We recently attended the first ever SOBO Wastebusters event, bringing together environmentally conscious members of the Southbourne community. The event was held at Terroir Tapas, a very appropriate venue having recently been awarded the UK’s most sustainable bar by CASK. Terroir produces no waste other than a small amount of food waste which is then used for compost in their allotment. James and the team have worked hard to pioneer things like their grey water system, using reusable tubs in favour of disposable packaging and growing their herbs on site. It is fantastic to see a business so driven by sustainability become successful in Southbourne.
The evening itself consisted of a number of speakers from local sustainability organisations talking about their projects and how they are doing their part to reduce waste.
Here are some of the groups involved:
Win on Waste – Using a very connected approach to recycling, this group are working hard to prevent as many items as possible from being sent to landfill by finding them another use through recycling and repurposing. Example items collected are milk bottle tops, corks, drinks can ring pull and crisp packets, many of these are then made into new plastic lumber which can be used to create new items. Check out their ‘We Need That’ directory which provides you with information on what is currently being collected and which not-for-profit organisations are supported by doing so.
Sarah from Bournemouth Council talked about what the council have been doing over the past decade to improve their approach to recycling, bin collections and food waste. Sarah told us that 38% of all general waste collections was food and that was the driving factor behind them introducing their new food waste specific bins. This collected food waste is then used to produce electricity as it breaks down and it also forms a liquid which is then used for farming. The council have recently set up ‘small electrical item and battery recycling points’ locally which should prevent so many of them ending up in landfill.
Transition Bournemouth is a group which has been running for just over a year; they formed based on mutual care for the planet and desire to make changes. In 2018 they won ‘most environmentally friendly ethos ‘ at the Avonbourne Trust Earth Charter Awards. Their goal is to see how life can be lived without using so much energy, and they believe that everyone should try to do something. Transition organise monthly meetings every 3rd Wednesday of the month as well as regular screenings at the Mad Cucumber in Bournemouth. Transition have set up projects such as the carbon counting project ‘Count on Me’ which provides a crib sheet to help people make simple changes which will reduce their carbon impact on the planet. This project has calculated almost 800,000kg of CO2 from people they have spoken to and helped to make changes in just one year. The Transition team are also using their status to support and assist other local environmental initiatives and projects like the Slades Farm Community Garden.
Repair Cafe – Counteracting the throwaway culture, this monthly meeting pop up space aims to locally share tools, skills and knowledge to help people fix their broken items and prevent them from going into landfill. It is a free service run by volunteers who can help repair items like toasters, hoovers and clothing. Currently, they are looking for more volunteers who can help repair things as well as teaming up with related businesses to further assist with repairing items – every 3rd Saturday of each month at Bournemouth Central Library.
Plastic Clean Bournemouth – Running regular beach cleans and using other initiatives like reusable cup schemes to reduce waste on our seafront.
Fashion & Sustainability/Switch it Clothing – 20,000 litres of water (virtual usage) is used to make one cotton t-shirt. Per person we are using 14.2kg of cotton every year in the UK, we cannot keep consuming clothing at the rate we do. Switch it is a clothing exchange set up to try and combat the enormous amount of waste and environmental damage caused by the fashion industry. In the past year, they have facilitated 11,000 items being swapped rather than going into landfill. Events are organised in Southbourne, Poole and Christchurch.
Dorset Devils – Local litter picking group, working hard to keep our beaches and the surrounding areas clean. Passionate about ‘neighbourly-ness’, ‘loving where you live and talking rubbish’. Over 400 members signed up including 35 ‘keen as mustard, junior devils’ helping to influence the future and increase engagement with younger generations.
Boscombe Community Fridge – Another organisation which has made use of the fantastic innovative funding event Bournemouth Soup, Boscombe Community Fridge is designed to rescue food from going to waste. By linking up with local supermarkets, they have been able to save over 800kg of food since December. Food which is past its sell-by-date but low-risk such as cereals, potatoes and bread is collected from local supermarkets and brought to the fridge based in Boscombe Library. They are currently looking for volunteer drivers to pick up food from Castle Lane Tescos regularly as well as some of the Co-op stores in the area. We plan to help by using our Bullitt cargo bike to take collected food to the Boscombe fridge.
SOBO Wastebusters was a fantastic event, showcasing some of the incredible work some groups are doing locally to try and make a difference. Emphasis was made by all on everyone doing something, even if it is just a small amount, to minimise their waste. Stay up to date on their upcoming events via their facebook page.