It’s Recycle Week, a brilliant opportunity to take stock of how we consume and re-use. Now in its 18th year, Recycle Now’s flagship event brings together retailers, governments, the media and – most importantly – us! And there’s plenty we can all do to recycle more of the right things, more often. Here are some ideas!
Choose your brands carefully
However tempting that bargain top or pair of shoes might be, we know that throwaway fashion is exactly that – destined for landfill. Take as much time to research the retailer as you spend following the influencers who might promote them. UK-based outdoor retailer Trekitt is one of my faves; they have a wide range of environmentally-friendly clothing, including the Rab Infinity Microlight Jacket. With winter looming, this unisex down jacket is surely one of the most sustainable on the market, with the down coming from old quilts, pillow and bedding! The Infinity comes in a range of colours and Trekitt is currently offering a 10% discount.
I’m also a huge fan of Páramo, one of the most ethically sound brands I’ve found. Not only does it help vulnerable women into training and employment, build homes for them and educate their children, it has Fair Trade status and covers all garments with its recycling scheme. For for every item of Páramo clothing you recycle via the website, you’ll receive a voucher of up to £50 to use with your next purchase!
Think recycling is pants? That’s no bad thing when it comes to beautiful undies from SueMe – made from replenishable trees, including eucalyptus, beech and bamboo, and even recycled plastic bottles! Clever companies like this prove that no step is too small (or should that be ‘smalls’?) when it comes to playing your part in helping the world.
Don’t forget the packaging
A while ago I ordered some gorgeous goodies from Lush. I was so cross to unpack the gorgeous goodies from the depths of what I thought were unnecessary polystyrene chips – until I read the packaging note properly. It turned out I could pop the chips into a bowl of water or put them in soil and they magically disappeared! How lush is that?
Also scoring top marks here is Trekitt, which uses paper and card packaging sourced from around the UK for online deliveries. Commercial Director Mark Trepte said: “Everything is FSC certified, re-usable, recyclable and printed with water-based inks. We’re using cardboard boxes and paper tape. We are also talking to our key suppliers about how we can minimise plastic use from products bagged in plastic, coming from the factories.”
My National Trust magazine is delivered in compostable wrapping made from potato starch, while my favourite shampoo arrives in a simple cardboard envelope. Which brings us to…
My favourite shampoo
Yes, two years on I’m still raving about this one and have converted a few more friends to the cause in the meantime! Since I first reviewed the Shine shampoo bar in 2019, the lovely folk in the Brighton salon have introduced the option of cardboard packaging instead of the reusable tin, and at a discounted price, too. And it’s still the only shampoo bar I’ve tried that leaves my hair shiny – one product that genuinely does what it says on the tin!
Carry your own water
This one’s aimed at fellow runners, but applies to everyone really. At the Cardiff Half Marathon in 2019, I was horrified by the carpet of plastic bottles and gel packs at the water stations around the course. I’m sure the event organisers did a decent job of litter picking, but, with one station positioned in Cardiff Bay and a stiff breeze whipping around us, guess where lots of plastic ended up? I’ve just completed the Swansea Bay 10K and, have to say, I was delighted there was no water station at the halfway mark. Carry your own water in a running pack or, if you have to use the water stations at these events, have the decency to put your plastic in the HUGE BINS provided.
Be a litter hero
This coming Sunday is Get Outside Day and the theme is being kind – to others, to yourself and to the environment. One of the activities you can plan is a simple litter pick in your local area. I take two bags – one for ‘normal’ rubbish and one for any recyclables that our council collects weekly (and I have to big up Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s waste team here, as their recycling policy has long been better than at least one neighbouring local authority I could mention!). If you’re planning a community litter pick, why not upload it to the free Get Outside app and encourage others to join in?
Get Outside Day takes place on Sunday, September 26 and coincides with the Great Big Green Week and the Great British Beach Clean. Don’t forget to wear an old pair of gardening gloves and take the anti-bac hand gel!