The sustainability society

In the immortal words of a great philosopher:

“It’s not easy being green.”

– Kermit the Frog

Sometimes, as you’re correctly separating out the non-recyclable waste from your neighbour’s recycling bin (after dark, so they won’t see you), trying not to overreact as your request to have your coffee in your travel mug instead of a paper cup is met with blank stares or stifled laughter, or attempting to justify to your nearest and dearest that a third jumper, hat and extra slippers are preferable to having the heating on, you can find yourself thinking that being ‘green’ can be a bit of a lonely place.

When this happens I reassure myself that I am not really alone in this – there are surely many people as curious as I – but sometimes the sheer tide of disposable packaging, litter, waste and over-consumption, can leave me feeling a bit downhearted about it all. Why isn’t everyone else angry about this as well!?

Happily I was lucky enough to meet some of these curious people last week, when we had a London Zero Waste meet-up! It came at a great time, just as I needed a bit of an inspiration boost. There’s a pic of us at the bottom of the post – Emma, Vicky (of Allotment Recipes), me and Zoe (of Eco Thrifty Living). Zoe’s website is one of the first eco blogs I found, and one of the reasons I felt inspired to started writing this blog in the first place. It was arranged via the Zero Waste Heroes Facebook group by Meg (who was sadly ill and couldn’t come in the end!), which is a lovely group whose creativity and enthusiasm for preventing waste is seriously impressive.

We discussed anything and everything zero waste over several cups of tea (obtained with varying levels of zero waste success despite our very best efforts) and cake (more successfully). It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and I left with my faith in humanity restored – people do care! Even more than I do, perhaps! Hurrah!

Whilst those of us trundling around with our travel mugs, reusable cutlery and a variety of other refillable containers may still be a minority, we are very definitely there. There are experiences to be shared and tips to recommend.

In the name of sustainability and sharing, I’ve gone and joined my local library in advance of Zoe’s next Sustainable Book Club. We’re going to be reading Simon Fairlie’s Meat – A Benign Extravagance , come join us! I also found another book to take home by Chris Goodall, How to live a low-carbon life – the individual’s guide to stopping climate change, which argues that governments and companies aren’t going to make the changes needed, and it’s up to individuals. And to a certain extent I agree, but to quote another famous group of philosophical thinkers, Monty Python:

“We’re all individuals!”

And we’re all in this together 🙂



7 thoughts on “The sustainability society

  1. This is great, and has been my ongoing motivation too. I live in a small town, and I think ZW is relatively unknown here. For me it has been super helpful to find our ZWBN group to share frustrations, successes, and just sharing the same passions and interests. I also love that these meet-ups are happening more 🙂


    1. I’m getting ready to move from London out to a smaller town, so I think everything I can learn is going to come in more and more useful – no more food waste collections or bulk/refill shops! Hopefully I won’t be the only one though 🙂 And we all have each other here!


  2. Great post Pip – I love the Kermit the Frog quote, and the “curious” description. Would you mind if I shared this post to my Allotment Recipes blog (which no longer has anything at all to do with allotments – must figure out if I can change that)? Your’s and Zoe’s posts covered our meet-up so well not sure I need to write another one from scratch. I haven’t shared a post via WordPress before so not sure if I can add any intro text but will make sure it is properly attributed to you.


  3. So fun! I recently hosted a zero waste meetup in the U.S., and I think we all felt the same way as you – grateful for kinship & the ability to swap tips/share ideas with people who just get it.


    1. Yes, so nice to feel like part of a movement rather than the odd one out for once! Great to hear others are doing it too. Love your composting post by the way, so lucky to have a pick-up service!


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