Swap rather than shop and take the first steps towards thrifty living

Creating the Greenest County Awards - winners

Creating the Greenest County Awards - winners - Credit: Archant

It’s been a good day. A happy, smiley, positive day when it’s a bit easier to believe the world is a gentle place, full of the possibilities that usually only children can readily believe in, writes Sheena Grant.

Sheena has embarked on a challenge of being thriftier - reusing, reducing and recycling in order to save money and protect our planet.

She continues, it’s all thanks to an awards ceremony I attended that recognised the work of some truly inspirational people, many of whom were motivated by the sort of things I bang on about in this column week after week - community, ethical living, saving the planet’s resources and focusing on the things that really matter rather than fluff of everyday consumerism.

But there is one huge difference between all of them and me. While I mainly talk about my good intentions and islands of small success in an all-too wide sea of failure, they have got on and done things. Often in a big way.

The Suffolk - Creating the Greenest County awards, held at Snape Maltings on Wednesday, recognised the achievements of people who have set up community renewable energy schemes, businesses that have cut their carbon footprint, community woodland schemes, conservation groups and my own personal thrifty favourite, recycling schemes.

Greener Fram, an organisation I mentioned in an earlier column after being alerted to its brilliant Swap or Mend mornings by reader Jean Clarkson, won an award. Like all great ideas, these Swap or Mend mornings are simplicity itself. Unwanted items are swapped for things you do want, broken items are mended and less goes to landfill. A sense of community is created and money and resources saved.

“Instead of throwing things away people are bringing them to Swap and Mend,” the award winners told us. “Greener Fram is a community project, taking action for a positive future, finding ways to save energy, money, have fun and help our area of Suffolk become even greener.”

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The judges said Greener Fram had created a blueprint for others to follow. And that was the theme of the day really. See what can be done if you put your mind to it. And then have a go yourself.

Email Sheena Grant or tweet using #ThriftyLiving.

See more from Sheena Grant here