We GLITTERALLY can't believe it! South East England's nurseries cut down on micro plastics on the run up to Christmas

water-2500313_1920.jpg

We've been hearing all about the recent ban of plastic microbeads in UK cosmetics due to the damage it can cause to marine life, but did you know that glitter can be just as responsible for aquatic pollution?

So when, Brighton residents, you last shook your beard/bed/coffee in the months after Pride, just consider that these microparticles turn up just as easily in our oceans, leading to growth problems in sea life, amongst other issues.

glitter.jpg

We are, however, beginning to see some very welcome changes. Tops Day Nurseries group have recently called out for a glitter ban in their classrooms in the run-up to Christmas, now using environmentally friendly alternatives such as lentils and rice. It won't make any difference in the development of a child's learning, but it could make a difference in our oceans if we all follow suit!

glitterlution.jpg

Don't worry, we don't expect everyone to turn up to Pride 2018 covered in lentils and rice, but there are some environmentally friendly glitter alternatives that you can choose from. There is an increasing number of companies creating bio-degradable glitter from compostables and renewable resources such as Eco Glitter Fun, Eco Stardust & Glitterlution

 

 

Although we're well aware that cutting out conventional glitter will not solve the issue of plastic pollution, it will hopefully set a goal for others to follow and create a conversation about more hidden pollutants in our homes. 

Rubbish at Recycling? The Truth About Brighton & Hove

Rubbish at Recycling blog picture.jpg

If you live in Brighton & Hove, I’m sure that you would make the same assumption as most when it comes to the city’s recycling. We are the only city in Britain that is home to a Green Party Constituency so Brightonians must be green?

Surely we would have some of the best recycling statistics of the nation?

You may be surprised to hear that in 2014/15 Brighton & Hove was ranked 337th out of 351 English authorities for the performance of household recycling, composting and reusing - with only 24.6% of household waste being sent to council waste management. Top of the list was South Oxfordshire District Council, managing to send 66.6% of their household waste to council organised recycling, composting and re-use management.

However, if you walk from one end of Brighton’s city centre to the other, you will come across an abundance of environmentally driven restaurants, activists, and pub conversations. This could lead you to the conclusion that Brighton has one of the most green-conscious communities in Britain. So why isn’t this reflected in the statistics?

line for squarespace.jpg
Statistics for blog post.jpg

If you take a look at the list above and compare the recycling capability of South Oxfordshire and Brighton & Hove, you can see that the number of materials that can be recycled in each city varies greatly. So if the only plastics that can be picked up from your home to be recycled are bottles, where do you turn to when it comes to drinks cartons, tin foil, and other recyclables?
 

OUR RECYCLING SOLUTIONS

One answer lies in Brighton & Hove’s well known make-do and mend mentality which stretches as far as the resident’s approach to recycling. In the true community spirit of Brighton and Hove, 3 volunteers from Hanover Community Centre began to collect recyclable waste around residential and business areas in 1990 and are still running 27 years later under the name of Magpie Recycling Co-operative Ltd. Magpie Recycling Co-operative has a far more extensive list of items that can be recycled and offer weekly home collection services under the name of 'Green Box' from as little as £1.39 a week. They have also set up 'Shabitat' - a warehouse of bric-a-brac that gives truth to the phrase ‘one man’s trash is another’s treasure’.

noun_1328022_cc.png

There are several other recycling organisations that provide similar services, for example, The Wood Store who collect unwanted wooden items.

Brighton and Hove have also grown as an online recycling community, with a very active group on Freecycle (a site similar to gumtree, but where everything’s free!) The combined Brighton and Hove Freecycle communities have over 54,000 members which is far more than Oxford, at under 30,000.

So if you’ve got a spare microwave or child’s buggy, you know where to go. This free cycling mentality has hit the streets too, where there’s an unwritten rule that if a sofa/BBQ/desk chair is sitting outside, it’s free for the taking - and someone will definitely take it.

line for squarespace.jpg

Katie, a current Brighton resident who used to live in Oxford, commented on how she felt both cities council recycling compared,

“I was surprised that as a green seat, Brighton doesn’t do much about food waste but in Oxford, they communicated information at least 4 times a year about what we could and couldn’t put in bins and gave us loads of resources for food waste.”

