Cornwall Council is heavily promoting waste reduction now, so here are a few key ideas from their website. There seems to be a very welcome shift in attitudes towards waste, helped along in Bude by organisations such as 2 minute beach clean, BRAG, CRAP, and other acronyms, Bude Cleaner Seas, Greener Bude, Morsbags, and the Plastic Movement, among others.
There are 4 key ways we can all be better citizens by using the 4 Rs.
As the website says: Each Cornish resident throws away 576 kg of waste every year – that’s 24 double sized mattresses per person! Reducing waste means we use less natural resources and energy, and generate less pollution during production and disposal. It stops valuable resources being incinerated, it’s better for wildlife and saves money too!
In Torridge, there are compost collection bins for every household, which really makes you think when you throw food away. The answer, which I’m currently trying, is to buy less, cook more from scratch and use up leftovers. Think about the provenance of what you eat. To be fair, my mother in law has been doing that for years but she lived through a World War.
Then there’s avoiding single-use plastics wherever possible. Like many others, I carry a reusable water bottle which helps with the hydration, too. Bude has the wonderful Bude Baggers which means there is no need for plastic bags any more.
Choose pre-loved, buy second hand or nearly new; re-use. I’m not good at doing this but I give increasing amounts of items to charity shops so hopefully in slowly emptying my wardrobes and life or things I no longer need, others may find them of benefit. Daughter got a settee on Facebook marketplace for £5 – win win.
If you see rubbish ling around please collect it and bin it appropriately, including beach cleans, but also the streets of anywhere you may visit.
Use recycled and re-usable products; also items that may themselves be recycled.
Repair rather than throw out or buy new. We need some of those repair shops which used to thrive.
Don’t release sky lanterns or balloons which damages wildlife, often fatally. Try bubbles or planting trees instead.
Finally, if you have a big event coming up, be it a wedding or a funeral, think how you could celebrate in a more environmentally-friendly way. Any other ideas from you very welcome …