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Trial a plastic awareness game?

Any teachers out there want to trial a plastic awareness game?

The Auroville community in India are tackling plastic waste through education. Sometime ago I spoke to them about a children’s game they were developing – here is an update….

“Last year, interviewing experts was part of our research phase for developing a memory style card game which we have decided to call ‘kNOw PLASTICS’. The game educates children about the impact of plastics on animals, the environment and us.

We are now in the pilot testing phase of the game. Up till now we have tested the game in schools here in and around Auroville, Tamil Nadu, South India. It is a really rewarding experience and so much fun to see the children playing with the cards. So far we have received positive responses but we would like to get feedback from as many other children throughout schools the world over. We are looking to test the game internationally with students from diverse cultural background so that the game is relevant to as wide an audience as possible.

If you know of any schools, organisations or teachers then we would be very happy if you could connect us or test the kNOw PLASTICS game, please find below what this would entail:

  1. Printing the game in colour (we’ll send you the designs and clear instructions).
  2. Find 4 resource persons or teachers to help you or test the game (3-5 student per group).
  3. Playing the game with children and answer questions (takes about an hour and it lots of fun).
  4. Sending us the feedback and if you can Skype/WhatsApp call at your convenience.

Our goal is to complete pilot testing the game by the end of November, so our design team can finalise the game, print and launch it in February 2017.

When we have produced the game we would like to provide a free copy for a school or organisation you work with as a thank you for your assistance in pilot testing the game.

Please do help us test this game!

I really appreciate your time and effort and promise it won’t be a waste of time!

If you can help you can contact Chandra on wasteless@auroville.org.in
www.wastelessindia.org
 Facebook.com/WasteLess

 

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Commercial Composting

Commercial Composting Methods Provide a Smart Solution to Disposal of Waste

Ever wonder about how much waste we really throw away each year? Well, studies estimate that 30 to 40 percent of the food produced in the United States goes to waste, often ending up in landfills. In 2014, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study found that the U.S. tosses over 3.8 million tons of food every single year.

That’s tragic because so many people in the world are going hungry. Food waste also contributes to global warming and disposing of it costs a lot of money. Using our food more efficiently would be a more permanent solution to the problem, but there are some things we can do to improve our disposal process as well. With composting, disposal doesn’t have to mean the end of food’s useful life and may even have some positive environmental attributes.

How Composting Works

Composting allows us to recycle organic materials, including many food items, yard waste, animal products and paper products. It uses a natural process that’s integral to life here on earth, the decomposition process that breaks down these materials into rich soil from which plants can grow.

Composting takes that natural phenomenon and accelerates it using one of several different methods. Individuals and families can compost their food and yard waste in their own backyards. Large companies sometimes compost their own leftover materials. Some local governments also organize composting operations, and local businesses might offer composting services to nearby residents. These services can be a perfect, easy-to-use solution to our organic waste disposal problem.

Composting Methods

Beyond simple backyard composting, there are a number of methods that large-scale composting operations employ.

1. Aerated Static Pile Composting

One of the simplest methods for composting large amounts of waste is aerated static pile composting. It involves placing well-mixed organic waste into a large pile, along with bulking agents such as woodchips or shredded paper. This method can produce compost within three to six months.

2. Aerated Windrow Composting

Aerated, or turned, windrow composting involves placing waste in rows that are about four to eight feet tall and 14 to 16 feet wide. These rows, called windrows, must be turned occasionally so that the inner part of the pile ends up in the outside and vice versa. This method is ideal for particularly large amounts of waste.

3. In-Vessel Composting

In-vessel compost allows for more control of the composting process and produces results quickly. In this method, compost is placed into contained spaces such as large drums, enclosed tunnels or other containers where machinery regularly turns it. This produces usable composts in a few weeks to a few months.

How to Get Involved

Other popular methods of disposing of household organic waste, such as garbage disposals, can be useful but don’t have all the same capabilities as composting. Garbage disposals, for instance, can’t handle solid items like peach pits. Regular trash collection has environmental consequences.

