What can you do?
- Recycle it! Love London - Are you an artist? Submit to the Love London Recycled Sculpture Show May 29 - Sept 5 2008, just one of the events for London's Sustainability Weeks.
- This year the exhibition will be held at London Zoo.
Pieces must be made mainly of recycled materials but they can be painted. Any style is welcomed, realistic, surreal, abstract or whatever. The organisers are looking for variety, originality and fun. For submission requirements go to Sculpture Mad.
- Don't dump it! Freecycle it! Freecycle is a web-based forum where members can find homes and reuse for unwanted goods ... or they may be able to find items that they need. A great way to recycle and reduce landfill. Many areas across the world have local forums - check out if there is a forum near you.
- Buy less packaging - supermarket products can be 50% packaging
- Buy recycled products
- Buy products produced locally
- Purchase natural fibre clothes - the fabric and the colour lasts longer so you don't need to throw away and buy new. Though the clothes themselves soon lose their vibrancy, the fibres in man-made textiles take hundreds of years to breakdown - like nuclear waste, they will be in our soils for centuries. Go for organic and fair trade clothes if possible, and recycled clothes are far more environmentally friendly. There are a number of clothing businesses coming up now that have the health of the environment at heart, such as Gossypium. Traid recycles clothing using top designers, all their shops are in London and Brighton at the moment. Charity shops will now often put in a lot of work to make their clothes fresh and new - it's worthwhile investigating your local shops.
- Reuse products - do you really need to throw it away?
- Renew products - mend it - don't throw it! Mending is creative - it gives a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment - yes time is a factor ... what about delegating?
- Got a garden? Then compost your waste food and you're creating your own source of fertile soil.
- Take a bag with you to the shops - or pick up a box . Our oceans are so full of carrier bags that marine life is suffering. Almost all the leatherback turtles found dead in UK waters have died from eating plastic bags, which they mistake for jellyfish, one of their main food sources. BantheBag says it all - they will give you the unbelievable figures and how to drop the addiction.
In 2002 a Minke whale was found to have 800kg of plastic bags and packaging in its stomach -this MCS file is a Word document which discusses the impact of this plastic on the marine environment in detail. The Marine Conservation Society has a lot more information on this and the damage occurring to other whales, turtles and marine animals.
Tesco is at last getting on the job - offering loyalty points to people who don't use new carriers - and IKEA charges 5p for every carrierbag used. The Irish Republic successfully reduced the number of bags used by charging 10p for each one. The Co-op introduced bio-degradable bags in 2002 and Tesco hopes to start using degradable bags by September 2006.