Competition feedback

Filed in by on August 7, 2008 187 Comments

Well here’s an interesting one! We’ve had so many comments on the page and lots of entrants that the page keeps crashing and wiping out the information.

So, instead of listing everyone with their pledges, we’re just going to list the names. Everyone who enters gets a copy of their pledges, but if you’ve lost yours or can’t remember then contact us and we’ll send you a copy.

To leave your feedback you can click here to jump to the form

So, the entrants for the zero waste week pledge and win are:

Emma Cooper
Sally Sisson
Another Mrs Green
Dave Webb
Brian Eastman
Fiona Wilson
Funky Fairy
the green goddess
Emma Sayers
Cheryl Hain
Claire Davies
momma bear
Michelle Williams
Julie McGucken
Tracey McEwan
Jane Willis
Teeny tiny
Gorgeous Green
Eco gal
Tracy L
Ray Smith
Almost Mrs Average
Shazzie Burborough
just Gai
little grubs
Melissa McCann
shelly semmens
science girl
Cher waite
John Costigane
Sue Cannon
Lisa Taher
Arielle Schnepp
Freya’s Mum
Gorgeous One
Zoe Sharp
Jenny’s Pledge
Flippa xXx
Sally Snelson
Nikki Groom
Ann Mackintosh
Rebecca Phillips
louise larder
Leanne Dempsey
Mark baker
Beverley Kerry
Elizabeth Smith
Joanna Parker
Adrian Bold
maria clarke
Ray Dodds
Caroline Rigby
helen pope
lynda turner
sharon bailey
emma walters
Gill Abrahams
Heather Walker
sandra rubery

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Comments (187)

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  1. julie mcgucken says:

    took lots of clothes that i dont wear anymore to the BHF charity shop and reused some padded envelopes to send gifts to friends

  2. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Julie,
    Congrats on being the first person to comment back and well done on your visit to the charity shop. I bet that feels good. I’m going to be doing a similar thing myself during zero waste week and I’m really looking forward to having a declutter. Reusing padded envelopes is a wonderful way to reduce waste and save yourself money.
    Keep us posted on your progress!

  3. Tam says:

    Took my little tupaware container to butchers today, and although looked at as though I was a bit mad, used one less piece of plastic when transporting food.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    Well done Tam! You’ll soon get used to looking mad in public! What was the response of your butcher?

  5. Alabama says:

    Contacted Bt today and cancelled my phone book, signed up to Love film instead of buying DVDs, my Bokashi bins arrived and I then made the box they came in into a boat for DD and I’ve started clearing part of the garden for next years veggies! What a busy day I had! πŸ˜€

  6. Denise says:

    Ok, here’s my first pledge update, the things that were already happening in our house or needed some tweaking ( read – kick up the butt, to get them going again )
    Have been keeping a track on my blog, with some pictures, please feel free to go take a look.
    I am so enjoying focusing on these pledges and have been very inspired by the wonderful Greens.
    Will update with more soon.

    1.Using home recycling boxes – we are very lucky to have 3 wheelie bins here ( collected fortnightly ) 1 for recycling stuff including glass, 1 for garden waste and the last for everything else.

    2.Recycle my tetrapaks – these can be put in our wheelie bin.

    3.Call local council to find out what can be recycled – we have just had magnetic leaflets delivered with all the collection dates for bins and what can and can’t be put in them.

    4.Start taken non collectible items to a recycling bank – discovered that hubby can take used batteries into work.

    5.Take reusable cup to work – hubby already has.

    6.Reuse packaging and envelopes – box under the stairs holds all our envelopes and used jiffy bags, we buy labels from various charities to stick over old addresses.

    7.Join DVD library – members of Blockbuster, DVDs are sent out to you and you return them within the same envelope.

    8.Use local library – never away from the place, we request books on-line and get them to notify us when they arrive via e.mail.

    9.Use washable nappies or menstrual products – Used disp. with eldest children but now washable with the little man ( we are loving them )also have made a big switch to washable wipes.Thanks alot to Sarah at for 2 fab new nappies. Need to restock on menstrual products ( or make own )

    10.Start a compost heap or wormery- 2 compost heaps and 1 wormery.

    11.Start to prepare gardening for growing veg – we have fenced off an area of the garden ( keep dog off ) and made 2 raised beds – growing lettuce, courgettes,beans, radish,spring onions.Also greenhouse for toms and cucumbers.

    12.Start using reusable bags – we have loads of cloth and string bags, always used.Helped a friend to knit a string bag recently and have started, when returning borrowed bits and pieces to friends, to pop them in a reusable and tell them to keep it.

    13.Buy loose produce instead of bagged – wonderful at farmers markets and farm shops.

    14.Sign up for veg box scheme – have used Woodlands Farm for over 5 years now.

    15.Offer one unwanted item on Free cycle or take to charity shop – teas made offered and taken on Free cycle.Car boot full of stuff taken to the PDSA , Salvation Army ( with respect to my friend Queenie )and charity shop helping local people.

    16.Send an e.mail greetings card instead of a paper one – Happy Birthday L, he loved his e.mail card.

    17.Buy one purchase in bulk to save on packaging – huge bag of rice from Suma co-op.The couple who run the Suma co-op are moving to a new area, so have now taken over running the group, so lots more bulk buying for us.

    18.Use a reusable bottle – all 5 of us now have our own bottles, so no need for buying water when out and about.

    Good Luck to all with your pledges.

  7. Hi Denise,

    You have done marvellously well in making so many changes in such a short time. There are prizes for pledges but surely a prize for the best contribution must be a consideration. Others will definitely take heart from your great efforts.

  8. julie mcgucken says:

    took my reusale bottle out with me yesterday to the shops and will do so again today

    Also bout rechargable batteries for my camera and tv remote πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ – good value as well as making an impact

    Going to ring up and cancel phone book today also

  9. ruth_dt says:

    I finally took some unwanted things to the charity shop which had been sitting around for ages! Yay!

    My first milk delivery was supposed to arrive today, but didn’t. I’d best get on that now.

  10. sunshine_mel says:

    doing well πŸ˜€ i’ve registered with the no junk mail site, and also stuck a note on my door saying no to leaflets… and chased a pizza guy down the road when he tried to deliver one anyway! also opted out of the bt phone directory, so less incoming paper

    i also
    – passed on some things (but also got some more, oops!) on freecycle
    – bought a wormery for work (on the work card!) and will be bringing my veg in to add to the tea bags
    – made a bag from old material to shop with
    – got some friends to join freecycle (i volunteer on my local group, so i’m very keen and persuasive!)
    – got a mooncup – and it’s brilliant! will tell everyone πŸ˜€

  11. maisie says:

    Have looked at what I need to tweak on the recycling front and have contacted my council to ask what else can be recycled that are not already on the list for my bins.

    I have been sending all my type 4 plastic to Polyprint for over a year now. Will also start a collection for other types to be sent to GHS, thanks Mrs Green.

    I have been using an organic veg box delivery scheme based near Boston for 2 years now and have found them to be very helpful and friendly; also the prices quoted include delivery.

    I have been using reusable bags for over 2 years, now have quite a collection from different places.

    I have the majority of my milk delivered by the milkman in glass bottles.

    I keep alot of marg tubs to use as freezer containers.

    I freeze any single portions of food that is leftover then once approx every 6 weeks we have “leftovers” night where everyone gets to pick from the array on the table; can be a rare concoction on the plate sometimes.
    DH also takes portions to work for his lunch during the colder weather as he has access to a microwave.

    I bake all my own bread (using a BM to make the dough) and cakes and pastries.

    I have started to make biscuits as well so there will be alot less of these being brought into the house from the supermarkets.

    The majority of our meals are cooked from scratch using the fresh veg from the box and meat from the “meat farm shop”, or butchers.

  12. Becks says:

    I pledged to keep my beautiful boy’s second birthday as low waste as possible
    So did we manage it? Yes!
    We wrapped his main present, a fire engine, in a length of bright fabric with a big ribbon around it and a homemade card tag. So no waste. His smaller presents were the things we had collected from car boot sales so unboxed. We popped them in a cloth bag and he pulled them out one by one. Present from DS1 was wrapped in brown paper and string recycled from the veg box and then stored away for more use. Present from DD1 was wrapped in recycled sketch pad paper which has been kept for further use. We asked for no birhday cards and instead we had a little hard backed notebook which we asked everyone to leave a drawing, poem or comment in. The book itself has been covered in fabric and embroidered with his name as a permanent keepsake to be used in future years. And our birthday cake was homemade dairy free organic chocolate fudge cake. yummmy!!!
    So the total waste from his birthday was a tiny little bundle of plastic wrap about the size of a 25g ball of wool.

  13. Mrs Green says:

    Wowee – I take a day off from answering any comments and look what I come back to! Well done everyone.

    Alabama; a busy day indeed. Do keep us posted on your progress with the bokashi bin. What are you planning to grow in your garden?

    Denise; I think you are single handedly saving the world πŸ˜€ You’ve achieved so much and I’m glad you’ve seen the opportunity to use this challenge as a way to tweak things already in place. You’re doing great!

    Julie; where did you managed to source rechargeable batteries for a good price? Many people find the outlay to be quite prohibitive.

    ruth_dt; what happened to the milk?? Very cool on your trip to the charity shop; that is my own pledge too, as well as doing the zero waste week. I’m really looking forward to it!

    sunshine_mel – I love the image of you chasing the pizza delivery down the road to give him his leaflet back LOL!
    Getting a wormery for work is brilliant. I’ll be interested to hear what your colleagues think. Tell them about the mooncup too!

    Maisie, you have a lot of great things in place already. I’m glad you’ve found somewhere else for the plastic and it seems you are really on top of the whole food waste issue by cooking things from scratch. The idea of your hubby taking leftovers for his lunch is really good. It saves waste, packaging, time and money – you can’t beat that!

    Becks, your story is amazing and very inspirational. The idea about a notebook for people to write in, instead of individual cards is just brilliant. And I bet the bag of pressies to dip into went down really well. I love the fact that with a little thought, the wrapping can be a gift too.

    Well done everyone – keep up the great work and give yourselves a pat on the back for such brilliant achievments

  14. Poppy says:

    I confess that many of my pledges have been up and running for some time now, but I will endeavour to enforce and educate where I can.
    1.will use home recycling boxes provided by my council – actually hoping to recycle less here, by cutting down on the amount of papers and pre-packaged goods that we use.
    2. I will recycle my tetrapaks – education needed here! I was shocked to find that my DH didn’t know what a tetra pack was and was putting these in with the cardboard.
    3. I will start taking non collectible kerbside items to a recycling bank – already doing this, but hope to be more organised with it to keep down the piles waiting to be dispatched.
    4. I will switch to at least one recycled product – hoping to have a leisurely shop to fill this one.
    5. I will recycle an old mobile phone – yes, I must ditch one of the phones I have sat in the cupboard.
    6. I will take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered – items returned and actively refused.
    7. I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop – done.
    8. I will use washable cloths instead of kitchen towel – another education item. DH is very attached to kitchen roll
    9. I will cancel my telephone directory / Yellow pages – I did this, but they came anyway! DS ran down the road to give the latest white page directory back to the deliverer!!10. I will buy one purchase in bulk packaging to save on waste – done. Need more cupboard space.
    11. I will join and use my local library – got my first library book in ages about a month ago, but I also have a large backlog of secondhand books bought from a school fete to plough my way through.
    12. I will buy rechargeable batteries and a recharger and use them – we do this.
    13. I will use a reusable bottle for water – trying to always have a full bottle with us when we go out.
    14. I will start a compost heap – I love my compost bin!
    15. I will make one meal from leftovers – we very, very rarely throw food out.
    16. I will start using reusable shopping bags instead of carrier bags – carriers are still creaping in, but a lot less and even DH is getting the idea πŸ™‚
    17. I will buy loose produce instead of bagged – yes.
    18. I will sign up for a vegetable box scheme – yes

    *19* I will action my own recycling or waste reduction pledge as below; Educate others in my household to do the same as me – On going project, but we seem to be getting there.

  15. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Poppy, I think you highlight a really important point with number 1. I’ve felt for some time that there are two ‘levels’ of the zero waste challenge. the first is to recycle as much as poss and buy alternative products for things that cannot be recycled. But I do see a time when changing shopping habits further to REDUCE recycling is better.
    My friend has been putting tetrapaks in with the cardboard too – I think it’s a common mistake. I have trouble letting the kitchen towel go too – it’s such a convenience thing. I did think about not putting it out on the worksurface for the duration of zero waste week to see how I got on!
    Love the image of you returning your BT book!
    Well done; you’ve done loads already, but I love how you are finding ways to do more πŸ™‚

  16. Tam says:

    Well, the butchers gave me a *bit* of a funny look.It was more everyone else in the q who (if I cared) might have put me off… funny thing was most of em had re-useable bags though… surely its just a natural progression?!

  17. Tam says:

    re: kitchen towel.. I’ve found the best thing to do is cut up an old tea towel, then stuff it in an old tissue box to take out and use the bits as needed. Taht way you get the same feeling of convience and can ‘trick yourself’ into the whole kitchen towel thing. Just remeber to chuck them in the machine, not the bin!

  18. Denise says:

    Wow, am so inspired by everyone’s fab posts, such great ideas.Becks party post is fab, really something I want to achieve for my son’s 1st birthday in September.
    Thanks for the comments for my last post.
    Again have added some photos on my blog, please go take a look.
    Some pledges we have been working on.

    1.Talk to a family member or friend about recycling – DONE – spoken to my parents and a good friend, made both aware of Freecycle and the three R’s.

    2.Switch to at least one recycled product this week. DONE >>>> Happy Botties , we’ve switched to Novelle 100% recycled.

    3.Take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home – GO LOOK -

    4.Use washable cloths instead of kitchen towel – already use washables for washing up but need to stop with the kitchen towel.Will be following Tams wonderful advice and using old towels and also have started knitting dishcloths and will make some bigger to use as kitchen towels.All the yarn is washable but also compostable at the end of its life.

    5.Cancel yellow pages / telephone directory – Thanks Queenie for the number, will call tomorrow. DONE … call 0800 671444 ( in the UK ) …. easy.

    6.Make one card from scraps for a birthday or Christmas – DONE ….. 2 birthday cards made 18/8 for P & H.Such great fun, no more shop bought cards from us.

    7.Buy rechargeable batteries and a recharger and use them – we do have some of these, need to sort them out, recharge them and get them used. SORTED … dug recharger out, found batteries and bought some new ones, made sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it.

    Still afew to work on, menu planning and meals from left overs, will look at that tomorrow and also my personal pledge of making and using home-made cleaning products.

    Great going everyone.
    Big Love to all.

    Mother Earth is Smiling.

  19. Mrs Green says:

    Tam, I like your idea about the home made kitchen roll. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that really, because this is what I did for bum wipes when Little Miss Green was a babe.

    I can do that soon because we have a couple of bath towels that are so thin they are getting holey. I think I might have a little job coming on – thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Mrs Green says:

    Denise, you wonderful woman – Becks idea is lovely isn’t it?

    How did your family / friends take the recycling and Freecycle info – was it helpful to them or were they unsure of your intentions? Every time we speak to someone it is a seed sown. Sometimes those seeds sprout straight away and other times they take a while to germinate, but I think it’s important that we just keep trying gently and you’ve done well with this πŸ™‚

    Your pledges are going so well; you’re really whizzing through them all – Mother earth is smiling indeed; she even bought the sun out for us today………

  21. Tracey McEwan says:

    So far I have bought some Onya weigh bags and bought loose fruit and veg; baked my own bread and cakes(eaten too many cakes too!)and given away a couple of items on freecycle. I now plan to look through the list again and try a few more things.

  22. Alabama says:

    Update…Registered with the mailing preference service to stop receiving junk, bought a reusable water bottle, DH got some rechargable batteries after i had a chat with him (again, think it’s sinking in, lol) about redusing waste and recycling etc, made my sis a b’day card and reused an evelope to send it ( I received some envelope labels free from Ecover along with a pack about saving water).
    Bokashis are going well so far. The bins can take a lot and no smell! Slowly getting garden ready for next years planting. It’s currently a drive way but as we don’t have a car there’s no need for one and lots of need for yummy veggies πŸ™‚

  23. Susan Jones says:

    Not sure if this where im supposed to put this, you know me…

    ah found it, easy when you look.

    so my pledge, hmm not as easy as i thought the enthusiasm certainly went straight out the window the first time i was having to pull all the tins out of the bin that ian insists on throwing, and with him being a smoker the bin can get pretty grim.

    he opened three tins of soup, i was in time to save the third tin hitting the bin, that was progress cause he left the third tin on the side for me to wash and put outside in the recycling πŸ™ hmmm

    his policy is if the council dont collect it …. for years now i have had a contraption on the wall for him to squash his beer cans i think the only time its been used is when i demonstrated it to him.

    well i have managed to get a carrier bag full of bits for the recycling but i still havent sorted the kitchen food waste. the best solution i have come up with is my bin liners are biodegradable.

    i dont cook fresh food often enough to feed a wormery.

    i cheated with the bag of recycling as the very next day a bbag was put through the door to be collected the following wweek πŸ™‚ good news was ian put more in than i did.

    but its not all doom and gloom when we have been to the shops for lunch i have taken my own bags instead of having fresh ones and today he went off to get a french stick for breakfast and before he left i heard him say β€˜oh better get a bag to take with me’

    this is going to be slow and painful but well get there – one day.

