Talking waste and climate – tips and resources from our recent workshop

Our second ‘Spring Workshop’ from Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford (hosted by Low Carbon West Oxford) took place this week, ‘Talking climate and waste’. It was great to explore different aspects of consumption and waste with a fantastic team of experts, including Anaïs Bozetine from Replenish, Jenny Figueiredo, formerly at WRAP, and Mark Watson, Waste Strategy Projects Officer at Oxfordshire County Council.

Interesting facts

Here are just some of the interesting facts we took away:

  • The e-waste produced globally every year is the equivalent of 4500 Eiffel towers, and the UK is the second-highest producer of e-waste per person in the world.
  • Repairing a laptop can avert about 100kg greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 8-10% of global human made green house gas emissions are from food waste, and 70% of food waste comes from households.
  • If we didn’t throw away food for one day in the UK, this would be the equivalent of planting one million trees.

Advice and tips

Advice for reducing food waste included:

  • Buy what you will eat
  • Make the most of what you have
  • Store food properly

Sounds simple, but did you know that wine, milk, cheese and bananas can all be frozen? Or that the hole in a spaghetti spoon is designed to measure the perfect sized portion of spaghetti? And the number one tip was, keep the fridge temperature between 0 and 4 degrees to keep food fresh for longest.  Find out more on the ‘Love food hate waste’ website.

Some tips on reducing packaging waste:

  • Always check before you recycle
  • Wash your food packaging – the right material covered in food will cause more problems than the wrong material without
  • And you can lobby companies – Waitrose recently decided to stop selling kids magazines with plastic toys.

Find out more with the County Council’s Waste Wizard.

Resources

And there are some great projects and resources for communities out there, including:

Repair cafes across Oxfordshire: these have helped prevent over 3 tonnes of electrical items being thrown away. The Community Action Group (CAG) network are launching a programme to help communities set up new repair cafes, including training on repairing electrical items, support with health & safety, and support with events. Contact anais@cagofordshire.org.uk to find out more.

Share Oxford/ A Library of Things: This great resource is located in Makespace Oxford on Aristotle Lane. The ‘library’ has an extensive catalogue of items to borrow, including DIY tools, outdoors and sports equipment, and domestic and cooking equipment. Whilst closed during lockdown, current plans are to open again on 15 April. Find out more, including how to join, here.

Replenish Oxfordshire: This project supports residents of Oxfordshire to grow and cook nutritious food with zero waste, including home composting. The Replenish team can run workshops, help with events and activities and provide training. Find out more here.

A recording of the workshop and slides will available soon.

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