Waste

The UK generated 221.0 million tonnes of total waste in 2016, with England responsible for 85% of the UK total. To put that into context a small car weighs about 1 tonne. The great Pyramid of Giza weights about 6.5 million tonnes – so that’s over 33 pyramids per year.

Waste not only takes up lots of space and contains a mixture of chemicals, as it decomposes some of the waste produces methane. Methane is 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the planet.

Buildings

Visit the Eastbourne and Seaford Eco Homes website for ideas to save energy and resources in your home.

The website contains tips, links to resources and videos from experts and from home owners personal experiences of eco measures they’ve taken in their homes.

https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/ecohomes/2021/09/21/saving-energy-in-your-home/

By Jill Shacklock, ecoactioneb.co.uk

Clothes

The production, use and disposal of clothes represents the fifth-biggest environmental footprint of any UK business sector. Around 350,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year. 30% of clothing in wardrobes has not been worn for at least a year.

Simple steps to make a difference:

  • Avoid “fast fashion” by choosing higher quality, more ethically sourced clothes. These often cost more but are made to last.
  • Repairing, restyling or swapping clothes are all great ways to get a ‘new’ clothes without buying them!
  • Look for second hand bargains. This is a great way to get high quality clothes at an affordable price.
  • Give your used clothes to charity. There are lots of charity shops in Seaford high street which accept donated clothes. There are also clothing banks at the Buckle car park and next to Claremont shops.
Excess packaging

Packaging

We’ve all seen unnecessary packaging: A plastic wrapped banana, “russian doll” cardboard boxes, 3 peppers in a plastic bag costing more than 3 loose.

Here are a few simple ways to save on packaging:

  • Don’t buy it! Make food or a drink at home to take out with you.
  • Install the Refill app on your phone to find out where nearby will fill your water bottle for free. The app will also tell you where you can shop plastic free and use your reusable lunch box when buying your lunch out.
  • Buying loose vegetables rather than in a bag. Some supermarkets will sell you a reusable net bag – or you could make your own! Maybe try the local shops and farmers markets.
  • Buying bulk can cut down on packaging. You could even split with family or friends. Companies like Infinity Foods Wholesale will deliver and sell sacks of flour, rice, oats etc…
  • Using bars of soap rather than liquid soap. You can also buy jumbo refill bottles of liquid soap to top up your dispensers.
  • Love fizzy water – what about the 1980’s favourite… a SodaStream. Second hand versions are always coming up for sale.
  • When I was younger a real treat was choosing sweets from the large jars in the newsagents – in a paper bag of course. Refill shops are becoming more common now. It makes sense to cut out the packaging all together!

Recycling

We all know that we should recycle as much as possible. Here are some links to help you with trickier items:

  • Lewes District Council – What can I put in my recycling bin
  • Terracycle recycle some items which can’t go in the normal bin
  • Be Creative in Seaford collect crisp packets to raise fund for the local air ambulance
  • Badger Inks will recycle used ink and toner cartridges
  • Any company which sells approx 345 x four-packs of AA batteries has to offer collection facilities instore. That means most larger stores have battery recycling including Morrisons!
  • You can even raise money for charity with old mobile phones. Companies like Fonebank raise funds for WaterAid supplying clean water and safe latrines.

 

More recycling facts

Compost bin

Green waste

If you have a garden it makes perfect sense to make your own compost. There are lots of different types of compost bin… plastic, insulated, wormery, wooden – or make your own.

East Sussex County Council offer discounted compost bins through getcomposting.com

You can compost your household fruit and vegetable peelings as well as plant matter from your garden. Not only does this make compost but it’s a source of biodiversity in your garden.

If you don’t want to make compost yourself Lewes District Council offers a garden waste collection service. The service runs from April each year to the following March, and costs £70 for the year.

Wasted vegetables.

Food Waste

  • Do a quick stock take before shopping and make a list.
  • Don’t go shopping while hungry.
  • Store food correctly to prolong the life. www.lovefoodhatewaste.com food storage guide.
  • If your plans change, can you freeze the food, cook it to prolong the life or give it away if you can’t use it?
  • Cook sensible sized portions. Weigh your pasta or rice before cooking.
    Eat food within 3 days of cooking. Freeze it if you can’t eat it so soon. Once you have reheated it to piping hot (72°c on a temperature probe), the food can be kept for another 3 days but do not reheat twice.
  • A best before date is about quality. The food will be safe to eat but maybe not at it’s best.
    NHS – Food Labelling Terms
  • Form a Whatsapp group with your neighbours to share unwanted food and other items.
    Join the Olio app or local food sharing groups. Food Waste Saviours Seahaven Facebook group.
Building waste in skip.

Construction Waste

51% of all the waste in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove is from construction but we don’t hear about it. An amazing amount of energy and materials are used in construction so we really need to do what we can to preserve these precious resources and minimize their impact on our environment.

When you hire a skip, the waste is taken back to a depot, sorted and recycled.

If you are filling a skip, ensure any chemicals do not spill out as the waste cannot then be recycled.

Tips to save resources and minimise building waste:

  • When designing your project, try to work within standard sizes of materials.
  • Once designed, ask your builder for advice about materials and wastage.
  • Before a builder starts working for you, talk to them about how they will source and dispose of materials. Explore more environmentally friendly solutions.
  • When dismantling an old project, take it apart carefully and offer any useful materials on local recycling groups and selling pages.
  • A builders quote will usually include clearing away of all materials. Ask where the materials will go. If this is going to be thrown away, why not ask on recycling pages if anyone would like them to come and pick them up.
  • Builders have strict deadlines and don’t have time to source small amounts of materials so they will buy more than is needed which leads to waste. Ask them to tell you when this is the case and source them yourself.
  • When doing building work, if you run out of something but only need a tiny amount – ask on local recycling and selling groups if anyone has it spare. I acquired 70cm of drainage pipe this way, otherwise we would have had to buy a 3 metre piece.
  • Don’t rip builders bags. It is tempting when you get near the bottom but then they’re unusable. Gardeners will gladly take the bags.
  • Advertise any leftover building materials on selling or recycling pages.
  • If you’re looking for wood for a project, look at old furniture to see if you can adapt this. The wood is quite often of a better quality too. Try looking in the shop at the local tip.

Electrical Waste

Every year an estimated 2 million tonnes of electrical items are discarded by householders and companies in the UK. The UK generated the second most waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) per capita in the world in 2019, behind only Norway according to the Global E-waste monitor.

The problem is that electrical items have become so cheap to buy that it’s not worth paying for the labour to have something fixed. Electrical waste is becoming increasingly talked about as we realise the resources and energy needed to produce them are becoming more rare and expensive to source so we need to think more about what we do with them:

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