Composting can take care of many different kinds of waste, is environmentally friendly compared to other methods and produces a useful end result – compost that can be used to grow crops and other plants.

Many people don’t have room, time or ability to compost their own waste. For these people, commercial composting methods are the solution. Contact your local government and search for nearby businesses to see if organic waste collection and composting services exist in your area — and whether you can get some freshly made compost for your garden.

Bio:

Emily is a sustainability writer and the editor of Conservation Folks.

Please note…

This post was written by the contributor.

Read more about composting, compost bins and other rotten posts HERE

Guest Post & Plastic Free Promotions

We love to feature guest posts. If you have something to say about #plasticfree living let us know.
Also take a look at the projects featured in the PfU.K. Directory submission.

And the Pf U.K. Directory is…?
…a directory of UK-based groups, organisations businesses and individuals who are responding to the problems presented by the misuse of plastic. That does not mean anti-plastic necessarily… but certainly plastic-problem aware.

NB we reserve the right
not to post
to remove guest posts.

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U.K. water bottle refill schemes

Bristol Water Refill

"Refill Bristol is a practical campaign to make Bristol a city in which refilling your water bottle becomes a cultural ...
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Selfridges Water Refill

Selfridges are setting out to tackle plastic pollution in the ocean by "removing all single-use plastic water bottles from our ...
Read More

Give Me Tap – water bottle, water refill & water aid

We are a social enterprise committed to improving water accessibility in the UK, Africa and the World through our reusable ...
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Bath, Love Tap Water Refill Scheme

A new water refill scheme based in Bath. The following has been taken from their website... Two local women want to ...
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Water Abroad

We sterilize our own water using a Steripen …. but when a bottle refill service is offered we will use that instead. Find refill places here…

Of course water in many countries the water is actually safe to drink – you can find out where here.

And here are a list of places you can refill your bottle abroad

Water Bottles

Check out which water bottle here

Water Bottle Bans

Links to interesting projects that are tackling the problems of bottled water

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Bristol Water Refill

“Refill Bristol is a practical campaign to make Bristol a city in which refilling your water bottle becomes a cultural norm.”

But how you ask?

“Participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and other businesses will simply put a sticker in their window – alerting passers-by to the fact they’re welcome to come on in and fill up their bottle – for free!”

By the end of the year they hope to have signed up 100 businesses and have an app telling you where they are. For now you can to find them on this map.

Another great water refill scheme to look out for is Give Me Tap

And lets not forget Selfridges who have banned the sale of bottled water in their shops and installed a water refill bar.

 

 

Sing a song of plastic….

A sea bird full of Bics…

Our plastic trash is often eaten by animals by mistake. This can lead to distressing injuries and in the saddest instances  a long, drawn out and painful death. Natalie Fee ( also featured in the Plastic Free U.K. Directory)  is working hard to raise awareness of this issue. Here is here her moving song and thoughtful video.

Official video for BURDEN, the new UK single, out now.

You can watch the music video for Burden here: www.tinyurl.com/BurdenVideo

And you can download Natalie’s song, Burden, from iTunes here www.tinyurl.com/songfortheocean (15% to Surfers Against Sewage Marine Litter Team) or pay what you want from www.nataliefee.bandcamp.com (100% to Surfers Against Sewage Marine Litter Team)

Download on iTunes http://apple.co/1dgAcuf 15% of downloads go to Surfers Against Sewage (Marine Litter Team). More info + links below.

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City to Sea: Addressing Marine Litter, Bristol Fashion

Last month we were pleased to feature Natlie Fee in the Plastic Free U.K. Directory. Here is some more of her work

A recent report by Dr Jenna Jambeck, one of the researchers from the University of Georgia in the US claims that 8 million tonnes of litter is dumped in the oceans each year. So Natalie Fee, Singer-Songwriter, TV presenter, and plastics campaigner used 8th June, World Oceans Day to ask a panel of experts and a live audience, “How do we address this plastic marine litter problem, City to Sea: Bristol Fashion?”

