Saving money and having fun while cutting waste is the focus of a new year-long campaign across Somerset launched this week.
Open to both individuals and local community groups, Green Routine has 12 monthly themes to help the county’s residents keep more cash in their pockets and put less rubbish in their bins.
Green Routine is backed by Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) and builds on a successful four-week pilot programme in 2011 that attracted more than 500 people to take part.
Now sustained for a full year, Green Routine encourages those who sign up to explore the 12 themes, from gardening and clutter to children and shopping, and adapt the ideas, free tools and information to meet their needs and priorities.
For example, January’s theme focuses on food, as some 35,000 tonnes of food waste is collected from Somerset households each year but only about half of this is placed in the food waste containers for recycling. The rest goes to polluting wasteful landfill at a cost of £85 a tonne.
The average family with children throws away £50 a month of food, and most of this is avoidable, so Green Routine has practical tips and food saving measures to help people cut waste and save cash by buying and cooking the right amount.
By widening the campaign to have local groups taking part, such as parish councils, Transition Towns, Women’s Institutes, garden clubs and active living centres, Green Routine hopes to reach into communities and offer support to get many more involved.
Another new element is free training for those keen enough to spread their skills to others, from courses on food management in every district to a county-wide Compost Champions programme to help many more turn garden waste and certain foods into free soil improver.
SWP Managing Director Steve Read said: “Green Routine can help us all take small steps to make better use of the things we have, from food to furniture, gardens to gadgets, and share tips to make things last longer or give them a new home.”
SWP Managing Director Steve Read said: “Green Routine can help us all take small steps to make better use of the things we have, from food to furniture, gardens to gadgets, and share tips to make things last longer or give them a new home.
“Encouraging waste prevention is our top priority as it achieves the greatest cost savings and environmental benefits.”
Individuals or groups interested in Green Routine or wishing to sign up should go to: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk.