Karen Cannard is the creator of The Rubbish Diet, an easy-to-follow challenge that inspires households to dramatically reduce their waste within just a few weeks.
What began as an ‘average housewife’s blog, with entertaining stories about her attempt at a Zero Waste Week in March 2008 when all she threw out was a plaster, has developed into an engaging online format, where most householders who attempt The Rubbish Diet challenge reduce their waste by over 40% and some by much more.
Karen’s natural curiosity and infectious enthusiasm regularly tempts her away from her own kitchen bin to investigate what actually happens to our waste, researching new technologies and social changes that are moving us towards a zero waste society. As well as being a founding director of The Rubbish Diet Challenge partnership, with community think-tank Cwm Harry, she is also a trustee of ReusefulUK and Sustainable Bury, and a columnist for the Bury Free Press. Recently she has joined the judging panel for the UK’s Zero Waste Awards and has become a volunteer member of the Master Composters network.
She has presented at Zero Waste conferences at European Parliament, in San Francisco and at industry events in the UK. In 2012, Karen was featured as a newcomer in the Resource Magazine’s Hot 100 of people making a difference in the resource industry. In 2013 & 2014, she was listed in the Top 10.
She is BBC Radio Suffolk’s Bin Doctor and is also a frequent contributor on BBC London and BBC Radio Wales. Karen has also appeared on Woman’s Hour, The One Show, C4’s Dispatches and ITV1’s Tonight documentary ‘Throwaway Britain’, where she helped a family reduce their waste by 95%.
Prior to family life and being smitten by reducing waste, Karen’s career successes were in technical writing, information management and research, where she worked and consulted in sectors that stretched across academia, public authorities, FT100 companies and music publishing. She holds a degree in Modern European Studies and a Masters in Library and Information Management.
With her roots in Wales, Karen now lives with her husband and two children in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, but can often be spotted in many other parts of the UK, always talking rubbish.
This is her personal blog.