Don’t throw it out – pass it on
There are so many ways that people can re-use old clothes, furniture, and household items – and just because you don’t want it any more doesn’t mean that someone else won’t.
Sutton Council is helping residents find ways they can re-use household items to benefit the environment & reduce costs. This will help the borough achieve its One Planet Sutton aims of becoming a greener, more sustainable area.
Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environments & Neighbourhoods Committee, said:
“It’s too easy to assume that the only thing to do with our old clothes, furniture and household items is throw them out when they’ve outlived their use to us. But too often we don’t think about whether we can pass them on rather than dispose of them. There are so many ways to save money and help the environment by avoiding needless waste – encouraging people to re-use items is one of our top priorities.”
There are five main reasons to re-use household items rather than dispose of them:
Saving money: Buying second hand is cheaper than buying new – and if you can sell on older unwanted items yourself that’s extra money for the household budget.
Help other people: Donating items for re-use helps other members of the community – give someone else the chance to love the things you don’t need any more.
Help climate change by saving energy: By re-using items we help reduce the amount of energy used to produce and supply products.
Help ourselves by conserving the planet’s resources: Every time new things are made, raw materials are used. Some of these materials will run out at some point and mining, quarrying and logging for them creates air and water pollution around the world. We play a part in reducing this when we choose to re-use rather than buy new.
Reduce waste: Re-using things means we send less of Sutton’s waste to landfill sites. Doesn’t it make sense to not bury things in the ground when somebody else in Sutton or elsewhere could still be using them?
One way to pass on unwanted goods is by using sites such as Freecycle, eBay, or Gumtree, where you can arrange to sell or even gift items rather than dispose of them. Placing an advert in a local classified paper is also a great way of finding people who may want the items you don’t need any more.
Not all items will have a resale value. But that doesn’t mean these items should be disposed of either. There are many charitable organisations who will accept and even collect donations of older clothes or furniture items as well as old CDs, DVDs and books. It’s also possible to donate old computer equipment to some organisations.
Learning some basic maintenance and mending techniques can help you make clothes last longer – it could even be the chance to learn new skills as SCOLA have classes in upholstery, sewing, and jewellery repair. Additionally, many local dry-cleaners will offer repair services at reasonable prices to help keep your clothes looking good for longer.
One Planet Sutton is a vision for Sutton where people lead happy, healthy lives with a fair share of the Earth’s resources. Sutton Council has committed to becoming a One Planet Borough by 2025. The council is working in partnership with a wide range of local voluntary and community groups to deliver this vision under the themes of cutting carbon emissions, cutting waste, valuing our natural environment, supporting healthy communities and supporting the local economy. You can find out more about the One Planet Sutton initiative here.
Visit the Sutton Council website here for more in-depth tips about reusing and recycling clothes, furniture and other household goods. There are also information about local organisation and charities which will accept donations and details of how to get in touch with them.
The British Heart Foundation and Emmaus Homeless Foundation will arrange collection of larger, bulky items in Wallington and Sutton.
Sutton Council has set out an updated strategy for delivery of its One Planet Sutton ambitions, reaffirming its commitment to being a greener borough in partnership with organisations across the borough.
At the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee meeting on Thursday 18th June the council agreed to keep the five One Planet Sutton themes aimed at reducing the borough’s carbon footprint. The five themes are:
- Cutting carbon emissions
- Cutting waste
- Valuing our natural environment
- Supporting healthy communities, and
- Supporting the local economy.
These five themes are embedded in everything the council does, from targeting its work on community energy schemes, the growing of local food, and sustainable transport by encouraging walking, cycling and use of public transport. The council will continue to undertake work across all of the One Planet themes to reduce carbon emissions. By targeting resources on deliverable projects within each of the five themes Sutton Council can re-endorse its vision for the borough to be London’s most-sustainable suburb.
Over the past four years, more than £8.5m of funding has been levered into the borough to help deliver projects contributing to its One Planet Sutton targets, and the council has made over £1.9m savings from council energy usage. The council has been monitoring targets annually relating to borough-wide energy reduction, waste, local food, transport, flooding and water reduction. The council estimates the direct financial savings of the service review will be £84,700 from the 2014/15 budget. Benchmarking of Sutton’s performance by the charity Bioregional confirms that Sutton is ranked the highest outer London borough and the third-highest London council overall in terms of having the lowest CO2 emissions.
Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee, said:
“Sutton is committed to delivering a borough where residents have an excellent quality of life, and where our natural resources and wildlife are preserved for future generations. Our revised sustainability strategy will allow the council to focus limited resources where we can provide best value. This includes increased partnership working on projects such as community-owned solar schemes and community-led behaviour change programmes.”
Sian Cooke, Senior Project Officer at Bioregional, said:
“We’re delighted to be working with Sutton Council on its refocused sustainability strategy in order to really push Sutton’s aspirations and achieve even more. Our focus will be to help local people benefit by saving money on their energy bills as well as lowering the borough’s carbon emissions. We’re also working with Volunteer Centre Sutton to find practical ways for Sutton’s volunteers to apply sustainability in their placements and bring One Planet Sutton to new audiences.”