    Love Sue

  24. margaretnan says:

    I will start to use the home recycling boxes provided by my council,I will call my local council and find out what I can recycle,I will start taking non collectible kerbside items to a recycling bank,I will help a neighbour by taking their items to a recycling bank,I will talk to at least one family member or friend to promote recycling,I will switch to at least one recycled product this week,I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop,I will use washable cloths instead of kitchen towel,I will send an email greeting card instead of a paper one,I will use a refill scheme for one product,I will start a compost heap, wormery or bokashi,I will make one meal from leftovers,I will start using reusable shopping bags instead of carrier bags,I will buy loose produce instead of bagged,I will make something like bread instead of buying in plastic wrap,I will switch to a brand that uses recyclable packaging for one item
    I will get some wool from a charity shp t make a lap banket.
    I will cook all meals from scratch and buy no precooked foods.
    I will leave unnecessary packaging at the till Asda’s, tell them why I’m doing it.
    I will preserve or freeze al the excess vegetables in thhe garden to use over winter.

    thank goodness yu have sent me an email with my list as I would ever remember them all.

    Good luck everyone

  25. Susan Jones says:

    I have just ordered two bokashi bins πŸ™‚

  26. shazzie burborough says:

    I have signed up for an allotment. They have a really long waiting list so we are going to find out about other schemes a bit further from home.

  27. Mrs Green says:

    Tracy, you’ve made some great headway with your pledges. If you would like to write a review at some point of your onya weigh bags, that would be fab. You’ve discovered the downside to homemade goodies though – zero waste but not zero waist LOL!

    Well done Alabama; some more ticks on the list for you. Good to hear that the bokashis are behaving themselves.

    Sue, you are amazing. I remember trying to do recycling ‘by myself’ before Mr Green was bitten by the bug and it was so challenging. You deserve a medal for your determination; I gave up until he was supporting what I wanted to do. At least he is now taking his own bag; let’s hope it’s the first step of many πŸ™‚ Enjoy your bokashi bins.

    Keep us posted, Shazzie; let’s hope you find something soon

  28. Denise says:

    I’m really not good at the whole menu planning and shopping accordingly, I really wish I was.
    So we have decided this week, to have a ” No Shop ” week – apart from some cereal and milk picked up at local Co-Op, in the hope that we will use up all that food lurking in the cupboards, freezer, larder etc and also make a note of the meals we have to help us with menu planning next week.

    I see Alabama has already meantioned the free kit from Ecover ( go to their site and register ) Great pack with a Hippo for the loo, information on saving water and the effects of lack of water / dirty water in other countries and also some labels for re-using envelopes.

    On the sharing the Recycling Word with friends and family – am really proud of my parents, after talking to them, they called me and asked if I would put a couple of items on Freecycle for them, which I did. Both were snapped up … hurrah !
    With my neighbours I used the, letting them know dh can take used batteries into work, rather than throwing them in the bin ( knowing their son is a heavy battery operated toy kid ! ) and also singing the praises of the rechargable batteries … little seeds bear big fruits … watching and waiting on the one.

    Coming up to last of the kitchen roll ( which when used has been composted ) then NO more … stack of t-towels, ready and waiting.

    Started on my personal pledge of making and using house-hold cleaners …. bulk bag of bicarb ( another tick on the list – bulk buying )lemons, tea-tree oil and I’m away.
    When our stock pile of Ecover washing powder has gone, we will go back to making our bucket full of “gloop” for cleaning our clothes.Don’t know how we got out of the habit of making and using that, we had been for a good couple of years … scary how the old “buy one get one free” sucks you in !

    So pleased everyone is doing do well and big thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas and tips.

    much love and care
    Denise x

  29. Hi Mrs Green,

    As part of my pledge to find myself new Zero Waste products, I found 2 examples.

    At Wittard, I was able to buy coffee beans in a paper bag, reusable or compostable, to replace the aluminuim combination waste products in universal use. I enquired about instant but they did not provide this at present.

    At Lush, Deodorant-only soap was available, the male type for me. This consists of a bar wrapped in recycled paper. I enquired about shaving soap, a future possibility.

    I hope to find other examples before the weekend.

  30. Susan Jones says:

    The bins have arrived and the arguments begun πŸ˜€

    your not leaving them there are you?

    so Mrs Green why cant i put cigarette ash and butts in the bin??

    and why cant i put tea bags in the bin??

    very confused

  31. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Denise, it sounds like things are going really well for you. You are putting so much time and energy into your pledges. I’m pleased that sharing your ideas has been so positive. Looking forward to hearing how you get on with your home made cleaning products πŸ™‚ And yes, thank you Alabama for the Ecover link; I’ve signed up for my kit too and was reading about their actions.

    John, great to see you joining in. Well done on your finds today. I know the whittard packaging didn’t turn out quite as expected, but I’m sure you will be able to do something with it. The LUSH visit sounded promising; let us know how you find the deodorant.

    Sue, oh dear – we didn’t foresee arguments over the kitchen counter tops LOL! I’ve never used a bokashi bin, but I’m sure there will be others who can give you lots of advice and ideas. Tea bags – can’t they go in them??

  32. Susan Jones says:

    no there is a very useful green tick items and red cross items on the red cross items it says no tobacco ash! and no tea bags.

    the green tick says pizza, burgers, cakes, bones etc

  33. Susan Jones says:

    well we have just done our dump trip with tins and plastic.

    yeuk the bag was full of rain water and my fingers were alls sticky, due i think to a tub of pineaple that ian didnt was out and i wouldnt mind but it was a non recyclable tub me thinks, hard clear plastic!!!

    I mentioned to ian this was not recyclable, you should have seen his face – big mistake – he had put it in the recycling and not hte bin i should have been happy with that.

    i explained the plastic should be able to stretch and dropped the subject.

    i also mentioned the lids of the drink bottles which he says wasnt him.

    i need to tread gently here at least he is putting them in the bag and not the bin.

    bokashi is started cant say i like the smell of the stuff you sprinkle over the top, way too sweet. the bins are still in the kitchen which is a good sign.

    oh and i put a tea bag in goodness what harm can it do???

  34. Hi Mrs Green,

    The deodorant block is a culture shock. The scent is a bit like aftershave and after 4 hours is still there. I was advised to keep the block out of the bathroom, and damp heat. It is in a glass container with a temporary lid in a bedroom.
    I have also ordered a steel safety razor with bladesfrom ebay, after Beth’s posts on Chris’s blog. She also suggests baking soda under arm. What do you think of that as an option?

  35. Mrs Green says:

    Oh Sue, you are such a stalwart! I don’t see what harm the odd tea bag will do, but I’m no expert on bokashis. Sorry to hear about your tussles with Ian – one step at a time, eh? As you say, he is thinking about recycling at least, and that is a good step to have taken. It’s very confusing when you start out, with lots of conflicting advice, which doesn’t help at all. Let’s hope he understands why it is good to try and figure things out rather than give up.

    John, the deodorant block sounds good. Do they do unscented? I don’t always like lingering scents, unless they are very mild.
    I can see how damp might be a problem for it – I guess it would start to disintegrate. Wow, good luck with the safety razor; I’m not brave enough for that!
    Baking soda can work well. I have used it in the past when there has been nothing else in the house. Not exactly easy to apply, but it certainly works because it both absorbs moisture and neutralises odours. You could scent it if you wished with some essential oils – frankincense and sandalwood would be a nice, male scent. Or something citrusy, lemon would be a good one as it is antibacterial. Have fun! Do the sniff test and let us know how it is!

  36. Hi Mrs Green,

    That’s it baking soda and a squirt of lemon juice! I will try it sometime but the bar will last ages. There were a number of different types but only sniffed one or two “male” types but there were plenty of others. The scent is only noticeable close-up ie nose to under arm.

    The safety razor probably needs a bit of careful practice initially, but the thought of no mixed plastic/metal waste blades plus no plastic blade holder will prove decisive. I am sure it will suit the female requirements as well but I will definitely give you the full picture to aid you decision.

    Are you preparations for next week complete?

  37. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John, I don’t feel particularly prepared, but certainly more relaxed about things now. I’ve been asking Mr Green to provide me with his meal requirements for our zero waste week and it’s been ‘in a minute’ or ‘later’ for the past 4 days……. πŸ˜‰
    Keep us posted on the safety razor and good luck!

  38. Hi Mrs Green,

    I am glad things are progressing smoothly.
    A funny thing occurred when I logged on here, I usually key “my” then jumps near the top of a list to click on. Yesterday, I did this and “” appeared in the first 9 places, with the usual off the list, further down. I now key “myz”. Of course you wont see this as its your blog.

  39. Mrs Green says:

    John, it sounds like you are getting an auto complete in your browser. It’s an annoying thing to have happen, especially if you key in a mis-spelling. Clearing it entails clearing all autocompletes and cookies which means starting over……..
    Perhaps myskips will get pushed down the list again if you don’t use it? I guess that depends on the browser you use.

  40. Linnyg says:

    I can now recycle tetrapaks at my local supermarket so I take them when I go shopping. Check your local supermarket- they were descibed as a trial run so the more people who use them the more likely they are to stay. I also take them for other family members who don’t live near to a tetrapak recycling bank.

  41. Linnyg says:

    Freecycle is great! Everyone should join their local one if they haven’t already. It’s amazing what you can get rid of on there, and you can pick up some good stuff too rather than having to buy new. This week I have taken a bag of stuff to a charity shop and given away another bag of stuff on freecycle.

  42. Mr Green says:

    Excellent news LinnyG and thanks for sharing that here. Tetrapaks can be recycled with the caps on, according to BTW, you can easily fold them down to make them flat before putting the caps on. Much easier to store…

  43. Mr Green says:

    You can thanks Mrs Green for Freecycle (if you’re in Gloucestershire) and yes, it’s a great way to pass on stuff that you no longer need, but still has life in it. Sounds like your having an ‘autumn clearout!’ Feels good, doesn’t it and it makes space for better things to come in …

  44. azjh77 says:

    I think I got a bit over excited and ticked too many boxes…need to work hard now!

    So of the 20 I ticked I will pick 5 for this week and work on them..

    1) actually put the recycling out this week – not collect it all in the kitchen, let it all pile up, and my husband in a fit of despair throw it all in the bin.

    2)I’ve gone to that mail preference thing to stop the junk mail – we’ll see how it goes!

    3)I have joined the local library online and will take a walk down on Monday to pick my card up – and perhaps get some books to help my eco aims!

    4)I – well me & the kids- have started making all our xmas cards from ones we got last year..and they need to make a card for their brownie badge so 2 birds, 1 stone.

    5)I now have a stunning collection of jute shoppers for when we go shopping..I still need to take the baby with me though, as I need the pram to hang all of the bags from…don’t know what I will do when he starts walking everywhere!

    I think I might be able to squeeze some more in this week..thinking of starting on the garden if the weather improves.

  45. Hi Mr Green,

    I posted my most recent Zero Waste alteratives: Lush deodorant bar, Columbian coffee beans in reusable packs,
    all-steel razor and blades. The hunt is on for even more countrywide alternatives.
    Peoples responses have been terrific. The Green family have done a fantastic job in presenting their Zero Waste outlook.

  46. soly says:

    my two main objectives are to

    1) be consistent with making my own lunch for work…i have plenty of reusable containers courtesy of take away eating housemate

    2) water bottle, i play handball 4 times a week, and quite often forget my own drink…happened yesterday, but i kept the bottle which i am using now, and will do until it gives in and i’ll buy a proper reusable one (any suggestions on good ones?)

    the other pledges are going to be easier to tackle compared to these two…lets see how it goes

  47. Mrs Green says:

    Hi azjh77 – welcome to the competition. Yes, it’s easy to get carried away and sign up for loads of things, but it’s great you have pared it down to 5 to focus on! that should make it more manageable, especially with children to take care of.
    I can totally relate to number 1; we used to do that as well. A good recycling system is one of the first things to get in place. You might find our monthly July for challenge gives you some helpful tips. Your other pledges sound great – good luck!

    Thank you John; we’re really pleased with the way things are turning out and we’re delighted to have you ‘officially’ on board – this shows that whether you are a complete novice, or a seasoned zero waster, there are always things that we can do to improve our actions.

    Soly – hi and welcome. It sounds like you are well set up for taking your own lunches, thanks to your housemate! it’s really good when we can think of ideas of creative re-use.

    Regarding the water bottle, lots of people like the Sigg ones. Personally, I’m not sure about the lining inside the aluminium, but if you’re not concerned over aluminium then that isn’t a problem.

    Obviously there are the WeWantTap ones, which are new on the market and Bisphenol A free.

    Another one you might consider are the Camelbak – although I’m not sure how easily they are available over here. They are good for sporty people because, due to the use of a kind of built in straw, you don’t have to tip your head back to drink – they are excellent for cyclists.

    Like you, I would continue with the one you have, recycle it if you can when it dies and spend the meantime looking around for something that suits you.

  48. Kris says:

    Phew – finally I’ve done my pledge which hopefully will be showing soon :o)

    Can anyone give advice for compostable waste methods for small quantities – both in food waste and for disposal as our growing area is just a few pots. The bokashi had been my first plan but needs a burial site so wasn’t ultimately suitable.

  49. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Kris,
    Well done on signing up; your name will appear soon πŸ™‚ I would think a wormery is your best bet. These can even be kept indoors if you don’t have much outdoor space. The experts in this are in Hereford at Wiggly Wigglers. The ‘liquid gold’ you get from a wormery can be diluted and added to your pots; so it’s the perfect solution for you. There is a fantastic page on their site all about looking after worms here

  50. Ray Smith says:

    I started up a neighbourhood rota (well, only 3 houses!) for clearing the plastic bottles and taking them to the civic amenity site. Worked a treat and I haven’t got to go do them again for a month! Good luck to all, Ray Smith

  51. Alabama says:

    My final pledge is done:). Had a good clear out this weekend and gave a load of clothes to the local charity shop and a load to my sisters. Feels so good to be clear of clutter and doing something good for the envoronment! We’re also using some old shelves to make a play kitchen for DD for her birthday too. These pledges have really got me thinking about how to re-use things instead of just getting rid of them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  52. parkstreetmike says:

    Purchased a hand meat mincer today and extracted enough meat from the bone to make two meals. Generally only manage to make one from the same quantity. Mincer cost Β£15, must have saved Β£5 already.

  53. Jenny's Pledge says:

    I am usually only slightly conscious of what waste I produce. But this site has kick started me into being much more aware. Since reading this site and pledging to change my wasteful ways, here is what I’ve been doing:

    1. I will start to use the home recycling boxes provided by my council

    I already do this, but in the last few days I have been extra-careful to sort my waste into what is and is not recyclable. My non-recyclabe bin is being emptied less and my home recycling boxes are filling up. πŸ™‚

    2. I will call my local council and find out what I can recycle

    Prior to beginning #1 in earnest, this was my first step. I have discovered my kerbside collection includes clothes, which is a huge bonus! Time for a sort through all those old clothes …

    3. I will start taking non collectible kerbside items to a recycling bank

    I have my car boot packed already to take some scrap metal to the metal recycling area of the local tip. I’ll be stopping on my way home from the office tonight.

    4. I will help a neighbour by taking their items to a recycling bank

    Linked to number 3, I have asked my neighbours if there is anything they need taking to the recycling station and have been given a number of items to add to my scrap metal. Every little helps!

    4. I will talk to at least one family member or friend to promote recycling.

    I will be spending the day with my mother tomorrow, who will be getting a copy of my list from the council of what can and cannot be recycled. I’ve also pinned the list up in work, and offered to give more information to anyone who needs it.

    5. I will recycle an old mobile phone

    I had a good rummage through my drawers on the weekend, and found 3 old mobile phones which are now in the “use and reuse” mobile phone store in the office.

    6. I will take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home

    All junk mail I receive from now on will be returned unopened to the sender, and any forms I fill in will be scanned carefully for the “opt out box”. And companies that phone me from now on will be told to take me off the list. I have also switched from paper statements to online statements at my bank, to cut down further on unnecessary mail.

    7. I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop

    My partner had a black bag full of old clothes which have been waiting to be taken to the tip. These are being rehomed at the local charityshop tomorrow along with any I find in my wardrobe rummage!

    8. I will take reusable cup to work / Starbucks

    I have bought a mug in Tescos for 99p which is now sitting on my desk … this will stop at least 5 paper cups going into the bin each day in work! (In my defence, I always reused the paper cups as much as possible)

    9. I will use washable cloths instead of kitchen towel.

    On my lunch break today I purchased washable cloths which I will use both in work and at home to mop up spillages. These will be washed when needed and I vow never to buy kitchen roll again!!

    10. I will buy one purchase in bulk packaging to save on waste

    I have yet to do this week’s shopping, but when I do, I plan to buy as much non-food items as possible in bulk to both save petrol (less “top-up shopping”) and money.

    11. I will start keeping and reusing old envelopes and packaging

    I already do this as much as possible. When envelopes cannot be reused as envelopes they are usually good as scrap note-paper until they are recycled.

    12. I will use a refill scheme for one product

    I have been on the internet and have ordered re-fillable printer ink catridges for my printer. These are made from plastic, but will last as long as my printer.

    13. I will switch to washable nappies or menstrual products

    Another item on my shopping list this week is the Mooncup I haev read about this week on the BBC Magazines “Month without plastic” forum. I will be trialling this during my next period.

    14.I will buy rechargeable batteries and a recharger and use them

    I already use rechargable batteries for my digital camera and will be buying more for my other battery operated devices. I haev also bought energy-savign lightbulbs and fitted them around the house.

