Monday, 29 June 2009

The Recycle Week Carnival

Well I've been promising it for a couple of weeks and at last it's here, the British Mummy Blogger carnival to mark the end of the Recycle Week challenge, where mothers everywhere (and a dad) - even those far away from the homeland - took their pledges to waste less.

Here's a list of all those who sent me their pledges over the last few weeks. I have a sneaking suspicion that the tag has travelled some distance beyond what you see here. If you want to follow the various tags, just visit those who joined in and follow the links.

In the meantime, it's time to celebrate the achievements and participation of all those who joined in the Recycle Week fun. So to find out why they chose their pledge and discover how they fared, just grab a drink, pull up a chair and say hello to all the fabulous bloggers below.


There were a whole host of bloggers who upon taking this pledge received the news that halving the number of bags we use in a year would mean using around 90,000 fewer tonnes of oil - (leading to a reduction in greenhouse gas production equivalent to taking up to 50,000 cars off the road). This created a wide range of interesting and entertaining posts, highlighting the juggling antics that come with forgetting a plastic bag.

Susanna at A Modern Mother, a fellow blogger for Recycle Now, helped kick off the tag promoting her pledge. She obviously needed a little practice, which you can read about at her beautifully titled post These damn bags are going to be the death of me. To see how she finally got on, pop over to see her at

Amy at And 1 More Means Four, took her pledge too, with her forfeit never to eat cookies ever again. This was serious. So did she succeed? Look at this post to find out. Something tells me she didn't take this lightly, especially with all those children to look after. Pop over and give her a round of applause at

Brit in Bosnia, aka Fraught Mummy also challenged herself to reusing all my plastic bags for a week. If you want to know what such a challenge is like over in Bosnia, her post "Of recycling and plastic bags" makes very interesting reading. For further updates, keep checking by her blog at

Emily over at Maternal Tales from the South Coast also took the pledge. The forfeit if she failed was to abstain from computer use for a day. Strange, but Emily's been absent from the Internet today. To see why, read this post. And do go over and give her a virtual hug at, even though she won't be able to read it until tomorrow.

Cartside over at Mummy Do That took the pledge and detailed her ups and downs of the week, which ended up in having to give up chocolate. I think she can be excused though. See what you think when you pop over to read how she got on during the week at

Peggy at Perfectly Happy Mum also joined in the fun and frolics on Friday with her pledge to remember her carrier bags. To encourage her along and to see how she's doing, drop by and visit at

Regular reader Antonella aka Lunarossa also took the pledge to reuse her plastic bags. Somehow I don't think she would have had any trouble, because she'd already been busy working on reducing her waste and I recently discovered it's come down as much as 50%. To find out how things are going with her recycling endeavours up in York, drop in and say hello at


To help reduce the amount of food that gets wasted - which is still around 1/3 in the UK - bloggers promised to compost their kitchen (and garden) waste or reuse their leftovers for the following meal.

Clareybabble faced the prospect of a week away from the computer when she took her pledge to compost her kitchen and garden waste. Is she still online? Well given that she has also taken to composting her shredded bills and lots more. I think there's a chance that you might still find her in the ethernet. Find out at

Sparx from Notes inside my head also took up the challenge. And if she failed, she'd be faced with cleaning under the furniture for a whole month - not a nice forfeit unless you're Anthea Turner. Well, she did leave us with a very entertaining account of her challenge of composting without a composter. And the news is there's lots of floor polishing to be done as well as shopping for a proper compost bin. Go and cheer her along at

Now you might be surprised that Jo Beaufoix chose composting as her pledge. After all, she managed to reduce her rubbish drastically by buying a bin when she took the Rubbish Diet challenge last year. But she's moved house since and thought she'd sign up for one again, with the threat that if she failed at her pledge, she'd let her daughter do her make-up. Well the news is she'll be posting a photo of her freshly made-up face very soon. Will it be a Picasso classic or a beautiful Rembrandt? Visit to find out. One thing's for sure, it will be an original work of art.

Surprised and Excited Mum is a very active recycler and joined in the week with her pledge to use her left-overs for lunch. It's always good to hear about other folk who are constantly taking out reusable bags and recycling everything that drops their way. To find out what else she's up to visit

Caroline over at What's Happening at My House pledged to use up all her leftovers too. If she threw anything away, she promised to donate £3 to charity on each occasion. To find out how she's getting on with her pledge, drop in and visit her at

Over in the U.S. Michaelle at the Adventurous Women blog helped to spread the word by pledging to commit to more composting. It's great to see the Recycle Week message spreading out of the British Mummy Blogger network across the Atlantic. To find out more about Michaelle's pledge visit


According to Recycle Now, making just one t-shirt uses 800 litres of water ad if every UK household recycled just two this year we'd save as much as 16,000 Olympic sized pools. So it's a good job then that some bloggers pledged to recycle their textiles.

Mum in Chaos over at the Madmuma blog made her pledge, with the promise to use the clothing recycling bank at the end of her road. Being an active recycler, if she failed to make it before the week was out, she promised to go without tea for a day. Find out if she made it over at

Zooarchaeologist at Being a Mummy also took the pledge but admitted that recycling her textiles was a bit of a cop-out as she loves sewing and had lots of plans re-crafting old clothes. I can see why she loves it though. You only have to read her update post "Ten ways to re-use your old clothes" to be suitably inspired. For further updates, visit


When life gets busy it's so easy to just bung your packaging in the bin, but the truth is by doing that we're burying a valuable resource in the ground that could otherwise be used to save virgin resources, including bottles, cans and tetra pak cartons.

So it's great to see bloggers taking up a whole range of pledges to recycle what's leftover when the contents have been consumed.

Liz over at Violet Posy, pledged to recycle her glass bottles and almost missed it with a narrow escape. But her husband came to the rescue, leaving Liz plenty of time to take an impromptu pledge to sort out some textiles to take to the Salvation Army. The question is, did she get ever there? Pop over and see at

Tasha aka Codingmamma over at wahm-bam ventured forth to join me in the pledge to recycle Tetra Paks. After doing a postcode search on the Recycle Now website, she discovered that new facilities had been put in place nearby. She also has plans for getting a compost bin. So do drop in to say hello at

Potty Mummy promised to recycle bottles and cans whilst out and about. She already does most things on the list of pledges with the exception of composting, but living in a flat in Central London ruled that one out. Find out more about Potty Mummy's pledge over at


It's a bit of a frightener isn't it? The idea of going rubbish-free for a day but the great news is someone was up for it:

Kat over at Housewife Confidential was prepared to give it a go and took the pledge. Find out how she got on in her update, over at Something tells me she won't have trouble attempting it again in the future.

News just in...the Dotterel over at Bringing up Charlie also signed up for the task but somehow Charlie didn't get the message. See what happened at the Dotterel's post Recycle Fail. Follow what else he gets up to (that's both Charlie and the Dotterel) at


This category is for all those other fabulous and creative ideas that came through as a result of the Recycle Week pledge, which might not have fitted into Recycle Now's list but hold such wonderful merit they deserve sharing.

First up is Rosie Scribble who as well as pledging to recycle her electricals, also committed to educating herself about the importance of recycling and then educating her daughter. I sense this will be a continuous project that reaches far beyond Recycle Week. To follow how Rosie gets on visit her blog at

Lorna over at Califlorna, a British expat living in California, pledged to use natural cleaning products from now on and even have a go at making her own so that she can use less plastic bottles. Visit her blog at to check out an interesting tale of recycling in a whole new different area.

Half Mum Half Biscuit caught my attention with her idea for recycling time. Oooh how lovely would that be. But in light of potential difficulties, she also pledged to help re-introduce the returnable milk bottle into her neighbourhood, by encouraging other people to have their milk delivered. Find out more at

Garden Mum pledged to help promote recycling by offering up three garden recycling ideas, which are all worth a gander. To find out what else she gets up to in her garden visit

Laura over at Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy made me smile with her pledge to recycle her glass and other things. She cheated slightly because she already did it and was very busy moving house, and I have a sneaking suspicion she was glad to be getting a new neighbour. See how her house move went over at


Although they were unable to make specific pledges the following wonderful folk have submitted some useful posts that might inspire you even further to take the rubbish bag by the horns and reduce your waste forever.

