Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Recycling and Refugee week: pledges and tags

Well, there's a week for everything, and most bypass me.
Now there are two causes close to my heart and it's clear I'm already late for cause one and won't do either of them the justice they deserve.

It's Refugee Week this week and Recycle Week next week.

As always, Refugee Week has a fabulous programme of events, even here in sunny Glasgow, because Glasgow signed a contract 8 years ago to have a significant number of asylum seekers dispersed to the land of deep fried mars bars, to give asylum seekers the unmissable experience of perpetual rain, misery, incomprehensible taxi drivers and deep fried everything food. Apparently, the Scots are welcoming people, so some asylum seekers who got refugee status didn't get the first possible train back to London once they could. So we actually have quite a vibrant refugee community (communities really, because refugees are rather diverse) in Glasgow. And a great programme of events for Refugee Week.

The following week, same first letter, and the mummy blogosphere has embraced Recycle Week, kickstarted by Karen who blogs on The Rubbish Diet. There's great pledges to be made on a website. And even though I haven't been tagged yet, I couldn't resist the rather ingenious idea of making a pledge and then tagging a few fellow bloggers to do the same. I struggled a bit with the selection of pledges which are a bit thinly spread, and to find something which was a challenge, but a realistic one at that (no way I won't produce rubbish for a day, however, I already recycle a lot as it is) - there was little question that it would have to be:

Reuse carrier bags when shopping. Above all, don't get new ones from the shops. If I don't do it for the full week, I'll not be able to eat chocolate for a day. Or maybe even a week, depending on how masochistic I decide to be.

Coming from the European champion of recycling (if nothing else), Germany, I've been primed in supporting recycling. Except for one area where I seriously lapsed in the past 13 years living in Ireland and the UK. When still in Germany, I never ever used a plastic bag. Now, I never ever not use a plastic bag. It's my big environmental vice. Admittedly, every carrier bag does get recycled in our household, as bin bags, nappy bags etc. When I order online, I go for the no bag option. But I still don't use bags for life or rucksacks for shopping. This is something that I should change and that I can change.

Recycling Week will feature on this blog with a few tips on how to be more environmentally friendly. It's not just about recycling, but also about trying not to consume so much, which at times is more important than throwing your cans into a different bin.

Talking about which: We have two bins, one for general waste and one for recycling waste. The latter, blue in colour, exists in other parts of Scotland. Strangely though, what goes in varies greatly from council to council. Now this is something that is rather annoying. Our blue bin takes plastic bottles (no caps), tins, cans, paper (no cardboard and no envelopes). That's it. Blue bins in other councils take more types of plastic and cardboard. As far as I can see, Glasgow City Council can improve on the percentage of waste recycled and it's beyond my ken why the biggest council of Scotland is unable to recycle the same types of materials that a tiny council such as Clackmannanshire can. Other than that, it's enfuriating that I have to check labels on blue bins everytime to make sure I recycle as much as I can and don't spoil the bin with something that doesn't belong there.

Moan over, watch this space for some practical green tips.

And I tag:

Noble Savage
Cave Mother
Brit in Bosnia
Fab Brunette

Are we nearly there yet mummy?
PhD in Parenting
Southside Yarns

refraining myself from tagging Irish Mummy on the Run (but consider yourself tagged if you have the time right now for this)


Kathleen said...

Hi there,
I consider myself well and duly tagged!

Isn't it crazy that our blue bins don't take glass here in Glasgow district? I know there are separate bottle banks here and there but I thought the council was meant to make it easier for us to recycle??? You're right about the cardboard of course. x K


Yay...this is fab! Thank you so much for popping over to the site today and joining in. What a brilliant pledge too. Good luck with it, it took me ages to get into practice to remember my bags...weeks even, so I know what you'll be going through. But gee, the thought of not eating chocolate, that would be enough to encourage me along.

And I bet you could manage a rubbish-free day too (when the pressure's off, of course). It's much easier than it sounds.

Anyway, thanks also to all those who decide to pick up the tag. It's really exciting to see who's getting involved.

It'd be great to find out about everyone's pledges too so please feel free to drop a link to your pledges at

It'd be great to hear from you.

In the meantime, I look forward to popping back soon to see how you get on. I'm sure it's going to be a fun week. :-D

A Modern Mother said...

Glad to see your joining in the fun!

Margarita said...

Thanks for tagging me, I will definitely post on my site :)

cartside said...

Kathleen, great that you're joining! Well, the glass... yep, I agree it would be nice to be able to put it into blue bins but I also have this panic they may give us a third bin just for glass by which time our tiny garden would be a bin shed. I don't mind walking to the bottle bank (and a year ago we had to put the blue bin stuff into a nearby recycling point) - I'm lucky though it's on the way to the swing park, so no hassle.

Margarita, super, great that you'll join too!

Karen, I'm intrigued by going rubbish free, will definitely look into it. Maybe more along the lines of reducing it significantly. Not next week though, it's a busy one.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Ok - I'm taking this on. It will be interesting. Bosnia doesn't do recycling, which is somewhat styming my ability to pledge anything. What I wanted to pledge was that I would go and see if there is such a thing as a composting bin available so we could start composting, but that wasn't an option. So I've had to go for the carrier bags. This could be interesting...


It'd be great to chat about your rubbish-reducing plans sometime, just give me a shout when you're ready. It's just like following a diet plan but for your bin :-D

By the look of your latest blogpost, you look like you're well on the way



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