    15. I will use a reusable bottle for water

    I have kept a plastic bottle bought before my Zero-Waste pledge and this will be reused over and again until it falls apart. When this happens, I’ll buy a more durable type!

    16 I will plan a weekly menu and shop accordingly

    This is something I have already been doing for years to save money and food waste. It works a treat and I would recommend it to anyone!!! You can save a fortune in shopping each week!

    17 I will take a zero waste lunch to school or work

    I began my Zero Waste lunch campaign today, with sandwiches wrapped in compostable paper, an apple and a banana (the peel and core of which will be composted at home) all in a canvas bag. No waste in sight!

    18. I will start using reusable shopping bags instead of carrier bags

    I have bought a number of canvas and re-usable bags over the weekend and these will now be used whenever I go shopping. I vow never to pick up a plastic bag in a shop again!!

    19 I will buy loose produce instead of bagged.

    This will be done on my next shopping trip. I will also favour items with less packaging … the less the better! This is something I feel we really need to take a stand on as a consumer group.

    20. In addition I will reuse all paper as scrap in the office, before taking it when it is fully used to the recycling facility. I will then only buy recycled paper.

    This is being done, and my scrap notepads are being distributed around the office. People are liking the idea and are taking it up themselves. There is a lot less paper being thrown out today in the office. Let’s hope this lasts!!


  54. Kris says:

    Thank you for the advice about Wriggly Wigglers – i’ll have another look at the site (I’ll be perusing the details of the flowers as well after seeing your lovely bouquet!)

    I’ve started my pledge with a little groundwork, taking out the existing bin bag and prepping for the future with the new bags for organic and dry waste. Hopefully this will really highlight what is going in the bin – I’ve flattered myself that I’ve kept quantities reasonably small, don’t throw out much wasted food and cook from scratch most of the time so avoiding a lot of packaging, but since corralling everything into a smaller tighter bin space it has brought home how many chunky packets come in with supermarkets meats as well as other goods like soft fruits. And unlike say coleslaw pots they aren’t usefully reusable.

    I had success at the Farmers Market with buying olives in my own sealable tub, and was pleased to see the the poultry stall is now open to serving individual breast portions into your own container so will do that next time. I do like the convenience of using the supermarket so may even be brave enough to try asking at the counters if they will use my own container.

    I also tidied a few bits into the bin outside – they had been sitting in the recycling area despite being a difficult mix of packaging detritus. There really wasn’t anything salvageable bar one long battery that had been accidentally tossed into the mix which I recovered and put with a few more ready for the next run to the ‘tip’.

    Next stop – thin my collections of padded envelopes and carrier bags and consider what my Christmas card vision might be for this year πŸ™‚

  55. Kris says:

    lone battery even

  56. Mrs Green says:

    Ray, I really love your pledge. This is something we are thinking of starting in January. I hope it grows and you get more neighbours on board with your idea. It’s great because it’s helping to rebuild communities with a common cause.

    Alabama – you’re doing great. I know what you mean about clearing clutter; it’s a good feeling, especially when it benefits the environment or other people as well. The play kitchen sounds wonderful – pictures please!

    parkstreetmike – that’s an innovative solution to the pledge you have taken on there; really inspiring! I know a couple of people who grind their own flour, which just amazes me.

    Jenny’s pledge; we’re so pleased to have you here taking part. Clothes collection is great isn’t it? And collections are changing all the time, so it’s always worth rechecking every few months. I’ve just been reading through your actions and you’ve done so much – well done and keep up the fantastic work.

    Hi Kris; I think you’re right about getting to know exactly what goes into your bin. We started to look at this a few weeks into our challenge and it gave us insight as to how we could improve things. Very cool on finding olives and meat to buy in your own containers. Enjoy planning your Christmas cards.

  57. Sue Painter says:

    We live in France and constantly try to reduct our landfill waste…..growing our own veg, composting, re-usable bags etc. Where we live all of our recycling goes into one big yellow bag, newspapers, plastic bottles,foil,cardboard and even tetrapaks and is collected once a fortnight and sorted by hand at the waste depot. Glass bottles have to be taken to a bottle bank but there is always one even in the smallest village. My pledge to avoid using clingfilm will be a challenge for me….I’m sorry to say. I’ll let you know how I get on!!

  58. soly says:

    still going strong on the no bottled drinks…just bought a re-usable bottle and will unveil it when this one dies (4 more refils according to we want tap)

    spent the evening sorting the cluttered mess that is (well was) my room…i now have a pile of envelopes, two bags of unwanted clothes for oxfam, and a few books to give away

    i alswo found a couple of paper oags round the house that i will ue as produce bags when i go to the covered market later, remembered my cotton shopping bags (yay) and will start going to the bakers again (i do most of the time anyway, but sometimes i’m a bit lazy)

  59. Flippa xXx says:

    I will start to use the home recycling boxes provided by my council – I would do if my council actually provided them. Shame on Birmingham City Council. However I have purchased my own boxes to collect recycling in and take it fortnightly to my parents’ house (who have a doorstep collection). I have also emailed BCC to request a box as no-one in my area has them yet…I will wait in anticipation!

    I will recycle my tetrapaks – I have shamefully been putting these in with my paper recycling (taking care to remove the plastic lid and wash them out) and taking them to the recycling bank. After reading various articles this week I have realised the errors of my ways and am collecting these to recycle separately.

    I will call my local council and find out what I can recycle – Done. Although Birmingham City Council is rubbish in comparison with most other councils. They won’t even take the packages that Sainsbury’s claim β€œmost local councils will collect”. Apparently it is in their 2008 plan. Only 4 months left for them to get their act together. Although they did tell me including tetrapaks in doorstep collection is also on this 2008 plan which is promising.

    I will start taking non collectible kerbside items to a recycling bank – Keeping separate box for tetrapaks and the likes of, and will be sending my girlfriend regularly to the recycling depot – she has just moved offices to literally next to it, so we won’t be causing too much of a carbon footprint to drive there either! And although I didn’t tick the box to help a friend/neighbour take stuff to recycling banks I have offered to take all my parent’s tetrapaks etc to the bank too. Looks like I am surpassing my pledges now!

    I will talk to at least one family member or friend to promote recycling – Talked to my mum about taking your own containers for deli/meat/fish produce in supermarkets and net bags etc for fruit/veg. She loved the idea and is going to do it when she goes shopping on Thursday.

    I will switch to at least one recycled product this week – Have purchased recycled toilet roll and recycled bin liners (although I am using these less and less as I have some plastic bags that I have sinfully picked up when I didn’t have a reusable one, which I have now started using for this purpose)

    I will recycle an old mobile phone – My girlfriend got a new phone a couple of weeks ago and the old one is still lying around – had pledged to recycle it but she is going to give it to her dad instead. Still technically recycling!?!? I will make sure whatever phone he is currently using is recycled anyway!

    I will take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home – Registered with the Mail Preference service last night online (I thought I had done this before but I still get stuff through). I also called the worst culprits who I bank/have credit cards with to tell them to stop sending me junk (although Virgin Money told me it would take up to 3 months to stop!?!?). I have also bought one of those stickers to put on my letterbox saying no leaflets etc – just awaiting delivery.

    I will cancel any newspapers or magazines that I no longer read – The only one I get is Sky which is a big waste of time anyway – have emailed them to request that I don’t get them any more.

    I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop – Sorted out a few items of clothes to go to a charity shop. Making a pledge to start buying more clothes from charity shops too (technically recycled?). Have also joined my local freecycle group this week with a view to putting items on there in the future (and having a look if anything takes my fancy!).

    I will take reusable cup to work / Starbucks – I don’t often have coffee out but I have already tackled my work about use of plastic cups with the water cooler, which have since disappeared and everyone is using glasses instead now. We have always used mugs for hot drinks anyway. Work are yet to come back to me on my concerns about the lack of paper recycling facilities (they are adamant there is no need as the office should be paper-free, which in theory is great, in reality we are throwing away a ridiculous amount of paper everyday)

    I will use washable cloths instead of kitchen towel – Already do this – although I do still have kitchen roll but will now be only using for extra messy meals and fingerfood and making a conscious effort not to use it when a reusable cloth could be used.

    I will send an email greeting card instead of a paper one – Is one of my friend’s birthday tomorrow – will be sending a facebook birthday message rather than a birthday card.

    I will cancel my telephone directory / Yellow pages – I have done this before with BT but Yellow Pages and Thompson still deliver – I have scoured their sites to see how to opt out.

    I will buy one purchase in bulk packaging to save on waste – Bought toilet roll in a pack of 16 and a big bag of pasta instead of smaller ones.

    I will start keeping and reusing old envelopes and packaging – Already do this, if not for posting things, as scrap paper before recycling. I also love EDF Energy’s bills that come in a reusable envelope instead of sending everyone a pre-paid envelope when most people don’t use it. Why don’t all companies do this? My paper recycling is full of these stupid things – and there is only so many I can use myself.

    I will use a refill scheme for one product – I have been on the Ecover website today and have found two pharmacies local to me that take part in the Ecover refill scheme – I will be taking a trip up there when I next need washing up liquid/washing detergent/bathroom cleaner (I am all set at the moment).

    I will switch to washable nappies or menstrual products – Am already a converted mooncup user. Would never go back to anything else! I have been looking at Minxpads and will be purchasing a couple so I never have to use disposable pantyliners again.

    I will buy rechargeable batteries and a recharger and use them – Have had a charger for ages to use with my camera batteries. I am now starting to use them in the few other products I have that require batteries (tv remotes etc), and will never buy any disposable ones again.

    I will use a reusable bottle for water – I have started carrying the water bottle my gym gave me when I joined with me everywhere. No more plastics there.

    I will plan a weekly menu and shop accordingly – I only tend to do a big shop once a month then get fresh stuff from my local shops, so I already have minimal food wastage. I have looked more closely at fruit/yoghurts etc that we take for lunch and planned this so that there will be no waste. Bananas are the biggest culprit in our house as neither of us like them once they have gone brown – but any overripe ones I will be turning into smoothies or banana bread from now on.

    I will make one meal from leftovers – One meal this week (whenever I have the least time to cook) is going to be jacket potatoes with veggie chilli which is in the freezer from last week’s tacos.

    I will take a zero waste lunch to school or work – Done – as I am sat here typing this I am tucking into a zero waste lunch – sandwiches in a Tupperware box (no need for clingfilm, foil, or whatever else people wrap sarnies in) a pear and a slice of homemade banana bread (in another Tupperware box) with a smoothie in a reused Innocent Smoothies bottle. The only waste here is the bag that the bread was originally in (although I am going to look into buying unpackaged loaves in the future).

    I will start using reusable shopping bags instead of carrier bags – I have a great collection of these now which are always in my car so I don’t forget them. I don’t know if you can get them over here, but I bought a few folding nylon bags from a supermarket in France when I was last over there (they fold into an inbuilt pouch to a square about the size of a credit card) which I carry around with me in my bag (they fit in pockets, tiny bags and have a key clip to hook on anywhere, so there are no excuses!). I used this when I went high street shopping on Saturday and one comfortably housed everything I bought.

    I will buy loose produce instead of bagged – bought loose potatoes, onions, bananas etc. Although I am finding that most supermarkets tend to wrap their organic produce rather than have it loose, which gives me a bit of a dilemma (although most of it is compostable). I have been looking at a site that does organic veg boxes, and will probably be going with that instead (again looks like I may be surpassing my pledges!!)

    I will make something like bread instead of buying in plastic wrap – Made banana bread to take to lunch (and saved throwing out over-ripe bananas).

    I will take a reusable container to the deli / butcher – Am going to do this for deli purchases in our next big shop. Quite nervous about getting funny looks in the supermarket, but I will let you know how I get on. I used to get funny looks for reusing bags only a few months ago and now everyone’s doing it (or should be)!

    I will switch to a brand that uses recyclable packaging for one item – Have purchased the whole range of Naked BodyCare from Boots (shampoo, conditioner, body scrub, showergel and handwash) most of which are in recycled bottles (the handwash is in 100% recycled bottles). They are also 97% natural so no horrible SLS or Parabens either! I bought an innocent smoothie too yesterday with a 100% recycled bottle – which I will continue to reuse to take my homemade smoothies/juice, or bulk bought ones, to work before I recycle it.

  60. Flippa xXx says:

    oops that was a longer post than I thought…got carried away on my lunch break!

  61. Have just bought 3 large compost bins and have allready managed to reduce my kitchen rubbish to less than half.

  62. Susan Jones says:


    This morning ian asked me can these plastic bottles be recycled? i didnt look up i assumed he meant a milk bottle so i just said yes.

    when i went in the kitchen his shampoo bottles were sitting on the side waiting to go into the boxes outside.

    think weve cracked it. πŸ˜€

  63. Kris says:

    I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop – three bags full of kids clothes taken to charity shop. It’s brilliant – the clothes they actually wear fit in their drawers now!

    I will use washable cloths instead of kitchen towel – knitting dishcloths is fun and the girls are slowly learning to use a washable rather than kitchen roll. I’ve also sliced up some old muslin clothes, which are great for replacing kitchen roll.

    I will switch to washable nappies or menstrual products – I’ve always used cloth nappies with my children. Number four is in cloth right now. I’ve never used cloth menstrual pads though, so I’ve made myself a few and I’m going to use them in conjunction with my mooncup, for ‘backup’.

    I will start to prepare my garden for growing veg – I do this anyway, but that last couple of years I’ve let my garden go somewhat. Mainly I’ve either been pregnant or nursing with small children underfoot, which makes things a little difficult. My eldest is 9 now, though, and loves to garden! We’ve planted some kale to give us some early spring greens already.

    I will start using reusable shopping bags instead of carrier bags – I’m getting quite a decent collection of reuseable cloth and plastic bags. And best of all, I’m actually remembering to take them to the shops with me!

    Still to do: I will sign up for a vegetable box scheme & I will make something like bread instead of buying in plastic wrap (need to dig out bread machine!)

  64. sunshine_mel says:

    the work wormery is going well – just have to keep reminding the rest of the office (all men) that tea-bags and banana skins can go in – and standing by the bin tutting! slowly but surely…

    we’ve also found a local petshop that will happily take all of our shredded paper – not an official pledge, but very handy!

    – told several friends about mooncup, and one’s going to give it a try – result! (the rest sounded impressed, so there’s hope yet)
    – picked up a new pile of library books (and sent off a pile more to readitswapit members)
    – started making more material bags – set up a morsbag pod!
    – got to the point where my local grocer has stopped asking if i need a bag – and used to the fact that i will bring up loose onions!
    – filled up my ecover washing liquid bottle, brilliant idea!

  65. Stargirl29 says:

    This morning I left a bag of clothes out for collection for a charity, and over the weekend (on a planned trip to the supermarket – armed with a list!!) we also recycled all our old carrier bags that have been hanging around for ages and used our lovely reusable ones instead.

    Our council has just started collecting cardboard/glass & plastic bottles aswell as the paper they already were so bign thanks to them as it saves us petrol going to the recycling centre!

    I’m finding this very enjoyable, and actually quite ‘cleansing’! Godo luck everyone else! πŸ™‚ x

  66. LouB says:

    I made my first meal of the week from leftovers yesterday – although it feels slightly like cheating when one of the leftovers is a half-drunk bottle of wine from a party on Saturday! But it made a very nice red wine and pork casserole, along with the leftovers from Sunday’s dinner. And it was quick and easy, because I just chucked all the veg and meat in a pot and put it in the oven. Shall definitely be doing this again.

  67. Liz Fawcett says:

    Had kerbside recycling today. Having our loft extra-insulated today so an excuse to go through old paperwork that was up there and add to the recycling (I was ruthless) rather than putting it back up in the loft. Will spend this week going through other things from loft & give away/freecycle etc. Talked about this with work colleague today. Leftovers for tea tonight & shopping today will try to avoid extra packaging & will take my canvas bag (walking no car).

  68. Flippa xXx says:

    I’ve been looking at bokashi/compost bin/wormery (not a pledge, but this competition has been very inspiring) and all seem a bit messy/smelly for indoor use. As I have an apartment without a garden, does anyone have any suggestions for food waste?

    Also as I sit here at work on the site (now not officially lunchtime…ooops!) my colleagues have started to take an interest and am starting to spread the good word of recycling, re-usable bags etc. The girls seem sold on the mooncup and have moaned at the excessive use of clingfilm/tinfoil in people’s lunch – let’s see if they use a re-usable box tomorrow!

  69. Kris says:

    I really enjoyed reading Flippa’s progress post – lots of food for thought. (And salivation at that banana bread!)
    I think when I’ve gone through my supply of AAA batteries I will switch to rechargeables for running my mp3 player.

    Hello to other Kris πŸ™‚ two of us now!

    I’m finding the bin separation requires a couple more active brain cells. Admittedly it’s not logistically perfect as I’ve had to put the dry waste bag into the cupboard behind the bin and seem to need that one more of the two – but hey, it’s all exercise. The other tricky bit is the definition of ‘dry’ waste – I was thinking along the lines of plastic packaging but there are quite a few bits that go in the bin that certainly aren’t going to break down but which are sticky or messy and I can now see a bit more washing and drying up in order to be happy putting them into a bag that I’d ideally like to retain the option of sorting through.

    I’m thinking about developing a more village-centric shopping pattern, so that I can try the local butcher and co-op, and mostly to buy bananas little and often as this summer seems to have been determined to ruin my chances of keeping any for a day or two hence. And to possibly alternate with grapes in my husbands packed lunch as grapes are that bit more forgiving.

