Zero waste blogging: who are these zero wasters?

by EcoStreet on July 31, 2008

in Activism, Sustainable Lifestyle

It’s hard to tell when the ‘zero waste’ bug hit the UK, but the earliest blog that I can find on the subject is the Cambridge Zero Waste Challenge. Some Cambridge city councillors volunteered to put themselves and their families through the rigorous exercise of seeing just how little they could put into their black bins during the month of June 2007 and then told the world about it on a blog.

Then back in January this year the St Edmundsbury Borough Council declared that 10 to 17 March 2008 was going to be ‘zero waste week’ in the borough. This led to a brave local family in Bury St Edmunds putting themselves out there for public scrutiny by blogging about how they reduced the amount of waste that they were sending to landfill.

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The Rubbish Diet

Almost Mrs Average signed up to St Edmundsbury’s challenge publicly on her blog The Rubbish Diet and proceeded to document the slimming of her family’s waste up to ‘zero waste week’ when all they threw away was one sticking plaster. Her blog inspired others to put their households on The Rubbish Diet.

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My Zero Waste

The Strauss family began to slim their waste in May 2008. They started their blog after being inspired by The Rubbish Diet. They are also using the platform of blogging to chart their progress and reach out to like-minded people as they embark on their mission of reducing what they send to landfill week on week, until they reach their goal of zero waste. They will be undertaking a ‘zero waste week’ during the first week in September, and have roped in 25+ sponsors who will be providing eco-friendly prizes to their blog readers, so why not pay their blog a visit and offer your support.

Rachelle Strauss (or Mrs Green as she’s known at My Zero Waste) emailed us recently to let us know some exciting news about their ‘zero waste’ project. Their local council (Gloucestershire) are so impressed with the idea of ‘zero waste week’ that they are also going to be holding a borough wide ‘zero waste week’ at the beginning of 2009.

Being a completely brilliant idea, there’s no doubt that ‘zero waste’ weeks and ‘zero waste’ lifestyles will continue to spring up and flourish and be blogged about, so if you know about the blogs of any active ‘zero wasters’, please add them in the comments.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard Millington July 31, 2008 at 11:17 am

Thanks for blogging this. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of these zero-waste/rubbish diets before. The Strauss family is even based quite local too.

One of the problems I have with it though is the use of Freecycle. It’s a great concept, but it doesn’t quite fit with Zero-Waste surely? At some point something just has to be thrown away. Nothing everything can be continually passed down the line?

Though I might be wrong, the final materials might be recycled into something new and fresh.

Still, as a concept, Freecycle is brilliant.

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MyZeroWaste August 2, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Hi Richard, thanks for your comment about Freecycle. You are right, just about everything has a finite life cycle and eventually ends up unusable. The point is that Freecycle is a form of ‘recycling’ because it reuses items and materials, thus prolonging their useful life cycle before being discarded. The other important aspect of freecycling is that it provides a human benefit as well, by providing resources for people who may not be able to afford to buy new. additionally, people who support Freecycle may likely be more environmentally conscious. If that’s the case, the final disposal of that item should become a responsible decision involving salvaging raw materials wherever possible.

Freecycle is pretty well a win-win option, both for people and the environment.

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Almost Mrs Average August 11, 2008 at 7:37 am

Thanks Tracy for covering this. It’s a subject that has become very close to my heart and the best thing is that you don’t even have to be eco-friendly to give it a go. There are so many ways to slim those bins, that almost anyone can give it a go. Thanks again for the mention here. It really does help to inspire others. With best wishes. Karen

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kate August 11, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Each month I boycott a number of plastic throw away items and source sustainable alternatives – needless to say my bin needs emptying far less often.

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