10 November 2008

Thought for the Day on "Reuse"

A Thought for the Day aired on BBC Radio Cumbia on Monday 10 November 2008:

When our kids were very small, we received quite a few bags of clothes for them from family and friends. The clothes weren’t worn out so there was no need to throw them away. Passing them on to us saved us some money and time buying new ones. Just as importantly, it was great to be part of a community that helps out when you need it.

I think that we have become too used to buying new – we should be repairing things and having unwanted stuff from others. The world doesn’t have endless resources, so we shouldn’t be squandering what we’ve got already.

Someone recently told me that they went to the local tip. A £700 bike was being dumped, and all that was wrong with it was two broken spokes! Someone else was told that he could have got £40 for a copper boiler at a scrap yard but 'he couldn't be bothered to take it'.

Smaller things can be reused too: We’ve given away home brew equipment, and even spare soil to a local conservation group, usefully getting rid of some of the clutter that’s built up over the years.

Cumbria households produce more waste per head than any other county*. Let’s reduce that by recycling, composting and re-using. Getting things second hand can even be cool - somewhat surprisingly, my eldest daughter has recently adopted one of my old lumberjack shirts.

So: if you have to get rid of something, don’t chuck it: sell it, or give it away to family, friends, a charity shop or jumble sale.

Or give it away on Freecycle.

Outtro: Freecycle is a set of internet groups that help you give and receive unwanted items for free. For more details, go their web site, www.uk.freecycle.org.

There are 7 Freecycle groups in Cumbria with a total of over 10,000 members. There are Freecycle groups across the UK and in the world there are almost 6 million members.

If you have something to give away, join your local group for free, then send an email message saying OFFER: item (location). Do the same for something you need using a WANTED message.

The Cumbria groups are: Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Kendal, North Lakes (Keswick), Penrith and Eden, South Lakes (Windermere) and West Lakes.

Freecycle UK is registered charity (No 1118148)

* “Each year in Cumbria we throw away 350,000 tonnes of domestic waste. That equates to 136 bin bags full for each household. That's a lot of rubbish! In fact, Cumbria households produce more waste per head than any other county. But that's the bad news. The good news is that we can actually recycle over four-fifths of this.” (Source: http://www.recycleforcumbria.org/)

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