  70. nikki groom says:

    Filled a my own 2 litre bottle with my own tap water this morning and took it to work with me today to drink! Never used any of their “bottled” water – and actually couldn’t tell the difference.

    popped to shop on way home and used my own bag rather than their carrier bags. This is good for me – my daughter and I have bought a few of the “recycled” bags in supermarkets lately and used them for taking things to work/school/beach but always forget to take them to the shops. Have now collected them all and thrown them in my boot so they’ll always be there if i go shopping!

  71. Jane Willis says:

    I pledged to post an item on Freecycle – but when I logged in to my local group, I found somebody from only a few strets away was asking for the very thing I was about to post, so that turned out to be easier than expected. I do still have a few more item to offer though.

    And I am saving up envelopes from junk mail, the ones with interestingly patterned insides, and when I have enough i will use them in my craft work.

  72. Sally says:

    -Taken the tetrapax to our recycle bank
    -Given an old mobile phone to my friend rather than her purchasing a new one.
    -Found out all the lids to our stainless steel water bottles and using them all the time.
    -Cut back on un necessary fresh food purchases by planning meals and buying exact amounts of loose produce that we need.
    -Passed on details of this site to work place and encouraging students to recycle all kinds of stuff to save money and resources.
    Making a giant garden mobile with old free dvds and cds we do not need.
    -bought some great bamboo cloths to use rather than kitchen roll, they can be composted when done but can be used and washed many times first.

  73. littlepurplegoth says:

    Launched the compost bin…. OK, so so far its a small bin in the corner of the kitchen πŸ™‚ Not too much in it either, but that just means that we are eating everything we can!

    My pledge list looks so short compared to most… but I didn’t see the point in pledging to do things that we do already. Now I just need to find a way of dumping the supermarket (difficult when the UK grown things are in plastic and all the loose stuff is the stuff that isn’t!) but that would require there being a market where most of the stuff isn’t imported….

  74. nikki groom says:

    Our kerb side recycling box went “walk about” and I ashamedly say it put an end to our recycling efforts! After much nagging from my son I sent an email to our local council asking for a new one – 6 wks till delivery!!!! Not to be stopped now, we went out this afternoon and bought our own boxes and have labelled them “plastic” “paper” etc so now everyone in the house knows what goes in each box. Even the pet tortoise is using recycled shredded paper for bedding now!!!!

    Can anyone help though? We’ve spent time on the internet finding out exactly what gets collected kerbside and what to take to recycling places. My local council doesn’t collect plastic but have put on the web that we can recycle “Type 1 or polyethylene terephthalate” and type 2 or high density polyethylene” at local recycling points.

    I’m assuming they mean soft drinks/water bottles – but what else?

    And what about things like empty crisp packets – they appear to have a recycling symblol on the back, but what do they come under???

  75. Hi Nikki,

    Sorry to hear about your theft. I keep my boxes indoors for security. Type 1 = PET, type 2 = HDPE. These are the standard plastic bottles juice, milk etc, which are collected/recyclable.

    Most plastic packaging in non-recyclable at present, so I tend to avoid its use. Crisps are no longer on the message list for me and others.

  76. Hooray – I’m still going strong on the crisp front, no Quavers or any replacement since I made my pledge. By the way Nikki, if the recycling symbol you mean is the one with the two arrows in a dot, that’s the German Green Dot or Der Grune Punkt, which means that the company has signed up to a German agreement and paid a fee towards the packaging recovery system in Germany. Unfortunately it has no bearing on the recyclable nature of that product in the UK and is one of the most misleading of packaging labels.

    For anyone interested, more info can be found at:

    and if you really want to see how confusing it is, visit the Valpak site, which licenses the use of the trademark in the UK.

  77. Mr Green says:

    It seems to me that companies are paying money to support recycling of their packaging through the green dot scheme. But to us here in the UK, it means nothing, because we are not aware of what to do with the packaging. That seems like a huge insult to companies who are paying to make things easier for us, but our government is turning a blind eye to providing facilities. Well that’s the idea. It seems to be steped in confusion, which is , as ever, a great excuse for paralysis.

  78. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Sue (painter) welcome to the pledge and good luck with your clingfilm alternatives. We’ve written about this here

    You’re doing great, Soly and it’s all a case of putting new habits into place. Once they are in your mind you’re sorted. Well done on the sort out.

    Flippa; that was some lunch hour you spent on here! It’s great to hear about all your ideas. Many people have been confused about tetrapaks, so you are not alone. Good luck to Mum too with her reusable containers! Passing on an old mobile is definiately recycling, in the best form of reuse πŸ™‚ Congrats on your zero waste lunch and enjoy your ‘leftovers’ meal later in the week.
    not sure about the bokashi if you don’t have a garden as you need a compost heap to put the fermented goodies into. I don’t think wormeries smell, but have no experience of one to comment.

    Barrie – 3 bins??!! That’s a lot of food prep you do over there – I thought we produced a lot of scraps! Well done on making your purchase and getting things started; that’s an enormous saying on your kitchen waste.

    Susan – how happy am I? That is wonderful; in a few short days Ian is starting to think about things in a different way. You must be thrilled.

    Kris; you’ve put some great changes in place, dog out that bread machine and get baking. This week Mr Green is enjoying parmesan and sun dried tomato bread from ours. The kale sounds great – that is one of my favourite vegetables. Enjoy!

    sunshine_mel; I have a wonderful image of your cracking the whip in your office. You are doing a fantastic job of spreading the word, that is so admirable. Enjoy your new books and the savings you will make with your Ecover refill.

    Stargirl, glad you are enjoying the challenge; this is a week of celebration after all. And what great news about your new kerbside collections.

    LouB – no cheating at all, it sounds like the perfect meal. It proves that zero waste doesn’t have to be difficult, which is what puts a lot of people off because they think they will have to give up ‘convenience’.

    Hey ‘other Kris!’ I’m glad you signed up; the local shopping can provide a lot of solutions; that’s what we have found anyway. By talking direct to the owner you will often find that they are really supportive of ideas to reduce waste.

    Hi nikki, you’ve commented on one of the keys to success – that’s having things on hand like reusable bags. By keeping them in your car you’ve found a solution to this. Good luck with the rest of the week!
    Sorry to hear about the recycling boxes, but you’ve taken action on that, which is wonderful. You’ll find that when you go to the recycling bank it should say on the receptacle what can go in the plastics. I’m guessing it will be just drinks bottles and milk bottles, but you might be in luck. Failing that phone your council’s waste department and ask them. Mrs A has answered your other query brilliantly.

    Jane – I love your story; how is that for a perfect outcome? It’s certainly a warm fuzzy story about the success of Freecycle. What are you planning to make with your envelopes?

    Sally I love the sound of your outdoor mobile and the bamboo cloths sound fabulous. You’ve hit on another key to the zero waste idea – by buying loose veggies you buy exactly what you need; this has a two fold effect of reducing packaging and preventing food waste. What were responses like to the passing on of information to your students?

    Hi Littlepurplegoth – well done on setting up your compost bin. it’s great that it’s small and you are just using everything up, Let’s hope you find a solution to the supermarkets; do you have a box scheme in your area?

    John, it’s a shame you are forced to keep your boxes indoors, but I imagine you produce minimal waste for recycling anyway.

    Well done on the crisps Mrs A – you’re doing so well to give up a treat you enjoy

  79. bella165 says:

    i have recycled all my paper and tins there ready to be picked up,ive just got a compost bin and a water butt the foil and plasic are ready to go to the recycle unit

  80. Ben says:

    Tetrapak recycling: today was recycling day in our part of Wandsworth – so the Ribena and OJ tetrapaks got recycled.

    Using reusable bottle for water: unfortunately, I left the flask of water that I carry around with me at a meeting last Thursday; but I’ve made arrangements to get it back later this week; in the meantime, I’ve got a mug on my desk at work to fill up with tap water. (So I’ve stuck to the spirit, even if not to the letter of my pledge!)

    Buying loose produce: I haven’t managed this for all my fruit and veg – it’s difficult with plastic punnets of small berries; but I bought onions and potatoes loose; and we get a veg box delivered each week, which comes in a cardboard box that’s reused.

    Using a local milkman: our milkman, Eddie (no kidding – that’s what he’s called; can’t say whether he’s the fastest in the west; he’s certainly the earliest, calling by at around 3am!) came again this morning, and delivered us the extra pint I asked for.

    Take reusable container when shopping at deli / butcher: there’s a great deli near us – Trinity Stores – set up by Graeme, and I always turn up there to buy his nice bread (and other goodies) with my empty rucksack / cloth bag. (As for going to the butcher, my wife’s a veggie – so that’s a non-starter!)

  81. Leanne Dempsey says:

    I have joined an online dvd rental club and will stop buying them.

  82. LouB says:

    Have made a start on two more pledges:

    I’ve started off a compost bin – I’ve always had a “heap” but it’s right down the end of the garden, so I never bothered with kitchen scraps. But now I’ve got a bin hidden behind a wall near the kitchen door, its great – I’m amazed at how much goes in it, and how much it has reduced the overall amount of waste (which was the point, after all!). My other half is getting on with it surprisingly well – he’s worked out that less waste means less trips to put the rubbish in the dustbin…The only problem is that my ice-cream tub for scraps isn’t big enough – must get a kitchen caddy.

    The motivation behind the compost bin is another pledge – to prepare a bed to grow vegetables. I’ve done a few tomatoes and cucumbers in pots this year, and its great to just pick what I need when I need it. So I’m going to do some more next year. Its a great time to buy seeds at the moment, as most places are selling them half prices, and the dates on them are often 2010. Got carrots, beetroot, leeks, onions and peppers for 30p each. I’ve located a suitable spot, and will start digging it over soon.

    A question for anyone more experienced in these things – what do I need to dig into the soil? Will my compost be enough, or do I have to find a source of manure?

  83. Poppy says:

    I took several bags of redundant clothes to the recycling banks yesterday and then had a leisurely stroll around the supermarket trying to be more selective about what I was buying. I think I did pretty well, but when DH came home he’d also been shopping and undid all my good with his less waste friendly purchases!!

    Spent a few days at my Dad’s in Paignton last week and had to hold myself back from grabbing stuff out of the bin. Not easy!

  84. Liz Fawcett says:

    We have mugs at work so no paper cups. Don’t make our own bread but any bread bought in packages we reuse bags again & again for our sandwiches (tied it’s an alternative to tupperware) Sending a birthday card to someone today bought from charity shop but will be making some handmade ones recycled from old cards soon & also Christmas cards hopefully as well. Many things I didn’t fill in as they didn’t apply e.g. recycling old phone well I’ve still got my original which is my husband’s old original so we have no spare phones & no intention of upgrading (that’s consumerism gone mad!) Am letting down son’s school trousers from last year ready for school & trying to meal plan for week. Recycle as much as possible & cut down waste. Since kerbside collections we have over halved our landfill contribution & know we can still do more. This exercise is helping think about what more we can do. I try to reuse envelopes/paper etc. and work in a library so already converted there. I’m on mail preference service & have just bought additional rechargeable batteries to use in more products. Ongoing project to try making a veg area in garden – finding time with 2 babies/toddlers.

  85. Denise says:

    wow, it’s got busy here … fantastic.
    going great at our house, bag of clothes for local charity shop, clean sinks with bicard, lemon and plenty of free, waste-free elbow grease !
    Meals are still coming thick and fast out the freezer and cupboards, shopping has been for milk, cereal and bread with veg box delvery once a week.
    Helped the children made cookies at our local home ed group yesterday,I would normally pick up a couple of packets from the co-op on route.
    Planning a Harvest celebration there also with soup making ( everyone bring some veg ) bread and butter making .. so spreading the joy.
    Taken over the Home Ed Suma Co-op as the couple running it have moved away.
    Busy, busy
    Denise x

  86. Hi Mrs Green,

    I like the indoor location, sitting in front of a little used cupboard door. Periodically, I fill the lower bin with glass botttles/jars, PET, HDPE flatenned juice/milk bottles, flattened metal cans, metal lids, crunched/cleaned aluminium tin foil.
    The top bin for paper/card can be added to anytime with little effort.
    My total is more or less constant, paper is half-filled and lower bin is 2/3 filled.

    The razor, plus blades, has not arrived yet. A week will be a probable limit, then I will chase it up.

  87. Kris says:

    I’ve got a lovely new water bottle and it’s got a Dalek on it… Kewl!

  88. Poppy says:

    Another little extra – spoke to the secretary at juniors school about them having a battery box for recycling and I need to speak to the head again tomorrow, so hopefully they’ll take one on and that will be lots more batteries saved from landfill πŸ™‚

  89. maisie says:

    Whilst out dropping off a broken stereo at the Household recycling Facility, I alsoput 3 pairs of shoes into the Charity Collection bin at the local Spar shop.

  90. soly says:

    spent evening with housemates working out how to distinguish the different kinds of plastics (those pesky numbers can be elusive…especially since we are all blinded by hours at the microscope during work)

    the market is great, should go more, and i remembered to keep my old peach trays etc from the supermarket so i can carry them home without them getting ruined (lesson learned from yesterday when i got caught in the torrential rain and fruit got a bit battered and bruised)…noticed onya bags hmmm tempted

    still no new bottles, or cans, or crisps (i have been given a recepie to make them at home…if desperate for a fix might give it a try)

  91. Mrs Green says:

    Hi again everyone – you’ve all been so busy and I’m SO proud of you all and absolutely overwhelmed by the number of people who have joined in.

    What I love most of all is that some of you are clearly **enjoying** the challenge, there is a real sense of celebration in what we are doing.
    I hope you feel pleased with your achievements and are motivated by your intentions – together we are creating some real change; significant and lasting change that will end who knows where?!

    Please keep up the great work, keep spreading the word, keep on with your pledges and keep coming back to share your experiences.

    Everyone that reads this page will learn something, be inspired to try something new or find the motivation and enthusiasm to try new things. So don’t feel insignificant or ‘not good enough’. You ARE enough, exactly as you are and al your actions towards reducing your landfill waste are having a massive collective impact. You really can change the world!

    You’ll forgive me for not responding to you all individually again this evening. I’m about to put up the latest pledges and I’m off for an early night. It’s been an incredible week, but very intense and tiring too!

    Thank you all so much for making this a success, keep up with your fantastic work and give yourselves a hearty cheer from us πŸ™‚

  92. Primavera says:

    Well, here’s mine, pretty much completed!

    -I will start to use the home recycling boxes provided by my council.
    Well we have been doing this for some time, but we aren’t as meticulous as we perhaps should be. I took this opportunity to reinforce use of the boxes, and it’s amazing how much waste one can cut down on simply by taking that extra 5 minutes!

    -I will start taking non collectible kerbside items to a recycling bank
    Again, we did this with glass bottles but have now extended to fabrics etc

    -I will talk to at least one family member or friend to promote recycling
    I talked to five =] Three have now startes using the council collecting bins

    -I will recycle an old mobile phone
    I managed to dig out tw for the womens aid

    -I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop
    We had a huge clear out and ended up with about 4 bags of clothes, bits and bobs etc to take to the charity shop

    -I will start keeping and reusing old envelopes and packaging
    Yep=] Two jiffy bags and 5 envelopes this week

    -I will join and use my local library
    I already have and my daughter has been a member since she was a few months old

    -I will switch to washable nappies or menstrual products
    I switched to washable menstrual products and I must say they are so much better=] I also managed to persuade a friend to try out a couple. I’ve been using cloth nappies on DD for some time, but i recently packed up a couple and sent them to a relative who runs and orphanage in South Africa. She is having to pay huge amounts for disposables for the orphans still in nappies as well as her own 2 children. Hopefully I’ll have managed to convert a whole orphange to the benefits of cloth!

    -I will buy rechargeable batteries and a recharger and use them
    I have been doing this with my MP3 (the only thing I really use batteries for) and it is so cheaper and handier as well as being low waste!

    -I will use a reusable bottle for water
    I didn’t bother buying a special bottle, I just now have a pet River Rock bottle who travels with me everywhere

    -I will make one meal from leftovers
    Sunday chicken turned into Monday curry and Tuesday soup with the help of a few veg from the garden

    -I will start using reusable shopping bags instead of carrier bags
    Β£1.50 for a lovely jute bag which holds a lot more than some flimsy plastic- and which doesn’t waste!

    -I will buy loose produce instead of bagged
    Did this anyway, but made more of a point of it

    -I will make something like bread instead of buying in plastic wrap
    I made bread! It was so nice I’m thinking of investing in a second hand breadmaker

    -I will take a reusable container to the deli / butcher
    That would be a slimline tupperware container discreetly packed in aforementioned jute bag!

    I will switch to a brand that uses recyclable packaging for one item
    Found some flour and baking products using recycled packaging..even better it’s locally grown and milled! MAll of our other packaged products are recyclable

    Would just like to say what an eyeopener this past few weeks have been- we thought we were pretty good at reducing our waste, but when we really sat back and had a good look, it was shocking how much more we could do, with just a little effort. However it was really enjoyable=] Thanks!

  93. Gareth Rae says:

    Well I’ve bought a pack of reuseable dish cloths to replace the disposable J cloths I usually use. A pity they came in a plastic wrapper!
    I’ve also started collecting used envelopes. I don’t send many letters but I will resuse them for writing notes and making lists.
    Although not one of my pledges, I took a bagful of plastic bags to my local supermarket for recycling. I refuse most bags and reuse any we do end up with, but there are always a few of the wrong shape or size to do much with.
    Still working myself up to my remaining pledges.

