IMAGE: Youth Climate Action
As a coastal town, we come face to face with marine pollution on a daily basis. We asked the people of Worthing what they were doing to reduce their own carbon footprint.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR and inspiring ideas they had.
A UN report last year found 90% of plastic waste has never been recycled. With bin collections going to every two weeks from 16 Sep, let’s get waste savvy.
“Do you know what the council can recycle? I’ve just found out West Sussex is one of the few to accept butter wrappers!” Becca
Check out the full list at adur-worthing.gov.uk/recycling/what-we-can-recycle
“Once we started collecting our crisp packets for recycling, I was genuinely horrified at how much we were binning” Tom
Recycling in Lancing take many items that the council can’t recycle, from asthma inhalers to crisp packets, at local collection points. Worthing Boys’ Club, Brownies and Scouts and Men in Sheds take various items to recycle or repurpose, while Worthing Community Chest run regular pop-up recycling events.
Most car journeys are under five miles. Scoot to school with the kids, or cycle to the shops. Hire an orange Donkey Bike in town. Set up a car share through ecarclub.co.uk or the West Sussex Carshare Scheme. Make your next car electric.
“Say no to disposable cutlery, plates, straws and stirrers” Sarah
Ditch plastic by using stores offering zero packaging and refill options, like Larder, Ceres, South by West or Streets Cafe. Switch to glass milk bottles with Milk & More or the deposit schemes at Teba and West Station News. Use greengrocers (Pixies or Sussex Produce Co in Goring), butchers (Guildbourne Meats or WD Hunt in Broadwater) and fishmongers happy for you to bring your own containers. Catchbox promotes sustainable fishing by encouraging people to buy from three local fishermen still working: John Booker, the Marchants and Mr Jenkins opposite Onslow Court.
Grow your own. Community garden groups work together to grow fruit and veg to share: look up Transition Town Worthing (TTW), TCV’s Growing Communities Project, We Are Food Pioneers, Breathing Spaces and Creative Waves. For a larger-scale project, get involved with Sustainable Sussex in setting up Sompting Community Farm.
Forage (sustainably) for blackberries, mushrooms and sloes this mont; join Foraged by Fern’s local hunts to learn what’s out there.
“Keep a food diary for a week to work out your household’s food waste. Planning ahead, cooking in bulk and freezing meals is better than chucking away leftovers” Emma
Everything from foods scraps to pet poop can be composted (the latter can’t be used on food crops). If it’s too good to chuck, local initiatives like The Community House, Worthing Soup Kitchen and The Empty Plate Cafe distribute surplus food to those in need. The Coffee Camp and South by West offer leftover food on social media, or try food sharing apps like Too Good To Go and Olio to stop food going to waste.
“I save and freeze vegetable offcuts and cheese rinds to make stock (in a biodegradable bag)” Serena
Who knew teabags contain plastic? Try out some loose-leaf UK-grown Tregothnan Tea from South By West. Coffee fan? Coffee grounds are a great fertiliser; many cafes including Waitrose give them away for free.
Replace clingfilm with beeswax wraps; Sam at Sussex Forest Activities runs workshops for £10.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Use solid deodorants, soap and shampoo and conditioner bars. Check out Plastic Free Worthing champions Clean Mind Pampering or make your own.
We use around 300 toothbrushes in our lifetimes. Switch to bamboo alternatives with plastic-free floss and toothpaste.
Fight the fatbergs with plastic-free sanitary products, such as cloth pads, period underwear and menstrual cups (the average woman uses 240 tampons a year). Change to sustainable recycled or bamboo-based loo roll and bulk buy to keep costs down.
Pop along to Sussex Cloth Nappy Library’s drop-ins for a reusable nappy kit and reduce the three billion a year that end up in landfill.
“Give up smoking! Cigarette butts are the most common single-use plastic polluting the planet” John
HOME & GARDEN
Make your own cleaning products with vinegar, bicarb of soda and lemon (The Green Boutique has DIY kits). If your inner Hinch can’t face it, use a eco-brand refill scheme from Larder or Ceres.
“Do a plastic audit and see what you can swap for reusable products like batteries or notebooks” Steph
If your radio is on the blink or your clothes need a stitch or two, book into the TTW Repair Café and learn how to mend them.
Worthing Eco Open Houses takes place next year, with advice about saving fuel, water and waste. To get involved email wg.eoh2020@ gmail.com.
“Speak to your neighbours and your family. Change starts within your home, and you can help support each other. I’ve become best friends with my neighbour and we’re always swapping food, sharing childcare, cooking dinner together and sharing our zero waste ideas!” Kay
CAMPAIGNING & POLITICAL PRESSURE
Vote with your feet; smart local businesses have adapted to consumer concerns about the environment. Plastic Free Worthing campaigns for local organisations to make three swaps from single use plastic, awarding them the status of Plastic Free Champions if they do.
Dixey CB opticians has introduced a recycled range of frames and glasses. Club Cards 121 changed their plastic cards to become biodegradable within 1-5 years. Proto Restaurant Group recycles old cooking oil into cheaper fuel for cars and buses, while Worthing Beer Festival (25-26 Oct) is using returnable glasses and eliminating single-use plastic bags.
“Use Ecosia as your main search engine; they plant trees with all their profits” Aiste
Pressure local councils. In July, Adur & Worthing Councils declared a climate emergency and promised a strategy by next January to work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030, while West Sussex County Council has pledged £13m towards renewable energy projects.
“Sign up to the TTW newsletter to stay abreast of all that is going on locally” Pauline
Campaign where you can. Give back a Happy Meal toy. Leave packaging at the till. Move your money. Ask your employer to do more. Demand change from big polluters identified in the #breakfreefromplastic campaign.
“I feel strongly it cannot all be about the individual. The tap is still pouring nurdles out faster than any litter picking can manage. At a high level we need to put pressure on industries to turn it off” Jean
Join local protests: this year we’ve seen blue ribbons from Extinction Rebellion, green hearts from Climate Coalition and Youth Climate Strike Action’s protests. Sign up for he West Sussex Climate Pledge with five key steps we can all take. Get involved and make your voice count!
THINK REDUCE BEFORE RECYCLE
Will I use it? Do I need it? “Buy no tat!” Jean
Thank you to the members of Journey to Zero Waste, TTW and the local community whose contributions were invaluable and inspiring!
“With a decent support network in place we can all make small changes and help each other” Kay
This month, head to the Green Dreams Festival at Field Place (Sun 29 Sep) where many local groups in this article come together to celebrate community food and greenspaces.
By Zoe Rhodes
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