Compressed aluminium cans for recycling

Alupro

Alupro represents the UK’s aluminium packaging industry and works to fulfil the industry’s obligation to meet, and exceed, its recycling targets. Alupro engaged Barley to develop a PR strategy that would increase its share of voice in the packaging debate, strengthen its influence on government policy and industry issues, and encourage consumers to recycle more aluminium packaging.

In line with the new strategy, Barley has helped Alupro to influence the debate on the Deposit Return Scheme for drinks packaging which is due to be implemented in Scotland this year. Our high-profile #MakeDRSWork campaign, calling on the Scottish government to introduce a variable deposit based on the size of the container, achieved media coverage across Scotland.  The need for a variable rate has now been recognised by the committee advising the government, with Barley’s work having a significant impact and helping to put Alupro in a stronger position ahead of the next phase of consultations.

Deposit return scheme infographic

No Homeless Veterans

Barley provided website and social media support for the No Homeless Veterans campaign. Utilising our many years of experience working in the housing and veterans sectors, this campaign was focused on reducing homelessness among former members of the Armed Forces as close to zero as possible. With that objective in mind, the campaign engaged with local authority housing teams to ensure they understand not just the statutory obligations, but best practice advice too, in order to ensure veterans get the advice and appropriate housing they need. 

www.nohomelessveterans.org.uk

Members attending an EACTS course

EACTS

EACTS members attending a course

We supported the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS) providing issue management support and communications advice to the EACTS Council and Secretary General. Our work included advice on reputational matters and policy issues, including treatment options for patients. We worked closely with the Secretariat to promote the Association, its Annual Meeting and other education and fellowship opportunities. Our transformative approach to content led to significant reach and engagement levels on social media, helping to secure over 6,000 delegates at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Lisbon.

www.eacts.org

Guide Dogs

Guide Dog assisting with shopping in a supermarketWe are delighted to be Guide Dogs’ first retained agency focused on supporting people with sight loss to live the life they choose. We work alongside the in-house team developing stories and content to raise awareness, support fundraising appeals, encourage volunteering and promote campaigns. We bring to life the fantastic partnerships that exist between a guide dog owner and a guide dog. We work with media to utilise Guide Dogs’ training expertise for pet owners and we help tell the stories that matter to people with sight loss. 

Martin Clunes and his dogs join the Guide Dogs virtual tea party

Recently, celebrities including Martin Clunes, Gregg Wallace, Imelda Staunton, Bill Turnbull and Andy Murray joined forces with Guide Dogs for a Guinness World Record attempt at the world’s biggest virtual tea party. Read more about the Guide Dog’s virtual tea party here.

www.guidedogs.org.uk

Major boost for London paper cup recycling to recycle 4 million more cups

An immersive art installation arrives on the riverwalk in London’s Bankside today made of 5,555 paper cups – the number used every minute in the UK. 222 of these are coloured black to represent the 4% of cups which are currently estimated to be recycled in the U.K. At 3 metres tall and illuminated at night, the structure is unmissable, and visitors can walk inside it and it’s also wheelchair accessible.

The installation heralds a major push to improve paper cup recycling in high footfall areas across the capital. Five new recycling programmes, financed by The Cup Fund, aim to recycle 4 million more paper cups a year. The schemes are launched as new research1 released today by the environmental charity,  Hubbub, reveals the public are still confused about paper cup recycling. Three out of four people wrongly believe that paper cups can be recycled in the same way as other paper and card. However, because cups have a plastic lining that stops hot drinks from leaking, they need to be collected separately from other paper goods.

The Cup Fund was established to meet this need and is the U.K.’s largest grant fund to bolster and scale paper cup recycling. The London programmes represent five of the 12 schemes across the country selected to receive grants of between £50,000 and £100,000 to develop long-term infrastructure. The Cup Fund is financed by Starbucks, from the 5p charge introduced on paper cups in 2018, to encourage customers to increase their use of reusable cups and avoid the charge. 