  94. AllyT says:

    Done it! I thought I was doing all I could to reduce, reuse and recycle…until I saw your blog. I have contacted yellow pages and will no longer receive a copy, oddly enough the new one came through the other day, I diligently recycled the old one thinking that I’d never even opened it – I didn’t even consider cancelling it! I have also had a lot of fun finding recycled and reusable items of stationery for my daughters for the beginning of the new term. We bought pencil cases made from recycled tyres, pens made from cartons and stapleless staplers amongst other things. Am really enjoying reading the feedback from everyone else – some really great ideas there, I especially like the one about a ‘battery box’ in the school to collect old batteries, I’ll see about taking that one forward here. Thanks for the inspiration.

  95. Kris says:

    Unusually we’ve ended up with a couple of ready meals this week and my new bin practices have really shown up that this might have been the easy option for filling our plates, but certainly isn’t afterwards. Not just putting the trays into the bin as they are – it really has been a palaver getting the tray and plastic seals clean in order to go into my ‘dry’ waste. And it was really annoying that the one that came in a foil tray with a cardboard lid had to then be encircled with a pointless stiff plastic sleeve. It’s almost like that stuff you make craft oven shrinkies from!

  96. Another Mrs Green says:

    Right – so far this week I have ordered/ received and partly used an organic veggie box (1st one and wasn’t evn one of my pledges) – boxes flattened for collection next time, with their string in. A few things were in bags – 1 paper (put for reuse) and 4 biodegradable ‘plastic’ – also put in drawer for reuse, but will ultimately end up in one of my compost bins. I am planning on using these for supermarket shopping, where it is almost inevitable to use a bag sometimes (I’m not really one for having a dozen apples rolling around my trolley!)
    I have also put out a very full council recycling bin with paper, ripped clothes and a pair of shoes (too damaged) to be collected tomorrow, along with a partly full green waste bin of grass clippings and some branches too big for my shredder (I don’t like too much grass in the bin) and a ‘normal’ bin with half a swing bin liner of waste in from Sat – Weds night
    I have menu planned for about the next 2 weeks and have made a short shopping list to go with it πŸ™‚
    This week so far I have made 2 loaves of bread and 2 lots of flapjack – fairy cakes & biscuits are a possibility today!
    I have grown some veggies in pots this year and have convinced DH to let me have more of the garden next year (he loves the results) and we have started to clear an overgrown area for use.
    Last night all 5 of us had different meals – 3 based around leftovers, 2 around food which had a short use by date. This is a fairly regular occurence – I hate waste!
    More to follow later πŸ™‚

    Tetrapaks & plastic bottles

  97. LouB says:

    Yestarday I fulfilled my pledge to make bread – I have a breadmaker which has been gathering dust in the garage, so dug it out. I was surprised at how much better the choice of flour and mixes is in the supermarkets now than when I first bought it. I went for a traightforward wholemeal, and it worked out OK – sunk slightly, but I’ll get it right next time! And it tastes so much better than the shop-bought stuff (although that might be because it was so warm and fresh – yum!)

    I also popped in to Lakeland, and bought an expanding bread keeper – its a clear plastic box which keeps the bread in the right condition, without bags – and smaller than a traditional bread bin.

    An unexpected bonus of my pledges (using up leftovers, making bread) and the current glut of garden vegetables has been fewer trips to the shops – as well as saving money, it has saved a lot of mileage, as we’re a bit remote here.

  98. maisie says:

    Well so far we doing are doing great.

    Had a result yesterday at the local Houshold Recycling Facility, found out I can take any hard type plastic there to be recycled.The only one I can’t take in type 4 (polythene) but I already post this off to Polyprint Ltd anyway.

    And… DH has agreed to make me a mini recycling centre similar to the one you have Mrs Green; I have some unused Safeway Green Boxes which will be ideal to put the various bits into and then take them to the HRF every coupke of months.

  99. Poppy says:

    I usually recycle all my envelopes in our kerbside collection box (minus windows), but suitably inspired by Mrs G’s latest video I planned to rethink that one today. Mother nature had other plans though and as my postie trapsed up the path in her wellies, I just knew this wasn’t going to happen. I now have paper in the recycling box and papier mache in the compost bin!

    Good news is that the school have agreed to a battery box and I have passed that information on to the collection organisers.

  100. Denise says:

    Finally ditched the kitchen roll and also baby wipes, big pile of washable wipes on the changing table …. also no more disp. nappy liners, traded on the GP forum Letts scheme ( yep joined up to that too ) for a pile of them .. yipeeee.
    so enjoying this
    big love to all
    Denise xx

  101. Anna-Lisa says:

    Update of my pledges:

    So far this week I have got stuck into the below pledges:

    1) I will call my local council and find out what I can recycle.

    At my new place I have no kerb side recycling, however I can walk 5 minutes to a car park which has recycling for glass, paper & cardboard, tins etc and plastic. But no Tetra Pak, and as a vegan I use soya milk or rice milk sometimes (but going to swap to making oat milk and my own nut milk)and my fiance and I like to treat ourselves to a nice fruit juice every week.

    However whilst I can not recycle tetra pak locally (though will be getting on to the council to do so) I can take it to a place on my lunch break when I go into work 2 days a week (mainly work from home). It means carrying them in my ruck sack but we dont get through many and they dont take up much space.

    2)I will take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home.

    I regsistered my new place with MPS, put a sign on the front door by resuing an envelope and plastic wrapping and making a note saying “No junk mail or free newspapers thank you”. Next I am going to review what other post I start recieving and see what else I can recieve online instead.

    3)I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop.

    I love Freecycle and I have given a lot to charity shops lately, however the stuff I had that I dont really need has a value and I’m rather broke so im selling on ebay the old spare bike (which I used to use when I cae down to visit my fiance when we lived apart and it was a pain to take my bike the whole train journey as I had to change train so often).

    Thats all this week, but will get into some more of the pledges this weekend.

  102. Queenie says:

    Wow this is really an inspiring read! I have been enjoying reading Denise’s progress on her blog, special commendation I think for such effort!
    Here is the feedback for my 4 pledges:-

    I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop…
    To be fair this is something that I do regularly, I work on the basis that the less stuff I have in the house, the less housework there is to do LOL. I gave the children’s bedroom a really good sort out, April and I were singing along and enjoying the decluttering process. We took 2 bags of clothes to my children’s playschool for their “accident drawer” – pants, socks, tracksuit bottoms etc. Stuff that frankly I would have put in the textiles bin in the past, but they are always running low as people borrow stuff and then forget to bring it back. I also took a nice big black carrier bag to the charity shop. Mr Wills and I also ripped up the front room carpet and underlay, I freecycled them both and one went for use on an allotment as mulch, the other went under someones new bedroom carpet. The childrens bedroom now looks much tidier, I’ve managed to get rid of a lot of clutter and someone else will hopefully manage to get a few bargains in the process.

    I will cancel my telephone directory / Yellow pages…

    To do this ring 0800 671 444 and select option 3. This line is only open Monday to Friday. This was so easy, took less than 30 seconds.

    Another thing I have done, although I didn’t make it a pledge at the time, was to join the local toy library. I have been doing as much as I can to publicise this as I think its a worth while cause.

    My other pledge – to educate others about recycling – my mother-in-law now has a copy of “reduce, reuse, recycle” and my brother James has been educated in the ways of freecycle. I can’t believe more people haven’t heard of it! I love to spread the word!

    Pledge 4 – to take someone elses recycling. Well I must admit I’m struggling with this. I offered to take my neighbours recycling but it all goes in his kerbside box anyway. The best I have managed so far is to insist Mr Wills brings home all his packaging at the weekend from his truck treats so I can take it to our (fantastic) recycling plant. But I’ve been doing this for ages anyway so I’m afraid I’ll have to say I’ve failed on that one – for now…

  103. Mrs Green says:

    Queenie – you just put the 100th comment in on this thread – how cool is that?!

    I just want to say once again, that I can’t possibly answer all of these responses individually, but know that I read every one of them and it cannot be put into words how inspired and amazed I am by all of you.

    I love the sense of joy and celebration in some of these comments; it really warms my heart. And I want you all to take a moment to consider the collective impact of all you are doing. All of us right now, this week – the first zero waste week and the first of many are making a significant difference.

    What is wonderful is that I know some of these pledges will be continued and that was the aim of the challenge. By doing something for one week, we learn how easy some simple lifestyle changes can be and how good we can feel about it.

    The other aim was to start something that would enable participants to feel GOOD about themselves. We spend too much of our time beating ourselves up, feeling defeated or feeling that we are not good enough. But this week you have proved your inner critics to be completely wrong.

    You are doing SO MUCH and participating in valuable actions of importance and significance.

    So please take a moment to stand in front of the mirror, look at yourselves and claim loud and proud ‘I’m making a different to the world right now. I am important and I am enough!’


  104. Detta says:

    I was dreading looking at what I pledged ~ not being the most reliable of pledgers….however I am truly delighted! I have made bread (1 pledge) Made a meal from leftovers (2 pledges) Talked to friends and family about recycling (3 pledges) am reusing old envelopes (4 pledges) and have started putting all papers in a separate box (5 ish pledges) and will go to the bottle bank which I will save for next weeks pledges ~ yippee and it’s all down to mr and mrs green ~ thank you so much!

  105. hammyhunter says:

    well….we fitted a cat flap last week but out cat is useless!!!! She is just about ok going out but refuses to come in through it. We have tried tempting her through the flap with her favourite food but she still won’t do it! Anyone have an good ideas? We have tried food, toys and even leaving her out but it doesn’t work. Help!

  106. soly says:

    more bags ready to go to oxfam
    our pear tree is full of fruit ready to be picked, hopefully we’ll have a break from the rain and collect some last year they were ok for cooking so am looing for recepies and my baking loving housemate is already talkign crumbles yuuuuummm (i’ll learn…eventually)

    still no bottles :oD still remembering my lunch for work
    and i’m being really consistent with the recycling boxes (i always used them when in the kitchen, in my room was another story but i now have a system and it works with no hassle at all)

  107. nikki groom says:

    Hooray!!! I did it – first time ever! Managed to go to supermarket and not use a single carrier bag! Am so pleased with myself. Also marvelled at how easy it actually was – will definetly be keeping that one up!

    Took my own water bottle with tap water in everyday to work this week – another good formed habit.

    My recycling box from the council arrived so whole family have been putting stuff into our boxes this week. We have a big box full or “kerbside” stuff for mondays collection and today (in the pouring rain!) i took our plastic bottles & tetrapaks to the recycling place. Have even took on the surfaces of our local milkman this week and we are now having our milk and juice delivered three times a week in glass bottles!! This is really good, i’m actually enjoying it!!!!!!

  108. nikki groom says:

    Sorry! Meant “services” of the milkman – not “surfaces”. I’m obviously getting very excited over all this!

  109. Helly says:

    I remembered to set my alarm this morning and put out my paper and card bag to be collected. I was intending to collect my tetrapaks and take them with me when I visit my sister in Wales as they can recycle tetrapaks there. But I thought I would enquire once again if our local council has started collecting them and to my surprise they finally have and there’s one in walking distance. So that’s two pledges fulfilled at once. I have been working on getting my student son to recycle – I hope the incentive of having to empty the bin less often will work and now I know we can recycle tetrapaks locally I will be telling my friends as the council hasn’t promoted this service. I have signed up for stopping junk mail and have found out now our council recycles envelopes. I have started taking a flask to work and using making sure I use tap water not the large bottled thing in the staff room. I have been using washable cloths instead of kitchen towel for some things but have had a think about more situations when I can do so. I have a very small garden at home and grew pots this year. I am planning on developing a veg garden at the school where I work. I have been making a real effort to remember to put my reusable shopping bags in the boot so I always have one with me.I have been buying loose veg instead of bagged and not used bags, its easy to do.

  110. Melissa says:

    Well, this has been an interesting week to say the least. I signed up, eager and excited for this pledge – and then remembered I had 50 pounds of tomatoes to can, some writing projects due, as well as a house that was a disaster from last week’s canning. I think I always bite off more than I can chew…but I’ve made some progress!
    1. Take along cups to Starbucks – This is something I was doing a while back which fell by the wayside as I got lazy. This pledge was a great way to get back on track!
    2. Offer on freecycle – I gave away nearly four bags full of old clothes, and found a home for an old microwave we’d inherited.
    Oh but those were the easy ones. I still have to work on the compost pile and digging my gardens. How many days do I have left?!? I’ve scoped out the places in my yard, but now for the work. Now that my dear husband is home, I’m sure we’ll make some progress.
    I’d like to add that I think the mere act of canning and preserving fresh food from a local farm is a good step for our family. Re-usable jars (though the lids are a little sketchy, at least it’s not entire cans or plastic frozen food packaging). At any rate, I’ll check in re: how my garden and compost pile are growing.


  111. Kris says:

    I’m delighted that something has left my home (though wondering if it’s still to be collected with all this rain!) as this challenge inspired me to sort out all the long-ignored shoes at the back of the wardrobe.

    I’ve also bought myself a trolley-dolly bag full of reusable bags – it’s pretty cute and the customer service is good, I received the bag the morning after I ordered it, and after mentioning one faulty part another was supplied by return of post again.

  112. Mrs Green says:

    My Goodness me; you’re all at it again!

    Can anyone help LouB with her question about just compost vs the need for manure?

    Detta – happy dances for you. You’ve done well with your pledges and it sounds like you have got some great things in order over there!

    hammyhunter, I’m afraid all I can do is laugh at your situation. But I think I’m allowed to as a cat lover! Maybe your feline will come around in time – they can be stubborn fellas!

    Soly, we are hoping for some dry ‘harvesting weather’ too – let’s hope we get a gap in the rain for some serious fruit pie making!

    nikki, I’m so pleased your are enjoying yourself and you’ve achieved some amazing things. he reusable bags is a great one to begin with and I admire you for sorting your recycling in the pouring rain – that shows real determination.

    Helly, you’ve put some great things into place too and now you have local tetrapak recycling things will improve for you. Let’s hope you can get your son on board.

    Melissa, all that canning definitely comes into the ‘pledge to reduce waste’ category – that’s just amazing that amount you got through AND you’ve achieved other things too **bows at your feet** – you’ve made some marvellous progress. There is no time limit – we’ll keep accepting comments on this page for like, FOREVER because we’re loving it so much! But the competition officially ends on 14th. You don’t have to have done everything by then though; we prefer that you take baby steps that you can MAINTAIN rather than a quick fix that you forget once the challenge has passed πŸ™‚

    Oooo, Kris – a trolley dolly; you’ll never need another plastic carrier bag again; how about that. Congrats on releasing your shoes too!

  113. blackisler says:

    I have been much more conscious with my recycling this week. I’m normally good in the kitchen but in the other rooms paper especially just tends to go in the bin so I’ve been checking through the wastepaper bins for recuclabales when I empty them!

    I posted a topic on a discussion forum I use about the pledge suggestions on here and the competition. That got people talking and even brough along a new member – Mrs Green herself!!

    Ooops – haven’t done anything to stop junk mail yet – will go investigate now!

    I have an ongoing charity shop bag which I’ve maneged to add a few things too this week and also passed on 4 pairs of my daughters outgrown shoes/boots to a friend.

    Kitchen towel – I’m trying with this one but strugging for what to use as an alternative when I use it for asborbing fat from greasy foods eg bacon – any ideas???

    I have a mountain of envelopes and jiffy bags awaiting reuse! Should really offer some up on Freecycle and kill two birds with one stone.

    Have been doing meal planning for a while now but sometimes I slip up. It works very well and I plan for 6 days out of 7 and we have leftovers on the 7th. I’ve also been shopping online and opting for bagless delivery. Any bags I do accummulate the driver takes back.

    Have been harvesting some of our veg this week! Peas & Carrots and definately want to grow more next year. Its been really rewarding and they taste soooo good!

    I’m not sure how well I am doing re reusable bags v’s carrier bags. I seem to have got rather addicted to buying reusable ones and now have a rather large collection 😳

  114. emma walters says:

    well, that was easy! had a number of items i thought i was going to have tp throw away including some old half full pots of paint, so i tried the freecycle site & somone wants them!!!
    nice one!!

  115. cathy james says:

    I am gradually recycling more and more that I have had to ask the council for more recycling boxes. We have changed our compost so it fits more in it and my daughters job is to go down with it, we also educate her into recycling by encouraging her to put herrubbish into the correct box.

  116. Another Mrs Green says:

    More feedback:

    Tetrapaks are in my kitchen recycling bin awaiting a trip to the recycling point – where I will also dispose of plastic bottles & cardboard. Tin & aluminium cans are piling up in my garage awaiting the local Guide & Scout groups to restart as they are collecting them as part of their fundraising – but normally these would be in my kerbside recycling box

    I sent an e card today for a birthday – and said in a covering note that I was sending it as part of this challenge. I also recycled our anniversary cards last month to a local charity.

    Yellow pages cancelled – SO easy πŸ™‚

    Children have been having zero waste packed lunches with homemade bread, home grown veg, veg-box fruit and home made flapjacks. Lots of little pots used in their luchboxes (they always use reusable bottles anyway)

    DH gave me an old mobile which has been recycled.

    I have a small bag of things for charity which will be collected next week.

    Have been using cloths in the kitchen – but others have been using (recycled & unbleached) kitchen roll – but it has been going in the compost bin, not the waste bin πŸ™‚

    Our toilet rolls & kitchen rolls are recycled paper products – as is our printer paper

    I sent one ink cartridge off today for recycling.

