Monday, 28 April 2008

Me, Me, Me...Revisiting Almost Mrs Average

Hello, hello, hello. I'm back from my "week off" and it's been a fun old week consisting of experiments with yoghurt, making a Jedi costume and drinking cider with Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley...

...okay, I exaggerate...Tony Hadley was in the same room while opening the East Anglian Beer Festival in Bury St Edmunds. We didn't quite get the opportunity to chew the fat over a beer, but we did engage in some brief banter while he was posing for press photos on the other side of the bar.

Anyway, we start the week with the news that The Rubbish Diet is featured in our regional newspaper, The East Anglian Daily Times and I'd like to extend a warm welcome to readers who have popped over as a result. Also a huge thank you to Sheena Grant for such a great write-up.

It's fabulous to be back. I really did miss the blog last week.

As ever there was so much happening in the world of trash, I was itching to get out my laptop and add my two-penneth, but in honour of International Downshifting Week, I managed to refrain.

Instead, I took the opportunity to have a good old ponder over the events of the last few months. I still find it bizarre how having reduced our family's landfill waste has led to so much attention and that it has had such an impact on how others look at their rubbish.

However, it really is great when people tell me their stories of how they now rethink their habits, e.g. a mother from school who now uses containers rather than clingfilm for packed lunches, another mum who's changed her toiletries for products that use recyclable packaging and there's regular reader Baba, whose household has even developed a new catchphrase. Apparently "I'll tell Amost Mrs Average" can often be heard amongst the four walls of their kitchen, when pondering throwing things away.

...All from having set up a blog and talking rubbish to anyone who'll listen.

Some people may have described me as an eco-warrior, campaigner or an activist. I'm not quite sure if that is true. I'm just someone who thrives in a creative environment and loves to share a few good ideas (and some frustrations) through the joys of writing.

At the end of the day, I am still your Almost Mrs Average. I'm the same person who set up this blog 3 months ago when I decided to take personal responsibility for our household waste, joining a whole host of other people who are already doing the same thing but who are not eccentric enough or have got better things to do than to write about their efforts.

When you think about it, trying to reduce your rubbish shouldn't be anything special as it's no different to taking personal responsibility for looking after your home and garden, your finances or your diet. It's just a simple lifestyle choice, which like many other decisions offers a positive change to your personal life.

It's like having a blimming good declutter. Call it Feng Shui for your bin if you like and the best thing is, you don't have to be rich, green or eccentric. It's something that an average person can happily attempt, even if it means reducing your rubbish by just 10%.

I suppose you could think of me as an old-fashioned girl who takes advantage of 21st Century opportunities, enjoying modern life with a sensible approach. If I get given the odd carrier bag, I won't fall to the power of guilt in the same way as I don't confuse common sense with obsessiveness.

You certainly won't find me telling people where to stick their rubbish and I definitely wouldn't want to teach grannies (or indeed grandpas) how to suck eggs. That would be rather rude.

I'm just happy to carry on with my tales of ordinary living, some of which will make you laugh and some will make you cringe. I only hope that whatever the outcome, they will continue to inspire.

And on that note, I hope that regular readers managed to have a gander at Ruby's Rubbish update which she posted on her Living in Bury St Edmunds blog. I'll be summarising Ruby's efforts later this week, but the big update is that she's now also set up her own rubbish blog, which you can find at It's worth taking a look to see how she is being affected by the problem of overpackaging.

Another blogger who will be trying her hand at her own Rubbish Diet soon is Jo Beaufoix at Jo is busy doing an audit on her rubbish this week, so we can work out the easiest way to slim her bins. There'll be more on that soon.

So with Ruby being "Miss April" and Jo signing up as "Miss May", if there are any volunteers who also fancy having a go at slimming their own bins and who want to join up for June, just drop me a line at

I can see The Rubbish Diet calendar coming can't you? - Now that would be a fun project, as long as it could be recycled of course.

The other big feature that is coming up this week is an interview with Andy Hamilton, one of the twins behind and their new book The Selfsufficient-ish Bible. So watch this space to find out more about their book, what it was like being on BBC Breakfast's famous red sofa and of course what they've got in their bins.

Oh, and I might also tell you about my visit to the cobblers! Such excitement I know. I always like to leave a good cliff-hanger!


Mrs Green said...

Welcome back!
I'm glad you had a great week - it *is* amazing how much interest you have bought to this important issue over the past few months. Well done you! You're such an inspiration to many people and the world is a better place for having you here, talking and sharing with us :)

Have a great week,
Mrs G x

mel said...

Hi AMA, and welcome back - I've missed you!

I feel like my personal rubbish diet's going pretty well now - we put a black bag out for the binmen last week, but a) it was only half-full, and b) it was the first one this month. It only went out because I'd chucked in one of those horrid "chicken nappy" things than line the bottom of the supermarket packaging, and it was starting to smell (despite being rinsed out first) - maybe I'll try sticking it in the bokashi next time.

Speaking of bokashi, I've also used the latest 2 buckets-full (as well as a couple of carrier-bags of shredded paper) at the allotment, hopefully I'll have the brightest beans & tastiest potatoes on the site!


Joyce said...

It's good to have you back. The thing I like about your efforts is that you ARE so average (no offense meant-everyone likes to be special!). You make it seem so doable for the average family, without feeling like we must become the neighborhood weirdos, that it's easy to get my family on board. Thanks so much!

Baba said...

You're back!! Last week just wasn't the same although I did try very hard to focus on all the things yo've been teaching over the last few weeks......We now recylce on average one more carrier bag full of stuff each week and I'm definitely bringing home far less packaging than we ever did!!
Welcome back XX

Ruby in Bury said...

Yes, good to have Almost Mrs A back in blog land!

The EADT article is fab and what a big one it is. The rubylets are both sitting reading it at the moment with great interest!!


Hi Mrs Green - thank you. It's great to be back and chatting with you once again. What's great is one never know what's around the corner in the life of rubbish ;-D x

Hi Mel - "Chicken nappy" LOL - I love that phrase that you've just coined...but am now trying to get the image out of my head of chickens (free range of course) running around the field with their bottoms wrapped in cotton squares.

They are horrible. If you do happen to bung it in the bokashi, do let me know how you get on.

It's great news about your rubbish diet and what brilliant use of your bokashi. I might have to come and visit when the beans and tatties are ready ;-D

Hi Joyce - no I definitely don't mind you referring to me as Average, as you say...that is the best bit. I know I'm special in my family's case and if I can help inspire...then I'm happy. Thanks for your support and joining me in my averageness ;-D

Hi Baba - that is brilliant news. The next thing you need to do is tell your local never know who you'll help locally...go on...dare you...tell them you've been on a Rubbish Diet. You might even get to do a photo-shoot with your bin. ;-D

Hi Ruby...and thank you for trekking all the way to the Murco garage to get your copy. You could have always bought it the charming rate of £1. Did I mention that it's only 50p to buy? That means I spent £1.50, checking the online version this morning and then getting the paper copy for my records - LOL! Glad the Rubylets are interested...I'll be watching with great interest what they now doto your bins. ;-D

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