News and Views
Sharing ideas, creating discussion.Ideas, opinions and stories that inform, inspire and create discussion around wasting less and living more. Become a guest blogger.
Lunchtime – the grab-and-go, eat alone and quick lunch in Styrofoam culture has overtaken our midday break, every day. Most of us spend a great portion of our lunchtime stood in the queue at our nearest deli outlet, counting down the hands on the clock until we have to return to the workplace. What we pick out is demoralizing: the same as what we bought yesterday and the day before, the identical ‘Supergreen’ sandwich in a not so green cocoon of throwaway paper and plastic. The drone of monotony extends to our knowingness that we were stood at exactly the same spot in the queue at the same time of 12:47 yesterday, which means we would have to eat on the move back to work again. An exchange of coins follows and we feel cheated that we could have made the sandwich ourselves for less. In the rushed last chew, we might even forget to recycle the materials, but that is just the price of convenience.
I love mending my clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a towering pile of mending in my mending basket, and I still procrastinate like mad over actually getting on and doing it, but still I love it.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption — approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted. In industrialized countries, where consumers’ behaviour plays a crucial role, the food losses and wastes amounts to almost US$ 680 billion – every year!
Litter is my life right now. I spend many hours a week picking litter off beaches, river estuaries and the streets and green space that surround them, with a dedicated bunch of volunteers. This is all in aid of a North West focussed campaign called LOVEmyBEACH, in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy’s BeachCare, which inspires people to love their local beach and do their bit to help look after it.
How can we be encouraged to use less plastic when so many of our household products are packaged in the stuff? How do we quit the coffee cup habit in a country that gets through 2.5 billion a year? How do we encourage others to repair their old furniture, clothes and electricals? Ultimately, how can we be nudged into making wasting less and living more engrained in our daily lives?
Composting at home is a great idea for a number of reasons. Once you’re up and running it can require very little work, will have a positive impact on the environment and can be a lot of fun if you’re a keen gardener.
Receiving the Young Green Consumer Guide as a birthday present way back in the early 1990s was a bit of a watershed for me. Reading it helped me to understand the links between the things I did at home and at school, with their impacts on the planet. With its non-patronising tone and fun illustrations, this book was the making of the young environmentalist in me.
I was going to tell you about this sooner… National Cream Tea Day. This year it happened to fall on the 24th June, which would have been great, but the EU Referendum vote for Brexit made my heart sink, and tea and cake just seemed so frivolous.
The 2016 Rio Olympics may be over but we’re going for gold this September with a month of action to encourage people to recycle more, waste less and take up the challenge for sustainable living. We will be working with Zero Waste Week (5 – 9 Sept) and Recycle Week (12 – 18 Sept) to link activities and messages across the whole month.