Monday, 26 August 2013

Suffolk - Join me in a virtual flashmob!

Ahoy there Suffolk!!!

Yes YOU, over there.

Your Rubbish Blogger from Bury St Edmunds needs you!

Yes, that's me over here - whispering at you from my garden shed - not too quietly, just loud enough for you to hear.

I want to create a surprise virtual flashmob for a very important cause that is extremely close to my heart.

Suffolk still has a huge problem with food waste.  This Easter I read that it costs Suffolk residents £3.14 million to dispose of 35,000 tonnes of the stuff.  Shocking stats, I know - and figures like this can make you feel quite impotent, especially when you think of all the embedded energy and water in growing that stuff, only for it to end up in bins and carted off to landfill.

But we can do something about it and this is where you come in, even if you don't create much food waste yourself.

And it all starts with Zero Waste Week, which just as it happens, is taking place next week: 2-8 September.

So where do you come in?

The theme of Zero Waste Week this year is "Use it up", with lots of tips to cut down on food waste, with the key message to "Fill your belly not your bin".

And I'd love you to sign up, take part.  All you need to do is visit, click a couple of buttons, select a pledge and you're in!

But don't just let the buck stop with you,  encourage your friends and family too.

After all, our corner of the UK is aiming to become Greenest County and what a way to show our mettle, by creating a virtual flashmob on the Zero Waste Week site!  Oh yes, let's parachute in with pledges from wherever you are in Suffolk

Even if you prevent just a block of cheese from being bunged in landfill, that's a result.  For you it might be some cheese, but for others it could be £10 of shopping that would otherwise have ended up in their black bin.

Now I haven't told Rachelle Strauss, the organiser of the campaign - or indeed any of the team behind Zero Waste Week - of my plans.

I want it to be a right good old virtual flashmob surprise.

So remember, bellies not bins. Show your support now at


National Zero Waste Week, now in its 6th year, takes place 2-8 September.  No matter where you are in the UK, you can join in too.  So if you care about food waste, please sign up, pledge and tell your friends.  There's also a Facebook Events Page that you can join too.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Don't let the summer end without seeing this

The Clean Bin Movie: Coming to the UK - 23-30 August
Meet Jen and Grant, who have just arrived in the UK from Canada and are getting ready for a five-day tour of their documentary: The Clean Bin Project.

Forget the big budget Hollywood blockbusters that are hitting the screens this summer.  Whether you want comedy, drama or even a touch of horror - in parts - this is the film for anyone who wants to be inspired to reduce their waste.

I first came across the Clean Bin Project blog in 2008, not long after starting The Rubbish Diet. Jen Rustemeyer provided the running commentary to the challenges that she and her partner Grant Baldwin faced with entertaining accounts as they attempted a consumer free year to see who could create the least rubbish.

This was not your 'holier than thou' blogging, more a combination of escapades, frustrations and ingenuity at overcoming some of the regular hurdles that face us all.

And thankfully, they also captured it on camera, creating a very entertaining documentary, which is being screened at five venues across the UK, with a post-screening Q&A with Jen & Grant.

Launching in Brighton this Friday, the full tour list is as follows:

Fri 23rd Aug - Brighton - Brighthelm Centre. Open from 6pm. Starts 7pm.
Tue 27th Aug- Stowmarket, Suffolk - John Peel Centre for Creative Arts. Open 7pm. Starts 7:30pm
Wed 28th Aug - York - City Screen, Picturehouse. 6:15pm
Thu 29th Aug - Shrewsbury, Shropshire. The Old Post Office. 7pm.
Fri 20th Aug- Warminster, Wiltshire. Baptist Church Hall. 7pm.

Entry is either free, or with a small donation/ticket price depending on local arrangements and sponsorship.  Huge thanks go to Freegle, Mid Suffolk District Council, City Screen & John Cossham, Transition Shrewsbury and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust for making these events possible.

It would be really great if you could make it to one of the screenings.  If you can't and would still love to see the documentary, copies can be purchased at  There are also details of how you can host a screening for your local community.

The Clean Bin Project screenings are happening in time to whet the appetite for Zero Waste Week which follows the week after. Taking place,2-8 September, the theme this year is "Use it Up" and focuses on food waste.  Please do sign up at  There'll be more on that from me soon.

Meanwhile, I hope that you enjoy the Clean Bin Project events, where you'll also get to meet some of the local waste-busters who are running some great projects around the country.

Friday, 16 August 2013

10 million items of furniture are thrown away each year in the UK – let’s change that with Give it for Good

Some of those clever people at Freegle are setting up a new project to increase the reuse of goods and materials around the UK and want to make it easy for people to NOT throw out usable stuff.

Currently in prototype stage for the Brighton & Hove area, Give it for Good offers an easy-to-use search facility showing all reuse options for any item, connecting members of the public with local facilities, including Freegle, social enterprises, charity shops, council sites, community projects, licensed recyclers, businesses. Once you've entered your item, you can decide if you want to give to a charity, to an individual, join a group, pay a collector and so on. Give it for Good will do the research, so you can do the giving. 

This isn't a replacement for Freegle or other online groups - it's an opportunity to attract new members.  Neither is it in competition for reuse organisations – it's a chance to drive more people to them all,  all helping to encourage people who currently just throw things away to re-home them instead by other means. And if you've been watching Kirstie Allsopp's Fill Your House for Free recently, you'll know there's a growing appetite for reuse.

I think it's a fantastic idea but to get the project off the ground Give it for Good needs your help, in the form of a little bit of crowdfunding.  I've dug behind my sofa and scrabbled together some coinage and if you're able to help too, that would be great.  They are trying to raise £15,000 by 30th August so they can run a pilot, which they will then expand more widely around the UK.  More info is available on their crowdfunding page:

Please do have a look at the short video below and check out their prototype page at

 The project team can also be found on Facebook at and Twitter as @GiveItForGood
For more info, email Cat Fletcher at  

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