Each of the five new recycling programmes is tailored to suit the local area, with features including:

  • Brixton – Brixton BID are introducing the first cup recycling facilities in Lambeth across the area’s thriving independent coffee shop scene 
  • Camden – the Camden Climate Change Network and Veolia are bringing coffee cup recycling to offices and coffee shops, while street sweepers will collect paper cups separately 
  • Mayfair and Belgravia – Grosvenor Britain and Ireland are installing cup recycling points in office buildings and public spaces across their estate, as well launching a competition with local schools to create a design for a paper cup art installation 
  • Bankside and London Bridge –Better Bankside and Team London Bridge, the area’s Business Improvement Districts, with their recycling partner Paper Round, are introducing eye-catching new recycling points at iconic locations from Blackfriars Bridge to Tower Bridge, south of the River Thames. 
  • Universities – Bywaters will encourage cup recycling by students through a playful communications campaign across University of Westminster, Queen Mary University of London and London School of Economics (LSE) 

All cups collected by the funded projects will be recycled within the U.K. into new products including paper bags and greetings cards. These products will be manufactured locally to reduce travel and some of those products will go back into the locations where the cups were collected to create a closed loop. 

As well as financial funding, each project will receive ongoing guidance and advice from Hubbub to enable them to best spend the funds to deliver the greatest long-term impact. The charity has been at the forefront of coffee cup recycling campaigns for a number of years, bringing together large-scale collaborations of retailers, cup manufacturers, local authorities and other stakeholders to test and scale cup recycling in London, Leeds, Manchester and Swansea.

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub, said: “While reusable cups are the most environmentally friendly choice, billions of paper cups are still being used each year and most aren’t currently recycled. We know that people generally want to do the right thing with recycling and it was surprising to find that three in four people are still unaware that cups need to be collected separately from normal card and paper. By using the Hubbub and Starbucks Cup Fund to raise awareness and introduce eye-catching cup recycling points in high footfall locations, we hope we can encourage Londoners to dispose of their cups in the right bins and ensure that they are recycled.” 

Haley Drage Vice President, Public Affairs, Starbucks EMEA, said:“Addressing the issue of waste in and out of our stores is a global priority, and we are tackling this from a number of angles within the organisation—whether it’s reducing the amount of single-use materials we introduce to begin with, encouraging customers to adopt reusables or investing in an alternative cup solution that could transform the industry. Starbucks is proud to be working with Hubbub and The Cup Fund winners to launch five new recycling programmes across the capital, increasing the ease and availability of recycling for Londoners.”  

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said: “Tackling waste from disposable cups is a complex challenge and one the Mayor is taking action on. From City Hall, we have installed 3,500 water refilling stations and 61 water fountains across the capital, and it’s great to see the Cup Fund’s five diverse approaches to encouraging recycling in London.

“We know that there is a great willingness from Londoners to ditch plastic bottles and disposable drinks containers, so we welcome action from the commercial sector to facilitate this. Recycling plays an important part in cutting the environmental impact of disposable cups, but our ultimate goal must be to reduce the amount we use in the first place, by switching to reusables.”

The installation was created by acclaimed local art duo, Mule Studio. It will remain in place on the riverwalk in Bankside London, close to Tate Modern, until 31st January, and then moving on to other prime locations across central London, after which all the cups used to build it will be transformed into new usable products.

For more information on The Cup Fund, the winners and their progress visit www.thecupfund.com.

Pollution  Pavilion revealing invisible  air pollution  arrives in Covent Garden

A stunning, interactive ‘Pollution Pavilion’  has landed  in Covent Garden’s iconic Piazza to  spark a  national conversation about  air pollution. It’s the work of environmental charity Hubbub and Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, which are  urging  people to  help  make this pressing issue  political priority wherever  they live.

Research  released today by Hubbub finds  80%  of Britons are worried that the UK limits for air pollution don’t match WHO guidelines. The survey also found that  83% of people are worried about how air pollution could affect them or their families – this  rises  to 89% for parents with primary school-aged children and 92% for those with under-fives.

The unique installation,  designed  in collaboration with artists  Climate and Cities  and King’s College London, displays huge balloons that change colour,  reflecting annual  Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)  data  drawn from 5 London Air Quality Network stations  across London to help visitors visualise air pollution levels. Nitrogen Dioxide comes mainly from road transport and has been linked to asthma prevalence, adverse birth outcomes, cancer and reduced life expectancy.