World Oceans Day is a significant date for Natalie Fee as it was this day last year that started her on a journey, which was initially about crowdfunding a music video but has culminated in bringing together experts in the field to ask serious questions and look for practical actions at a city-level to make changes.

Having had a fear of the sea, Natalie admits she was out of touch with the growing problem of plastic pollution. But after seeing the the film ‘Midway’, where young Albatross living in the middle of the Pacific are dying on a diet of plastic bottle tops, she was moved to do something more. During the course of the crowdfunding campaign, Natalie learnt to surf, met a great number of people working on this issue in their respective fields, all within the Bristol area and identified an opportunity to bring everyone together.

“It also seemed timely as it was Green Capital year. Bristol is such a can-do, forward-thinking City and I was curious to see what solutions or initiatives could materialise if people collaborated.”

Each year numerous volunteer groups conduct litterpicks along the banks of the Avon, Frome and Severn, the regular offending articles are plastic bottles, plastic bottle tops, polystyrene takeaway containers and earbuds (which are flushed down the toilet). And it was the devastating scenes on the riverbanks of the Avon after this Spring’s high tides that spurred Natalie into action.

Natalie Fee shows the downside of the high tide in Bristol today. Swells of plastic heading out to sea.

So just over a month ago over 30 people living in Bristol and working in fields relating to marine and river health attended the first City to Sea meeting, hosted by Natalie and her newly formed ‘City to Sea’ volunteer team. Following break-out groups a number of initiatives were identified and further discussed on 8th June, with the premise of stemming the flow of plastic litter heading into the Bristol Channel.

Bristol residents, businesses and organisations are joined the panel of experts: Chris Sherrington (Eunomia), Thomas Bell (Director, Changes Us) and Jo Ruxton (Plastic Oceans) in a lively debate which will form the basis of a Bristol Plastic Charter.

“If San Francisco can ban the plastic bottle and New York the polystyrene takeaway carton, just imagine what Bristol can do during its year as Green Capital! I’d like us to become an example to the rest of Europe, of how we stopped so much plastic litter flowing out of the Avon!”

Natalie Fee conducts a two minute beach clean on the banks of the River Avon in Bristol, one week after she witnessed the high Spring tides carrying thousands of pieces of plastic litter out to sea.

The night, which started as a launch of a music video, was broadcast by Made in Bristol TV as an hour-long current affairs debate, and was concluded with a lighter look at the issue through four adult, comedy poems that reflect the experience of the marine animals who are the victims of the plastic problem.

 

Press Enquiries: Livvy Drake 07973 369847

Interviews: Natalie Fee 07871 397868

All Enquiries: citytoseabristol@gmail.com

Website: www.citytosea.org.uk

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Selfridges Water Refill

Selfridges are setting out to tackle plastic pollution in the ocean by “removing all single-use plastic water bottles from our Foodhalls and restaurants, amounting to approximately 400,000 bottles a year.”  Selfridges website.

I was a little confused by the wording. Single use? Surely all plastic bottles when used as packaging  are single use.  I wondered if perhaps they meant single serving water bottle. I have been caught out like this before. Got all giddy about a water bottle ban only to find that it was restricted to those tiny bottles that contain a small glassful each. Yes a start, but hardly a ban.

So I tweeted them

love that you are removing single use water bottles. Does this mean the single serving small water bottles or all bottled water?

and they replied

disposable water bottles have been replaced with access to water fountains within our store.

Way to go Selfridges.

This  is part of its Project Ocean initiative, a collaborative effort with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Marine Reserves Coalition (MRC).

“Professor Jonathan Baillie, director of conservation programmes at ZSL, said the amount of plastic in the oceans was “staggering” and having a “devastating effect” on marine wildlife.

“No matter where plastic litter originates, once it reaches the ocean it becomes a planetary problem as it is carried by ocean currents,” he said.  Business Green

There is also an exhibition curated by Jane Withers in the Ultralounge on G at Selfridges London featuring work by Studio Swine (one of our favourites – check out their great project here) Andrew Friend, Nick Wood and Alice Dunseath, “which shed light on the plastic problem and propose alternative futures.”  There is also an in store water fountain and water bar to refill your own bottle from.

