Mrs Green’s six stories on Sunday

Filed in Blog by on October 18, 2009 4 Comments
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How to reduce, reuse and recycle for a zero waste future

How to reduce, reuse and recycle for a zero waste future

Happy Sunday everyone!

It’s been a great week at zero waste towers and now it’s time to share some fabulous reduce, reuse, recycle and compost stories from around the globe.

Each one takes us a step further towards a zero waste future.

More cars to be scrapped

After the resounding success of the Government’s car scrappage scheme, they have ploughed another £100 million to extend the campaign. This means another 100,000 vehicles can be scrapped for greener alternatives.

I’m really not sure how I feel about this. Surely it takes a massive amount of energy and resources to build and ship a new car, even if it does delivery more miles per gallon? And what about all the car waste from simply scrapping cars that are more than eight years old?

Our car is older than that and is in excellent condition and we get between 45 and 60 mpg depending on the type of journey.

I’m all in favour of more environmentally friendly transport, but I’m not in favour of buying a new car just for the sake of it. What do you think?

Abel and Col ditch polystyrene

Up until now, Abel and Cole have used polystyrene to insulate goods when delivering dairy products.

Now they have switched to woolcool, which is made from sheeps wool. Woolcool can be reused, and at the end of its life is biodegradable.

Abel and Cole’s switch to a more environmentally friendly alternative to polystyrene will save the equiavalent of 87 forty-foot trailers of polystyrene every year!

Read more about it with “Organic food firm adopts wool packaging

Repurpose junk mail

I love Alea’s post this week about making the most of junk mail.

We all hate it and despite our best efforts we still get some in the post. Alea shows us how she reuses hers so that it doesn’t become a totally wasted resource.

As well as using the backs for writing shopping lists, she shares some wonderfully creative ways to make tags, bookmarks and collages.

Check out her “making the most of junk mail” post.

Hilary Benn speaks about recycling

At the Labour party conference in Brighton this week, Hilary Benn spoke about the need for more packaging recycling.

Benn told delegates that it was necessary to “value and use everything around us” and stop thinking about things as rubbish and sending it to landfill.

We’ve talked about Hilary Benn’s “War on waste” campaign on the site before, so let’s see if his desire more packaging recycling comes into fruition.

Read more with “No sense in dumping food waste and aluminium into the landfill”

DIY stores to reduce packaging waste

Six of the UK’s top DIY retailers have agreed to work together to halve the amount of packaging they and their customers send to landfill by 2012.

The voluntary industry initiative, signed by the top five home improvement retailers – Wickes, B&Q, Homebase, Argos and Focus – aims for a 50 per cent reduction in waste sent to landfill by the end of 2012, against a 2007 baseline, as well as a 15 per cent reduction in packaging used. It is also looking at ways to help consumers recycle more.

Plans include reduction of packaging on own label and direct sourced products through improved design and easier to recycle packaging, as well as a wider adoption of re-useable systems in the supply chain and home deliveries. It will also examine the adoption of concentrated products or refillable systems.

Read more about the plans with “DIY retailers pledge to halve packaging waste“.

Zero waste Singapore

I met Eugene who runs the fabulous Zero Waste Singapore site this week!

Zero Waste Singapore is an online community dedicated to help Singapore eliminate the concept of waste and move towards the goal of zero waste.

Their aim is to educate individuals, communities and businesses on Zero Waste and the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), and to help them take action through useful information, news, tips and resources.

They also support the work of the National Environment Agency, organisations, schools and businesses involved in waste minimisation.

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (4)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Eugene on ZeroWasteSG is promoting our common agenda with, for example, an offer to help others in Singapore find ways to recycle difficult items. The worldwide scope of Zero Waste is evident and good contacts in all parts of the world can only strengthen the move to sustainable practice.

    Things are moving on the political front, after previous ‘wait and see’ attitudes. Hilary Benn could move the process forward which would benefit our aims. There are big challenges ahead, the biggest probably encouraging more people to take part. Commingled, previously co-mingled, collections allow ease of use and have achieved sizeable increases in recyclate amounts. I think this will become standard though waste output is a factor which needs thorough investigation to minimise it.

    It is good to see DIY/Garden centres aim to reduce waste. If they accepted returns for reprocessing, that would remove many items of home waste eg paint trays, packaged item trays, plant pots (these can be reused at home of course). We can all do our bit by highlighting progress as with other situations.

  2. Mrs Green says:

    Morning John, I think it’s great to see what people are doing across the world, to support them and to share ideas. Eugene’s site is great and really well put together with lots of interesting information.

    I’m so pleased about the DIY stores too – knowing that the construction industry is one of the most wasteful, this is a welcome step in the right direction.

  3. LJayne says:

    The car thing is a difficult one I think. Modern cars are much greener in terms of build compared to old ones. Like new white goods being A rated instead of an old D rated one, for instance. So I think the question of whether you hang onto the old one until it goes caput, for the longevity argument, or whether you trade up for one that may, overall, do less harm because it already runs far better than the old one ever could, is complicated.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @LJayne: Hi Lesley, I agree it’s a very difficult decision. I err towards keeping the old cars until they are landfilled personally, because of the huge amount of resources used in making new – but it’s not clear cut….

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