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Sack Off Secret Santa


Zero Waste London Mail

December 9 · Issue #18 · View online

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Hello friends,
Have you ever tried to convince your colleagues that the world doesn’t need more tat? It’s a tough job.
Despite the very tangible impact of climate change on our lives, your effort to curb the amount of cheap, mass-produced Secret Santa gifts could still be interpreted as a lack of generosity. Basically, you’re a Scrooge.
The reaction I got last year from a fellow journalist who received my small box of homemade gingerbread men wasn’t the one I expected. Underwhelmed is properly the best way to describe it.
I still think we should stop the Secret Santa madness but we should it in a very generous manner. How? The answer to this conundrum is Sack Off Secret Santa, a campaign created by UK advertising agency Ponderosa :
‘Don’t waste your money on a terrible token present. Gift what you’ve got to spend to charity instead. We promise, it’s not just your Secret Santa who’ll appreciate you doing this’.
You can gift a virtual ‘Random Calendar’, a ‘Christmas Mug’, a bag of ‘Dubious Smellies’, a ‘Festive tie’ etc. to one of the eight charities selected by Ponderosa for their campaign.
While we are at it, can we also get rid of mass produced crackers full of tat? Actually, John Lewis and Waitrose have stopped selling crackers with plastic in them, apparently.
Despite the first impression created by the title of this newsletter, this edition of Zero Waste Mail London is actually full of Xmas cheers (see the Christmas bonus section at the bottom).
Also, on the menu this week:
  • A cool campaign has been encouraging British people to recycle their electronic and electric devices;
  • 10 tips to reduce your gas consumption at home while keeping warm.
  • Little Hands Design organises a Green Stitch club on December 21st.
If you enjoy reading this newsletter, please consider sending it to a friend and/or sharing it in social media. : )

The Campaign 🙅
Did you know that you could make jewellery from old electrical appliances? I had no idea until I read about the ‘Five Gold Ring’ created by UK non-for-profit organisation Material Focus for Recycle Your Electricals.
Recycle Your Electricals has come up on my zero waste radar recently. Their website is full of practical information about how to recycle and how to resale electric and electronic devices.
Recycle Your Electricals helps you every step of the way. They tell you how to delete data from your smartphone, laptops and tablets, where to recycle your electrical items and how the material collected this way can be reused .
BBC journalist Paul Lewis as well as models and businesswomen Lily Cole (pictured above) and Caprice Bourret have been recruited to spread the word about the money people can pocket by selling their smartphones, juicers etc. and the waste that can be saved by recycling the items that cannot be neither sold nor donated to charities.
In the UK, 155,000 tonnes of electricals are discarded every year, instead of reusing or recycling them. That creates e-waste – and that poses a major threat to the environment and to human health.
Visit Recycle Your Electricals here.
10 tips to reduce your gas consumption
Keeping our homes at 18 degrees Celsius would help us save a lot of gas.
Keeping our homes at 18 degrees Celsius would help us save a lot of gas.
I’ve done some research on how to save energy at home. After looking at electricity consumption last month, I’ve focused this week on gas consumption.
  1. Buy a thermometer or 2.
  2. Draught-proof your house like your life depends on it.
  3. Draw your curtains as soon as it gets dark.
  4. Buy radiator reflectors.
  5. Bleed your radiators and check your boiler.
  6. Use hot water sparingly.
  7. Use a smart thermostat.
  8. Insulate your loft room.
  9. Upgrade your main door and/or windows.
  10. Check out the Energy Saving Trust website.
You can read the full article here on Medium.
Also, I’d like to bring to your attention that using a woodburner is a very, very bad idea for your health and the health of your neighbours.
In Brief
  • Young Planet recently celebrated its first birthday. Think Olio for kids’ stuff. The app enables parents to pass on toys, clothes and other bits and pieces to other families for free. Start donating and receiving items by clicking here.
  • Little Hands Design, a non-profit Fashion Design and Dressmaking School in North West London, has recently taken part in the Youth Climate Summit. On December 21st, the charity organises a Festive Special Green Stitch Social Online club. Book your free ticket here.
  • Thames 21, a non-for-profit organisation restoring London rivers with the help of local communities, has a very busy schedule of events until December 19th. They will restart their activities on January 5th. Have a look to their calendar here.
Christmas bonus
I've treated myself to a few of their products. I can't wait to try their banana ketchup!
I've treated myself to a few of their products. I can't wait to try their banana ketchup!
  • If you are looking for zero waste edible gifts, have a look to Rubies in the Rubble. All their products are made with fruit and vegetables and surplus ingredients that would have been discarded otherwise. They are a B-corporation business.
  • Wasteless Market, a multi-vendor marketplace for sustainable vendors in the UK, has a very wide range of zero waste products available.
  • I am completely in love with a Finnish company called Re-pack. They make reusable packaging. They have put together a list of companies that use their reusable packaging for a trashless Christmas. There are some very interesting companies in this list.
If you enjoy this newsletter, please consider buying me a Ko-fi (unless you are Jenny and, in this case, you are barred from buying me a Ko-fi ; )).
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