301 green bottles standing on the wall

Well more like collecting rainwater and snails in the back of Jess’s garden – so last weekend we decided to put them in the car and lug them to the nearest recycling point (straight down the hill, I was tempted to freewheel down to make it a 100% environmentally friendly journey but it wasn’t possible).

My impromptu survey showed that the residents of Western Road more than enjoy a fine ale (brown bottles), red wine (green bottles) and sometimes even cooking with pasta sauce (a few white bottles).

I would say that I was reasonably aware of the environment and try to manage my consumption of the earth’s resources. I don’t have my own car (ok,ok so I’m insured on one but it hardly ever gets used); I cycle everywhere, I take the train (though these are hardly environmentally friendly really.), I recycle, use a terrible weak shower (ok so I’d rather have a power shower 😉 )

Us British citizens have a hard time when it comes to recycling. Generally mocked by our superior environmentally-aware European neighbours, we are told we are the landfill dumping, waste burning cretins. However there appears to be no policy on recycling. In Reading we have red boxes (collected fortnightly) which you can put newspaper, plastic (bottles only), tins BUT no glass. Sheffield has bright blue wheelie bins (collected monthly?) for newspaper and card ONLY. In the Wirral they have blue bags (had them for about 10 years now) for newspaper only. A real mish-mash.

For the rest, you may or may not have recycling facilities near to you – but don’t drive there – the petrol your card expends is probably more than the saving your used products will reduce. I tend to save up the glass for a fortnightly walk to the park. Saving the environment doesn’t come high on most businesses priority list, in fact it’s probably more of a hindrance, but I think this sector could be a real growth industry in this century as landfill sites are full and people realise they cant just live in a throwaway society. It’s virtually impossible not to throw huge amounts of stuff away each week – knowing that it’s going to waste.

I think plastic bags and bottles should have a deposit on them (10p?) – it would involve large shifts in thinking but would reduce waste and maybe make people think more about the stuff they are throwing away. This has worked well in Ireland although our government is not keen on imposing such specific green taxes.

I’d really like to have a compost heap but I’ve never lived anywhere where it’s been really feasible. It’d be good to see the waste getting broken down and reused (although I don’t like the idea of rats nesting in there)…

You can see the size of your ‘footprint’ here . I came out at 2.4 earths which I wasn’t that pleased about really. Think that is the long haul flight fuel which burns as much as 1 car does in a year!…. Quite shocking really… well maybe not from the person who has just received another ‘free’ mobile phone when the other one functions perfectly well.

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