Reusing, Recycling and Refilling
The scale of the environmental challenges is considerable. As individuals, it can feel that our efforts are going to make very little difference. The fact is that every time we make the effort to reuse our shopping bags, avoid single-use plastic packaging, recycle our waste or refill a water bottle, we reduce our impact on the planet. Each might be the tiniest of steps, but as more people get involved, big changes can result.
In a recent blog, we mentioned an Upcycling event in Aylesbury. Building on this, we explore other local initiatives that anyone can get involved in. We may not have much sway with saving the rainforest, but we can take action to benefit our local environment.
Get Involved in Aylesbury’s Refill Campaign
Back in 2015, a lady in Bristol founded City to Sea. This organisation works to empower individuals to make a difference within their communities. One of their campaigns is the Refill scheme. Refill encourages retailers and community organisations to offer free tap water to anyone who brings in a reusable bottle. They sign up to the Refill App which individuals can use to locate nearby Refill stations.
Bristol Water supported the campaign and introduced two Refill water fountains in the city centre in 2015. These have been widely used and to date are believed to have prevented 500,000 single-use bottles being bought.
Refill may have started in Bristol, but with a commitment to the campaign, Natalie and the City to Sea team have spread the word. The idea has been taken up in many communities across the UK. A local resident, Michael Fryer, is now helping to promote the take-up of the scheme in Aylesbury.
As a café, retailer or organisation all you need to do is offer tap water for free. It encourages people into your premises, shows you support the community and environment and offers a little free publicity.
As a member of the public, you simply need to carry a refillable bottle. When you are out of water, pop into a Refill station and request a top-up. It can save you money and help you stay hydrated as well as being another small step towards making a difference.
We want to show our support for another local campaign – the Aylesbury Wombles. The idea is for local residents to meet and walk, collecting litter along the way. The idea came from a local teenager, who wanted to improve our town. Meeting on a regular basis, generally on a Sunday, the Wombles invite anyone to come and join them. They have already collected hundreds of bags of litter from various areas of Aylesbury and are inspiring people to get involved.
Chiltern Railways Cup Recycling Scheme
If you rely on a morning coffee to get you going on the morning commute it would be great to carry a refillable mug. If you forget, then Chiltern Railways has made it as easy as possible to ensure that the paper cup does not end up in landfill. Cup recycling points can be found at stations from Aylesbury Parkway to Marylebone. There are separate sections to dispose of liquids, lids and the cup. This makes recycling possible.
Office Recycling and Charity Fundraising
To provide a convenient way to improve workplace recycling, Florence Nightingale Hospice are promoting an Office Recycling Box scheme for businesses in and around Aylesbury. The Aylesbury Box Company team are proud to have contributed to this initiative, along with The Print Lab. Toner cartridges, stamps and CDs are amongst the many items that can fill the boxes. These are collected by volunteers, who sort, then sell or recycle them to raise money for the charity.
Switching to Cardboard Packaging
Finally, businesses are invited to come and speak with the Aylesbury Box Company team for advice on switching to cardboard packaging and packaging inserts. Reusable and recyclable, cardboard packaging is a cost-effective, printable and sustainable option.
It is easy to get involved in these local initiatives and they are all helping to make a difference in our local community. Let’s take steps to improve the environment on our doorstep.