Zero Waste Llama

I created a blog of the process and experiences I have encountered along my journey towards Zero Waste – and extended this to an online shop opening 1st August 2022! 

We make a range of unique items from upcycled / recycled / deadstock materials, including tote bags, origami bags, hair-scrunchies, dog bandanas, keyrings, face-cleansing bags…. and much, much more! All made by myself and my friend Sarah, using 100% renewable energy and making use of materials which would otherwise been thrown away!  Trees are also planted to offset our carbon footprint!

I have always tried to live in an environmentally and planet friendly manner: I have always recycled, bought clothing from fair trade sources, made my own bread, used canvas bags for life (when I remembered them!), all light bulbs were already LED, switched all billing and correspondence from organisations to online access where allowed, I used environmentally friendly cleaning products where possible, used biodegradable poo bags with my dog and shredded paper went into compost… and I was always “contented” with my efforts.

However, over the past decade the number of shocking photos and video footage of plastic in oceans, mountains of rubbish, animals endangered due to human activity have increased exponentially. It is time to become part of the solution and not the problem! To this end, in 2018 I made a conscious effort to make more changes to my lifestyle.  Including my blog – and now my new product line!

Links:

Website: https://www.ZeroWasteLlama.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zerowastellama

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ZeroWasteLlama

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZeroWasteLlama

White Bunny Naturals

White Bunny Naturals are a Plastic Free Champion with Surfers Against Sewage for reducing its use of single use plastic. Well done from us….

At White Bunny Naturals, we specialize in Artisan goods made from all natural and cruelty free ingredients including being plastic free, palm oil free, and paraffin free. We do this by having artisan goods for cleaning as well as health and beauty. We are focused on providing All-Natural Products with the highest levels of customer satisfaction – we will do everything we can to meet your expectations. 
Our first line was our Vegan Wood Wax to give your wood a high quality shine though we do now offer an All-Natural version as well. We have increased our fragrance range as well as adding a Butcher’s Block Wax for your wooden kitchen items.

Website – LINK

Whitebunnynaturals@gmail.com

@Whitebunnynaturals on Instagram and Facebook

@WitBunnyNatural on twitter

Recognition of our work and it’s impact

Our Sustainable Cheshire Project 

Sustainable Cheshire is a project by Eco Community UK CIC. This involves our Plastic Free Cheshire and wider Sustainable Cheshire project.  Our work is managed so far on a completely voluntary basis, our directors all have other full-time jobs and do not take an income from Eco Communities. Ours is a true community enterprise supporting the whole of Cheshire, although Cheshire West is our current focus. We were very last minute with our application to the Green Expo Awards as we were busy with our own projects and the Green Expo Stalls part of the event.

Sitting down and writing the application was a great way to think about what we have achived. Over Covid our online activities increased our database of contacts from a couple of hundred to over 2,000. We provided regular online events and our weekly Tellus TV programming which reached over 4,000 individuals with messages about sustainability. We brought on speakers from around the UK and many that were involved in small projects within our own region to spread the word.  

It was fantastic to receive the award for Community Engagement at the Green Expo Awards Dinner by Cheshire West and Chester Council, along with seeing lots of other awards go to great businesses and organisations. Our work on ‘Plastic Free Cheshire‘ morphed into ‘Sustainable Cheshire‘ when I realised we could get a good domain name to fit this. We achieved Plastic Free Chester via Surfers Against Sewage when the team were working under Friends of the Earth Chester & District and our separate Plastic Free Pioneer project. Having achieved Plastic Free Chester in 2018 and being pre Covid, we decided we wanted to support other regions in Cheshire to do the same.

As we came out of Covid we restarted our regular group litter picks in Chester and have reached out to other regions to work with them to achieve Plastic Free status. This involved managing the Surfers Against Sewage data base, providing training and forms to engage with businesses. We so far have Frodsham, Ellesmere Port, Neston, Northwich and Tattenhall linked in with us. We have a regular meetings to discuss progress and ideas. 

We also came up with our ‘Litter Pick Hubs’ projects as we came out of lock down. We were aware of lots of solo picks and people were buying their own equipment. Lots of people approached us about equipment over lockdown as the Council had to stop sending out its own pickers. Our local hubs mean that litter picking is open to anyone as they can borrow equipment from us locally.  They will be located in community spaces, parks and businesses will act as hubs. You register with us and then you can access the equipment, do your pick and return it to the hub. 

Our hubs will be throughout Cheshire West over 2022 and into 2023 allowing up to 400 people to be active litter picking at any one time. We are also committed to removing some of the recyclables in litter from incineration and so reducing the regions carbon footprint significantly.  

Our Impact 

Our litter hub project is split into 3 main aims to reduce, reuse and recycle. The projects are aimed at both reducing litter, increasing recycling and increasing reuse. The 3 main projects involved a reduction in litter collected by Street Scene, reduction in emissions from petrol in the process of delivering litter equipment around the region through the creation of litter pick hubs, a coordinated approach of litter pick volunteering, diverting a proportion of street litter from bins and volunteer picks away from energy from waste to recycling saving a considerable carbon reduction over the year. We will encourage a reduction in single use plastic, help people to be able to get involved and become more informed.   

This project has the ability to reduce the CO2e by 27,000 KG just in year one. The region also spent a massive 3.1 million pounds on litter and fly tipping in 2019/20 and so this project can both reduce these costs through a more co-ordinated volunteering scheme and by separating litter for recycling potentially take 25% of street litter could be diverted to recycling.   

