Recycling’s up in Surrey: now for further behavioural change

A graphic which popped up from Surrey County Council on social media caught my attention for several reasons, not least for the huge aid to the vulnerable right now during the Covid-19 crisis, but naturally on the recycling statistics.

The couple that stuck out were:

  • 92% of household waste and recycling collection services in Surrey are still running
  • 23% more waste and mixed recycling is being collected than normal

I am going to use these statistics as a platform entirely to speculate and to shape an optimistic argument about how we might reshape our thinking and change our behaviours to help the environment, in normal times. The statistics might even be incidental to thinking about changing habits.

Read More »Recycling’s up in Surrey: now for further behavioural change

Ditch the tea bag for fully blended compost

Every time I see that advert asking “Coffee in a bag? Why didn’t we think of this before?” I scream back at the television: “Because it can’t be good for the environment!”

The company responsible says on its website that it is using PLA (Polylactic acid) made from natural materials instead of plastics, which is becoming popular among brands and which scientists say biodegrades but still slowly.

Manufacturers have made huge strides in recent years – possibly decades – to make their packaging more environmentally friendly.

Read More »Ditch the tea bag for fully blended compost

A pollution-free window into the future?

The “silly season” stories – as some on newspapers call them – usually start in June, when the studies that “state the bleedin’ orbvious” clog up the inbox. The studies reveal what we already knew – had we been bothered to stop and think about it.

The phenomenon came to mind via a Guardian headline this week: “Disbelief in big cities as pollution falls”, caused by coronavirus lockdown.

In fairness, the national news outlet which actively seeks out the environmental angle, was merely quoting residents in Delhi, remarking in their WhatsApp group how clean the air was (positively Alpine), without all that pesky polluting traffic.

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Growing need for garden centres to reopen

Incessant questions to the daily Government press conference about coming out of coronavirus lockdown are helping nobody.

It’s pretty obvious that the Covid-19 cases and death tolls are not sufficient to let us all back out to some sense of normality: into cafes, our social clubs and to congregate.

But there seems to be a sensible surge towards re-opening garden centres as an essential need for our well-being (it is noted that, in France, anywhere that sells wine, cheese or croissants is seen as an essential service provider, so they can stay open. Wine eh? Who would have thought that would be an essential service in a crisis?). 

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Caning the recycling in the garden

For those of us lucky enough to have gardens, if they are anything like mine they are looking tidier than ever – and that’s just in the hours at the weekend which, in normal life, would have been used up doing much else as well.

OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but only just. While those of us who normally work in an office and have been working at home for a few weeks can now find a few extra hours per day (when we would have been travelling) as well, it shouldn’t be a surprise that gardeners are now down to the jobs that absolutely totally need doing.

Read More »Caning the recycling in the garden