Tuesday, 4 December 2012

5 weeks into Rubbish Diet Shropshire and .....

Well we had a good chat last night - only a few people were able to make Rubbish Diet meeting but a big welcome to Gill, Katharine's mum who is now on board with us. The feedback from you all has been great over the last 5 weeks .... James is managing to reduce each week and was down to 520g for week 3 - any more data James? Tina has noticed a huge reduction in volume and is homing in on those awkward items. Howard brought up a really good point - we both realised very early on that getting down to one plaster was not an option for us. BUT both our households have managed to reduce volume by three quarters and weight by at least 50% from where we started. Does it matter if we don't get down to a plaster? My feeling is that we are showing that without wearing a hairshirt we can reduce our waste significantly and still make a difference. Shropshire is already doing quite well when you compare average bin weights - 16.4kg per household per fortnight with national averages. The average household size is 2.4 people in our area which makes an average of 6.8 kg per person per fortnight. The Shropshire rubbish dieters have completely smashed those figures! Even when things go slightly wrong our fortnightly weights are way lower than these averages for example, Anna with 3 adults in her house has just turned in a weight of 1.21 kg compared with an average of 20.4 kg for a fortnight. My first fortnight weighed 5.4 kg for 5 people instead of an average 34 kg!! Last night we talked about how the process is making us change behaviour.... Lots of discussion about leaving black trays on the shelves - Anna left a bargain on the shelf because it was in a black tray And we agreed that it is ok to not feel guilty about everything! It's ok to eat crisps and catfood in foil-lined packaging occasionally! Overall, people seem to have found the process interesting, a challenge and rewarding - my highlight has been putting the wrong bins out and it being no big deal! Incidently, 4 of my neighbours tried to tell us that we had got it wrong - they were so worried that we would be left with overflowing refuse for another fortnight! little did they know!!! Would love to hear your highlights - and Katy is devising a simple online survey for us to put down our thoughts. I am really glad to have made myself and my family go through this process and thrilled that you guys have done it too!! We have proved to ourselves that it is possible and indeed straightforward to slim your bin in Shropshire. So armed with the findings of our trial I am really keen to roll it out to more people in the New Year. People thought we should produce a ten point guide to the Rubbish Diet Challenge The Guide would start with all the benefits: No more smelly bins No more worries about missing the bin men Saving money by not wasting food Less money spent on bin liners! Council Tax going further if less has to be spent on landfilling stuff As well as the overall impact of using resources more wisely saves energy, saves landfill space and saves raw materials All leading to a happier planet! Then we can take the Rubbish Diet challenge to different people... Tina and I are thinking about trying to get Meole Brace School on board in the New Year. Gill is thinking about getting her choir on board Katharine had a great idea of taking it to a Young Professional Forum Could you get a friend, a neighbour, work colleagues on board - or would your club, guide pack or football team be up for a challenge? Have a think and let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions, comments or bin weights.... Many thanks and best wishes ali

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