PM awards Bury Free Press rubbish writer Karen

Anti waste campaigner Karen Cannard ANL-160802-155447009
Anti waste campaigner Karen Cannard ANL-160802-155447009

Bury Free Press columnist Karen Cannard, who challenges the nation to take The Rubbish Diet and recycle, has been named a ‘Point of Light’ by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Karen Cannard from Bury St Edmunds started The Rubbish Diet blog in 2008 and has challenged an online community, now of more than 3,500 members, to cut down their rubbish. On average, members reduce their black bin waste by 33 per cent, and have saved 600,000 wheelie bins (over 1200 tonnes) from landfill.

Karen, 47, a mum of two, is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their achievements.

In 2008, Karen volunteered for St Edmundsbury’s Zero Waste Week Challenge and in an eight week trial threw away just one plaster.

She went on to establish The Rubbish Diet, to share her ideas with the community.

The Rubbish Diet blog sends emails to members with tips and advice on how to reduce waste and has a forum for members which answers questions, solves problems and shares successes.

David Cameron said: “Her work has helped to keep hundreds of tonnes of rubbish out of landfill, as well as helping families to reduce food waste and save money. Karen’s commitment to tackling waste is outstanding.”

Karen, the 509th Points of Light winner, said: “It’s a real honour to have been recognised for this award. With recycling rates flat-lining and food waste being such a significant issue, every positive change we can make at home is now vital.

“I am proud of how many people The Rubbish Diet has helped. We try to make reducing waste as easy as possible for our dieters whilst also calling for changes in design and better reuse and recycling systems.”

Bury MP Jo Churchill said:“Karen’s contribution to our local community in Bury St Edmunds has been immense and her dedication to promoting a more sustainable lifestyle is outstanding.

“I would go as far as to describe her as a ‘one woman wonder’. She thoroughly deserves the recognition of the Point of Light Award.”