Although there is currently no food waste collection by Brighton and Hove City Council, they are aiming to help reduce food waste by working with The Brighton and Hove food Partnership organisation to set up community composting around the city. They have already set up 16 community composting sites, as listed below. In addition to this, The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership alongside the council are on track to set up a community fridge, funded by Sainsburys. This will allow local residents to leave any spare food for hungry people and again help reduce food waste around the city.

Community composting.jpg

Having reviewed these areas of recycling around Brighton and Hove, you could argue that although the statistics for household recycling may not seem very high, there is without a doubt a sense of community ownership of recycling which is not quantified in these statistics. The council decided, only a few days ago, to phase out the use of single-use plastics in the city. This motion was supported by a public petition, proving that the people of Brighton & Hove take it upon themselves, with the help of private and public organisations, to find creative ways of cutting down, re-using and recycling waste in the city.

So perhaps the fact that we have a lack of recycling resources available on our doorstep doesn't matter as much when there are efforts in place to cut down on the production of waste in the first place.

There is that old saying that 'prevention is better than cure' after all.

We are going to start talking a lot more about designing out waste.

How to build the marketing strategy framework for your eco business

banner facebook.jpg

Promoting a brand, product or service with limited marketing resources is a difficult challenge. We've been working with the University of Brighton's Green Growth Platform for the past few years, hosting regular free workshops to their members, to help give them the tools to execute a great marketing campaign on a low budget. 

One practice that we use to put together a marketing strategy for all of our clients, as well as advise in our workshops, is "POST". 


What goes into a POST marketing plan?

people.png

P | People

Who are you trying to target?

Every successful business is centered around solving a pain point for people. However, in order to reach the people with the pain, you need to know who they are and how you can reach them.

When we talk about ‘people’ at the start of a strategy, what we’re really doing in “official marketing terms” is creating different ‘audience segments’.

The more detail you can go into on who you’re trying to target, the more creative you can get with the messaging - and the lower the risk of alienating people.

The most effective marketing strategies identify and target between 3 and 5 different ‘personas’, painting a picture of them with the following types of data: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Routine (specifically relationship commitments and work patterns)
  • Buying habits (what they choose to spend their money on)
  • Views (political, sociological and other topics important to them)

objective.png

O | Objective

What are you trying to achieve?

 

'Marketing' is an open ended practice. There are so many different ways that a product, service or brand can be marketed, but the most ineffective campaigns are those who spread their efforts too thinly. 

This is where separating your marketing efforts by campaign objectives is vital. Firstly, it enables you to keep your "eyes of the prize" through the campaign, but it also acts as a pinnacle through the strategy planning stages to help you keep on mission.

And you need to be specific: How many more sales do you want? How much higher would you like your reach or engagement to be? How many more site visitors or social media followers do you want?


strategy.png

S | Strategy

How are you going to achieve it?

 

This is when you start really getting into the creative thinking through identifying the messages that would both speak to your audience and help you to meet your objective.

The best marketing plans include a range of different ways that you can do this.

Examples of strategies that would be implemented include educating the audience on your industry, directly selling your product, highlighting certain aspects of your product, and building or supporting a community to promote brand awareness.


tactics.png

T | Tactics

Which tools will you use?

 

Here's where you get into the details and map out which platforms you're going to use for getting these messages out there - with a big focus on where your target audience are.  

For instance, if you're trying to promote discounts to certain organisations, it can be most effective to flyer outside of their building. Alternatively, if you're trying to sell a type of food to families across the UK, Google display ads would be better practice.

You can use a range of different tactics per strategy.

You can find out more about POST, as well as a whole range of marketing practices that keep costs low and success rates high, at our free two-day marketing workshops on 23rd and 30th November. These are run by The Green Growth Platform and subject to qualification criteria.

 

Or you can contact us and we can run them for your business