Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pack up your troubles...

Yes, pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag, as Murray Johnson sang this World War 1 song in 1916.

I need to remember to smile, smile, smile as I suffer from an unfortunate bout of labyrinthitis. Not very nice, feel like I am half drunk/dizzy so need to be careful I dont bend down or up or make any sudden movements too much. Hmmmm...anyway, I will try to ignore that and focus on relaxing, resting, and the odd bit of campaigning on green issues.....

So keeping to the packing theme (I am so imaginative, aren't I?), here's some tips for you all if you would like to reduce your impact on the environment and help to stem the growth of huge plastic package mountains. Packaging on food and commodities is mostly rather wasteful and unnecessary.

Think not only of the end packaging-product which you promptly throw in the bin to go to landfill; but think also of the journey it made to reach landfill heaven.....the resources and energy consumed to make, manufacture and transport it.

So we can all do our bit. For example:

- Buy loose fruit and veg
- Recycle our bags to hold products together (see my earlier blog entry)
- Look for packaging which is recycled, or recyclable, and recycle it too
- Choose products with compostable packaging if you can, like ones made out of cornstarch
- Ask the information desk at your local supermarket if they will take back the packaging you don't need or want. Who knows, this may send a clear message to supermarkets that excess, unnecessary packaging should be their responsibility to sort out
- Write to your local supermarket and ask them to use more recycled and compostible packaging. The technology is there so is there really any excuse these days?


Maylis & Hugh said...

Hi, and hope you feel better soon. :-)

barbara said...

Hi Abby,
I'am sorry to hear that you are not feeling well.That is the first time that I have heard of labyrinthisis. I hope that your body will get rid of that bug !
So rest up and get well soon :)

I'am proud to report that we no longer bring back any plastic bags from the local supermarket.Bringing our own bags since February ! I know that is just one supermarket, but multiplied by all the others ( the "Atac " chain and it's mother company, Auchan ).
That's already a significant reduction.And I'am ready to continue the habit.

Hey Abby, if you feel up to it, I prepared my 5 thinking blogger questions. To interview you for my blog !
If you would rather wait until feeling better, that's fine.
Mail me at :

See you soon.

seev said...

Yes, I hope you're feeling better too, GreenAbby.

Some very good advice in this post, and that picture of the bulldozer on top of that packaging mountain really caught my eye. A very good demonstration!

barbara said...

Hi Abby,
How are you feeling ? Better, I hope.
Did you get my last comment ( on this post ? ). I'am leaving you my
e-mail address; I tagged you too !
But, this to interview you, one of my thinking bloggers :)
I have 5 questions waiting for you
if you would like to participate.

I'am at : barb92(at)
Mail me at your private e-mail address and I will get back to you.

Take care.

Joyce Hopewell said...

Today I bought mushrooms & bunched radishes in the local supermarket & baulked at taking them home in their excess packaging. Both were packed in a deep plastic box and covered with a clear plastic wrapper.

I pointed this excess packaging out to a supervisor & told her that I'd already written to the firm's head office about excess packaging of goods (making the point that in France, things have been more eco-aware for some time!). I said I didn't want the packaging as I'd be the one who had to recycle it, and as yet, we have no kerbside plastic recycling in our area.

She took me to customer services where the food was emptied into a (plastic!) bag (I said I'd have preferred paper which can be recycled properly, but I can use the plastic bag as a bin liner). Then I filled in a customer comment sheet so that this and the packaging I rejected could be forwarded to head office.

I felt better after all of that - I noticed a woman nearby giving me strange dirty looks as she overhead what was going on ( never mind, dear, it was an education for you...!) but I suspect I may be back in the future with more packaging I don't want!

GreenAbby said...

Good on you Mum!

Joyce Hopewell said...

Update on my excess packaging saga - big bod from head office on phone today wanting to discuss! Nice chat, learned from him what the store is already doing & what they hope to do in future. Explained I'd been refusing excess packaging for 34 years now (!!). He was impressed but I'm rather depressed it's only now coming into consciousness. Suggested other things the store could do locally to encourage/educate customers - felt it was a positive chat. Oh yes, and he called me a real pioneer & asked if I was a member of the W.I. (moi??! hardly...but apparently they do some good campaigning for raising eco-awareness)