Sustainable ideas

Reduce Re-use Recycle

Everything we buy, eat, drink, wear or use adds to our carbon footprint

As consumers, we purchase goods that not only require raw materials and energy to manufacture or grow them, but also to store, transport, package, sell and promote them.

Disposing of unwanted goods, household and industrial waste further adds to our carbon footprint.

It makes ecological sense to avoid dumping rubbish in landfill sites and burning waste through incineration, as both release greenhouse gases.

Man-made materials, such as plastic, release toxins when burnt and do not biodegrade, as natural organic materials do.

Plastic items, including water bottles or fishing nets, do not wear down when discarded or washed into the sea.

They break into tiny pieces and end up as microplastic particles in the sand on our beaches or at sea.

These particles can be eaten by filter-feeding marine life or combined with other debris in vast swirling flotillas such as The Great Pacific Trash Vortex.


Throwing away things and dropping litter wastes resources and harms the environment.

Together we can make a difference by sorting, separating and carefully disposing of items

Rethink waste by visiting


Glass is 100% recyclable. If your empty jars or bottles end up in landfill they will not decompose.

But if recycled, they can be used again and again.

Aluminium is used to make lots of things from cans to cars. It is obtained mostly from bauxite mined from the Earth’s crust. It takes four tonnes of bauxite to produce one tonne of aluminium, a process that is highly energy intensive. 

Aluminium is 100% recyclable and only a fraction of the original energy is used in the recycling process - an empty Baked Beans tin could be back on the shelf within 60 days through being recycled.

Paper - each year we use around 12.5 million tonnes in the UK

Approximately 67% of this paper and cardboard is recycled. 

It takes just seven days for a recycled newspaper to come back as a newspaper again

For facts and figures visit

Plastic - there are many types and we use over 5 million tonnes here in the UK.

Around 24% is recovered or recycled.

Some types of plastic require new technology to recycle it efficiently and much is being done to achieve this. But we can still help to reduce plastic waste by, for example, drinking from re-useable bottles.

It is being made increasingly easy for us to reduce waste through bottle banks, composting, recycling bins and collections. So letʼs all play our part at work, home or school

Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle

With a little imagination you can give unwanted items a second life.

Create an artwork using recycled materials - art doesn’t have to be expensive!

Check out Cool It Art for great ideas to get you started

Make your own cards and gift tags from recycled cardboard and paper

Design an Art Garden

Add colour to a shady flowerbed by up-cycling plastic bottles into flowers

Speak Out 

For environmental issues or wildlife through art.

Get Your Message Across

Using recycled materials - you could even make a “junk banner”

Use Your Artwork

To illustrate the importance of buying less and recycling more. Design a poster.

Mend Your Ways

Give your wardrobe a makeover with some nifty stitching.


An old jumper, hoodie or jacket with buttons, fabric patches, cuffs and collars from other items of clothing.


A swop, swish or shwop your clothes with friends a much better way to get new clothes that is kinder to the environment.

Use Your Culinary Skills

And imagination to create meals from leftovers instead of throwing them in them in the bin Visit Love Food Hate Waste

Reuse design and make a Bag for Life using recycled canvas, denim or cotton fabric to cut down on use of plastic carrier bags. Make more than one to give as presents to family and friends.

Everything in nature can be recycled so that nothing goes to waste.

Remember to save your fruit and vegetable peelings for composting.

Take a look at the Sustainable Gardening Concepts (PDF) here from Chris Collins to find out what (and what not) to compost.

Use recycled materials to help wildlife, birds or insects

Design and make a bird box, bee hotel to give back to nature

Sign up to take part in The Big Tidy Up the biggest ever litter-pick organised by Keep Britain Tidy

Contact your local Wildlife Trust,The John Muir AwardThe Marine Conservation SocietyThe River and Canal Trust, or The Land Trust  for conservation projects in your area such as beach, pond or river clear-ups.


Its Our World aims to encourage children and young people (aged 4-19 years) in the UK to consider the environment in which they live, not just in an observational way, but also by reflecting upon the impact we all make upon the natural world during everyday life.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi