Counting On … day 16 

29th November 2021

Things we find around us can be used to create alternative and wonderful Christmas decorations. Rather than buying a Christmas tree, a more sustainable option might be to find a decorative branch or twiggy stick  that you can take from your garden. This you can decorate with baubles and the like (often people have collections of decorations going back over many years and embed with happy memories). Or you can make new decorations and I’ll be suggesting some of the next few days.

Counting On … 

15th November 2021

“Every year we produce about 3% more waste than the year before. This might not sound much but, if we carry on at this rate, it means that we will double the amount of waste we produce every 25 years.”

One of the facts from C B Environmental’s fact sheet – do check out the rest of the facts. 

If we aim to live sustainably then we must aim to use only our fair share of resources – both a fair share  when shared across the globe, and a fair share when measured across time. At present we we use the earth’s resources faster than they can be replenished. 

In 2019  each person in the UK on average threw away (via waste bins to landfill sites) 392kg of rubbish. (https://www.statista.com/statistics/322535/total-household-waste-volumes-in-england-uk-per-person/

How can we reduce that? 

  • Make a note of what you throw in the bin each week. 
  • Could any of it be recycled instead? 
  • Could any of it be avoided by buying alternative products? Eg ones with less packaging or with less non recyclable packaging. Or buy products with a longer life? Or buy less if what you buy is not being used?
  • Repeat and see if you can reduce the number of things going into the bin the next week.
  • Alternatively weight the rubbish that goes into your bin each week: Using the suggestions above, can you reduce it week on week?

Count Down

Action 15: Reduce food waste.

Food waste is a drain on finite resources. It unnecessarily uses water and other agricultural inputs. It creates unnecessary excess amounts of greenhouse gases – about 25 million tonnes a year just from the UK.

7.2% of all food harvested in the UK goes to waste or exists as a food surplus that is fed to animals, redistributed via food charities or is repurposed as bio-based materials. (WRAP 2019). Horticulture – the growing of fruit and vegetables – is the largest contributor. To ensure supermarkets are always fully stocked, farmers grow more than may be needed. Consumer demand is fickle: changes in the weather, recipes made popular by celebrity chefs etc can lead to sharp swings in demand for specific fruits and vegetables. In addition a proportion of the fruit and vegetables will be rejected on grounds of size and appearance. 

2.9% of the UK’s food waste takes place in the retail sector. Most of this waste is of products that have reached their best before or sell by date. Increasingly the latter food stuffs are redirected to food banks and other local food charities. Supermarkets often stock more than they need to ensure that what the consumer wants is always available on the shelf. 

70% of all food waste in the UK comes from what is thrown away by us, the householders. We most frequently throw away potatoes, bread, milk, tomatoes, bananas and slices of ham.