    I have a large supply of previously used tissue/ peanuts (I have some of those corn ones)/ jiffy bags which I use for postage.
    I reuse old envelopes if I send something into school (such as payment this week for music lessons)and keep a supply in the kitchen drawer ready, along with old bags (eg from breadrolls & cereal boxes) – the bags are handy for using when I’ve been giving excess veggies away πŸ™‚

    We’re off to the library tomorrow, as we’ve had notification that a reservation is in – we go approx every 2 weeks as my eldest is an avid reader who gets 20 books out at a time (we take a reusable cloth bag with us – we have one set aside just for the library :-))

    We have rechargeable batteries in lots of items, but I do find that some toys come with batteries already supplied – when these fail I keep them for clocks, as they can power a clock for several months. They are then recycled through school.

    Allotment application – still on waiting list πŸ™‚

    Any compostable scraps have been put in compost bin – which has also had some veggie plats which have now gone over added this week.

    Cleaning products – I make my old laundry gel from biodegradable soap scraps. I use bicarb/ citric acid/ vinegar for most things – packaging is minimal and recylable. I buy bulk Bio D toilet cleaner & Faith washing up liquid and refill bottles.

    I have been talking about this with clients and have passed on the site address to them, and also previously posted it on the Old Style Grocery Challenge on MSE. I nag (in a friendly way of course!) friends and family about waste/ recyling/ the environment. My 2 older children have both been environment committee members at their school and impressed staff with their knowledge.

    Finally (I think – I hope!) I have a growing pile of plastics in my garage for GHS – I even saved some from a workman we had in who wanted to take his waste away with him in his van (back to the yard for ultimate landfill)

    Phew! Hope I’ve covered everything

  117. maisie says:

    All our toilet and kitchen roll is recycled, so we are closing the loop there, also the paper I use in the printer and envelopes if I need new ones are also recycled.

    There is a drawer next to the computer which gets any odd pages of paper which can be reused as scrap put into also, this has been ongoing for approx 5 years, DS2’s school also have scrap boxes for the same purpose.

    I suggested to the Head last year that instead of sending out a hard copy of the newsletter each half term she emailed it to all who had email facility, this idea has been taken up by approx 60% of the school, (sounds impressive – but we do only have 70 puils in our village school so not vast numbers of families).

    DS2’s school has a collection for old printer cartridges which then get recycled.
    They also do a “Bag 2 School” clothing etc collection once a term which the school gets paid for on tonnage and the company which collects it sorts and sends any usable clothes to homeless shelters/third world countries; any that isn’t reusable is made into rags or shredded to use as filler in certain products.

    We are on day 6 of our 2 week challenge and at the momemt we have a few crisp packets and an odd piece of unrcyclable plastic in the landfill bin and thats about all.

    I will be posting a complete list of the contents on for anyone who cares to look.

    I have to look at getting rechargable batteries for the boys to use in their Wii controllers, as although we recycle any dead ones (I have a gadget which tells you if low or really dead) using rechargable ones would be better.

  118. Mrs Green says:

    blackisler, well done on our pledges; Ahhh, are you a damsel by any chance??

    I admit to having kitchen towel in the home at all times. Bacon fat gets wiped around with the towel and the whole lot gets put in the compost. The other idea is to store fat in something and when you have enough, put it out for the birds; they’ll appreciate it as we move into autumn.

    Keep up the great work!

    Emma – which freecycle group are you with? Things move pretty quick on there πŸ˜‰

    Cathy; will your council give you more boxes? We are limited to just the one here. I’d love to hear what other councils do.

    Hi Another Mrs Green; it’s great that the Guides and Scouts can make money from recycling. I’d like to see more of that happening. You’ve been so busy and productive; it’s amazing all the things you have got through – well done you and thanks for spreading the word πŸ™‚

    Maisie; that’s excellent news about the email newsletter, even if the school is small, it’s still significant. I’ll look forward to reading your blog and keep up the great work.

  119. maisie says:

    My main reason behind asking intially was that we had just been given “Eco-school” status and obviously stopping rubbish at source is the best option, no matter how much you recycle.

  120. tomq says:

    Here’s my pledge update, the things that I have already done in my house.

    1. Take reusable cup to work, which saves lots of paper cups.

    2. Reuse packaging and envelopes – I always did it, but now try to reuse all of it.

    3. Start using reusable bags – I have few of the ‘bag for life’ style one and now use them for shopping.

    4. Buy loose produce instead of bagged – wherever possible, especialy fruit and veg.

    5. Offer one unwanted item on Free cycle or take to charity shop – gave away some of unused stuff to charity shop, hope someone will find it handy.

    6. Use a reusable bottle.

    Good Luck to everyone.

  121. Gill A says:

    Am using the council recycling thingy for cans, plastics, etc, and taking glass bottles for recycles to the Tesco recycling bank.

    Picking my own fruit / veg at Tesco instead of grabbing packaged.

    Putting veg peelings, etc in compost heap at bottom of garden.

    I make most of our meals from scratch and don’t buy ready made. Use lots of veg bought from our local market. There’s a good local butcher on there as well.

    Using my own tomatoes and peppers at the moment that I’ve grown (proud of myself!) in our unheated greenhouse.

    I have lots of reusable shopping bags which I keep in the car for shopping. When I do use supermarket plastic bags I re-use them.

    We have 2 water butts in the garden. One by the house for houseplants and one by the greenhouse for the tomatoes and peppers. I did try to grow cucumbers, but they weren’t a success.

    Remember to plant things like nasturtions in the garden – they look good in hanging baskets, too – then you can eat them as well as look at them. The leaves are peppery, and the flowers make salads look very pretty.

    I have mint and rosemary growing near the kitchen door so that I can just pop outside and pick some when I need it.

  122. bargainhuntergal says:

    I have pledged to start using reusable bags instead of carrier bags, I have already started doing this by buying some of the cotton bags and taking them when I go shopping, I plan to get more of these bags in different sizes to completely replace carrier bags.

  123. nicola beech says:

    Hi, I recycled everything I could do through the council, I am going to see if I have any old phones I can recycle amd Im using recycled newspaper in my ferrets litter trya instead of cat litter.

  124. louise larder says:

    HI, I brought, some suma 50% recycled bin liners on tuesday, while i refilled my washing up liquid.
    I took two big bags of clothes /toys to the local charity shop.
    I’ve been recycling envelopes, i’ve had lots to post this week.:)
    everytime we go out we’ve been using a sports bottle for water and not buying water and when its gone waiting till we get home.
    my daughter is making our friends a ‘happy wedding’ card for next saturday, our present is going to be some home made honey cakes, for their ‘honey moon.’

  125. sharon bailey says:

    I have started composting, well over a year now, this year I actually used some of the compost that was ready. I had lovely salad leaves all summer long, yum yum. I would recommend composting it cuts down on so much rubbish that you put out.

    I put my green and blue boxes out each fortnight, that too cuts down on the amount of rubbish that goes out.

    Old clothes, I used to thrown away, now I always take them to Charity shops.

    When you go shopping, and you see the reduced food, buy it and freeze it, most food and bread can freeze, you will cut down on the cost of your weekly shopping πŸ™‚

  126. hayley seymour says:

    i have made many changes to our family life in the past weeks. we recycle all we can and put it out to be collected by the local council. and we now just have a half a black bag of rubbish once a month which i am very proud of. we compost all we can and have a compost bin that is getting fuller by the day. i have changed all light bulbs to energy eff ones and turn every electrical item off that we are not using. we have borrowed books from the library also to help give us ideas to save the planet and next year will be growing as much as we can not just to save us some money but so we can do it as a family.

  127. haynrich says:

    we also walk as much as we can instead of using the car. just need to get a dog loo so i can get rid of doggy poop.

  128. Mrs Green says:

    Oh very cool Maisie; LMG’s school was an eco school too and we were all on the committee. They had grey water for the toilets as well as underfloor heating; there were lots of great features.

    Good to see you tomq; you’ve done some great things which are saving a lot of resources from ending up in the landfill.

    Hi Gill A – growing your own produce, even just a few things can be so rewarding. I’m glad you are enjoying it. Many of your pledges revolve around food waste, which is a really important issue right now.

    bargainhuntergirl; using reusable bags is a great first step into awareness of what ends up in the landfill and there are so many lovely options out there. Have you seen the Morsbags site and browsed Onya bags?

    Nicola – well done for recycling all you can through the council; that’s saves a lot of things from entering the landfill. I hope your ferret is adjusting to his new litter!

    Louiselarder – the idea of your honey cakes is lovely and I’m sure will be appreciated. Enjoy the wedding and well done on your other pledges.

    Hi Sharon, you’re finding, like many, that a compost heap makes a huge difference. I know that a lot of my landfill waste used to be peelings and now I can’t believe I ever did that (even with wasps in the compost bin :D) Great tip about the reduced food – thanks!

    Hi Hayley – wow, half a black bag of rubbish in one month is excellent. I’m not surprised you feel proud. Which books have you found most useful?

  129. lynda turner says:

    have just discovered my local coop has a bank for rewcycling tetrapaks so am saving them.used my daughters birthday present packaging to make gift tags for her friends presents.have sorted out a huge bag for the charity shop but still a long way to go with clearing out our using reuse labels to recycle old envelopes.forgot to take shopping bags to supermarket but made whole family carry something so we didnt take any plastic bags.
    still a long way to go but will keep on trying


  130. bernard says:

    Filled my recycling boxes this week!

  131. Mrs Green says:

    Well done Lynda – it’s all about small steps and you’ve taken some great ones. I like that you made your family carry things when you forgot the bags. That’s what we do too, so that you remember the struggle, otherwise it becomes to easy to just grab a bag and give into convenience. Good news on the tetrapaks.

    Welcome Bernard and well done on filling your recycling boxes. Is this something you will continue with do you think – did you find it easy to do?

  132. maisie says:

    Mrs Green, you keep saying was with regards to LMG school is she now home schooled? or has the new school not done anythinglike these things as yet.

  133. Mrs Green says:

    she’s home educated now, maisie πŸ™‚

  134. gd says:

    I took my Tetrapaks to a local recycling facility.

  135. Beverley Kerry says:

    This week I have swapped to buying recycled loo roll and kitchen roll and was pleasantly surprised to find no appreciable difference in quality or performance!

    I have bought my fruit and veg loose this week, instead of ready weighed and will do so in future – not only is it more environment friendly, but I could inspect the fruit and veg before buying.

    Finally, I have made a concerted effort to advertise the Freecycle group that I run. So far this has resulted in 55 new members and counting and the items recycled and kept out of landfill this week include a television, a babygate, three kitchen stools, several half-used pots of paint, 50 ornamental bricks, two dozen glass jars and three years worth of camera magazines!

  136. The Other Mrs Green says:

    Hope I’m not too late! A combination of pledges and already do’s!

    1. Found out where the tetrapak recyling was and as hubs had to go near yesterday he took the recycling tub. Saved me more petrol to take a separate journey.

    2. Found out about menstrual products – cost means it has to be put off until next month but will definitely do it.

    3. Need to talk to the butcher about taking my own containers – don’t think he will mind but will see.

    4. Always use washable clothes in the kitchen and youngest son knows to clean his footie boots at the outside tap, rinse the towel and put it in the washing machine.

    5. Youngest son asked all his mates that were over Friday before last to put their drinks cartons/bottles in the recycling boxes – some had to be shown – they live in our village so should adhere to the same rules as us – some ed. needed here!

    6. Youngest son had a clothes clear out and we sorted and put some out for recycling and sent others to the charity shop.

    7. Interested to hear you can stop having telephone directories delivered – will look into this.

    8. Have organic food box and other food delivered already but trying to juggle cost and convenience ie will it make my life easier to have xyz delivered rather than using petrol to go to the supermarket.

    9. Will re-sign up to the library and find good homes for my hundreds of books.

    10. Gave away lots of the toys the boys have had for years to someone who was doing a car boot to raise money to go abroad on a “gap year trip”.

    11. hubs is trying to get a job in the town where I work so hopefully we can car-share (although only inbound as he starts at 7am!).

    I will add but dinner’s ready!!!!

  137. I can safely say, that I’ve done it. I’ve gone from Quaver Raver to Willpower Woman in a matter of two weeks since undergoing my pledge. I don’t think I would have dented sales of Walkers Crisps given that their production line creates 11 million packets a day. 11 million packets eh! That’s a lot to end up in landfill.

    There’s no risk of me getting my hands on a packet this evening, tempting as it is. So that’s me done and dusted.

    Congratulations to everyone else for stepping up to their own individual pledges. That’s one mighty measure of commitment to the cause πŸ˜€ x

  138. The Other Mrs Green says:

    Sorry, that should be washable cloths! Dinner was lovely – only one roast pot not eaten and that went in the kitchen caddy ready to be sent to the …………

    12. Green cone in the garden. Thinking about a compost bin too.

    13. Switched to ecoballs for washing and dryer balls for when I use the dyer – generally for towels.

    14. When I do get meat in plastic trays and yoghurt pots I am saving those to start seeds off next year. REally want to grow peppers, garlic and chillis esp.

    15. Thinking of starting a book swap at work, just need to ask permission and find a convenient spot.

    and hurrah – down to one black plastic bag now.

    Huge congrats for a waste-free week – you provide enormous encouragement and everyone here has some fantastic ideas on how to cut waste without cutting corners or depriving themselves in any way. Will carry on striving to cut the one black sack to even less!

  139. Sally says:

    re: giving recycling/waste tips to my students
    They received the info well amd when I explain how much more profitable it can make their business it goes down even better!!
    Couch roll can be recycled via paper recycling in some areas, using sarongs rather than heavy towels when doing beauty/holistic treatments saves Β£s on laundry costs, recycling/refilling product bottles etc

  140. Denise says:

    Finally a trip to the supermarket after two weeks of “using it up” and trips to the local co-op for milk, bread and cereal.
    We all felt abit over-whelmed in the supermarket and walked round saying ” no, too much packaging ” ” no, can make that ourselves” .. very funny.
    Another 3 bags of goodies to give away, 2 for friends with young babies and 1 for the charity shop.
    Sorted out some material that I had been intending to use for quite some time ! decided to send it off to a certain fab, nappy making lady for her to use.
    Sent a bag of books off with Nigel and the children last weekend to give away at Wilderness Camp, all the books have been registered with Bookingcrossing. com, so will be interesting to see where they travel.
    Taking part in some fab swaps on GP forum.
    and just so enjoying this wonderful community of fab people.
    Raising my glass to all
    Denise xx
    p.s – thanks Queenie for your lovely comment, your one top lady yourself x

  141. Kris says:

    Today I have swapped some cardmaking bits with my MIL so both of us will be producing homemade Christmas cards this year. I’m feeling inspired now, so I’ll hopefully get on with that any day now.

    And I’ve been really enjoying my chocolate too – mint poppets in a cardboard box.

    I’m looking forward to finally being fully mobile this week and getting to shop more widely and finally take the tetrapaks, cardboard and plastic to the recycling bins – they are taking over a bit!

    And after lots of shilly-shallying around considering bokashis, wormeries and just looking dispiritedly at my seperated wet-waste and wanting very much to be rid of it I think I’ve now made the decision and will be ordering soon. Must also speak to Mum about the possibility of some waste making its eventual home in her composter though.

  142. commandervimes says:

    This week I sorted out all the drawers of junk and recycled 3 mobile phones, and took a huge bag of good (some with tags on) clothes to my local cancer research. I bought seed pots and compost, and a potting table from my local dump. I started my wormery and bought a water butt and compost bin from ebay. My daughter and I have just got an allotment and have turned over half of our garden to veg and fruit. I collect all the unwanted junk and e mail the senders asking them to send any more to me. I have had to ask my local council for extra recycle boxes, as we sort vigorously – even cutting the plastic windows out of envelopes so we can recycle the paper.
    I also made 3 meals from a leg of lamb rather than give the dogs the remainder; roast dinner, sandwiches and a Monday curry!

  143. maisie says:

    Here is copy of the post I put onto my own blog last night.

    ” quote “Total rubbish collected in the landfill bin for the week Mon 1 Sept – Sun 7 Sept.

    Crisp Packets – 12 (all twisted and knotted)

    Plastic packaging which can’t be recycled :-

    2 deli wrappers (twisted and knotted)
    1 butter wrapper foil backed pastic (folded so small though you coudn’t see what it was)
    1 chicken wrapper (twisted and knotted)
    1 Dove Farm Yeast wrapper ( contacted Dove Farm – all they could tell me was it was foil backed) looks like foil backed plastic.
    1 gammon joint wrapper
    2 multipack crisp wrappers (twisted and knotted)
    1 bag which I had frozen mince in from a bulk purchase (twisted and knotted)
    2 carrier bags which had been reused so many times they were disintegrating (twisted and knotted)

    Some things I could have left out until another time but that is not the point of this exercise, it is to see just how much is actually going into the landfill bin and how much we can reduce it by.

    This shows that although not totally zero waste we have gone from 1.3kg to

    So………the total waste going into our landfill bin for this week weighs in at……. 325g ” quote”

    I also have a collection of yogurt tubs and other plastic pots which can be taken to HRF, another to be posted to GHS and the ongoing bag I already use for posting to Polyprint Ltd.

    I am very pleased with this and will see how we go on during the next week as my landfill bin is not collected until next Monday 15 Sept.

