Monday, 21 June 2010

Love your Electricals and set them free for Recycle Week

So if your old man has reached the heights of being follicly challenged and doesn't know what to do with his redundant hair clippers or you're fed up of tripping over the broken strimmer in the shed, this is the week to go forth and show them the door for good.

Not "him indoors" of course, but his truckload of useless stuff!

Yes, it's Recycle Week 2010, which runs until 27th June, and this year's theme is Love your Electricals, encouraging us to finally part with our useless gadgets. That's anything with a battery or plug and could include broken toasters and kettles, old mobile phones or disused power tools, all of which could either be reused or recycled.

But did you know getting rid of this stuff is actually easier said than done!

According to a survey carried out  by ICM Research, many of us have deep-seated issues associated with ditching our electrical clutter and cling onto our wired smalls even when we no longer have a use for them.  No matter whether they are broken or have been replaced by a more recent model, we leave them lurking in attics, garages, cupboards and drawers.

Apparently we hold onto these items for both sentimental and practical reasons.  Indeed the results of the survey revealed the following feedback from participants.
  • 40% feel too sad to part with an item they no longer use
  • 41% hoped the item might come in handy some day, or that they might be able to pass them on to someone
  • 23% feel that small electrical items seem too valuable just to throw away
  • 29% hang on to them because they are not sure what to do with them

If this sounds like you or certain members of your family - and yes a few of mine come to mind - the folk at Recycle Now might be able to offer some timely assistance.

For the latest Recycle Week campaign, they've partnered with the British Heart Foundation, who are accepting at their furniture and electrical reuse centres, unwanted electrical and electronic products that are still in working order.  And by dropping off your gadgets you will be doing your bit for charity too.

But if your gizmo is totally defunct and can't be fixed, don't lose hope as there's good old fashioned recycling to hand, where you can drop off your broken electronics at your local recycling centre and the components will be saved to create new products further down the line.

So if you want to find out more, pop along to the Recycle Now website for all the information you'll need.  And if you really do have issues separating yourself from your beloved broken bits, there's even an agony aunt available to lend a hand, a nice old lady with curly grey hair who comes with an interactive set of cheesy  content that will help keep you entertained while you ponder your declutter.

Now where did I put that portable stereo I last saw circa 2003?  It's probably hidden in the loft somewhere, which means I've got little hope of finding it even if I have until the start of London Olympics.  But if I did, there'd be enough material to turn that outdated piece of kit into 267 yoghurt pots and 11 steel cans.

Not bad eh!  Far more useful than dumping it into landfill.  And if this video is anything to go by Mr A had better keep a tight grip on his games consoles, as I can see myself heading straight to the jewellers armed with a screwdriver.

All this, plus news of a competition to win an Eco-friendly DAB radio is available at Right, on that note, I'm off to hunt out the old Playstation. A new gold ring, here I come!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Time for an ASAP pledge

Yesterday I received a call from Baglady.  Not just any old baglady but Shirley Lewis, the fabulous campaigner from Northern Ireland who's encouraging folk everywhere to live ASAP - As Sustainably As Possible.  And what better time to get involved as Baglady has just launched ASAP Pledge Fortnight.

The highlight of the awareness campaign is ASAP Pledge Week, which starts on Monday 14th June and leads up to ASAP Pledge Day when, on June 21st, children from Northern Ireland will take their pledges to the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont to ask politicians to join in and support living ASAP.

Baglady is asking you to be involved too, by sharing your ideas on how to live as sustainably as possible.  You just need visit her website and tell her what you are giving up and what you pledge to take up. It's that easy!

I'm going to join in and I pledge to give up using my car so much now that it's got fixed.  Yes, I seem to have developed a few inconvenient habits since it's come back from its MOT.   But it's not just about what I am giving up, it's also about what I intend to take up.  And for that, I pledge to help out a charitable cause which is in need of some extra recycling assistance. 

I'll share more information on that soon, but in the meantime, if you'd like to take the pledge too, visit and if you want to get your kids involved simply go to

Saturday, 5 June 2010

The most rubbish hotel in Rome

So who wants to stay in a hotel like this?   Well, supermodel and eco warrior Helena Christensen for one!

Commissioned by Corona's Save the Beach campaign for World Environment Day, this pop-up rubbish hotel in Rome was created by German artist HA Schult to highlight the importance of preserving Europe's beaches. And it's built almost entirely from rubbish collected from the sands of our wonderful continent.

Although this two storey construction, which surprisingly can sleep up to 10 people, will only be in open until Monday 7 June, its message will last for longer.  The Save the Beach campaign is inviting people across Europe to report and nominate endangered beaches throughout the summer, by visiting  The winning beach will be recovered and cleaned later this year by brewing company Corona.  Last year, website users chose the Italian beach  in Capocotta as the recipient of the Save the Beach clean up.

It's a shame I'm not in Rome for World Environment Day, which is in fact today.  I won't be off to the beach either.  I'll be digging my garden rather than the sands of Suffolk.  But next time I go, I'll certainly pay closer attention and pick up even more litter than usual.  And who knows, I may find enough to build a trashy hotel nearer to home.   Now, I wonder who I could get to stay in my hotel. Alas, knowing my luck it would be the Chuckle Brothers.  So while I ponder that malarkey, I'll leave you with a photo of the world's first ever rubbish hotel with its first ever guest.

Helena Christensen at the Save The Beach Hotel in Rome

More information about the campaign can be found at

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