KAREN CANNARD: Kirsty’s rubbish diet has been such fun

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A personal view
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Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who came to the Love Food Hate Waste evening at Cafe del Mar, in Bury St Edmunds.

Great tips were shared by Emma Barnett, from WRAP, who highlighted the environmental and financial impacts of food waste and the small steps that can be taken to reduce it. Meanwhile, the food served by Maria and team was delicious and, in true Ready Steady Cook fashion, a real feast was created from simple ingredients taken along by workshop attendees.

Organised in conjunction with Sustainable Bury and Cafe del Mar, it was an entertaining evening. Just reading the blog at Cafe del Mar’s website has set my creative juices flowing for more culinary fun (see www.cafedelmarltd.com).

Now on the subject of fun, it’s been another exciting month in the world of rubbish, especially as one of my favourite personalities in Bury St Edmunds accepted The Rubbish Diet challenge and allowed herself to be filmed.

The slimmer in question was none other than Suffolk’s Kirsty Hudson, who runs The Comedy Market at the Hunter Club. It was a brave decision to let me rummage through her rubbish on camera during time-off from the stage.

But she made it interesting, and for anyone who heard me say on last year’s Tonight programme that going through people’s bins wasn’t my favourite hobby, the first video of Kirsty’s Rubbish Diet challenge demonstrates otherwise.

Kirsty’s rubbish may have honked to high heaven but the great thing about huge smelly bins is there’s so much material to work with. And over just a few weeks, attacking her family’s waste from all angles, the Hudson rubbish bin began to slim and very quickly too.

The first step was to see how much rubbish could have been recycled either through the council’s blue bin system or at the Rougham Hill Recycling Centre. A quick look at West Suffolk’s latest leaflets and a check of Suffolk Recycling’s online A-Z answered most questions (www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk). And as Kirsty’s video diary showed, it was then a case of sorting out the bins at home and getting the family on board.

The next challenge was a rescue mission to minimise food waste, followed by tricks to reduce waste while shopping. Subsequent episodes then took us out into Bury St Edmunds, highlighting Raspberry Rascals as a great place for selling and buying pre-loved toys and children’s clothes following Kirsty’s declutter.

For her final challenge, a Zero Waste Week, we took the opportunity to check out some of the facilities around town. Featuring on-street recycling bins and cafés such as Abbeygate Cinema which recycles its glass bottles and offers ‘doggy bags’, our experience provided a snapshot of some town centre practises that help us reduce our waste footprint when we’re out and about in Bury.

Working with local film-maker and editor Linzi Stivey, all the films are now complete and most episodes are available online, thanks to funding and support from Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer’s locality budget, Sustainable Bury and the Bury Free Press. The short films can be viewed via the Bury Free Press website or at www.therubbishdiet.org.uk/regions/suffolk-blog/.

It was fun fun working with Kirsty. To discover how much was left in her bin by the end of her challenge, watch the final episode, which will be published next Friday.

And in good Ice Bucket Challenge style, if you want to nominate your own bin for a spot of slimming, just let me know.

Here’s Kirsty’s take : “When asked to do the rubbish diet, that’s exactly what I thought – rubbish, you’re not getting me near a stinky bin. Turns out, when you start looking closely in your rubbish you realise how little you need to throw in the black bin. It’s crazy... it works.”

An extra thank you to BBC Suffolk and Lesley Dolphin for inviting me on to her show this week as her guest for ‘A week in the life of’.

If you’d like to be featured too, Lesley and team would love to hear from you.