  144. ILA78 says:

    I will start to use the home recycling boxes provided by my council – I have called and ordered more of these and will be delivered asap (in the meanwhile I have been gathering the extra recyclables that don’t fit into the boxes already provided and taking them to the tip/dump myself).
    I will switch to at least one recycled product this week – still thinking about this one… not sure what I can switch too.
    I will recycle an old mobile phone – I have managed to recycle two (one of which I forgot I even had!!).
    I will take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home – I signed up to the MPS online (Only problem is that it can take up to 3 months to completely stop).
    I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop – I have two bags of childrens clothes and one of my clothes to take to the charity shop this week.
    I will take reusable cup to work – I have stopped buying a coffee and have brought a cup into work and just make one in the office.
    I will use washable cloths instead of kitchen towel – I managed to “borrow” some muslins from my 18 month old for this pledge.
    I will start keeping and reusing old envelopes and packaging – Still to start this one as not had much in the way of this.
    I will use a reusable bottle for water – We’ve decided to stop buying bottlesof water and use tap from now on. It doesn’t aste as bad as I had remembered. I now carry around a 500ml bottle in my bag which I am constantly refilling. I don’t think I have drank so much water in my life.. It’s great for the skin too.
    I will plan a weekly menu and shop accordingly – It has been hard, but not that bad as we have been eating what’s already in the freezer at the moment which includes left overs from weeks ago.
    I will take a zero waste lunch to school or work – I have started taking my rolls/fruit and veg (peppers/carrots etc…) in washable plastic tubs.
    I will start using reusable shopping bags instead of carrier bags – I remembered to take the huge selection I had gathered over the last year or two to the shops the other day and even recycled all my old plastic ones at the 24 hour Tesco.
    I will buy loose produce instead of bagged – not so easy I have noticed as not much choice. I live in a village and only have a florist/veg store so I am having to go to the bigger stores for this and it just isn’t cheaper to do this. I will keep on trying and maybe I will find somewhere else.
    I will make something like bread instead of buying in plastic wrap – bought all of the ingredents needed and actually got out the bread maker we were given as a gift. The bread we made tasted great.. I am now wondering why we hadn’t done it sooner!!

  145. Flippa xXx says:

    Reading what people have been up to over the last week has been very inspiring and given me even more ideas on how we can cut down on waste.

    Have now cancelled Yellow Pages! Hurrah! Let’s see if they actually take notice when they come to deliver them though…

    Maisie – you talk about HRF and GHS – can you please provide further details into what these are and how I can recycle other plastic pots which my local council don’t. I am in Birmingham so I understand that these maybe local services, so if you (or anyone else) have any suggestions as to where I might recycle items like this it would be greatly appreciated!

    I have looked into Polyprint and will be starting my polythene recycling straight away! I have also noticed that some of Sainsbury’s products say you can recycle the plastic wrappers at their carrier bag recycling points (such as the plastic they insist on putting on cucumbers…what is wrong with naked cucumbers anyway!?!)

    Still looking into composting indoors – have found some sites that offer indoor composters (only american so far) but these are extortionate, so not looking a likely solution.

    In the last week and a bit I have only had one small (recycled carrier) bag of rubbish which wasn’t even completely full when I took it out. Definitely a step in the right direction – I think it is the least I have ever had. I thought I was doing a fair bit before this to recycle etc but from this challenge I can see there was so much more I could do! :o)

  146. maisie says:

    GHS is the site Mr Green sussed out for sending marg tubs and yog pots to.

    HRF is Household Recycling Facility I’m afraid. I’ve checked with my County Council who run this and they will accept any type of hard plastic likmarg tubs etc even plant pots.

    If you check on you can put in your postcode and hopefully it will tell you what you can recycle in your area.

    Also try to find out which body runs you HRF “tip” and then give them a quick call, (usually the County Council).


  147. Flippa xXx says:

    I have also ordered a Lock & Lock bread storage box which, when it arrives, I am going to take with me to the bakery to put a sliced loaf of bread in to avoid plastic wrap – and they can be put straight in the freezer like that too!

  148. maisie says:

    Thats a great idea Flippa.

  149. I’ve done lots of waste reducing in the kitchen – brought ingredients for fresh bread (paper packaging so recyclable) no more plastic loaf wrappers! I’ve tried to make meals where the leftovers could be incorporated into the next nights meal eg pasta for pasta salad, mashed potato used in fishcakes etc. Recycled my loose produce bags at the supermarket. Chopped the tops off milk cartons and used them for herb planters on my windowsill.

  150. sunstarrr says:

    a few of my pledges —

    1. talk to someone about recycling
    I thought I was recycling as much as I could given local recycling collection and the fact we don’t have a car, but I discovered that we can recycle aluminium foil by taking it to the recycling centre (10 mins by bus) and polythene bags (eg those that potatoes/magazines in the post come in) can be recycled at the supermarket carrier bag recycling. So I’ve told my bf NOT to throw these out any more, they are for the recycling bin! that counts as talking to someone, right?! πŸ™‚ I’ll also be passing this advice on to friends (somehow we always end up talking about recycling..!)

    2. stop junk mail
    I checked out but then I realised I don’t actually get that much junk mail, 99.9% of the mail I get is from companies who I’m registered with in some way. So I made sure my bank accounts are all online-only (unfortunately not all of them have this option though!), and I emailed the national trust to ask them not to send me fundraising requests by post, that I would rather receive them by email instead (since I always donate online anyway, it makes sense!). I also asked them to consider giving members the option of a “paper-free” membership, but they didn’t reply to my email yet.

    3. cancel telephone directory/yellow pages
    I cancelled yellow pages (called 0800 671 444)
    cancelled thomson local (emailed [email protected])
    cancelled BT phone book (emailed [email protected])

    4. give something away to freecycle/charity
    I have 4 cushions and an old DVD player that I’m taking to my local council’s “give & take day” on the 27th (they take & check electrical items which many charity shops won’t, which is handy). I have a bunch of clothes gathered up to take to a charity shop at the weekend. I also have an old laptop that I need to dispose of, so I’m going to check out the various companies listed here – – and find out who will take it!

    good luck to everyone else, all these comments are very helpful and inspiring! πŸ™‚

  151. Liz Fawcett says:

    Just got a book sold on (recycle old books) Also some loft insulation on freecycle. We had our loft insulation done so all contents of the loft is in garage & being sifted through to see what we can freecycle etc. Locally we have a scheme called swapshop where you can swap 1 thing for another which is good.
    Bin day today & rubbish was slightly reduced but we have already been recycling loads. Main bin sin is nappies however have 2 in nappies and don’t find time or weather to get reuseables dry. Did use reusables for 6 months with eldest but then with illnesses & time factor was unable to continue. May try again but have to be organised. Youngest loves playing with washing so dread to think what he’d do with a dirty nappy bin!
    Fixing bike at the moment so I can get back to cycle commuting.

    PS: have left comments before but not sure if they went on as couldn’t find them on the list.
    Have had leftover meals. Did find a little bit of mouldy cream cheese but had used most of it & will use the carton as a change box once washed. Other than that haven’t thrown food out other than that youngest boy refuses to eat – any way around recycling that as feel it is a waste. Try to cook what he’ll eat but can’t guarantee he will.

  152. Sally says:

    Thanks Sunstarr for putting those links in your post, I have just gone through and cancelled my phone books and taken steps to stop the remaining junk mail and free papers.

  153. Fay McKenzie says:

    managed to complete most of the things I said I would, except driving to work (had to do extra hours before work) a pathetic excuse I know!

    Amazing to see so many folk taking their recycling in and some folk ‘recycling’ other peoples rubbish at teh amenity sites!
    Tried to get produce from local shops minus the packaging, which kinda worked but they did give me some strange looks, you’d think that bananas and apples aren’t really allowed to touch each other in my shopping bag or something!

    All in all a sucessful week, we also found a home for a few bits on freecycle and donated alot of plants to a pal in echange for some old material she didnt need!

  154. Denise says:

    Home-made pizzas for tea, one of the items that was kept out of the shopping trolley at the weekend – under far too much packaging and we can make better ourselves


  155. Hi Denise,

    Well done. I do home baking for cakes mainly. The lack of packaging waste makes the taste so much better.

    Yuo have made great strides towards waste reduction. Will you be trying a Zero Waste Week yourself at some stage?

  156. Mrs Green says:

    blimey, I can’t keep up with everyone!

    Hi gd, well done on taking your tetrapaks for recycling; this has been a popular pledge for this competition πŸ™‚

    Hi Beverley, glad to hear your bottom is enjoying its new experience with recycled toilet roll πŸ˜€ Well done on promoting Freecyle; it’s a great organisation.

    Hi the other mrs green – no you are not too late; you have until the end of this week to share your experiences, but I haven’t received a pledge and win form for you and when I tried to email you, your email bounced.
    Let us know what your butcher says; I hope that is straight forward for you and well done for educating your son’s friends; let’s hope they go home and tell their parents.

    Let me know how you find the ecoballs – do you have hard or soft water in your area?

    Well done Mrs A – I know you have endured longer than a week without your favourite Quavers, so a big pat on the back for you!

    Hi Sally, glad your students enjoyed your information. Using something washable rather than couch rolls is an excellent idea.

    Hi Denise; I hope the supermarket visit wasn’t too traumatic; but it’s great to see how new habits can be in place so quickly. Ooooo, bookcrossing, let us know how far your books travel πŸ˜€

    Kris, do you have anywhere to publish photos of your cards? I’m totally not creative when it comes to cards, but I’d love to make more that are actually nice. Enjoy your poppets.

    3 phones, comandervines; that’s excellent. It’s shocking when you actually look what is stashed around the house, isn’t it? Have fun with your allotment and well done on your lamb success; that produced a lot of meals for you.

    Maisie; what a resounding success for you and your family. That’s really fantastic. Just a couple of thoughts – could you get live yeast from a bakers? I’ve never used it, but you seem such a pro I’m sure you’d get on well with it.
    And we have found butter in non-metalicised paper ie just greaseproof in both Lidls and Waitrose, so it might shoe up for your one day, somewhere.
    Huge congratulations though!

    ILA78, yes the MPS can take a while, but you’ll find that your junk mail gradually reduces in quantity.
    You’ve highlighted something interesting about constantly having a bottle of water with you; in that you drink more because it is always there. Your skin is lapping it up so that’s a win-win!
    Eating stuff from the freezer is a great way to avoid food waste; I need to get around to this too and then do a big defrost. I’m glad you enjoyed your bread.

    Flippa, I’m wondering if there is any stopping you πŸ˜€ Let us know if you find an indoor composter – that sounds intriguing and good luck with recycling your polythene; it sounds like things are going really well with that.

    Hi Rebecca; you’ve saved a lot of food waste this week; that’s fab because your bank balance will benefit as well as the environment. Herbs planters is a neat idea.

    sunstarr; more and more people are discovering that they can recycle polythene at supermarkets and it’s great that you can now recycle foil. Thank you for the link and enjoy yourself at the ‘give and take’ day

    Liz – we checked through all the spam comments today (sometimes weird things happen to people’s comments) but there was nothing in there from you, so I don’t know what happened πŸ™
    Congrats on your book sale and well done on getting some loft insulation; you’ll certainly benefit from that! Having 2 in washable nappies with the weather we’re having at the moment but be very challenging; maybe that would be a spring time challenge for you instead.

    Hi Fay, I’m glad you’ve had a successful week and well done for completing all of your pledges. Lovely swaps you had there with your friend, too πŸ™‚

    Denise – home made pizza – how delicious; I bet it tasted great πŸ™‚ John you’re right; home baking tastes much better, perhaps it is a psychological factor about reducing packaging at the same time πŸ˜€

  157. Poppy says:

    Mrs G and maisie

    Sainsbury’s and Tesco do their own bog standard butter in greaseproof paper. It appears that the posher the butter, the more complex the wrapper! Very sad!

  158. maisie says:

    Thanks Poppy and Mrs G, this is one of those support the local milkman things and his butter is Country Life.

    I do also buy the value butter from both Sainsburys and tescos,which I know comes in greaseproof. Just happened to be that week I had the one from the milkman.

    On the yeast front I know that Morrisons used to sell fresh yeast, so will look into that again next time I’m in that direction.

    Dove Farm did say they would put my comments to their packager for the yeast and would let me know any developments, so we will see.

  159. Liz Fawcett says:

    Summary of how my pledges went:
    Recycling-try to recycle everything that can be picked up by council. Things that can’t are plastic packaging & tetrapaks – will look into this now to see where I can take it or reduce getting it.
    Talked to friends & family about recycling & reducing waste.
    On Mail Preference service & everything else is recycled or reused.
    On Freecycle & swapshop & have had a clear out & passing things on & getting things others don’t want.
    Have mug at work & also take old water bottles for drinks when out.
    Washable cloths – am using flannels but will have to reduce tissue use – get out the old handkies!
    Reuse envelopes – Am doing but will get some stickers to look more professional.
    I work in a library so already an advocate!
    Card from scraps – have saved bits of birthday & Christmas cards for this purpose – just got to make some. Next one will be homemade & get down to Christmas cards. This year going to make my own & donate savings to charity rather than buying charity cards. Thinking of designing my own wrapping paper as well from paper scraps & a bit of paint – something to do on a rainy day with babies!
    Bought more recycleable batteries for charger so have no excuse! Do use for camera already. Can use now for children’s toys.
    Already use compost & have a nice load for garden each year.
    Am doing menu planning & useing leftovers & keeping food waste to minimum (felt bad just throwing out a small bit of cream cheese that hadn’t been used!)
    Have plans for a veg patch & gradually digging over but hard work as overgrown. Already growing toms that aren’t big enough or ripe yet but loads of apples! Having one in my packed lunch today :o)
    Always take my shopping bag with me when going out in case I need something. Often go out with pushchair so can store loads of shopping underneath. Still get odd looks from person at till when I don’t use bags & disappear under puschair to put all shopping away LOOSE!

    Hope that hasn’t clogged everything but summary of how the week went. Certainly will be looking in to other areas & thanks for the inspiration to try cloth nappies again in nicer weather. Try generally to create little waste, be environmentally friendly & thinking of others & our responsibility to our world & save money! Still amazed with nappies we still only have half a wheely bin’s worth of rubbish because we’re careful compared to some with no babies down our street & few in their household – lots of people need converting out there so well done for this site!

  160. Arielle Schnepp says:

    Well, where do I start? I think I have picked all the pledges on the list, plus added a few of my own, I feel terribly good about myself! Joking apart, this competition has made me think about going to the next level as far as recycling, re-using and reducing are concerned. We are doing quite well already as a family of three, but the pledges have given me even more ideas. Let’s talk about the first ten pledges…
    We have been using the coloured bins provided by our council for a few years now already, separating paper/cardboard from green waste and everything else. I need to find out about tetrapak recycling, and also about plastic containers other than bottles but which also have the trinagle sign with 1 or 2 on them. I will call my local council about that this week. We are using the recycling bank at the end of our street for glass and cans. We have helped other people to recycle, including neighbours. I talk to everyone about recycling! Last night I had a chat with a good friend about that very subject. I have started to use recycled paper with my printer, found Tesco were selling it. We have sent 2 old mobiles for recycling already. I still need to do something about junk mail, any suggestions? We do not subscribe to any newspapers or magazines, and only occasionnally buy them. They always get recycled.
    That’s it for now, I will write again later!

  161. Kris says:

    Today my husband is back to being smiley as all the tetrapaks and milk bottles have left the building (I’m back to my weekly trip to Gallagher Retail park now) and the hall is much less cluttered.

    I’ve also had a trip to Waitrose (Chelt) enlivened by taking my own tubs where I was able to buy bacon, shaved turkey breast and cheese. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to escape packaging as their procedures meant they had to use plastic sheets while handling the goods and putting them into my tubs. The guy I got the bacon from did find the whole thing very traumatic…
    I also took my Trolley-Dolly bag on it’s maiden voyage. It actually felt more awkward than my usual pair of big jute shoppers but having more seperation when unpacking at home did mean everything was all ready for seperate cupboards and fridge. My main reservation is probably that the lack of gusset on the bags means that it’s hard to stack a bag so that it stands upright or is comfortable to carry. They are much more suited to slinging a few bits in each and then needing a car to ferry it all home. On the other hand I *love* the green net bags (even if I am too used to naked pieces of fruit to use them exhaustively). I got myself some new potatoes in one though, with not an eyelid batted at the till.
    I’m going to persevere on my next couple of shops to see if I can get more in the swing of all the cloth bags as it’s such a different way to what I’ve done before. Though I’ll probably stick to jute for anything I’m walking or bussing home with.

    And I’m hoping to have a go at Christmas cards tomorrow – the plan has also extended to decorative bits/tags to liven up recycleable brown paper instead of wrapping paper this year.

  162. ruth_dt says:

    What happened to my milk, Mrs G? You may well ask. I don’t know. Dairy Crest customer services at Aldershot don’t know. I am going to have to ring my local depot and shout at them – I tried today, but they won’t answer. Maybe they knew it was me?

    There is a milk float that comes round my street on a Saturday morning, so if all else fails, I’ve noted the time and I am going to catch the milkman! (I only hope he’s from the same company.)

    Active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home: I have cancelled a couple of mailings that I unintentionally got on to, which I had been meaning to do for ages, and I have returned yet another batch of a previous occupant’s mail to sender. I’m going to put a “no leaflets” sticker on the letterbox too, as suggested by my local council.

    I have successfully cancelled my Yellow Pages, but have not heard back from BT about the phone book.

    The application form for my library is in my backpack and has been for weeks, and the tetrapaks are still in my kitchen. Is it cheating if I send my boyfriend to recycle the tetrapaks? He’s the one that does the shopping…

    I should get the library in under the wire on Saturday.

