March on Waste

March was so named to honour Mars, the Roman god of war. It was the time of year that military campaigns were resumed after a Winter pause. This ties in nicely with our theme for this month – waste, and our renewed fight against it’s rising tides.

Global Recycling Day, celebrating the importance of recycling, takes place on the 18th of March, so let’s focus on some of the ‘waste’ skirmishes we are winning. We recently announced that efforts to achieve Tetrapak recycling locally seem to be paying off, with a pilot collection point in Winchester opening soon. Incredibly, until now the closest points have been near Eastleigh and Basingstoke. Keep an eye on the New Leaf Facebook group for updates.

There’s good news on the glass waste front as well. Since doorstep glass collections started across the district in October last year, an extra 50 tonnes has been collected per month for recycling, saving 11 tonnes of CO2 every month!

Whilst recycling is invaluable, in fact essential, it’s also important to remember that availability of particular recycling schemes doesn’t give us a green light to produce as much waste as we like. Refusing, reducing and reusing (where possible) take preference, and on the 14th of March a ‘Minimal Waste Market’ is being held at Badger’s Farm Community Centre, with opportunities for visitors to meet suppliers and learn how to minimize waste.

Another important aspect of recycling is composting food waste and this is the theme of an article by local ‘Waste Champion’, Cathy Swann in this month’s Forum magazine. Cathy provides useful tips for composting and reducing food waste and points out that composting is a win-win, for the environment, our gardens, and ultimately us too.

As Spring arrives it heralds the emergence of spring cleaning. ‘The Great British Spring Clean’ is an annual occurrence, with events taking place across the country; cleaning up streets, parks and beaches. Join people of all ages on Saturday 21st in Alresford, as the local community comes together to care for our little corner of the world – equipment and refreshments are provided! See the New Leaf News & Events page for more details on local litter pick events.

If you are having a spring clean at home try making your own cleaning products. Follow the simple, traditional recipes in our guide which recommends using natural household ingredients; reducing packaging waste and pollutants as well as saving you money.

Spring is also when many venture back out into the garden to tidy up, pruning away the dead wood, ready to welcome the first shoots. It is when growers prepare the ground for sowing, and plant onions, early potatoes and summer flowering bulbs.

Let’s make this March a gentle yet persistent war on waste, valuing what we already have and allowing time to be more creative and inventive with what we’ve got – living more lightly, with the world in mind.

Waste isn’t waste until we waste it. — Will.I.Am, musician