We know, believe us, that there are a million things to think about, worry over and obsess about in your everyday life without adding in a heap of other issues for you to feel guilty about. But we also know that we are increasingly adding climate change, plastic proliferation and what type of planet we are handing down to our kids to the list that has us googling ‘moving to the Outer Hebrides’ at 3am…
Dispose of Your Clothes
We are certain you diligently put out your recycling bins each week but what happens to the skinny jeans you have finally admitted you will never be skinny enough to squeeze back into? 300,000 tonnes of clothes end up in landfill in the UK every year*, so don’ts let your worn-out onesie become part of the problem.
- You can leave textiles, clothes and shoes out next to your normal recycling (in a sealed, labelled bag please). Check out the details in the recycling section of epsom-well.gov.uk
- Drop off any quality, pre-loved items to TK Maxx in Epsom for their Give Up Clothes for Good campaign (these will then get sold on for Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens).
- Drop off a bag of any clothes in any condition at Epsom H&M and they will present you with a voucher for £5 and a promise that 0% of your donations end up in landfill.
Eat Your Greens
We all know that we should be eating less meat and more greens; both for our own health’s sake and that of the planet, but we also know that not every corner shop sells kale and the lure of the takeaway delivery is often too much to resist. We’ve rounded up the best ways to get your hands on bountiful veg and make it easier to get your 5 a day:
- Sutton Community Farm offer a brilliant VegBox scheme who can deliver to you at home or drop off at the Jolly Coopers every Thursday. Fresh, seasonal fruit & veg plus organic extras like bread and eggs. Order online, bung in your fridge, resist the takeaway.
- If you fancy an outing then the Village Green Farm Shop at Denbies and Kingfisher Farm Shop in Abinger Hammer both stock incredible, seasonal loose fruit and veg. Take your own shopping bags and feel both wholesome and smug.
- 15milefoods (find them on facebook) grow delicious, pesticide free salad leaves and soft fruit and sell them only within a 15 mile radius of Fetcham
And, of course, don’t forget the farmer’s market is in Epsom on the first Sunday of every month (we’ve also recently discovered the monthly vegan market in Walton).
Recycle the Random
Uneaten spinach, excess wine bottles, garden waste: we know you’ve got these all covered via the council food waste and recycling services. While we’re never going to reach the impossibly perfect levels of the Instagrammers whose entire waste for the year fits into a jar, (disclaimer: do not google unless you have a spare hour to fall down the zero waste rabbithole), we do have some quick and easy solutions for the things that are a regular feature in your wastebin:
- Next time you are meandering through the Ashley Centre, pop in to The Body Shop and drop off any of the empty tubes, tubs or pots you have from their products. These could have a future ahead of them as park benches or playgrounds via Terracycle and you get a reward worth #5 for every 5 you return if you are party of their loyalty scheme.
- If you are one of the UK’s 3.7 million contact lens wearers and find yourself chucking out plastic packaging on a regular basis then Boots Opticians has the answer: head there next time you are in Epsom and drop off all your soft lens packaging and they will handle the recycling for you. Job done.
Tidy the Town
Grab some friends, your kids, your neighbours and get rid of the rubbish in your local environment:
- Sign up on the council site and get your hands on a litter picking kit for adults or kids which include your very own hi-viz jacket, sticks and bags.
- Have a look at Keep Epsom Ewell Tidy for some inspiration and pledge your support
Ditch the Disposable
If we had a pound for every time we’ve been told to buy a reusable coffee cup and to say no to plastic water bottles we’d be available to afford our own personal barista, but sometimes you just need an incentive and some new ideas:
- Refill! Look in the window of your local coffee shop for the Refill sticker – this means they will happily fill up your reusable bottle with tap water.
- YoSarnie is the first independent Refill station in the area and you can also fill up at Greggs and Costa. We would love to see Epsom and Ewell plastic water bottle free so any other local businesses who would like to get involved (you don’t need to be a cafe or restaurant, you just need a tap!), sign up for your sticker at refill.org.uk
- Jess and the Beanstalk not only provide fab food & drink but will also give you a 40p discount on your caffeine fix if you bring your reuseable cup (for extra smug points we highly recommend a raw, vegan cake on the side).
- YoSarnie will not only gift you tapwater and grant you a princely 50p off your hot drink if you bring in your cup but are happy for you to take in your own containers for your lunchtime feast (don’t panic if you forget as they use bioplastic alternatives as their packaging).
- If you’re heading into one of the chain outlets then grab your cup: Pret offers 50p off, Starbucks and Costa 25p, Muffin Break will give you 20p off and you can claim a double reward stamp at Café Nero.
- If you’re planning a trip to Ben’s Butchers then take your own containers and avoid the extra waste – if that’s too much for you then don’t worry as they have made the switch to paper packaging and aim to be completely plastic free soon.
- Slightly less palatable but no less important: if you are the proud parent of a child still in nappies and are considering eco friendly alternatives then the council offers cloth nappy trial kits to locals to help you figure out which option works best for your family. Visit here for all the info.
Embrace your Local Eco Heroes
We have been blown away by the number of incredible eco businesses on our doorstep:
- Fetch’em From the Cupboard in Ashtead Village (and a concession in Greenwise in Fetcham) is a brilliant resource where you can take in your own containers and buy as much or as little as you want of a myriad of food and household products plus source plastic free alternatives we never even knew existed.
- Greenwise offers you a one stop solution with one shop in Ashtead and a shop and café in Fetcham offering everything from wholefoods and organic skincare to a range of fresh fruit and veg.
- Tiny Human makes washable, reusable wipes in a range of sizes to help you replace anything from cotton wool balls to paper towels.
- Local, vegan and delicious, BNUTZ Nut Butter is made in Surrey and not only comes in fab flavours (Spicy chilli & lime peanut butter anyone?) but is also free from preservatives, palm oil and refined sugar.
- Very Miss Berry not only producing original, bright clothing for children and women but also reusable makeup and baby wipes.
- Bee Kind Waste are a local business offering sustainable art and craft workshops to promote wellbeing and community engagement.
Out with the New, In with the Old
It’s so tempting to embrace your eco leanings buy buying a load of new kit (bamboo cutlery set anyone?) but we all secretly know that we should be buying less and looking after what we already have. Here endeth the lesson with some handy hints:
- Grabbed the perfect pair of jeans in the sale and then realised you have the leg length of an Oompa Loompa? Scored a stunning vintage dress in the charity shop but it’s a tad snug? Liberate all the not-quite-right items from your wardrobe and ask Sew n Sew on South St in Epsom to weave their magic (they will also mend zips, fix buttons and patch up your jeans if sewing isn’t your strong suit).
- Now you know where to go if you need alterations then pay a visit to your local charity shop and relove some preloved items: Oxfam in Epsom believes in saying yes to secondhand and no to landfill and launches Secondhand September this month.
- If you’re tired of your wardrobe or feel it’s time to trade in your table then consider giving them a makeover instead: Louisa Grace Interiors carries a range of easy to use chalk paints, offers workshops if you need some guidance and also sells a range of gorgeous vintage furniture.