Karen Cannard: Returning home, to Mum’s mantra

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To be honest, I could have done with putting my feet up at the end of the recent Rubbish Diet campaign, but instead I found myself in the middle of a challenge that was much tougher than any of my waste-busting antics so far – clearing out my late mother’s house, ready to finalise its sale.

One moment I was in the BBC Radio Suffolk studio, celebrating the achievements of the households and organisations that took part, the next, I was over 200 miles away staring at the last of my mother’s belongings, the memories reawakening.

It was my mother who taught me the rights and wrongs of waste, with the waste-not-want-not mantra reinforced throughout my 70s childhood, only like many, to be discarded with wild abandon once I earned myself a good job with a great disposable income. It’s taken two decades to maturely return to my childhood family values.

It feels like ‘waste-not-want-not’ is now all grown-up too. No longer a finger-wagging brow-beating command, these days watching your waste has become a tempting siren of innovation and opportunity.

And the success stories of the BBC Radio Suffolk bin-slimming campaign have shown just that, reducing the landfill contributions for all concerned, helping our Council Tax go further and enabling organisations to save money too. We’re a little way from it just now but it’s more widely forecast that achieving a UK recycling rate of 70 per cent could even translate into 50,000 new jobs.

I am confident that if we used our county’s facilities to their full potential we could achieve that 70 per cent in Suffolk alone.

Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, a huge thank you to everyone who followed or participated in the BBC Radio Suffolk Rubbish Diet. It was great and whether you reduced your waste by 10, 50, 60 or as much as 75 per cent, you have all been truly marvellous!

-- See how the Bury Free Press’ Lesley Anslow got on with her Rubbish Diet – www.lesleyrubbishdiet.blogspot.com