Monday, 29 August 2011
Just like the kids starting a new school year, I can't believe that Zero Waste Week has come around so quickly or indeed that it's in its fourth year. It doesn't seem that long since Mrs Green at myzerowaste.com held the very first National Zero Waste Week back in 2008.
Back then, it felt like a huge challenge and I thought I'd take a walk down memory lane to the preparations that Mrs Green was making for her very first ZWW three years ago. I remember packaging being one of the key problems, as it still is for many people who'd want to have a go today. However, undeterred, Mrs' Green's Zero Waste Week saw over 160 people pledge to increase their commitment to reducing waste, reusing, recycling or composting, providing a great platform for her Myzerowaste site to host its second National Zero Waste Week in 2009, encouraging supporters this time to tackle their food waste.
Last year's Zero Waste Week returned with an even greater emphasis on food waste, with Mrs Green's campaign week gaining official support from celebrity chef Brian Turner CBE, who shared tips on how he uses up ingredients and how he composts while he cooks. For me it was a great excuse to find my own local chef and hang out at one of my favourite eateries, picking up tips on how good food can go a lot further with some extra imagination and fabulous recipes.
And so to this year. As ever, National Zero Waste Week 2011 comes with another waste-busting topic, with this year's challenge "Reducing waste while away from home". This theme holds a special significance for me as it was the same unexpected twist that came with the local council's ZWW challenge back in March 2008, where any waste that I created "on-the-go" had to be brought home and added to my rubbish bin's booty, which would be declared later that week. With such a personal challenge back then, is it any wonder that I get excited about the "recycle-on-the-go bins" that feature in the 1000 bins campaign.
So, what are we asking you to do this year?
That's simple. Whilst getting on with reducing waste on the home front, Mrs Green and I would love you to become more aware of the rubbish that can be created whilst you're out and about and take measures to reduce such waste that would ordinarily end up in landfill.
From tackling disposable cutlery to recycling drinks containers, there are loads of tips over at the National Zero Waste Week 2011 information page, where you can also share your own ideas in the comments section. If you're on Facebook and want to receive further news, there's also an event page, which already has 190 people attending.
Don't forget, National Zero Waste Week is also the finale of the 1000 bins photo\video challenge. Thanks to all who have submitted photos and videos this far. There are now only two weeks to go to submit your entries and be in with a chance of winning a gorgeous Luciana clutch bag from Bottletop.org, or a fabulous waste-busting goodie bag from Onya Bags, which includes an Onya Back, Onya Bag, Onya Lunch, Onya Weigh, H2O Bottle and a People Towel.
So please send in your entries by Midnight (GMT) 11 September, either at www.facebook.com/1000bins or email me directly at email@example.com. Mrs Green and I will then get cracking on voting for the most interesting bin photo as well as the one that made us smile the most and will announce the winners as soon as we've stopped laughing.
Here's one of my own photos taken whilst out and about at a festival in Staffordshire....go on, surely you can do better...............