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.
energy,billericay greening campaign,chris huhne,green