“Residents can help by reducing the amount of waste they produce, reusing what they can and recycling what they can’t. Use sites such as Freecycle or Gumtree to rehome your unwanted items. Remember to sort your waste and use your food, garden and dry recycling brown bin.”
The climate crisis is the biggest existential challenge modern humans have ever faced, and judging by our progress so far we’re not coping with the threat of annihilation very well.
Ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall, it bears repeating that those seven nations have, since the Covid-19 pandemic, pumped billions more dollars into greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels – worsening the crisis – than they have into clean energy.
Despite decade after decade of increasingly desperate warnings from scientists and activists, and more and more promises from politicians and corporations, the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted through human activity is still going up, the temperature is going up, and the risks are going up too.
The enormous plastic waste footprint of the top 20 global companies amounts to more than half of the 130m metric tonnes of single-use plastic thrown away in 2019, the analysis says.
Single-use plastics are made almost exclusively from fossil fuels, driving the climate crisis, and because they are some of the hardest items to recycle, they end up creating global waste mountains. Just 10%-15% of single-use plastic is recycled globally each year.
You can also list items to sell on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and FreeCycle. You can even list things as collection only, so it’s simply a case of taking some pictures, writing a description and waiting for someone to come and take it away.
If you’re looking to buy Ikea furniture, picking up a secondhand item will be cheaper than buying the same item new. But you may be able to find cheaper secondhand furniture by going directly to sellers elsewhere – so it’s worth checking the likes of eBay and Facebook Marketplace first. You may even be able to pick-up free furniture on sites including Freecycle and Freegle.
For most people, moving to a new house means having to get rid of a few things, and pieces of furniture gradually get replaced by better quality items over the years. That means if you ask around, you will almost always be able to find useful items that people are happy to give you for nothing – everything from sofas to kitchenware to carpets. If your family and friends can’t help, try Freecycle. Many charity shops also deal in low-cost furniture and homewares, even if they don’t have them on display. Remember that as long as what you get is still in sturdy condition, you can usually cover up superficial damage at a trivial cost.