Reduce
Spending on new goods is encouraged through advertising and seen as a mechanism for economy growth, but how many of the goods we buy are really necessary and how much fossil fuel is associated with these goods? Our cupboards often contain items we seldom use. We sense that more people are realising that happiness gained from a shopping trip does not last long but decluttering our lives has a more lasting impact. Take a look at the Story of Stuff for a thought provoking video.

Reuse and Recycle
A circular economy is one in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them, then recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of their existing service life. It is an alternative to the linear economy of make, use and dispose. Circular economies are often discussed in terms of manufactured products, but goods often end up with consumers, so its critical that when consumers have finished with an item it is reused or recycled to maximise the material content. A more circular economy will, reduce waste, improve productivity, address resource security and scarcity issues and reduce the environmental impacts of our production and consumption.

GETTING INVOLVED
Transition Town Letchworth support initiatives to help reduce people’s consumption and also promote organisations and events that facilitate reuse, repair and repurposing. TTL introduced ‘garage sales’ to the town. TTL currently have a number of activities to tackle the issue of waste and welcome new volunteers to help with these activities:

  • TTL are the Community Leader for a project implementing the Surfers Against Sewage Community Toolkit to reduce single-use plastic and gain Plastic Free Letchworth status . Have a look at the projects Plastic Free Letchworth webpage to find out more.
  • We are gathering ideas on a vision of a circular economy in Letchworth and feeding these ideas into our waste authorities consultations.
  • TTL are involved in facilitating a Town Centre collection point for hard to recycle plastics. These plastics are recycled for rewards by local charities and schools through a scheme set up by Terracycle. Click here for a list of products you can take to Bamboo Turtle (5 The Arcade, Letchworth) for recycling.

 


STUFF / WASTE RELATED BLOG POSTS

Transition Town Letchworth response to NHDC declaration of a ‘Climate Emergency’

North Herts District Council declared a Climate Emergency at its meeting on 21 May 2019. Transition Town Letchworth (TTL) formed in 2008 and have been undertaking activities to tackle climate change with a local perspective. TTL activities range from helping individuals make lifestyle changes through to strategic activities, like producing a proposal for a cycle network. TTL are keen to work with the council on projects to address climate change going forward, as TTL have done in the recent past with the Plastic Free Letchworth project and the project to install additional cycle parking at community venues and schools across the town. The council … more

A Plastic Free Picnic

Transition Town Letchworth’s have partnered with Letchworth Heritage Foundation on Field Day, 6th July 2019, to host an event on the Greenway. There will be craft activities, games and a storytelling session followed by a litter pick between 1pm to 2pm. Attendees are being encouraged to bring a single-use plastic free picnic and we are looking forward to seeing how attendees meet this challenge. Here are some ideas on how to avoid single use plastic when picnicking: Bring your drink in a reusable bottle. Pack up your sandwiches in a reusable container, paper or foil, rather than wrapping it in clingfilm or a … more

Letchworth, the UKs first garden city, is the first town in Hertfordshire to be awarded ‘Plastic Free Communities’ Status as it takes action on single-use plastic.

Letchworth Garden City has joined a network of communities across the UK who are leading the way on tackling throw away plastic. The town has been awarded Plastic Free Community Approved status by Marine Conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in recognition of the work it has done to start reducing the impact of single-use plastic on the environment. Transition Town Letchworth, a charity whose aim is to tackle climate change locally,started the campaign in January 2018 with a lively public meeting which was fortuitously aligned with the final episode of Blue Planet II. Registering with the SAS Plastic Free … more

Tackling Climate Change One Milk Carton At A Time

Recently we have seen high profile public campaigns seeking to persuade those in office to take action to address climate change. As individuals we regularly feel disempowered. But sometimes there are some politically difficult problems that individuals can get on with solving, leading by example. As part of the Plastic Free Letchworth team we have been talking to local schools about switching from milk in cartons with straws to bottles of milk and reusable beakers. Cool Milk, our local school milk provider, are implementing solutions that will reduce the overall volume of plastic waste associated with school milk. Some schools … more

Letchworth’s Big Spring Clean

On Sunday morning members of the Plastic Free Letchworth Team held a litter pick at the Jackman’s Play Area in Letchworth as their contribution to the ‘Surfers Against Sewage Big Spring Beach Clean’. Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) had asked their Plastic Free Community Groups across the country to join them in their truly ‘epic community response to plastic pollution on our beaches, rivers, streets and mountains’. Teams were provided with reusable bags and gloves to help ensure that this event did not contribute any more single-use plastic to the planet. In just over an hour and a half a team of six … more

Books to Schools to Tackle Plastic Problem

A mother of four has written a series of books to help educate children about the impact of plastics on ocean ecosystems and a grant from North Herts District Council’s Letchworth Area Committee has been given to the Plastic Free Letchworth Project to provide a copy of these books to all the primary schools in Letchworth.Ellie Jackson, who lives by the sea in Looe, Cornwall, wrote her first book while living in Australia. It was inspired by a year spent on a tropical island, during which she and her family saw a turtle being released back into the ocean after a year of … more

Letchworth Festival Children’s Art Competition

Prizes were awarded for the Letchworth Festival Children’s Art Competition at last Sunday’s Park Live event by Vice-Chair of the Council, Councillor Green. Transition Town Letchworth sponsored this year’s competition, which had the theme of Plastic Free Letchworth. There were 371 entries and these were displayed throughout the Festival in the Community Museum and the Garden City Shopping Centre. Seven schools took part in the competition along with a Rainbow and Brownie Unit. Diane Ketcher, who helped judge the competition, said “The artwork has been full of important messages which the children wanted to share. It was quite a challenge to choose the winners”. Woolgrove schools … more

Plastic Free Letchworth at the Food Festival

The Plastic Free Letchworth team were out at the food festival this Saturday. We had been busy the week before exploring the easiest method for making beeswax wraps to replace cling film and made up beeswax wrap kits for people to purchase on the day. We also had some re-usable material snack bags and net bags for buying loose fruit and veg on the stall. It was great talking to people about what changes they had been making to reduce their dependance on plastic. For example, it turns out small squares of reusable baby wipes also make great re-usable make-up cleansing cloths. … more

Plastic Free Letchworth Project Update

It’s good to see that reducing our plastic use is still in the news with national initiatives likely to lead to the end of plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers. As we talk to people about the Plastic Free Letchworth project we hear about changes people are making in their own lives as well as changes being made in their workplace and business. There is a growing understanding that the solution to the plastics problem will involve us changing what we do as individuals as well as businesses changing. Locally, lots is happening. The cupcake company on the Wynd have been … more

Plastic Free Letchworth Launch Weekend

Transition Town Letchworth publicly launched the Plastic Free Letchworth project in the town centre on Earth Weekend (21st and 22nd April 2018). We were in the town centre letting shoppers know about the challenges the town has to meet to achieve the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Letchworth award. Local shops Bamboo Turtle and Fairhaven provided sample ‘plastic free’ goods for displaying at the event and the team shared ideas with shoppers on how to reduce their use of plastics. Shoppers were invited to pledge to reduce or remove a particular plastic from their daily lives and those making a pledge … more