Across the  UK, almost 2,000 locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland have levels of air pollution that exceed the WHO’s guidelines.   On  18 March  2019, London  had already breached European and UK  PM10  limit  for the entire year and  nearly every area of the capital breaches WHO guidelines for PM2.5 pollution. 

The #AirWeShare  campaign,  supported by property business Grosvenor Britain & Ireland,  is today urging people to ask their  MP to  support a  legally binding  commitment to meet  World Health Organization  recommended  PM 2.5 limits  by 2030.

TrewinRestorick, CEO and Co-founder of Hubbub  said:  “As air pollution is invisible it’s really easy to ignore this issue,  but there is a very real threat to our health.  There’s lots we can all do to improve the Air We Share and have a positive impact,  but what we really need is legislation and initiatives that deliver clean air for everyone.   We are today urging  everyone to write to their  local  MP to get this important issue higher up on the  Government’s agenda.” 

Tor Burrows, Director of Sustainability and Innovation, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland  said: “Poor air quality in our cities is a reality for too many people. As a business we have committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2030 and are playing our part by reducing traffic, increasing greening and helping all our tenants to operate more sustainably. But this is not enough, we need our elected officials to push harder and faster towards a net zero carbon economy. Please lend your voice to demand the air quality we all deserve by contacting your MP.”  

Professor  Frank Kelly,  Head, Department of Analytical, Environmental and Forensic Sciences,  King’s College  London  said : “Air pollution is a grave risk to human health. The more we have investigated the issue the more problems have been uncovered from effects on the unborn child to a contribution to neurodegenerative disease in adults. Installations like this play an important role in raising interest and understanding about the air pollution challenge and I applaud Hubbub and Grosvenor in working with King’s College London to bring this issue to the public’s attention.” 

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said:  “It’s great to see campaigners, businesses and academics collaborating on creative ways to help the public understand the dangers of air pollution and encourage them to take action. Air pollution is an invisible killer and I’m taking some of the boldest action of any city in the world to ensure Londoners can breathe clean air. This includes introducing the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, which has helped slash roadside nitrogen dioxide pollution by around a third in the central London zone.  We need Government to follow London’s lead and MPs to use their voice in Parliament to help clean our filthy air across the country. A key part of this is toughening up targets in the upcoming Environment Bill to meet World Health Organization air quality guidelines by 2030.” 

#AirWeSharecampaign urges people to take  the following actions  to  lower  their exposure to air pollution and to help reduce pollution: 

  • Switch car journeys for ones where you can walk, cycle or take public transport instead 
  • Re-route your journey. Choosing quieter routes rather than main roads has been found to reduce your exposure to air pollution by up to 50% 
  • Do you order online? You can reduce your online footprint by opting for click-and-collect or collect in store (or by choosing not to buy it at all!) 
  • Use your voice and your power to make positive change. MP’s act on our behalf. So,  share  your views with them and invite them to help to improve your local air

The  #AirWeshare  campaign launched in May 2019 and was created by Hubbub and supported by leading companies including Investec plc, Bunzl, First Mile, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Kingfisher  and  Innogy EMobility UK.  The campaign  provides practical advice  about how people can  protect themselves and their families, what they  can do to reduce their own emissions, and  how they can add their voice to the wider call  for cleaner air.  The #AirWeShare  is also  building a coalition of leading companies who want to test new ways of  reducing air pollution;  creating greener, safer and healthier cities that are better for employees and communities.

The  Pollution Pavilion will remain in Covent Garden’s Piazza until 26 January 2020 and will move to Grosvenor Square in the Spring.

Libby Clegg with her guide dog

Libby Clegg makes history as first Dancing on Ice contestant with sight loss

Double-gold medallist Paralympian and Guide Dogs Ambassador, Libby Clegg MBE, took to the ice on Sunday night as the show’s first ever contestant with sight loss. Libby is no stranger to physical challenges and is keen to show she can hold her own against fellow sighted contestants.

As a champion Paralympian, Libby competes in 100 and 200 metre sprints with an arm strap to connect her with her sighted partner and is therefore used to putting her trust in someone whilst moving at speedHowever, lifts, spins and skate blades add a whole new level of risk, and Libby’s sight loss requires a different approach to training and coaching from her professional skate partner, Mark Hanretty.

