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Zero Waste London Mail

January 6 · Issue #19 · View online

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Hello and Happy New Year!
First and foremost, I’d like to send my support to all the parents and carers having to homeschool their kids at the moment while working from home. Because my son goes to nursery, I get to write this newsletter and do some work. I do feel like I’ve won the lottery.
I would like to do my bit to help kids out there who don’t have access to remote learning because their families don’t own the right electronic tools.
I’ve just read in the Guardian that children without access to a laptop are now considered as vulnerable and can attend school. It makes complete sense to me. However, I wonder whether this new rule has reached all the families which are in this situation. Also, with 40 millions unused gadgets in the UK - not all working computers, true - there are lots of people out there who are in a position to help.
Of course, it is not just kids and young people who need access to the Internet. Every time I read about someone complaining about Zoom meetings I think about all the isolated people who can only dream of catching up with friends, family or joining a webinar on their favourite topic. We all need access to the Internet.
So, in this newsletter, I’ve compiled information about initiatives in London to bridge the Internet gap. It’s a long term process, not just a Covid-19 emergency.
In other news:
  • You’re aware of Dry January and Vegan January but what about Give Back January?
  • Buying second-hand is fashionable in Berlin and other interesting articles.
Please share this newsletter with friends and family who are interested in waste reduction initiatives. Thank you in advance.

The News
Broadcaster Andrea McLean is one of the faces of the campaign.
Broadcaster Andrea McLean is one of the faces of the campaign.
Recycle your Electricals, a campaign I mentioned before here, has just launched Give Back January.
The statistics they’ve published are complete mind-blowing.
‘Every year between Black Friday and Christmas the UK buys a massive 53.5 million electrical items.’ 😧😧😧
‘That includes a whopping 7 million blenders for our New Year’s health kicks’
Recycle Your Electricals are encouraging people to donate their stuff, sell them or recycle them. Another option, obviously, is not to buy so many devices in the first place, not only because they need ‘recycling’ at some point but also because the more electric items in your house, the higher your electricity consumption.
Find out more about Give back January.
The Campaign 🙅
Little Lives UK provides opportunities to children who are disabled or disadvantaged.
Little Lives UK provides opportunities to children who are disabled or disadvantaged.
If you have a tablet, laptop, smartphone or other computer accessories gathering dust in your house, you can donate them to several organisations based in London.
The Restart Project has listed some of them on their website here.
Little Lives UK, a children’s charity, is also accepting donations. They collect a wide variety of electronic items and they collect for FREE in the London area. Click here for more details.
Little Lives UK have excellent reviews on their website. This charity has a reputation of offering an excellent service to anyone who wants to do an electronic clear-out - whether out of generosity or not.
Also, Hubbub is still running Community  Calling, ‘a donation project that sees old smartphones be data-wiped, cleaned and gifted with free credit to owners who otherwise wouldn’t have internet access’.
They claim to have given access to 2500 people to the Internet since they launched the campaign last year. Their aim is to support 10 000 digitally excluded households.
Community Calling started in London and has been extended outside of the capital.
Community Calling started in London and has been extended outside of the capital.
In the press and elsewhere
‘Buying used goods is trendier than ever, and the capital’s retailers are responding’, Klaus Sieg writes for Reasons to Be Cheerful.
‘A survey of nearly 7,000 people in Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain, published Tuesday by Euroconsumers, a cluster of consumer organisations, found the number of people who said they threw away almost no food doubled to 70% during lockdown’, Thin Lei Win reports for Thomson Reuters Foundation.
‘In 2017, (…), I decided not to buy any more new laptops. Instead, I switched to a 2006 second-hand machine that I purchased online for 50 euros and which does everything that I want and need. Including a new battery and a simple hardware upgrade, I invested less than 150 euros’, independent journalist Kris de Decker shares his experience using second-hand laptops and saving lots of money in the process.
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