Recycling with a social conscience: Meet Marianne Gilbert

You’d be hard pressed to find something that Marianne Gilbert can’t recycle. And we’re not talking about knowing which recycling facilities will take a worn-out or unwanted object. Marianne recycles objects into beautiful art projects, or uses them to raise money for causes close to her heart.

Marianne, who’s lived in Brentford since 1972, was born at home in Chapel Street Market, in Islington. Her family was bombed out during the war and then sent to King’s Cross to live, later moving to Islington.

Her knack for making much from little started young. When Marianne was 11 years old, she was awarded a place at a school that required a uniform. Her mother thought she would have to turn down the place because the family couldn’t afford the uniform. “Give me 10 bob [10 shillings, or about £1.20 in today's money],” Marianne said to her mother, and she went to a local market and bought the materials needed to make the uniform.

Since then, Marianne hasn’t looked back. If you’re lucky enough to have come across GLADs Club at Brentford School for Girls, you’ll have some idea of the breadth of her creativity. Continue reading

Twice a Green Champion, forever green: Meet Rukmini West

Ruk

Ruk

 

Rukmini West, BRAG’s 2011 Green Champion (see photo), should be used to awards by now. But with characteristic modesty, she says that the accolade came as a surprise, and that it has inspired her to carry on with her environmental work.

The award stemmed from Ruk’s noticing that Hounslow Council, although promoting reducing waste in its cafeteria, was using polystyrene food containers. Ruk started a campaign that led to the introduction of reusable lunch boxes.

Just three years earlier, in 2008, Ruk had been named Hounslow’s Green Champion. The award is part of the Council’s Green Guardian scheme and recognises the efforts of people who have helped raise environmental awareness and supported green initiatives in the community.

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BRAG’s 10th AGM

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BRAG picnics in Boston Manor Park

Boston Manor Park

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Thames21 River clean up

Supermarket trolley

Supermarket trolley

Thames 21 regularly hold clean up days along the Thames foreshore.

This spectacular sequence of photos shows the mammoth amount of effort volunteers put in, as well as the organising team, to clear up the phenomenal amount of rubbish.

To find out dates of further clean ups visit Thames21

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