning, but it’s a little late for that. However, it’s not too late to wish you all a healthy, happy and abundant 2010!

What a week we’ve had and what an incredible start to the new year. I don’t know where to begin with all our news. Suddenly our zero waste story has attracted huge interest from all across the world.

It began with the Sunday Mirror’s Homes and Holidays supplement two weeks ago, before the Daily Mail announced us “The ultimate green family” this week.  That story received over 300 comments; some of them wonderfully supportive and some of them, erm, well let’ s just say they were not quite so friendly!

Next the Times did a feature on us telling everyone how we reduced our waste to one bin full for this year. Since then I’ve done an interview on Radio Gloucestershire, encouraging listeners to have a go themselves during 2010.

We’ve even been contacted for radio and TV appearances in Australia… I’ve always said I want to spread the message about reducing waste; I wasn’t quite planning on taking that message to the other side of the world!

Tomorrow, be sure to buy a copy of the Daily Mail again, where we will be appearing in the Femail section.

In between the phone ringing, the emails (thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time and trouble to contact us with congratulatory messages), the make up artists and photographers we’ve pulled up from last place in Nigel’s Eco Store Green Web Awards to FIRST PLACE in the Green Living Advice category! We are thrilled with the result and thank you all for supporting us. Again, we’ve had some wonderful messages via email and twitter about this, and we truly appreciate each and every one. We were also featured in My Green Side’s “Top 25 Green sites of 2009” which we are honoured to be included in.

Results of Green Web Awards

Results of Green Web Awards

Despite our feet hardly touching the ground, we’ve managed to create zero food waste! Yes all the festive feasts have been eaten up without a crumb of waste. The planning I did at the beginning of the week has really paid off and our landfill waste is looking pretty slim too.

In the bin this week we have:

  • 1 crisp bag
  • 1 rice cakes bag
  • hard plastic from front of sellotape
  • toothpaste tube
  • chocolate buttons bag
  • plastic from the front of a toy
  • plastic seal from honey pot

All in all it weighs just 26 gms.

Our bin is due to be emptied on Jan 13th, so up ’til then we’ll be continuing with our weekly weigh ins. After that we have a brand new resolution for 2010 – can you guess what it is? More on that next week. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and thank you again for all your support; it’s been a fantastic year which truly ended on a high!


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 (17)

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  1. Huge congratulations and well done to you all. This is a fabulous end to 2009 and the most fantastic beginning to not only a new year but a brand new decade. Do you remember how shy you were when I sat on your sofa and asked whether you’d be happy to do radio when you first set out? Well I am soooo pleased that’s passed. You’re most definitely an old hand now…what with radio AND TV invitations tooo 😀

    And remember those despondent days when certain folk in the media weren’t interested…well…hooray, they are now knocking on your door and so they should. You’ve put in the most fantastic effort into what is an enormous lifestyle makeover. As I said in my Daily Mail comment, it’s a very brave thing to do to put your life under a microscope for all to see, but for all those people who were no quite so friendly, there will be many many more who will continue to be inspired. There is an amazing amount of interest in this topic and it is increasing all the time. My Christmas waste slot on BBC Radio Suffok this morning should have just been 20 minutes, but extended to 40 due to the number of texts that were coming through. I made sure I gave you a plug on air though and will be picking up the paper tomorrow to see the latest news.

    Happy New Year everyone and here’s to 2010 😀 xxx

  2. Naomi Sandoval says:

    I am so happy for you, Mrs Green! You are truly an inspiration to me. When you started, who knew you’d be where you are now. But watching it all unfold, it all makes perfect sense. Congratulations on all your well-deserved success and recognition.

  3. John Costigane says:

    Happy New Year, Mrs Green and family.

    I missed the various articles on Hogmanay but had a good laugh at the anti- brigade comments, even the ‘they just put their rubbish in other peoples bins’ effort. The simple fact is that your challenge has been successful and many objective thinking readers of the newspaper sites will see what can be done. The green tag is red rag to a bull for some but in reality the effort is a step toward sustainability, a potentially much broader based trend.

    Well done on the contest poll which seems to have been a close call between the 3 entries. The publicity adds to the other elements and could lead to better things in 2010.

    My own effort has reached the end of the second year third quarter, leaving 4oz spare for the last to year end in April. The focus now is on removal of plastic still in use eg ingredient bags and replacement with glass/steel alternatives. For year 3, 4oz per quarter, will be the target to allow this necessary change in approach.

  4. Mr. Above Average :) says:

    Impressive. But why on earth did you buy Sellotape – possibly the most unnecessarily over packaged product in the world? I buy generic tape from the local indoor market (it is, if anything, a slightly superior product), much cheaper and no wrapping :).

  5. sandy says:

    well done, many congratulations. a good example to us all, I have made a new year resolution, to reduce my waste even further

  6. Pat says:

    Congratulations! You are a true inspiration.

