The Greening Campaign Hits Westminster

I am cross. I returned from a walk yesterday to see a guy throw a cigarette
packet out of his car window onto the street outside our home. I was so angry
that, after I’d retrieved it, I almost chased him down the road and threw it
back into his car as his window was still open. But it dawned on me that doing
so might distract him from driving. What is the matter with people like that? He wasn’t a young man – he was
middle-aged and, at the risk of sounding like an old fogey myself, should have
known better. Didn’t he know that the cardboard packet can be recycled anyway,
although the silver paper inside can’t? To witness somebody do that so casually
on your doorstep leaves you with a horrible sensation. It makes you feel as
though that person actually thinks of your neighbourhood as a rubbish dump.

Fortunately this chap is in the minority in our town. I have been really
impressed by the response to the local environmental initiative I’m involved
with, the Billericay Greening Campaign, and our forthcoming ‘green day’, despite
the fact that every summer event here seems to fall on the same day. Children at
our local junior schools produced some beautiful posters for the event in our poster competition and many of them are taking part in a fancy
dress contest of outfits made from recycled materials. The competition, which
will no doubt be hotly contested, will be judged by our local MP John Baron.

There are many community groups which will be attending, making presentations
and running activities, from making draught excluders to producing handicrafts
using recycled materials. Plus some individuals have even come to us with their
ideas for other longer-term environmental initiatives in the town. I can’t tell
you about them at the moment as they’re a work in progress, but I’m incredibly
impressed that people have taken the time and effort to think them up and try to
make them a reality.

And what’s more, what’s happening in our town is soon to reach the ears of
the powers that be at Westminster. Last week I received a phone call from my ‘Green Voice’ contacts at the Energy Saving
Trust
. “Would you mind making a speech for us at an event we’re holding?” he
asked. “Of course,” I said. “Great,” said my contact. “We want you to speak at a
parliamentary event we’re running for new MPs. Most of them will be there and so
will the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne. Is that alright?” “Er, sure,” I heard
myself stuttering in reply. “No problem.” No pressure then?!

The Energy Saving Trust want more MPs to work with the Trust’s green
ambassadors – hardworking volunteers who set an example of how to live a green
lifestyle in their local communities – to encourage people to save energy and
reduce waste. (Click on these links if you want to find out more about the green ambassadors and the EST’s green
communities
initiative) And they want me to talk about my experiences of
working with my MP and local groups.

I’m speaking to our right honourable friends tonight, so I’ll let you know
how I get on. Wish me luck!

What kind of green initiatives would you like to see in your local
community? Are you involved in something already? If so, leave a message and
tell me all as I’d love to hear about it.

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8 Responses to The Greening Campaign Hits Westminster

  1. Pratab says:

    Your opening paragraph made my blood boil. I\’ve witnessed this myself, in northampton and Milton keynes. I\’ve even seen a smoker open her car door and empty the contents of an ashtray on the roadside while waiting for traffic lights to change.There have been cases of people being fined for dropping litter (including cigarette butts). However, they require an officer of the law to be present.

  2. Bill says:

    Sorry Pratab, but coppers are almost as rare as Public Conveniences these days. Maybe we should double their salaries, even monkeys are no longer working fers peanuts.

  3. Bill says:

    I wonder Piper, why do we not have Green recycling bins & skips in all pub car parks. There is oft enough room fers the entire range, & most supermarkets could be forced into the entire range, space permitting. Most of the excessive garbage comes from the supermarkets & fast food, also mini markets such as Tesco Express, etc., anyway. In yesteryear most of the fresh fruit & veg was weighed out loose in a scale pan, & simply poured, loose, into a Military style heavy duty shopping bag.

  4. Bill says:

    . Fresh meat, offal, & wet fish was simply wrapped in clean hygienic paper, with a few more wrappings of old newspaper. All the paper was used ter light solid fuel kitchen stoves boilers & open hearth fires. Some fruit & veg was also wrapped in old newspaper, on the assumption that we would at least wash it, or even peel it, before eating or cooking. All fast food, & other retailers, should be forced by law ter take all their garbage back.

  5. Bill says:

    Also ink cartridges can be a problem. They are all so expensive, as we have found in many charities where IT classes are held, & also IT drop-in facilities are available. The hardware firms should be forced by law ter make or consume only refillable cartridges. Clean, empty cartridges could be supplied with every printer. Much more effecient ter transport bulk ink, & ter refill cartridges in local shops.

  6. Bill says:

    Why do vehicle manufacturers still yet include ashtrays & fag lighters as standard kit in all new vehicles?It has been illegal fers anyone ter smoke in any vehicle, on the bridge of any ship, or in the cockpit of any aircraft, at least since the Geneva Convention of 1948, possibly even since the Warsaw Conference of 1925.

  7. Bill says:

    Would it be possible ter summons, charge & sentence these litter bugs by means of a quick photo\’, or even a short video?They should all be sentenced to at least a full month of unbroken Bed-Pan duty, on the bone-yard shift, possibly cleaning & changing dressings in A & E every Fri, Sat, & Sunday night.

  8. piper says:

    Thanks for all your comments. I was even more furious, Pratab, the next day when I was sure I saw the guy again show up in his car. I can\’t swear it\’s him but I think he\’s down our road doing some work for somebody. I was tempted to approach him but couldn\’t be sure it was the same guy and I\’m sure he\’d just deny it anyway. Some good points there, Bill, as always.

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