My Plastic Free Blog – Andy

About Me I’m Andy Bentley, an IT Consultant living in Pinehurst. I’ve had an interest in all things environmental for a while now; I’m a member of the local Green Party and provide the website for SCAN. I’d already been reducing, reusing and recycling for years, but my buying choices were far from perfect (and I’m still working on them). Like many of the other contributors my journey to reduce my use of plastic went up a gear when I heard about Plastic Free July. It prompted me to look at how much plastic waste I was responsible for, and how I could cut down on it. Some changes were easy to identify and make right at the start, others I discovered as I went along. The Changes I’ve Made So Far Ready meals were the first to go. I’d already cut down on them but was probably still having[…]

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My Plastic Free Blog – Cate

About Me Hello, my name is Cate and I’ve been using plastic for most of my life. I set myself the challenge last Easter to go plastic free as much as I could. I’d become increasingly aware of the damage it caused. After watching Blue Planet II, I couldn’t ignore the problem of plastic any more. I’d already done the easy plastic free options. I’ve been taking my own shopping bag to the supermarket for years and I’d bought a travel coffee mug to avoid using the disposable ones. I started to think about what else I could do. The Changes I’ve Made So Far: Looking around the aisles in my usual supermarket for plastic free food was a challenge. It seems like everything is wrapped in layer after layer of the stuff. Even some items that appeared to be packaged in cardboard, then turned out to have an inner[…]

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My Plastic Free Blog – Becky

About Me My name is Becky, I’m 30 years old and work as a Transport Planner. I live with my husband and our dog Daisy. I have always thought of myself as pretty environmentally-conscious, I try to cycle and walk everywhere, and I’ve always recycled and composted where possible. Since programmes such as Blue Planet I have become more aware of the issue of plastics. However, it wasn’t until I saw ‘Plastic Free July’ being promoted by SCAN and Sarah Church that I really started reading up on the issue of plastics. These two facts convinced me to take on the challenge: Only about 9% of the plastic we send to be recycled actually gets processed, and rather than being recycled, it gets ‘downcycled’ into something like garden furniture, which in turn cannot be recycled again. Every bit of plastic I use daily is going to outlive me! I might[…]

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Plastic Free July

Imagine a world without plastic waste. That’s the mission of www.plasticfreejuly.org – to build a global movement that dramatically reduces plastic use and improves recycling, worldwide. You can also find them on Facebook here. ​Will you join us and give up single-use plastic this July?  As part of our ongoing campaign to reduce the use of plastics, we will be challenging the people of Swindon to sign up to Plastic Free July and encourage others to do the same. Going plastic free is important in reducing demand for products that incorporate plastic – reduce the demand, reduce the supply.

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Letter Writing

As part of on-going campaign work, SCAN keeps in touch with our local MPs, and sometimes other decision-makers, to ensure that the subject of climate change remains on their ‘radar’. We held a letter-writing workshop in the run up to the last General Election and sent these to each of the candidates standing for election.  Further workshops will be announced and will be open to anyone who would like to write to their MP on sustainability or climate change issues. They are a great opportunity to share knowledge about the current key sustainability issues and to get help with facts or format for your letter. Please let us know if there is a pressing issue that you think we should address, either by email – or by coming along to one of our meetings, Green Drinks or other events.

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Want to work with SCAN on one of our priority issues?

Our Network Mapper, Jo, has been working hard to identify other groups in Swindon with whom SCAN could collaborate on the 3 key issues we plan to focus on this year – those of Home Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Transport, and Sustainable Food. Her sterling work has already raised a number of possibilities – but if you are an individual or member of a group which has an interest in any of the above three areas we’d love to hear from you so do please get in touch by email or via the facebook page.

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Shop differently – 5 simple tips

Reduce, reuse, recycle is the basic mantra of sustainable living, but we all have to buy *some* stuff to get by. Even on our weekly shop the choices we make can make a difference to our environmental impact. You might already do all of this, but just in case you don’t, here are 5 simple tips to help reduce your environmental impact as you shop… Stick to your list. You’ve probably said this to yourself before, and you were right. We often chuck a few extra things into the basket, thinking they might be handy later, but how often does that little bit extra end up in the bin when you discover it in the back of the cupboard weeks later, long past its use-by date? Only buy what you need. Everyone likes a bargain, and very often a ‘family pack’ or a 50% extra deal looks like a great[…]

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One person’s trash is someone else’s treasure – 10 freecycling tips

Who doesn’t like free stuff? One person’s trash is someone else’s treasure is something that is shown to to be true every day in Swindon, courtesy of the local ‘freecycling’ groups. The point of Freecycling is to stop things going to landfill, by enabling people to pass on things they no longer want to people who need them. Users can either offer items they want to get rid of, or request things they need. It’s a win-win as the old item gets a new home rather than heading off to the tip and there’s no need for someone to buy a new one. You might have heard of the original Freecyclers over at www.freecycle.org. They started up back in 2003 and now have more than 9 million members in 110 countries. Then in 2009 a group of UK Freecyclers founded Freegle, www.ilovefreegle.org. Both organisations run groups in Swindon. The range of stuff[…]

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Reduce the meat you eat!

Rather than growing food to feed to animals, so that we can then eat the animals, wouldn’t it be more efficient to cut out the middleman, growing food and then eating it ourselves? Industrialised meat production is responsible for devastating deforestation in the developing world to make way for animal feed crops. We need those forests to recycle the  CO2 we produce and keep the carbon cycle working, and to maintain the biodiversity still being discovered in the areas which haven’t been turned over to monoculture or abandoned as deserts yet. For more information about this, read Planet on a Plate (free PDF), an excellent introduction to the problems wrought by the traditional Western meat-based diet, and the increasing role that factory farms play in exacerbating an already dangerous situation. The production of large numbers of farmed animals under incredibly cruel circumstances has lead to air and water pollution, a huge[…]

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