Libby comments“As I can’t see the required skating moves before I try them out, I’m reliant on Mark’s powers of description to guide me through. Trust and communication are a key part of being successful and making the partnership work, and I ask a million questions.

“Also, I can hear whether it sounds right. When you skate well it makes a kind of biting noise on the ice and when you do it badly it makes a scratchy noise, which I hear frequently! Although sometimes I think I might have a slight advantage to my fellow contestants, since my lack of vision actually makes the twists, turns and spins easier as I don’t get dizzy!”

Libby’s skate partner Mark, added: “When I heard I was being partnered with Libby I was gobsmacked and terrified in equal measure. But being around someone who’s registered blind and yet copes with life so well, there aren’t words to describe how impressed I am with her. Libby is an incredible human being and I feel I couldn’t have been blessed with a better partner.”

Libby has Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy and is registered blind. She was paired with guide dog, Hatti, a black retriever/labrador cross, five years agoLibby explains how she applied for a guide dog because she was getting fed up of having to explain herself to people. 

Libby concludes: “Because I don’t really look visually impaired, if I bumped into somebody, I felt like I had to give them my life story. Not only that, I was nearly hit by a car on a couple of occasions, so it was a bit dangerous and my family were worried about me. I also walked into a hedge one-day, full body.

“Hatti is invaluable and has supported me to live my life with confidence, independence and on own my own terms.  Whilst Hatti can’t join me on the ice, she will be supporting me rink-side.”

For more information about Guide Dogs, please visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/dancingonice

Push for reusable cups has ambitions to save 150 million paper cups a year

Today, environmental charity Hubbub is announcing their ambition to double the uptake of reusable cups for hot drinks. The initiative has been built using funds collected from Starbucks 5p charge on drinks purchased in a paper cup across its stores nationwide.

Currently 3 billion paper cups are used every year in the UK and it’s estimated that less than 5% of all hot drinks are sold to people bringing a reusable cup. Efforts to increase this figure have seen Starbucks shift sales in reusable cups to 5%, up from 2.2% two years ago. Hubbub plans to work with major retailers and independent coffee shops to raise this to 10% of all sales, which would see a reduction of at least 150 million paper cups a year.

Research released today by Hubbub found that Britons buy an average of 4 take away hot drinks each week, with 1 in 5 buying at least one a day. The research also found that over two-thirds (69%) of people have their own reusable coffee cup but only 1 in 6 say they remember to use them every time they buy a hot drink. The most common reason forthis gap in reusable cup usage is consumersforgetting to taketheir cup with them when they leave home in the morning.  Hubbub also found that the number of people using reusable cups drops off during the day as people feel uncomfortable asking retail outlets to wash their cups and refill them.

Hubbub will be running a range of innovative behaviour change campaigns throughout 2020 to shift this, starting with the Grab Your Cup campaign kicking off in Manchester. As caffeine-seeking commuters return to work from the Christmas holidays, a new ear worm will be reminding them to leave home with their reusable cup. From today, music lovers in Manchester will wake up to a new jingle on radio stations, Spotify and YouTubecreated by Fun Lovin Criminals front man, producerBBC Radio 2 and 6 DJ and allround legend, Huey Morgan.

Grab Your Cup aims to remind people to take their reusable cups in the morning, remove any feelings of awkwardness they may have about taking a reusable cup to a store and shift widespread behaviour by making it the norm to drink from a reusable cup. High street chains Caffe Nero, Costa, Greggs, McDonald’s and Starbucks are being joined by independent stores across Manchester to share the message and this will be supported by adverts in the heart of the city.

Results from the Manchester Grab Your Cup campaign will be assessed by an independent agency and then widely shared to inspire more ambitious reuse campaigns in other cities throughout the year.

Huey Morgan said: Helping rid the planet of unnecessary plastic and single use coffee cups is something I feel really strongly about. My kids are always talking about it, so I was very inspired to get involved. I wanted to make a great song with an important message – hopefully something that cheers people up, gets in their heads and helps them to do their bit for the planet! So, grab your cup cos you know what’s up!”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “In Greater Manchester we are determined to eliminate single-use plastics and we can all do our bit to make that happen.