Lisa of Condo Blues confessed she's not British and not a mum so hadn't been tagged, but being a regular reader of The Rubbish Diet and having British heritage and being a dog-owner asked if she could join in the carnival. The answer of course was "Of Course". And for anyone who's interested in cutting back plastic, I recommend you visit her entry entitled: Show us your trash: plastic challenge, which was set by Beth over at Fake Plastic Fish. To find out what other rubbish-related antics Lisa gets up to in her condo visit

Chloe at BestBen10Toys has sent in suggestions featuring 16 ideas for what to do with unwanted toys, which is always helpful when decluttering the children's bedrooms.

Last but not least, Maria from Fab Mums has a whole range of ideas to help you green up your kids with her reviews of Help George Save the World; Creative Recycling for Kids; Paper has never been greener and the Solar Powered Helicopter Kit.


And that concludes the British Mummy Bloggers Recycle Week Carnival.

What a great couple of weeks it's been witnessing the pledges come in. All that's left to do now is thank everyone who was involved in making and sharing their commitment to Recycle Week and to thank Susanna at A Modern Mother and founder of British Mummy Bloggers for her enthusiam in taking part from the very start and her encouragement to share the recycling love around the network.

Of course Recycle Week may be over but the message still remains, that recycling works and doesn't have to be boring. You can continue to make pledges and find out what can be recycled in your area. All you need to do is drop over to, where there is lots of information that can help you.

Thanks again to everyone involved. I even think there are a few candidates who might very well join me in my crazy world of mummy garblogging. If you're hooked, I can only apologise.

P.S. I know Zoe at Rekindled might not be a mummy blogger, but she's a regular reader and I just wanted to celebrate her pledge to go rubbish free. If you want to know how she did it, she's got a guest post over at MyZeroWaste. So do pop by for a nosey and check out what Mrs Green has been up to as well.



Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Thank you for including me in the Carnival. My Recycling Week pledge was to recycle plastic bottles when I was out and about because my husband and I had 3 different events last Saturday - one of which was a cookout. Fortunately we made our goal by drinking iced tea from a large jug cooler w/ glasses we brought w/ our table service. It was almost zero waste but I forgot to put the cloth napkins in the picnic hamper. Oops!

A Modern Mother said...

I really enjoyed being a part of this campaign, thanks for asking me. It sounds trite but it changed my outlook on bags forever. I am now extra conscious about them after that week of FORGETTING THEM.

Perfectly Happy Mum said...

Thank you for such a great initiative. I was quite conscious about how I used my plastic bags but I was absolutely rubbish at remembering them when I was going shopping. Thanks to my pledge and the threat of sitting next to my favourite cake not able to eat it, I have been very good and still am! :)

maria said...

thanks for including me in this fabulous carnival, it's a shame i found out about the campaign too late to take part but i will be sure to spread the word about this fabulous initiative.

Kimberly said...

What a wonderful achievement! Congrats to everyone who made an effort to be eco-friendly during Recycle Week.

cartside said...

I'm amazed how many people signed up and joined Recycle Week. I'm sure everyone's habits have changed a little bit, making a lasting change. Thanks you so much for this fabulous idea, initiating it, following it through and posting all week - you're an inspiration!

Chloe Alice Wilson said...

What a very inspiring list of posts. Great job. Shame I missed the start of this week's efforts and the pledging but will take some of the ideas here to continue the good work.
Cheers, Chloe

Almost Mrs Average said...

Phew what a hectic few days - sorry it took me so long to get back.

