I found this post in my draft folder. I wrote it a while ago and maybe for some reason didn’t want to publish it at the time. So apologies if it seems a bit out of date.
The has been some news recently about the harmful effects of plastic fleece. The kind that clothing is made from. Fleece jackets and so on. Also microfibre cloth. I remember when fleece clothing was thought of as being an environmental “good” because it was a way of recycling used plastic bottles. But apparently when plastic fleece, and microfibre clothes are washed, fibres get washed away and end up polluting the ocean. I also remember having a few viscose jumpers which basically rotted away after being washed a few times, I did not think that the fibres would have ended up polluting the ocean.
Over the last few years companies in Europe have been improving the way products are packaged, and there is less packaging than at the packaging peak, however there is still a long way to go.
I needed to find a home for some old broken garden tools, as part of an exchange I was doing with Arthur’s Hill Time Exchange. The kind which are very sturdy with no plastic parts, good quality ironmongery which are from the early to mid 20th Century or even older, made in Sheffield or some other Northern foundry.
There used to be a project called Tool Aid which was based in Newcastle West End, sadly they are no longer collecting tools for refurbishing, but another charity called Conservation Foundation now does this, Tool Aid gave me the info.
If you have old garden tools you wish to declutter, you can take them to one of the drop off points
Recently we have been saving our newspapers to take to
Newcastle Cat and Dog Shelter. It is sorely needed for the cats and kittens at the shelter.
Nowadays a lot of people have kerbside recycling for newspapers, and while this is a good thing, it means people have less newspapers hanging around. Also due to the dire state of the local economy and high price of newspapers, less are bought. Also, more people look at their news on the internet and don’t bother with the actual newspaper.
So if you have a stash of newspapers, consider your local animal sanctuary before throwing it away.
I also know that West End Refugee Service are in need of more clothes and shoes for their clothing store.
This is a service where users of the project can get some clothes to wear from what has been donated. For those who are destitute this can make a big difference. Warm and weatherproof clothes and shoes are particularly useful. If you have some clothes or shoes that you were thinking of passing on, then this would be a good place for them.
Each Year Arthur’s Hill Time Exchange do gardening work in the local area. Recently they have taken over maintenance of the brick planters around Arthur’s Hill. Normally Newcastle City Council maintain the planters but they have not been able to afford it since Central Government cut their budget.
Here is a planter on Stanton Street, and also some evidence that council cuts to domestic refuse collection services are causing people to dump rubbish elsewhere than in their domestic bin.
I have had discussions with people about this. People say why should we need our bins emptying every week, when we can recycle things instead? Surely getting our bins emptied fortnightly is enough?
My answer: some families have a lot of children and maybe they are caring for elderly parents or disabled family members who live with them. They don’t have a garden so they can’t do composting. Their young children have nappies (not recyclable) which need changing. Their older children want to eat junk food. They have poor literacy skills and are not sure how to go about recycling or what they can recycle.
It is all about helping the environment, recycling, water conservation, permaculture and using reclaimed materials.
Just down the road in Queen’s Court Newcastle City Council installed a new set of recycling bins with normal household waste bins.
There is also a bin for clothes and shoes, and a grit bin.
This encourages people to separate their recycling from the normal household waste, which does not happen much at our place, being a housing association the landlord seems to be able to get away with substandard practice, as the rules do not seem to apply here.
Here is how it should be done!
Note the aesthetically pleasing secure metal fence enclosing the bin storage area.
Complaints about rodents seem to have died down recently, maybe due to the colder weather.
Residents in Middlesbrough worked really hard to get recycling happening on their estate.
They even made a film about it, I’m impressed.