While our cafes, hotels and restaurants all play a huge part in this, we need our residents to make responsible decisions, such as carrying and using their own reusable coffee cup rather than using a single-use one.

If we all make an effort to make these small changes, we really can make a difference.”

Gavin Ellis, Co-founder and  Director of Hubbub, saidWe’re really pleased to have Huey’s support to share the message that a reusable cup is the best environmental option for take-out teas and coffees, and it saves money too. This collaboration is a first of its kind for an environmental charity, and Huey has come up with a real ear worm which will help make sure that people remember to grab their reusable cup on the way out of the house. This is the first of a number of new approaches we’ll be testing to see if we can shift the needle on reusable cup uptake through positive and playful campaigns.

Haley Dragem, Vice President, Public Affairs at Starbucks EMEA, said: “We’re proud to continue our work with Hubbub trialling out of store waste management solutions and raising awareness of the benefits of reuse. The Grab Your Cup campaign in Manchester is a unique way to encourage people to always carry their reusables whilst on-the-go and addresses on of the key barriers to more customer adoption. We are excited to try something new and see the kind of impact that it can have.”

Join the Swish and Style clothes swap revolution

2020 is set to be the year of the clothes swap – aka ‘Swish’ – as awareness of the environmental impact of fashion continues to rise and people strive to cut down on waste. More than 300,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year and according to a report by the waste charity WRAP, if clothes stayed in active use for three years (nine months more than the UK average), it would reduce their carbon, water and waste footprints by 20 to 30 per cent. Which is why the North London Waste Authority’s Wise Up to Waste campaign is encouraging people to swap unwanted clothes for something to cherish at a series of Swish and Style giant clothes swaps across north and central London in 2020.

Launching officially on 8 January at Dragon Hall in Covent Gardenthe January event provides the perfect opportunity to put New Year Resolutions to waste less into practice and Swish any unloved Christmas fashion gifts.

Chair of the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), Councillor Clyde Loakes, said: “Our research shows you’re likely to have at least six items in your wardrobe that you haven’t worn for a year. We’re asking people to dig them out and swap them for something they will wear. More mindful fashion consumption enables people to save money and will help tackle the climate emergency”.

What’s more clothes swapping is good for your mental wellbeing, as Fashion Psychologist Shakaila Forbes-Bell explains: “Consumers agree that the sustainable fashion movement is “an ideal situation they would be striving to work toward”. However, often there are barriers to being sustainable. Firstly, sustainable fashion collections can be expensive, which of course can negatively impact our wellbeing. Secondly, fast-fashion items are based on fast-changing trends and wearing clothes ‘of the moment’ plays a key role in how we want to be perceived. Clothes swapping events like Swish & Style remove these two issues completely. Not only will this event allow you to revamp your wardrobe without the financial strain, but the free repair and alteration workshops  will provide an opportunity to make any ‘not quite right’ finds into match perfect gems – so you’ll  appear more confident in your attire.

 But the benefits don’t stop there, according to Forbes-Bell: “In the UK, more than 30% of our unwanted clothing currently goes to landfill. Therefore, by swapping instead of dumping your clothes, you’ll be lightening your environmental footprint while experiencing psychological benefits. Neurological studies have shown that the reward networks in the brain activate during acts of generous giving, even when we benefit from these acts ourselves. Also, clothes swapping enables you to engage in more mindful consumption, so rather than letting your style be dictated by big-label brands and high-street giants, you’ll be able to make a conscious decision about what styles truly suit you, your values and your lifestyle.

“So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to Swish and Style!”

Fashion Editor and Stylist Wendy Rigg who will be at the launch event on 8 January to offer event-goers styling advice and help them pick out fabulous outfits they will want to wear again and again, agrees: “With vintage being so on-trend, there couldn’t be a better time to start swishing. Clothes swaps provide the fun of fashion shopping without the guilt or waste. As we step into 2020 why not give it a go”.

Fast Fashion Therapy will also be at the launch event offering free upcycling and repair tips.

Admission: Free – you can register here.

More information: wiseuptowaste.org.uk/swish

How it works: Bring good quality clothes and accessories you no longer want, swap them for tokens and then spend those tokens on items you love.  You can also take part in an upcycling workshop on repair and alterations and/or you can show your support for the campaign online by posting pictures of your #wardrobetreasure finds.

