Recently in Tony Hitchens Category

As part of their course I recently made a presentation to 3D design students at Newcastle College about the part played by designers in producing sustainable products.

Premier Waste Management is challenging the students to design sustainable products, or items that solve recycling problems, or promote recycling, in a competition to determine which designs are best for the environment and will protect the planet in the future.

Eco-clothes get stylish

By Trash Talk on Oct 15, 09 03:52 PM

The Alternative Fashion Show is a collaborative event organised by Fairtrade Durham and Climate Durham, to be held next Wednesday 21 October, 6.30pm in Durham Town Hall, tickets on sale at tourist office, £5.50.

At the start of 2008 when I was investigating way to reduce my waste, one of the things I started doing was using less "stuff" to shave with.

A couple of weeks went by and I had managed to reduce my waste weight substantially and I forgot about the shaving angle. Then last week when I was getting my hair cut I looked up at a display of shaving brushes which got me thinking about the changes I had made to my shaving regime and how much my changes had reduced my waste.

Sustainable packaging

By Trash Talk on Aug 24, 09 05:07 PM

Wow, look at this great packaging for strawberries.


It is made almost entirely out of cardboard apart from the cellophane window in the outer sleeve. The dish container is made out of the same cardboard as egg boxes; perfect for putting in the compost bin or in the hamster's cage (and then in the compost bin).
The outer sleeve can be recycled using established cardboard recycling methods.

Sometimes you just need to get off that upgrade cycle and realise that as long as your device is working you DON'T ACTUALLY NEED THIS YEAR'S MODEL.

The LAST YEAR'S MODEL website has been built by people who love new technology and cool gadgets. but realise that the constant upgrades and built-in obsolescence of today's devices is not really the way forward.

Millions of fewer carrier bags

By Trash Talk on Jul 23, 09 02:19 PM

In February 2006, twenty one retailers pledged to reduce the environmental impact of carrier bags. The 21 retailers were: Asda, Boots, Co-operative Group, Debenhams, DSG Retail Ltd (Dixons and Currys), E H Booths & Co Ltd, Home Retail Group, John Lewis Partnership (John Lewis and Waitrose), Marks & Spencer, Next Group plc, Nisa Todays, Primark Stores Ltd, Sainsbury's, Somerfield Group, Spar (UK) Ltd, Tesco, Travis Perkins (Wickes), Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc.

In May 2009, 452 million single issue carrier bags were handed out in the UK, compared with 870 million in May 2006. This represents a 48 per cent reduction, narrowly missing the target of 50 per cent.

This is a substantial reduction in raw material use and material going to waste. Of course if they had just been banned or taxed out of the market the effect would have been a lot more dramatic, in these times of tightening purse strings I am sure the supermarkets would welcome it.

The Ecologist moves 100% online

By Trash Talk on Jul 14, 09 04:54 PM

Nearly forty years after it first appeared the Ecologist magazine has ceased its printed edition and moved completely online.

They get the obvious environmental benefits of saving in material (ink, paper and packaging) plus the saving in energy from print and transport (both at the front end as the magazine pallets are sent to the shops and at the back end, as the returns go back to the distributor) there will also be a savings in waste from paper off-cuts, spoiled copies, pulped returns and landfilled copies - although I would hope that reader of the Ecologist are reusing and recycling the magazine.

Despite these obvious ecological benefits there is a radical difference between web and print and I hope they are taking that into account.

You don't have to be in the waste and recycling industry for long before you become interested in the issue of sustainability and climate change.

I end my waste and recycling presentation to school kids with a picture of the Earth from space and they immediately grasp the significance. Once something is used up, it is gone. Use up the Earth and we have nowhere else to go.

Home is a film by renowned photo-journalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand that uses stunning aerial shots of the Earth's landscapes, natural phenomena, animals and human industry to show the impact we are having on the planet.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

By Trash Talk on Jun 10, 09 12:30 PM

As regular reader know by now I am not a fan of disposable plastic.

If you need to see any more evidence of why plastic packaging and our disposable society is not such a great idea, you need to see - The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Climate change action in Durham

By Trash Talk on May 27, 09 10:00 AM

A new group called Climate Durham has just launched.

Climate Durham is a coalition of residents, businesses and organisations seeking to inspire every individual, household, business and organisation in Durham to adapt to a low carbon lifestyle.

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