Condo Blues - I'm so glad you joined in the carnival and brilliant news on the pledge. Napkins are the one thing I nearly always forget when going out. Maybe next time :-D

Hello Modern Mother - your challenge was such a success. Well done and brilliant to have you alongside blogging too. And keep......remembering those bags :-D

Hi Perfectly Happy Mum - that's great news...It's the practice and for such a small thing it's surprising how much practice is needed. I wish you continued luck :-D

Hi Maria - Thanks for spreading the word. Sorry the tag didn't get around to you in time, but the one thing about recycling is the issue never goes away. Wouldn't be great if the tag was morphed and went on and on and on (sounds a bit like me) :-D

Hi Kimberly - thanks for dropping by and your words of encouragement. It was a great week, with lots of giggles. :-D

Hi Cartside - thank you. The one thing about recycling is that it's so much like doing the washing up, it becomes one of those activities that you automatically do. The great thing about Recycle Week, is that it's a good opportunity to revisit regular habits and see what's changed because things are changing all the time, with new opportunities arising. Thanks so much for joining in. It's been brilliant to have such wonderful support. :-D

Hi Chloe - thank you so much for your kind words. There are some fabulous ideas from the British Mummy Blogger community. It really is fantastic to see everyone joining in :-D

Jo Beaufoix said...

Brilliant job lovely. My pic will be up next week after the madness that is this weekend ends. x

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

Well, I failed somehow. The bag with the tetra paks in completely disappeared. Very odd. Teeny part of me wonders if someone hid it because they knew I would have to go two days without non-work-internet. But it's probably more likely that they accidently got taken out with the rest of the recycling (and they don't collect them here, so would have just gone in their bin, instead, presumably).

Still, I am continuing to collect them (in a different place, to avoid that mistake again) and know where to take them now. Also signed a petition for kerbside cardboard collection, which would make a big difference to us.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Jo - am so looking forward to it and huge hugs winging your way to help with the madness. Lots of love :-D x

Hi Tasha - My money's on the mystery imp that lurks and pounces when your guard is down. Keep pushing for that cardboard collection. Too valuable to bury in the ground and the more demand, the louder the voice and the pressure for the council to find a contractor\buyer with a market. Councils have started to group together to create alliances to help with the economies of scale. So lots of luck. :-D

lunarossa said...

Sorry I'm always late at commenting and I didn't even manage one post about recycling last week! But I did well with my pledge and I will keep on going on. I posted about it today finally and linked to your post as well. Thanks again for your inspiration. I just week that East Riding of Yorkshire Council will read your blog too!!! All the best. Ciao. A.

Almost Mrs Average said...

LOL - Antonella - you say you're always late at commenting. Well I think I must be your competition when it comes to that :-D

Thanks for popping by with the update, I'm going to be over so see you as fast as I can. Thank you so much for keeping going despite the local frustrations xxxx

Unknown said...

Hi Karen,

Here at the Tetra Pak Recycling Team, we want to thank you for all your hard work during Recycle Week to promote carton recycling locally. I've really enjoyed reading of your exploits from the week and we were extremely impressed with the amount of time and effort put into your pledge (especially since you've been suffering all week)!

The schools, the beavers, your friends, your neighbours, your family, and the whole local community have really come up trumps this week!

A special thank you has to go to Angus for such a fantastic video entry for the How Do You Squash Yours competition! Everyone here has thoroughly enjoyed it and it is rapidly becoming one of the most watched videos of the competition so far.

We'll keep our fingers crossed for the signs at your local store, we are always working on initiatives to promote carton recycling both instore and out, so hopefully your 'suggestion' will be well received.

At our end, we've been recovering from our Recycle Week squash competition activities at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland, where we had a stand encouraging people to make videos for the competition; which is why it has taken me a week to congratulate you! I hope we'll be seeing a video of you entering the competition…?

Keep up the good work,


Unknown said...

Thanks for mentioning my post. I've mentioned you over at my latest post xxx

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Jenny - how lovely to see you over here. I'm glad you'e enjoyed reading about the challenge and thanks to your team too for providing the relevant pieces of information.

If there has been one thing I've learned from the whole experience it's probably the role that ordinary consumers\residents have in the waste stream and how pulling together with other people in the community can help tackle the one thing that we're all involved in, i.e waste.

I will be entering the competition over the next few months, but I'm not sure how or even if I can compete with the kilted carton squasher. The best thing was, it was totally unplanned and truly impromptu.

Hope you had a great time in Scotland. I can't help wondering if there were any other kilted squashers around.

Good luck with the competition and keep your eyes peeled for my entry :-D

Hi Clareybabble - T'was a pleasure. And I am popping over right now :-D x

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