Items accepted: 

  • Clean and wearable women’s and men’s clothes 
  • Clean and undamaged shoes and accessories like hats, scarves and gloves

 

Please don’t bring the following: 

  • Damaged clothes, with holes or stains 
  • Jewellery 
  • Underwear, bath towels, bedding (unless unworn/unused in original sealed packaging)
  • Swimwear
  • Stockings, tights and leggings

 

Swish and Style event schedule: 

Date Time Address Workshop
8 January 6.30-9.30pm Dragon Hall, Covent Garden Dragon Hall Trust, 17 Stukeley Street, London WC2B 5LT Fast Fashion Therapy

– Upcycling

11 January 3-6pm Round Chapel Schoolrooms, 1D Glenarm Rd, Clapton, London E5 0LY Amber Joy

– Natural Dyeing

18 January 2-5pm St Mary Magdalene, Windmill Hill, Enfield, EN2 7AJ [TBA]

– Upcycling with Embroidery

23 January 6.30-9.30pm Salisbury Hotel, 1 Grand Parade, Green Lanes, London N4 1JX [TBA]

– Leather Upcycling and Repair

2 February 2-5pm St Mary’s Community Partnership, Upper St, The Angel, London N1 2TX Fast Fashion Therapy

– Upcycling, Basic Mending and Boro

6 February 6.30-9.30pm Today Bread/Central Parade Co-working, 6-10 Central Parade, 137 Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 4RT Anna Alcock

– Screen Printing

15 Feb 1-4pm Artsdepot, 5 Nether St, North Finchley, London N12 0GA Amber Joy

– Natural  Dyeing

22 Feb 2-5pm St Mary Magdalene, Windmill Hill, Enfield EN2 7AJ Fast Fashion Therapy

– Upcycling, Basic Mending and Boro

29 Feb 1-4pm Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park, Highgate Hill, London N6 5HG Fast Fashion Therapy

– Upcycling, Basic Mending and Boro

5 March 6.30-9.30pm Salisbury Hotel, 1, Grand Parade, Green Lanes, London N4 1JX Fast Fashion Therapy

– Upcycling, Basic Mending and Boro

14 March 1-4pm Abney Hall, 73A Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0AS Fast Fashion Therapy

– Upcycling, Basic Mending and Boro

21 March 1-4pm Lift, 45 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PW Moody Bright Designs

– Upcycling with Embroidery

28 March 2-5pm St. John’s Hall, High Road, Leytonstone, London, E11 1HH Fast Fashion Therapy

– Upcycling, Basic Mending and Boro

Meet 2020’s first life-changing puppy

The charity Guide Dogs has welcomed its first guide dog pup of 2020 into the world. The yellow labradoodle pup was born at 15:08 on 2 January at the home of a Guide Dogs volunteer in Hanbury, Warwickshire. The asyet unnamed male puppy is one of over 1,200 new guide dog pups expected to be born this year.

newborn puppy

The pup and his eight siblings were delivered safely by their mother, Emma, under the care of the volunteer. Exclusive footage and photography give a first glimpse of them settling in with mum in their first home.

In about eight weeks’ time, the pups will go to the homes of other volunteers, where they’ll learn and grow for the next 12-16 months.  They will then begin training and continue their journey to become a fully qualified guide dog.

litter of newborn puppies

Brood Supervisor, Tim Bloomfield, said: “Being a part of the journey of a guide dog is so rewarding. Knowing that these pups are coming into the world to make such a huge difference to the lives of people living with sight loss makes it an incredible experience to be a part of.

There are many stages to ensuring a guide dog pup becomes a fully qualified, working guide dog and our supporters and volunteers are essential in making this happen. We couldn’t do it without them!”

Guide Dogs are calling for the public to sponsor a puppy through their journeys to become fully qualified guide dogs. For more information or to sponsor a puppy, visit: guidedogs.org.uk/sponsor

Look for a Little Green Dress this party season

The little black dress is an enduring staple of the party season. But do you really need new one? Environmental charity Hubbub is encouraging people to go green this December.  