We have:  

  • Over 35 businesses signed up to reduce single use plastics just in Chester.  
  • 6 regions working on hitting the 3 targets for Plastic Free Community status 
  • A database of around 2,000 supporters to our online newsletters. 
  • Through our Eco Comms Giki account we have committed steps to save of 1,500 items of single use plastic from being used
  • Delivered over 108 online talks to support learning and information on Sustainability and Climate Change via Crowdcast. 
  • Connected with over 4,000 people online over Covid with our online talks.  

In 2022 we are projecting that we will have organised/ supported over 24 group litter picks in Chester.   

In order to drive wider engagement and reach the pockets of the community who aren’t online, we created our first printed newsletter in Spring 2022, Tellus Magazine to update people on local activities and events, educate people on sustainability and empower people to get involved.  We then distributed this through the local libraries and relevant companies in our business network e.g coffee shops and veg box deliveries.    

 

Our online Tellus Magazines and other circulations have reached over 5,600 people since we launched.  Over 200 people have read our online Spring/Summer Tellus Magazine and 4,000 printed copies are available. We have from emails reached lots of new residents and organisations. We would like to deliver an Autumn/ Winter edition of our printed newsletter, to ensure we reach areas of the community who aren’t online and to widen our reach.  This will require additional funding.    

Read the Spring/Summer Online Edition here

Can we make better use of School Uniform?

Helen Chambers, Director Eco Communities

With the rising cost of living school uniform is something that most families are dreading the thought of, which makes sense as Uniform actually gets thrown out far quicker than it wears out.

I have just totalled up the cost for my eldest going up a size in most of his uniform and PE kit for next term and it’s a whopping £188.25, and that’s without new shoes which he will most likely need after a summer of eating, sleeping and growing. Thankfully he wont need a new coat either, as I bought the last one far too big for him to ‘grow into’. 

Luckily his uniform will be handed down to my youngest, but it is estimated more than 1.4 million school uniforms are thrown away every year rather than recycled.  On the other hand latest figures show that 1 in 5 families struggle to access affordable school uniform for their Children and this is resulting in higher levels of bullying and truancy.

The day I started writing this I got a very welcome email from my sons’ school to say that, now we are able to, with the help of volunteers they have sorted through a pile of donated uniform over the last two years. They will now be letting parents put in requests of what items they might need, for a small donation to the school. Hopefully more schools will now be able to do this.

I have also recently come across a website Uniformerly https://uniformerly.co.uk/. It is a platform to make donating, purchasing and selling uniform easy in the UK. There are 32,000 schools in UK and only 2,600 currently on the platform so lots more to get involved. It will hopefully help to remove the stigma, families to reduce costs, improve education access and give uniform a second life!

Cheshire West and Chester Libraries

Public libraries are free to join and free to borrow from, including eBooks and eAudiobooks. The library service prides itself on always being environmentally friendly because a library book is often on the shelves for five years and can be borrowed more than fifty times during that period. There are also loads of events and regular sessions in the libraries. Check out the Facebook page.

Did you know Chester Library at Storyhouse has over 274 years’ worth of Cheshire newspapers on microfilm. The collection starts at 1733 and ends at 2009. You are welcome to use our microfilm reader for free. Just ask a member of the library team to book an appointment.

Find a Library

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Chester Community Energy

Chester Community Energy Ltd. is a registered Community Benefit Society which develops and facilitates renewable energy schemes in Chester and the surrounding area. Our aim is to produce renewable energy generation, reduce the carbon emissions in our area and encourage energy efficiency. We raise funds to carry out our work via grants and public share offers.

Website

Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust have planted 50 million trees since 1972.

‘Native woods and trees are one of the best ways to tackle the climate crisis. And we’re pledging to get 50 million trees in the ground over the next five years, helping to put the UK on track to meet its carbon net-zero target.,’

The Woodland Trust needs more members to support us to continue our work to tackle the critical issues of the climate and nature crises. The Trust is currently doing this through working both practically, with a huge programme of tree planting and new woodland creation, and politically, by campaigning and badgering, those in power to take urgent action.

Website

Sophia’s Illustrations

Website

Sophia Shaw a regular at our events, a freelance illustrator based near the beautiful city of Chester on the Shropshire Union canal aboard 42ft narrowboat ‘Roanoke’ with partner Andrew and little rescue dog, John. 

A love of travel, nature and beautiful gardens very much inspires Sophia’s work, from map-making to her unique artist greeting cards and commissioned portraits, she loves to bring colour and an element of story-telling to her work. 

Working from her off-grid recycled shed, sustainability has always been important. Any printed work is outsourced as locally as possible, cardstocks used are always recycled and her greeting cards are sold plastic-free. Sophia also uses her skills to fundraise for local wildlife organisations.   You can also find her work – ​Place for the Art, Northgate Street (next to Boots)

Mersey Wax Wraps

Welcome to Mersey Wax Wraps.  You will find us nestled on the Wirral Peninsula, besides the famous River Mersey.  

​You do not have to look far to read an article or see a video highlighting the global environmental impact of single use plastic.   We want to help people like yourself to make small changes in their everyday life, so that together we can live in a more sustainable way and reduce our plastic consumption.

We hope you fall in love with our Organic Cotton range as much as we have.  As part of our commitment to a sustainable product, we continue to use organic products as much as possible in the making of our wraps.  

A sustainable product should be good for the planet as well as your home.

​To further complement our pursuit of sustainable living, we also have a range of plastic free items for everyday life. Lisa

Website