Did you know?
- 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.
‘Talking waste and climate’ – workshop recording and slides
In spring 2021, we collaborated with other low carbon group as part of Communities for Zero Carbon Oxford, to offer a series of workshops on different aspects of climate action. ‘Talking waste and climate‘ was hosted by Low Carbon West Oxford and explored a range of issues and solutions around consumption and waste.
A recording of the event and slides are available on the Low Carbon West Oxford website, with presentations from 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. 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.
Did you know:
- The dyeing and treatment of textiles causes 20% of industrial water pollution globally.
- Up to 20 – 35% of ocean microplastics are from synthetic clothing; and washing clothes releases half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres into the ocean every year, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles.
- It takes 2,700 litres of water to make one cotton shirt – enough water for one person to drink for 2 ½ years.
- Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. Discarded clothing made of non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years.
Find out about the impact of fast fashion, and what we can do about it, on our Sustainable Fashion web page.
According to Greenpeace, a truckload of plastic enters the ocean every single minute and UK supermarkets produce 800,000 tonnes every year.
Where do we start?
In 2018, LCON launched a campaign to help cut plastic use. As part of this we produced a leaflet setting out 10 ‘challenges’ to help us as individuals reduce plastic consumption. You may be doing some of them already. Find out more and download a copy here.
Cut it out!
Going completely ‘plastic-free’ is a real challenge but there’s a great deal that we can all do to cut our use of single-use plastics by half or more over a month. Here’s some more thoughts and ideas:
• Surfers Against Sewage are very active on tackling plastic waste – there’s lots of useful information here.
• Friends of the Earth are running a Plastic Free Fridays programme – with lots of useful tips and ideas.
• Other groups are active on cutting plastics in Oxford – find out more at the Oxford Plastics Action Facebook page.
Recycling the plastic we use is also very important. You can find a list of plastic items Oxford City Council can and can’t accept for recycling on their website.