An update on my rubbish challenge

recycled plastic milk and water bottlesWe’re nearing the end of April already. If you’ve followed previous posts, you’ll see that I signed up for a few challenges to keep me occupied. And have I learned alot about myself in this time!

I set myself a Rubbish Challenge. I wanted to reduce our one dustbin of rubbish a week to one swing bin liner. Inspired by the amazing woman, Almost Mrs Average, I was sure this would be easily achieved.

Hear my confession and weep, dear readers…………

Week one went brilliantly, I set up a recycling system that really does work for us, meticulously separated everything, went through the bin like the police after anyone had added anything, and at the end of the week we did indeed have just one swing bin liner full of rubbish.

Week two I thought I would look at the things we were throwing away to see where we could make better choices. For instance, could I start taking a reusable plastic container to the butchers instead of having things put into a use-once plastic bag? Could I make yogurt instead of buying it in containers that can’t be recycled? (there are only so many washed out yogurt pots one can find use for). I had good intentions and all my own answers but……….

Weeks three and four have been RUBBISH! We’re back up to a dustbin full a week and I don’t know where it’s gone wrong. Well, actually I do – it’s nothing more than laziness. I keep getting sucked into my old habits of looking for ‘convenience’ in everything, I’vemetal dustbin at Chez green been tired, been busy and geesh, this is just so embarrassing, but I’m simply thrown things away and made bad choices.

it’s so easy isn’t it? That big lorry comes along every week and take my rubbish to that place called ‘away’ that we all know doesn’t exist but we adopt an attitude of ‘out of sight out of mind’. I kind of wish I had the courage to do as Almost Mrs Average did and go and visit our landfill site because I’m sure that experience would bring about a radical lifestyle shift for me.

We have stacks of recycling; nothing is going into the bin that can’t be recycled (I think), but I’m not going through it, checking to see what Mr Green is putting in there or paying much attention to it to be honest. And I do know that I’ve been putting kitchen peelings in there <hangs head in shame>.

Yep, that old lazy excuse again; the weather has been crappy, the ground is like a bog in our garden and I’m just not making the effort to take my scraps to the compost heap – groan.

I feel like Mrs Not very Green at the moment.

More on my other challenges before the month is out……..


  1. verde on April 28, 2008 at 8:54 am

    With cup of coffee in hand I’m visiting around green sites and saying hello.

    My thoughts on your post would be to say, don’t get discouraged. Today is a new day, a new week and you can start fresh anew. You have great ideas and you will make a differeance in this world.

    Of course that’s easy for me to say because the sun is shining here.

  2. Joyce on April 28, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Buck up Mrs. Green, your’e only human! At least you are thinking about it and trying!

  3. Mrs Green on April 28, 2008 at 10:59 am

    How lovely to see you with coffee cup in hand, with the sun streaming through your hair. Thank you for your words and for reaching out with kindness.

    Thank you Joyce; it would seem I am more adept at beating myself up for my short comings than sorting out my rubbish 😀

    The dustbin gets collected on Wednesdays, so I will start renewed on Thursday.

    Blessings to you both,
    Mrs Green x

  4. russell on April 29, 2008 at 3:53 am

    Mrs Green, you are too hard on yourself! Rome wasn’t built in a day, little by little you can reduce your waste. You are an inspiration to others and your honesty is reality – it will be heartening to others that we all struggle regardless of our best intentions – life seems to be so busy. So, have a ‘positive pause’ and reflect on all that you DO do.

  5. Mrs Green on April 29, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Thank you Russell. I admit to having a touch of ‘perfectionist’ in my psyche that likes to trip me up. It’s a good reminder to stop and have a ‘positive pause’ – I like that – you’re right in that our lives are sometimes just so busy we forget to focus on the positive.

    I’ll take five minutes right now to focus on all I have done today.

    Thank you 🙂

    Mrs G x

  6. Melissa on April 30, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Mrs. Green,
    You are being way to hard on yourself! Take each day as it comes and take solace in the fact that you are trying to make a change. Real change takes time.
    Also, don’t forget the things you ARE accomplishing. This wonderful site for one. It’s a source of inspiration for folks like me who are further behind on the path of becoming green.

    And finally, Good Luck to you on this upcoming week.

  7. Almost Mrs Average on May 18, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Hello again Mrs Green…I agree with all the other folks. You’re fab, so no need to worry! Anyway, I’ve got an idea which I’d like to chat to you about…can you drop me a line at [email protected] and I’ll talk you through it ;-D xxxxx Karen

  8. Pat on August 5, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I loved reading your blog, it was honest and realistic. I think we all try really hard and we all fail sometimes, we are only human after all. There are many people out there who don’t try at all, so you are an inspiration. Well done and keep trying and I will too. Pat x

  9. Mrs Green on August 11, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Pat,

    Welcome – it’s lovely to see you here. We’re certainly continuing with our challenge and now are putting out less than a carrier bag a week of landfill waste. So I’m delighted with our progress. It’s baby steps all the way.

    The first week in September sees us facing a ‘zero waste week’!

    We’re much more confident now, although it won’t be without its challenges.