Zero Waste is for life, not just for EWWR!

The last week of November 2020 is European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) which is organised by our Circular Economy for Youth project partners ACR+

Working with some local community partners in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Pontydysgu’s CEYOU project has supported the setting up of a brand new circular economy initiative Zero Waste Cynon. Their website and social media presence launched at the start of November and they have organised a number of activities to coincide with EWWR. Their ethos is that zero waste and reusable alternatives should be accessible to everyone.

We believe in a world where zero waste is not only for those who can afford it, where environmentally friendly options are not prohibited by cost, where everyone can make a difference.

As part of EWWR they are asking local residents to contribute to a crowd sourced food waste reducing recipe book and to share their top tips on waste reduction. There are also competitions for 0-6 and 7-11 year olds to share their zero-waste lunch ideas and design a zero waste poster.

Beyond EWWR the initiative hopes to continue into the future by providing an online environment to both collect ideas and showcase local opportunities for reuse and recycling.

Ponty’s Young (Online) Activists

Last week CEYOU hosted the first online meeting for the Youth branch of Pontypridd Young Friends of the Earth.

The group have been very active over the past year attending Fridays for Future School Strikes and organising a hustings for local parliamentary candidates to discuss their views and policies relating to Climate Change.

Everyday life has changed significantly in a short space of time. Supermarket restrictions and limiting our time out of the house may lead to an increase in purchasing products wrapped in plastic and relying on takeaways in plastic tubs, combine this with reduced waste management and recycling services and its easy to fall into bad habits.

Their task for our Youth Forum this week was to come up with a top ten tips for staying green during the Covid19 quarantine and lockdown period.

The group were full of ideas for the lockdown from planning your ideal garden in Minecraft to redecorating your home for a change of scenery to leaving chalk messages of hope and positivity on the pavements.

Here are the top 10 which, in true Circular Economy style you are free to use, reuse and repurpose but please give attribution to CEYOU.eu and YoungFOEPontypridd.

 

Ponty gets Cycle-ing

It’s not unusual to find the Pontydysgu staff in a bar on a Saturday but I was there before the staff this weekend.

Pontypridd’s Clwb y Bont played host to an event to promote the Cycle project. Cycle aims to promote circular economy ideas to teachers and trainers in adult learning who can in turn promote the ideas through their work with learners. Fortunately Pontypridd is a hotbed of circular activities and I am still being contacted by people who want to get involved.

Circular economy sounds far more complicated than it is. It means that instead of buying a product, using it and then throwing it away, we aim to get the absolute maximum use out of it, ideally reusing it over and over. The aim is to produce zero waste. This requires thought and planning at all levels of the production/supply chain but it is something that everyone can play a part in.

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At the start of 2019 I sat down with a local group of adult educators and community group leaders, told them about the Cycle project and asked what sort of event would be most useful for them. They knew far more about circular economy that I did!

What resulted was a day long circular economy and sustainability festival in the glorious Welsh summer combining workshops and discussions about implementing circular economy ideas in practice, about teaching those ideas to others and about making what adult educators already do more circular. At the same time there were practical demonstrations of the work and teaching including willow craft, home brew and sustainable gardening.

We called it Your Ponty Needs you because the whole town needs to pull together to reduce waste and improve sustainability.