There is lots more on the website including ways you can cut your plastic footprint.

Needless to say the British Plastics Federation (BPF)  “expressed its “dismay” at Selfridges’ move. Philip Law, the BPF’s director general said: “The availability of water in portable, lightweight bottles promotes good health and can be critical in emergency situations. Plastic products do not litter themselves onto our streets or into our oceans, people do.” Taken from Plastic News.

Does shopping in Selfridges  really count as an emergency situation? When might critical hydration be called for? If you can’t fit into a size 12? They don’t have it in the colour you want?  Situations when only water in a light weight bottle will do.

And of course people shouldn’t litter.  They shouldn’t rob houses either but I am not going to leave my  front door open. There are some anti-social elements who don’t behave as we would like. The challenge is how limit their negative impacts. Plastic litter  doesn’t biodegrade. Once out there it lasts for ever. It only takes few meanies to drop their bottles and you have an expensive case of plastic pollution. The answer is  not to say people should stop dropping trash but to stop making everlasting litter.

Some more info

Why plastic doesn’t biodegrade

now wash your hands

Perhaps not a completely plasticless project but a plastic reduced because you get more for your rubbish. Any way I just love it and deserves publicising.

Hand washing cuts decease and saves lives in third world countries. The Global Soap Project Process recycles hotel soaps. The following is taken from their website

Handwashing with soap is the most effective way to prevent the leading causes of death for children globally — illnesses that claim more than 2.4 million lives each year.

It all begins with the hotels! Hotel representatives can use the registration form or contact our hotel engagement manager to get started.

Collection Soap is collected from hotels and shipped to our warehouse in Las Vegas.

Sorting Because every brand is distinct, we do not mix soap. Each is sorted into containers for each hotel and brand.
Processing The soap is softened by heat and filtered through an extremely fine-mesh screen to remove dirt and other particulates. It is then molded into finished bars, hand cut, cured, inspected and packaged. Much of this work is performed by volunteers.
Verification GSP commissions third-party laboratory tests to screen for traces of pathogens on a sample from each batch of soap it produces before it ships.
Distribution We work with distribution partners and NGOs to ship, distribute soap and educate recipients on the best way to use it for health and sanitation purposes

Plastic free Northumberland wildlife trust…

This month 3 employees will try to live without plastic…..

In January 2015 we are attempting to go plastic free to help highlight the problems of plastics in our environment.  While this plastic free status is only for the month it should also help us to reduce our use of plastic in the long-term.  Here we hope to highlight some of the problems, the solutions and ways that all of us can help reduce plastics in our environment.

It should be emphasised that we are particularly keen to avoid single use plastic items as it is almost impossible to avoid the use of plastic items that occur everywhere (phones, computers, cars etc.).  By single use we include bottles that claim to be recyclable as opposed to re reuseable.

Follow their progress here on the blog

Water from Hotels

I do a lot of travelling and I love a hotel that offers me a water bottle refill or tap water with my dinner. Here are a few interesting schemes…

CELEBRATE SAFE WATER FOR TOURISM

Being a DrinkWater partner means that your organization has committed to being part of the global network focused on reducing plastic water bottles through the implementation of drinkable water technologies.  It represents being green, and environmentally aware of your global impact.  Through the use of our products we measure your impact and help you attract more customers who are environmentally focused.

DrinkWater is the global network promoting safe water for tourism. We monitor reductions in single use plastic water bottles and help you measure your environmental and sustainability benefits for a clear competitive advantage.

WHOLE WORLD Water

Their scheme is very practical….

Are you in the hospitality trade? Do you want to reduce your plastic footprint? Would you like to help those without access to clean drinking water while you do it?

