Thursday, 26 July 2007

Recycling organic waste into compost

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the early 1990’s launched an initiative to recycle domestic and industrial waste as compost for local farms. The Land Network was pioneering the use of recycled domestic and industrial waste as compost. This could have been a hugely popular and effective scheme, but due to the complex and weighty regulations, the uptake has been minimal. Instead of the projected 3,000 farms using the system, only 16 farms managed to get past the red tape and use the scheme last year. The point of the scheme was to use the 100 million tonnes of organic waste we produce each year to make compost for Britain’s farms. It was hoped that this would reduce the £1 billion a year spent on importing chemical fertilizers into the country. £1 billion adds up to a huge amount of chemical fertilizer, which in turn amounts to a massive amount of toxic chemicals introduced into the environment.

The scheme has many benefits. Local authorities can save the money that would be spent on dealing with the organic waste, the farmers save money because they do not have to pay out for fertilizers and the food grown with organic compost is more nutritionally beneficial. Reducing the use of chemical fertilizers helps the environment, because they leach toxic nitrates into the soil and pollute rivers and water supplies, and the transport of fertilizers across the world creates CO2 emissions. All in all this was a terrific idea that needs a little work to make it accessible to Britain’s farmers.

[Via The Telegraph]

Gadget swapping parties (not just for men)

Clothes swapping events have been going on for some time now, we read about them everywhere. This is great for all you ethical fashionistas, but what about us ethical techies? we want to do our bit to save the planet too! Well, now there is something for us too, Cadge-IT swapping parties. The concept of Cadge-IT is to get a group of guys to bring their unwanted electrical gadgets, power tools, sports kit, basically whatever they have bought and no longer want, have a few drinks and then swap stuff.
According to YouGov, each household has around £460 worth of unused products, which adds up to £9 billion nationwide.

That’s £9 billion worth of products buried and forgotten in people’s lofts and garages. Rather than waste it, swap it should be the message for everyone. It’s a simple and fun idea that will help towards reducing climate change gas emissions. Although the idea is aimed at men, I’m sure women will participate in our gadget parties before too long!

[Via The Independent]