  7. Jacqui says:

    Congratulations on your awards!
    Here in Germany though, the items you have put in your bin would go in our yellow sack.(supplied free). This is where all the plastics, milk cartons etc go. The sacks are collected twice a month, sorted and then recycled. Our green bin is collected every other week and our paper bin and grey bin once a month. In addition, the green and grey bin (for anything not recyclable, which is generally very little) have a bar code on them. the contents are weighed when emptied and you are charged approx 25c per kilo at the end of the year.(yellow sacks and paper bins excepted). If you choose not to have a green bin, you get a reduction in your council tax.
    And yes, some people do have locks on their bins, but no, Germany is not sinking under a sea of fly-tipping. At the supermarkets you have big yellow, grey and green skips for any packaging you want to discard on exit, also battery disposal boxes. There are bottle- and Red Cross clothes-banks on site too. Paint shops and car spares are obliged to take in your paint cans and used oil (on production of receipt).

    We are not quite in your league, but generally, I think there would be a more sympathetic attitude to your efforts to reduce waste and encourage recycling over here.
    Keep up the effort – you’ll inspire lots more to join you!

  8. Rob Whittle, NAIL2 says:

    Well done Greens. Great job!

  9. LJayne says:

    If only the negative commenters would actually come and browse this site and realise that it isn’t just about throwing away as little as possible. The media articles were quite short and couldn’t fully demonstrate the thought and effort that goes into your lifestyle.

    Of course, making one set of decisions means turning away from another set ot outcomes and to some extent it does depend on what one’s first ultimate aim is as to which of those sets of decisions/outcomes one prioritises. But that is the same with anything. Life isn’t simple but hugely inter-connected.

    Not that I think the negatives will get you down! Don’t let any abuse there may have been do so either.

    Happy New Year

  10. Mrs Green says:

    Thanks everyone for the lovely messages of support and encouragement. It’s great to see many new faces too – you’re always welcome 🙂

    In answer to some of the specific questions and comments:

    @Almost Mrs Average: Mrs A – having your radio slot extended by 20 minutes is awesome; well done you – you must feel so proud! I hope you are having a suitably restful weekend 😉

    @Mr. Above Average 🙂: Great comment. I once bought a generic brand and it was useless – it hardly stuck at all and was a complete waste of money. I agree with you – sellotape is vastly over packaged; I have written to them to ask what the hard plastic is made of and I await their response 😉

    @Jacqui: the system you describe sounds wonderful. I find it constantly amazing to see how different things are, not only from country from country but between one side of the UK and the other!

  11. Ann says:

    Congratulations on a wonderful blog. I have a kitchen waste bin for all my peelings, fruit etc and I feed them to my worms. I started a wormery about 18months ago. I have regualr compost and liquid fertiliser for all my plants. You have some great ideas and thanks for sharing. I will be following your blog and look forward to reading your article in the ‘You Magazine’.
    Well Done!

  12. Jacqui says:

    Hi – Well done to you all!!! What an inspiration you are.
    Re foil packets. I do rememberBob Flowerdew once saying that he saved up foil packets and one rainy day he stapled them together and made a compost ‘duvet’ with it. I suppose it could be used as a light reflecting sheet in a greenhouse, or tied to lines as bird scarers as well. xxx

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @Ann: Hi Ann, welcome to the site and thanks for your lovely comment. We are planning on getting a wormery too along with a bokashi system, and it sounds like you have everything very organised in your home 🙂

    @Jacqui: Hi Jacqui, welcome and thank you! Wow a duvet from old foil packets; that’s very innovative! Sewing isn’t my forte, but I’m sure even I could manage that!

  14. Layla says:

    WOW! Great things have been happening here!! 🙂

    Well, to all the nay-sayers: my challenege for them would be to try it! 🙂
    Or you can start a ‘Green Lifestyle Makeover’ TV show & show how it’s done to people, coaching them along the way, etc!
    (Or both! 🙂 In Germany, there were eco ‘photo-love-stories’ in teen magazines!! It didn’t just happen overnight!!)

    Fascinating to read about your system, Jacqui!

  15. Mrs Green says:

    @Layla: Hi Layla, see what happens when you go away from the site for a while LOL! I hope you’ve been having fun. A green lifestyle makeover TV show would be fabulous; I’d love to do something like that because my passion is helping people to empower themselves, more on a 1-2-1 basis.

  16. Jacqui says:

    Me again! I forgot to mention that here in Deutschland, every plastic drinks bottle or alu can is sold with a hefty (20-25cent) deposit added. Then we have these nifty machines at the supermarket that you put the empty can or bottle in – the machine whizzes it round to read the bar code, calculates your total and gives you a receipt which you take into the shop for a refund or money off at the till. And needless to say, there are no free carrier bags; they cost anything from €0.06- 0.10 each, so everyone takes their own bags with them.
    (And not on the recycling theme, but topically, you are obliged by law to clear your own footpath of snow and fit winter tyres tyres to your cars. Makes life easier, and the roads safer!)

  17. Mrs Green says:

    @Jacqui: Hi Jacqui, many of us would love to see the return of the deposit. We had them in the 1970s but it’s disappeared now. Tesco have a machine like you mention and you get points added to your loyalty card, so that’s a good compromise on the excellent sounding system you have over there. Along with the carrier bag charges it seems Germany are way ahead of us with recycling.

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