  163. Poppy says:

    Latest from Poppy’s household.

    I’ve followed your absolutely simple and scrumptious idea for Rice Pudding….. and…..DH bought me a Yoghurt Maker for my birthday!! I’m waiting for the milk to get back upto room temperature now and then I’ll be starting my second batch πŸ™‚ Absolutely scrummy! Have you got there yet Mrs G?

    Also while I was shopping yesterday, I kept putting things back on the shelf as they had too much packing.

    Yesterday some colleagues were talking about the proposed incinerator and I suggested (forcefully!) that reducing needed to be the way forward and that when (notice the when and not if!) that has been taken on board by enough of the population, there won’t be enough waste to incinerate so the multi-million pound beast will become obsolete.

    And a real saddo action – went to feed my brothers cats as they are away and reluctantly put the sachets in their bin, but as I lifted the lid I was horrified to see a leak, a large courgette and a pack of mixed peppers. These are now all washed, prepped and in my fridge waiting for teatime! I’m sure there was more useable stuff there, but there is only so much I can belittle myself for a cause!

    Poppy (running away hiding her face!)

  164. nikki groom says:

    Am off to the recycling tomorrow to recycle more plastic bottles – hopefully won’t have so many from now on as we are drinking tap water and having our milk delivered by the milk man all the time. Havn’t used a “carrier bag” for two weeks now, always use our own “jute” bags whenever go shopping and for taking stuff to work/school etc. Our first kerbside recycling to take place on monday which is good as we have quite a full box now! Have really enjoyed doing this and intend on keeping it all up and seeing what else we can do!

  165. nikki groom says:

    Forgot to say, we’ve also bought a compost bin so setting that up will be my husbands job for the weekend!

  166. Kris says:

    Good for you Poppy – I’d have felt embarrassed raiding them out of the bin too, but if they are perfectly good it’s a shame not to use them!

    I didn’t make cards today as I’m inexplicably tired today (practically narcoleptic!) so I suppose I’m still fighting off being ill.

    I forgot to mention yesterday though – two little waste things. I had a fruit juice in Starbucks and when about to leave decided to check that they do put them to be recycled – and they don’t (yet). So this is worth knowing – they need to be taken home (or just across the other side of the carpark to the bins if you’ve a means of washing them out). The other thing was collecting my bag points at customer services in Sainsburys – I think the checkout lady had missed the fact that it was my own bag as it was a loudly orange one (from the Trolley-Dolly) so not very different to theirs. While I joked about this, and said how much I liked the bag points incentive as I always bring my own bags the CS lady said that from 1st October the carrier bag stands at the end of the till will all be gone. I’m not sure if this means they are adopting chargeable bags like M&S or just providing a pause for thought but I’m pleased either way that they aren’t just there to be mindlessly grabbed.

  167. Mrs Green says:

    Well done everyone; you are all doing brilliantly. We have over 160 comments on this thread now, which means there is a LOT of stuff being saved from the landfill. I hope you all feel great about being a part of this!

    You have until the end of this week to get your comments in and it sounds like many of you have been enjoying yourselves; which is wonderful.

    Liz, enjoy the card and wrapping paper making; I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun.

    Arielle; you can find lots of information about junk mail on our junk mail article. You can also visit The Stop Junk Mail site for lots of fabulous information.

    Kris, I loved reading about your trolley dolly and Waitrose visit. It sounds like things went well in the end! I’m intrigued about the Sainsbury’s thing. In the Co-Op now, the supposed idea is that they ASK you IF you would like a bag, rather than assume and start packing things. So far the assistants are still packing, but just like us, habits are hard to break.

    Hi Ruth, well the mystery of your missing milk still surrounds us! I don’t think it’s cheating to send your bf to recycle, not at all. Delegation is good πŸ™‚

    Oooo, poppy, you put me to shame with your yogurt and rice pudding. I have milk on my shopping list for this week, esp as my favourite yogurt has gone up to 1.58 a pot, so my intentions are pure.
    Your story about the veg is brilliant; no need to hide in shame AT ALL, your brother should πŸ˜‰ Great news on spreading the word; let’s hope someone is inspired by your words.

    It sounds like things are going really well for you nikki; not using a carrier bag for a couple of week is fab news for the environment.

  168. Alabama says:

    The bokashi bins are excellent!! Only put out what would fill a carrier bag into the refuse bin last week which is ace and I’m very chuffed with myself. Also posted a couple of our old mobile phones which we still had to oxfam (free envelope from the co-op) and gave a huge pile of unwanted clothes to charity.
    Feels really good having a clear out and doing our bit for the environment. DD is also loving going to the bottle bank to “smash” and DH is getting better at remembering what goes where with regards to recycling too.
    It’s been a great experience both environmentally and for working together as a family. Long may it continue πŸ™‚

  169. Emma says:

    We are collecting our tetrapaks and taking them for recycling at the bin at our local Tesco when we’re going down that end of town anyway. It’s a popular bin – always full! It looks like the demand for tetrapak recycling is outstripping supply at the moment.

    Instead of Freecycle as such, we had some friends round for a swap shop. People brought things they didn’t want, and took away anything they liked the look of. We found homes for some of our old PS2 games and some books, and donated anything left at the end of the day to charity.

    The bread machine is broken at the moment… and it hasn’t been the best week for home cooking. So we’re still working on our last pledge!

  170. Jane says:

    I tried another one today… I keep finding that I don’t get through a whole tub of houmous before it expires (and it’s NOT nice at that point… somethings are OK, but some are not!). So I started buying it loose. Today I went to Waitrose and asked them to fill my own tub… the young lad at the deli counter wasn’t sure, but the other staff there didn’t bat an eyelid when he checked… one even said that they were happy with people taking their own tubs/ bags for any of the deli produce! Excellent (they’re getting used to my Onya Weighs at the till now as well)

  171. Jane says:

    Hmm, seems I’m one of the people who’s first comments disappeared… ah well

    The cousin who i’d supplied with various “green” items for moving to university was apparently more impressed than I’d expected. I had an email thanking me for them saying that she was looking froward to using the ecoballs as they wouldn’t cause any problems with her ezcema and all of the recycled items were “really groovy and cool”! Well, that can’t be bad going with an 18 year old! Oh, and her sister has started reading this site too! (She’s always been the greener one of the two)

  172. maisie says:

    Well the final count is in this week we only put 309g of rubbish into the landfill bin, so that is an amazing 634g during the last 2 weeks.

    This is from a family who this time last year were easily putting 2 or 3 black bin bags out to landfill every 2 weeks.

    So whilst not completely zero waste with other factors that have been put into place we now only have a carrier bag full of rubbish to go to landfill this collection. Hardly worth putting the bin out for!!!

    All comments entries for this 2 weeks challenge have been recorded on if anyone would care to take a look.

  173. Denise says:

    This has been such a great oppurtunity for us, to really spend time finding out how green we really are.
    It’s so easy to chuck items into the recycle bin but does it really belong there ? can it be recycled ?
    So we have been re-educating ourselves, what an eye opener, learning new skills – love cleaning with very few and very simple products – bicarb, lemons and some essential oils … damp dusting with a couple of drops of lemon essential oil, what could be better …. bye,bye Mr,Sheen.
    The shameful bottle of coke went down the loo … in the name of cleaning and what a great job it did.
    Meal planning was really hard for me but 2 weeks using out the cupboards and freezer was great and opened my eyes to firstly, how much food we already had and then to be able to plan what we eat and then a proper shopping list.
    Taking over the Suma Co-op for our Home Ed group has been wonderful and I hope will go from strength to strength.

    Cloth nappies were already being used but now we have cloth wipes for bottoms, old clothes cut into squares for cleaning cloths .. no more paper towels for us and the cloth napkins are in a basket on the table.

    Chatting to people about recycling has been easy, Freecycle is such a great way to start.Have loved reading about people’s progress on their blogs and also noting my own.

    So much to think about and continue to think about.
    I guess our next task has to be to reduce our recycling, a new project to explore.

    Thanks so much to everyone.
    Denise xx

  174. Kris says:

    Thank you to the Green’s for providing food for thought with the pledges. I’ve had mixed success with the implementation but I’m pleased at the thoughtfulness that has been a constant companion through this time.

    I pledged to keep on with all the things I normally do, only to find it set back when I became incapacitated. I’m pleased to now be caught up and to have sorted through some of the accumulated items that I didn’t want to see thrown away, and have freecycled some, gifted others and added to charity collections.

    I also said I’d make my Christmas cards and that is a work in progress. I’ve collected up various bits and thought through some ideas and themes – there is just the small matter of sitting down and actually producing the cards to get on with now.

    The biggest part has probably been the continual and more intense scrutiny of what goes into the bin, plus some refinement of shopping methods and breaking through the embarrassment barrier and insisting I’d like to use my own containers. I think there is still some way to go and more things to explore, but being awake to what comes in and goes out is essential. (Size of container/bags also seems to have an impact – I used to use a swing bin liner and felt pleased it was one a week and not full. Then we finally found a bin to fit our cupboard and that diminished the space and actually set up some anxieties about a possible second bag in a week. So then we switched to the smallest size of bin bag and that still seems to fill up disturbingly fast… but at least we are back to feeling we are creating less waste by trying not to need a second one.)

    I’m feeling still positive that my pledges have been just part of the journey and it’s still ongoing.

  175. sunshine_mel says:

    this has been a brilliant incentive to improve mt recycling and reducing etc at home and at work (loving my worms!)

    and a mine of fantastic information – reusable cotton pads? genius! ditto mooncups, and gummy bins, and all the places you’ve found that we can send recycling to (even bras!)

    hurrah for zero waste!

  176. Susan Jones says:

    1st bokashi bin is full, not sure thats a good thing shows how much food we are wasting πŸ™

    Ian is recycing everything, not sure thats a good thing cause i now have to sort it πŸ™‚

    The loft still needs sorting, not one of my challanges but something i did want to do over the summer, the weather was perfect too for getting up there, still a month or so left till it gets too cold. Then i could probably open my own shop.

  177. zingiber says:

    Well, I’ve done quite a few things on the list – call it 75% successful. Some pledges were things I was already doing, but wanted to reinforce/refine.
    1) I will recycle my tetrapaks: I’ve been collecting these for a few months but these are all STILL sitting in a paper carrier bag, ready to go down to the tetrapak bin by the library. When I nip down on my bike tomorrow to post a book I’m selling on GreenMetropolis, I will drop these off. Honest.
    2) I will talk to at least one family member or friend to promote recycling: I told my boyfriend to not chuck away any ‘stretchy plastic’, having read your article about recycling polythene. When he found out that we’d have to post it and pay for the postage, he wasn’t impressed! Ah well, I’m keeping on collecting it and when we have a bit more money I will post it off.
    3) I will offer one unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop. A quick rant from me about the annoying presence of two old speakers and an amp, combined with an open laptop and some speedy typing – that’s all it took to make three people happy. The recipient got a new sound system, I got access to my bookshelf again and my boyfriend got a lack of nagging. :o)
    4) I will use washable cloths instead of kitchen towel: a partial success – I’m using dishcloths (washed weekly) for nearly all kitchen tasks, but I’m still using kitchen towel for drying fish after it’s been rinsed and for drying the cats’ litter tray after washing it – I’m just wary about using a cloth for these for hygiene reasons, even if it is washed afterwards.
    5) I will make one card from scraps for Birthday / Christmas: ah, well, mmm – no, I didn’t get around to doing this! I AM starting a Xmas planning list and doing an inventory of what Xmas supplies I have in the house, if that counts.
    6) I will buy rechargeable batteries and a recharger and use them: I’ve got a charger and batteries sitting in a cupboard – yes, really useful. I forgot all about doing this one until the light on my bike started dimming last night. Then when I got home I forgot yet again to dig the charger out and bung some batteries in it.
    7) I will plan a weekly menu and shop accordingly: this is going fantastically well but has also created extra waste! I had been planning just week to week, based on the contents of our veg box, but when economics forced us to cancel the box, monthly planning seemed the way forward. After a literally sleepless night my feeble Excel skills were marginally improved by the creation of a shopping list generator/recipe list/costing spreadsheet. I did this 6 weeks ago, but I’m pleased that I’ve stuck with it and haven’t spent more than I planned, or ended up with any wasted food. I’m also able to budget for bulk buys (Ecover, multi-pack coffee). The downside has been that non-organic supermarket vegetables, whilst much cheaper, don’t taste as nice and often seem to be wrapped in plastic! Some is recyclable, but not having it would obviously be better. I’m sat down at the computer now putting off doing some sums to see if I can squeeze the cost of the veg box bag into the budget, to try and solve both of those problems.
    8) I will start to prepare my garden for growing veg: big success here! I had some lettuce (HDRA heritage seeds) and tomatoes (likewise) planted out this summer but urgently needed to get some over-wintering crops in. I tidied up the salad bed and composted the greens that had gone to seed, my boyfriend trimmed the nasty blighted bits off the tomatoes and I transplanted the stocks and lysmachia that I had growing into a new bed, leaving room for my lovely new brassica plants! After digging in the contents of one bokashi bucket (pheweee- it sure is aromatic, isn’t it!) and once the last of the plants I’d ordered had turned up, I had a marathon planting session and got them all in, watered and covered in butterfly-repelling fleece. I feel really quite chuffed – just have to remember to take care of them every week now.

  178. margaretnan says:

    So far I have accomplished: using the home recycling boxes provided by my council,taking non collectible kerbside items to a recycling bank, talked to at least one family member or friend to promote recycling,switched to three recycled products this week,!/ face wipes,2/ bags for life and 3/ made small towels to use instead of paper ones, took two bags of unused items to a charity shop,,sent an email birthday card instead of a paper one,,I made three meals from leftovers, started using reusable shopping bags instead of carrier bags,bought loose produce instead of bagged,made my own bread and muffins AND THE BIGGEST MOVE WAS OUR MARVELLOUS NEW COMPOST BIN MADE FOM RECYCLED PALLETS!!! IT LOOKS GREAT

  179. Poppy says:

    I took a load of plastic coat hangers back to Tesco today. I usually refuse them, but this lot had somehow found their way home and the only other option was landfill, so I took them back!
    I wasn’t quite brave enough to hand them over, so I just snuck them back onto one of the racks πŸ™‚

  180. Hi Poppy,

    Well done! The waste which we are given by Tesco et al, is not our waste. You are perfectly within your rights to return it, preferably to customer services.

    I have done this and found staff to be understanding. They know it is their waste but are trying to hide that fact from customers. Confidence to do this unusual act can be raised by seeing how others manage. That is the idea behind my proposed Package to Container campaign.

    If you feel strongly enough about this issue the best thing to do is await developments. My latest idea, as I have mentioned elsewhere, is to use, and reuse, only 1 coffee jar lid. This would involve leaving the lid/insert at customer services, explaining to them that you have 1 lid at home to reuse.

    What do you think of that idea?

  181. Zoe Sharp says:

    I took some birthday wrapping paper and coloured card envelopes from my own birthday and made then into cards for friends.

    I had a clear out and took a big bag of items to the charity shop, I also bought quite a few things from the charity shops whilst I was there.

  182. sulis says:

    Got my tap water bottles this morning and very nice they are too, clear blue with silver top and bottom.

    thanks you Tap and thank you Mr & Mrs Green

  183. Layla says:

    I’m a bit late to the party, but here’s what I’ve done in this past year or so! πŸ™‚

    – changed to monthly cloth pads! (love ’em!:))
    – experimented with wild alternative hair-care systems! lol (ahem, mostly water-only, & ‘nothing’ – brushes & ‘sebum only’ lol)
    – nagged the family into using & getting less plastic bags (they still slip sometimes, but at least there is some effort in this direction!)
    – refused to take new plastic bags at shops: “Oh, we’re being ‘eco’ now!” & smiles & explanation how loads of old plastic bags frustrate me! (blank looks at first & then sometimes freebie bagels!:))
    – nagged the family into using recycled toilet paper πŸ™‚
    – experimented with ‘eco’ dishwashing liquid, dishwasher powder, soap, soapnuts for washing clothes (some of those were deviously given as Christmas presents to other family members!:))
    – experimented with cleaning sink & toilet with /gasp/ vinegar!! πŸ™‚
    /& got Grandma a bottle of it for cleaning!/ Yes, she was a bit shocked at first πŸ™‚

    – we’ve had compost & solar water heating & double or triple glazing of windows before…

    maybe I forgot something, but these were the ‘huge’ ones that I remember! lol
    /still trying to summon courage to walk into a store with tupperware container! :)/ I think some of you women on this site are VERY brave!! :))

  184. Layla says:

    Oh, & this is such a great discussion & I’m jotting things down as I read!

    Will try to put cloth instead of paper kitchen towel into action – I wonder if it will work? πŸ™‚

    This site is excellent!!! :))

  185. soly says:

    just received my “TAP” bottles
    they are great thank you!

  186. Hi Mr & Mrs Green,

    The Ecover kit has just arrived and I am impressed by the fine range of products. I will report back on their use and refilling at the local Glasgow store.

    There was no waste from the packaging with the large LDPE packet a good size for my polythene collection.

    Thanks again for the prize. I hope the other winners enjoy theirs as much.



  187. Mrs Green says:

    John – great to see you on the site again and I’m glad the kit arrived safely. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on. It’s good that you have a refill station as this can save so much packaging.

    Thank you to everyone else who has told us of the safe arrival of their prizes. I hope you all enjoy them; you certainly earned them πŸ™‚

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