Research by Hubbub has found that Britons are set to spend a staggering £2.4bn on new clothing for Christmas parties this year, spending an average of £73.90 per person (men £88.14, women £63.12) on party wear.  What’s more, these outfits are set to have less than three wears with one in five people admitting they won’t wear the same thing to more than one party. 

When it came to the lovely sparkly dresses on sale this time of yearonly 24% know that most party dresses contain plasticIn fact, Hubbub analysed 169 party dresses from 17 different online, high street and designer outlets and found 94% are partially or totally made from plastic/plastic-derived fabrics.  

Hubbub suggests four greener options this season are to: 

  1. Rewearrestyle or upcycle an outfit you already own 
  2. Borrow or swap with friends 
  3. Rent from one of the great rental sites available like ByRotation or Hurr 
  4. Buy second-hand from a vintage shop, online reseller or a charity shop 

Sarah Divall, Project Co-ordinator at Hubbub said: “Vintage and pre-loved clothing has never been so on trend and it’s only going to get bigger, as people realise the massive environmental impact of the fashion industry. Going green doesn’t mean you can’t dress up. There are so many eco-friendly options out there now, including clothes swaps, renting, pre-loved and charity stores, so you can look stunning and save money without damaging the planet.”

The good news is 16-24s are adopting greener ways to dress, as higher numbers swap with friends (36%) and buy from charity shops (30%) than older generations.

Blue Planet effect set to save our sprouts

More than a quarter of us have vowed to waste less Christmas food this year as a way of protecting the planet, new research released today by the environmental charity Hubbub has found.

UK homes produce on average seven million tonnes of food waste each year, while food waste is responsible for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Almost a third of us admit we throw away more food at Christmas than at any other time, but this year 29% of us are adamant that our Christmas shopping will be kinder to the environment than ever before. 

A poll of more than 3,000 UK adults found that over a third of us (38%) are planning, for the first time, to buy only food we need this Christmas. Some 31% of us are intending to use up, for the first time, all our festive leftovers. Those polled said David Attenborough’s Blue Planet TV series, unseasonal weather and the declaration of a climate emergency had influenced a change in their Christmas shopping habits this year.

Party food, sprouts and roast potatoes are the festive foods we’re most likely to throw away, with turkey and gravy close behind, the survey found. 

A staggering 11% of us admit we have bought Christmas food that has gone off and been binned before Christmas day. Meanwhile, more than one in six of us end up throwing out festive food that has been sitting on the side because we’re worried it’s been out of the fridge for too long.

Tessa Tricks, Head of Food at Hubbub, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see how Christmas food shopping habits are changing this year. Christmas needn’t be any less fun when we cut down on our festive waste. In fact, it’s the opposite – this is a challenge all our family and friends can get involved in. Food waste, particularly at Christmas time, is a massive contributor to climate change and yet with a few simple steps we can dramatically reduce how much we throw away.” 

Hubbub’s top ten tips to cut your food waste this Christmas: 

  1. Plan ahead – only buy enough food for the meals you’ll be cooking and the guests who will be there, and check expiry dates when you’re shopping 
  2. Avoid panic buying ahead of the bank holidays – the shops are only closed for three days! 
  3. If you’re having turkey, choose the size carefully – how big was last year’s and how much did you throw away? 
  4. Make room in your freezer in the run up to Christmas so you have plenty of storage space and check out Hubbub’s helpful guide to what food you can freeze – it’s more than you think! https://www.hubbub.org.uk/12-freezer-friendly-foods  
  5. If you’re short of fridge space at this time of year, take advantage of the cold weather and consider keeping fruit, veg and drinks fresh in a cool box outside, or even in your car boot 
  6. Don’t overdo how much food you put out at one time if you’re entertaining buffet-style, and put leftovers away in the fridge rather than leave them out overnight and ending up binning them 
  7. Check your fridge before travelling away from home and freeze or pass on any food that will be out of date by the time you get back 
  8. Try out apps, such as OLIO, to share food with those nearby, as well as family and friends 
  9. Remember that food might still be eaten after its best before date – check it looks and smells OK. Food past its best can still be enjoyed in other ways, like a healthy home-made soup to get you back on track after the excesses of Christmas  
  10. Before you reach that point where you can’t take any more leftover turkey, cook up a batch of stew or curry and freeze it for January