Day 6- Focus on Single-Use Items

I couldn’t believe it when LSB chirped up over his coffee this morning, ‘Guess what the Collins’ Word of the Year is? Single-Use! This was while I was e-mailing the principal of our children’s primary school about an initiative  called Terracycle, which recycles pens and other stationary which ends up in landfill. It seems to be user-friendly and I’m investigating whether we can use it to generate funds for the PTA, because as you know, due to the draconian cuts to educational funding in NI at the moment, every effort helps. Imagine if we got most, if not all the schools in Belfast signing up to this scheme. (Not every premises would have a site, but there could be local drop off points of which several schools could avail.) Maybe this could be your Do One Thing today, having a look at this and sending the details on to a local school, or church or sport club, and promoting this idea.They also have programmes for other items which are difficult to recycle, so have a look at their site.

I have become increasingly agitated when I see plastic items being chucked out willy nilly. The state of the oceans is all over the news now, so we can’t pretend we don’t know about the damage caused by thoughtless choices.  It only takes a walk down the Ormeau, and see the discarded bottles and folk slurping from  disposable cups to set my nerves a-jangle. LSB is worried I’ll develop a twitch soon, (he reckons he has enough to endure, being married to me, without my developing another neurosis.)

Recently I was googling different ways to recycle single-use objects that often escape our attention, or we tend to ignore, such as coffee pods. I discovered that you can recycle Nespresso pods here in Belfast, which is something to consider if this is your coffee of choice. We still have a Dolce Gusto machine in the house, which I haven’t used it in about 3 years. Sometimes we have students to stay, and I had thought about putting it in their rooms for convenience, but as my friend Deidre says, this is just perpetuating the use of single-use items, and as yet there doesn’t seem to an efficient scheme in place for easy recycling. You can read about their plan (or lack thereof) here. Plus, I’m a fussy creature when it comes to my coffee, and think I can make a better brew in my cafetière, which my lovely auntie bought me in 2009 as an engagement gift.

Do you have a coffee machine that you no longer use for environmental reasons, and if so, can I ask what you did with it? I feel bad taking mine to the local dump (or local recycling centre as my friend Mary tells me) and I also have a 3 boxes of pods to use up. All thoughts are greatly appreciated!