Thursday, 6 November 2008

Feedback time!

If you took part in Waste Free Week 2008 then don't forget to send in your results and feedback! This can be done online here:
...or by post using the form you will have received in your starter pack. The first 500 will receive a FREE copy of 'Eat Well, Waste Less '! I've already fed back, so there's only 499 left!

And, as you're currently browsing the web, we would really like some feedback on the Norfolk Waste Partnership website, If you have any thoughts, perhaps you could leave them as a comment on my blog? I can then forward ideas on to the powers-that-be.

In other news, I have officially volunteered my services to an organic growers cooperative based in Norwich! I'd better not reveal the name of the scheme as my involvement isn't yet official, but I'm very excited about getting my hands dirty and possibly also helping out with some research tasks. Also, if there's anyone based in the Dereham area who is interested in the Transition Towns movement which has just been officially unleashed in Norwich, and would like to be involved in a similar initiative in Dereham, then let me know and I can give you the details of who to contact. If you're not aware of Transitions Towns, basically it is a grassroots movement of community-minded people who want to ensure their communities are resilient enough to respond positively to the twin threats of climate change and peak oil. This often takes the form of strengthening local food networks and developing decentralised energy networks, for instance. After originating in Kinsale, Ireland and Totnes, UK the initiative has spread to over 200 villages, towns and cities worldwide, and has even been featured in The Archers, no less. For more info have a look at

That's all from me for now, but watch this space because the Waste Free bloggers may be returning to your screens very soon with more with more wit and wisdom from inside the world of waste management!

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Verdict

So here we are! Waste Free Week is over, and I can honestly say that I'll never look at waste the same way. As I was flitting between different houses all week it's quite hard for me to provide an accurate figure for how much waste I produced. However, I reckon I was responsible for around 1kg of rubbish. That sounds a lot, but that does include the infamous pasta-kebab disaster.
On Friday evening I needed some comfort food after getting up at 4am to conduct the Breckland Council waste audit, so a lot of waste-saving strategies like taking plastic boxes to the shops went out the window. I settled on a steak and ale pie, which noentheless came in reassuringly reusable cardboard and foil. I also went for a few loose veg and a lovely bit of mustard mash. Very little waste there, and I wasn't even trying! I think that's the key thing that I will take out of this week - being able to produce very minimal waste without it being a major effort. They say practice makes perfect, and sure enough waste reducing behaviour can quite quickly become habit. To be green, you really don't need to hug a tree every morning and forage for your dinner in the local woodland. Just making few careful decisions in the shops can be a huge step towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
We are all consumers, and it is environmentally aware consumption behaviour that can have dramatic impacts on waste and carbon footprints, as well as narrowing the gap between producer and consumer.
This week has been a great experience and I hope everyone else has enjoyed the challenge as much as I have. My next step is going to be to investigate local organic food networks as alternatives to jet-setting supermarket veg, and hopefully my bin will continue to be nice and slender.