Have a look at this project……

IS A HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM CAMPAIGN THAT ADDRESSES THE FACT THAT NEARLY 1 BILLION PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO CLEAN AND SAFE DRINKING WATER.
We estimate that with scale we, as an industry, can contribute $1 billion dollars per year to alleviate this global issue. But, this is much more than a fund raising initiative. It is a revolutionary, creative way of thinking, a new way to do business and a replicable
model designed to combat environmental, health and economic issues. It will deliver huge, radical, positive change while driving a more robust bottom line. It’s simple, easy to implement, measurable and bankable.
Most importantly, it will be the first time that a single industry has united on a non-competitive platform, taken action and eradicated a major global issue.
1 Become a member of WHOLE WORLD Water
2 Replace commercially branded bottled water with filtered water – filtration systems run around $400 per month, and the reusable glass bottles cost $4-$7 each.
3 Sell the bottled water for $ (whatever price point you are comfortable with) and contribute 10% of the proceeds to the WHOLE WORLD Water Fund. 100% of the monies raised will be invested in clean & safe drinking water projects and innovations locally, and globally.

The filtration system and bottles pay for themselves usually over a period of 3 months, and our members have realized an income increase up to 25%, proving that environmental and economic progress are not mutually exclusive. You will witness a more robust bottom line, and become part of a global marketing campaign built on solutions, transparency and action with the potential to raise more than $1 billion annually in the fight for clean and safe water for everyone. This is a truly sustainable solution!
wholeworldwater.co

For more visit the website

More

If you are not in the hospitality business but want to do all that any way, check out the fantastic Give Me Tap scheme

 

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boat powered by rubbish

Ocean Ambassadors Mr Midwood and Take Three, Tim Silverwood sailed into town in a boat powered by trash.

“We put solid plastics in one side and use heat to gasify them, turning them back into liquid – their oil-based form,” Mr Midwood said. “It’s a great way to turn plastics into a positive product. We can use the diesel we produce to power the ship and then sell leftover fuel.”

They are using Japanese-designed Blest technology which turns plastic into oil

Ocean Ambassadors  advocate and educate on this technology as a solution to island nations as it provides a real-time solution to effectively processing these “waste materials” locally and providing an end product that has a high demand in all locations.

As it is a low-sulfur burning content fuel and recorded as environmentally friendlier than standard diesel, we feel this technology offers us an option for the time being before we phase into plastic alternatives that are bio-based.

 

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Water Bottle Bans

It shows how divergent our culture has become when many are trying so hard to cut foolish and polluting consumption habits, others make money selling fresh air. Please support the former and let’s hope the latter is an elaborate joke – perhaps done by performance artists.

San Francisco

San Francisco has just become the first city in America to ban the sale of plastic water bottles. Over the next four years, the ban will phase out the sales of plastic water bottles that hold 21 ounces or less in public places. So not all water bottles only the small single servings but a start. You can read a full article about it here

Eaton Hotel suspends bottled water

This is great news, a hotel suspending bottled water in favour of refills

Eaton Hotel, Hong Kong has invested on the installation of an eco-friendly drinking water purification system that allows glass bottles to be re-used and suspended the use of plastic bottled water.This is a great initiative and should save 350,000 plastic bottles each year from landfill, a positive result for our environment. Copied from aquafil

Concordia University banning bottled water

if only more colleges would do this……Vending machines to be bottled-water-free – NOW – Concordia University.

In the Hospitality Trade?

1 Become a member of WHOLE WORLD Water
2 Replace commercially branded bottled water with filtered water – filtration systems run around $400 per month, and the reusable glass bottles cost $4-$7 each.
3 Sell the bottled water for $ (whatever price point you are comfortable with) and contribute 10% of the proceeds to the WHOLE WORLD Water Fund. 100% of the monies raised will be invested in clean & safe drinking water projects and innovations locally, and globally.

Great Ozzy Campaign

Watch it and laugh….kinda like buying bottled water

Bottled Air??? 

And while that was meant to be a joke, these loons in have taken to selling heavily packaged fresh air

“Two entrepreneurs are capitalizing on air pollution problems abroad by selling people bottled fresh air from the Canadian Rockies.

“Essentially we’re selling air,” Troy Paquette, one of Vitality Air’s Canadian co-founders, told CBC’s The Current. “Clean, beautiful, fresh Banff mountain air.”

They are in talks with China. FFS, really hope I’m being hoaxed here!

bottled-air