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Issue 1 Sept / Oct 2003

Everything our bodies are made of, everything we eat and use in our daily lives, ultimately comes from the earth. Harfiyah Ball Haleem explains why we should do our bit for the environment.

 The earth provides various minerals - oil, gas, coal, and uranium which are sources of energy. However, the earth’s resources are not unlimited and we in the West are consuming and wasting resources at an excessive and alarming rate.

  • The volume of waste produced in the UK in one hour would fill the Albert Hall.

  • We use over six billion glass bottles and jars in the UK each year. It would take you over three and a half thousand years to sing “Six Billion Green Bottles”!

  • The average person in the UK throws out their body weight in rubbish every three months.

  • An average person throws away 74kg of organic waste each year - the same as 1077 banana skins

  • Each year in Britain, we throw away 28 million tonnes of rubbish from households. This weighs the same as three and a half million double decker buses. A queue of buses that long would go around the world one and a half times.

  • All the aluminium cans sold in the UK would fill 12 million dustbins each year.

  • Every year we need a forest the size of Wales to provide all the paper we use in Britain.

  • Each year food shops give away enough carrier bags to cover the whole of London with a layer of bags.

  • One million tonnes of nappies are thrown away every year, that’s eight million nappies every day. Each child uses a total of 5850 nappies in their lifetime; that weights the same as an average family car!



Top Tips to Reduce Waste


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1. Buy products in packaging that you know can be recycled.

2. Don’t be profligate with paper! Use both sides and reuse scraps for shopping lists and notes.

3. When your mobile is one of the estimated 90 million unwanted mobile phones lying around, don’t bin it but recycle it for charity. Contact the Phone recycling panel on 08451 30 20 10 and they will send you a freepost envelope so you can send the phone to them and in return they will donate to a charity.

4. To stop junk mail from clogging up your mail box and bin, write to Mail Preference Services, Freepost 22, London W1E 7EX to remove your name from mailing lists which are sold on to companies.

5. If you have a regular cappuccino fix, take along your own mug. Usually the coffee shop will give you a discount and it saves on using take-away cups

6. Food is a perishable commodity. Do not buy more than you need.

7. Save travel costs and help your local milkman and buy from him. Milk bottles can be re-used up to 24 times before being recycled.

8. Just because your kids have grown out of certain clothes and toys, it doesn’t mean they are rubbish. Charity shops and organisations are always in need and hospitals and doctors’ surgeries would always welcome your unwanted toys and books.

9. If you feel a product has too much packaging, contact the manufacturer - or don't buy it in the first place.

10. When shopping take your own re-usable shopping bags. If you have to use plastic bags re-use them when you go back to the shops or use them as kitchen bin liners.


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words: Harfiyah Ball Haleem and Helena Iveson

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