This Mother’s Day, Sunday 2nd March, is a time to spoil your mum - but you need not spoil mother earth at the same time.
Resource Cumbria, the county's waste and recycling partnership, and the national recycling campaign, Recycle Now, are urging Cumbrians to remember that if they are showering their mums with flowers and a special dinner, then the organic waste from all those extra treats for mum could make excellent ingredients for a compost bin and give your garden a treat too.
BBC TV and Radio presenter Philippa Forrester is a keen home composter. She also knows about being a busy working mum and the joys of Mother’s Day. The TV star is backing the campaign to get Cumbrians composting at home.
Philippa tells Recycle Now: "My three sons love to spoil me with flowers and gifts, but I make sure we compost all the wrappers, cards and flowers once Mother’s Day is over. Last year my husband surprised me by cleaning the house. Once I’d said thank you, I even made sure he put the vacuum contents into the compost bin."
Pampering your mum on Mother’s Day is great - it can create a bit of extra waste, but that’s where your compost bin can really help. Fruit and vegetable peelings from that special dinner; tea bags from her breakfast in bed and boxes from her chocolates - the possibilities are endless. Flowers are a traditional gift for Mother’s Day, but once they have been enjoyed and start to wilt they will add an ideal ‘green’ element to any compost bin.
Compost bins need two elements: firstly ‘greens’, which are elements that are quick to rot and provide important nitrogen and moisture for your compost bin. Combine these green elements with ‘brown’ ingredients, such as paper, cardboard and cards - as long are they are sparkle free. By scrunching these you will provide essential air pockets to help speed up the decomposition process.
Home composting has great benefits for the environment too. When sent to landfill, air cannot get to the organic waste which then breaks down to create the harmful greenhouse gas methane, which damages the Earth’s atmosphere. However, when this same waste is composted above ground at home, oxygen helps the waste to decompose aerobically which means no methane is produced, which is good news for the planet. And what’s more, after nine to twelve months, you get a free fertiliser for your garden and plant pots to keep them looking beautiful.
Resource Cumbria offers cut price compost bins to Cumbrian residents. For more details go to http://www.recycleforcumbria.org/
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1. Recycle Now - Launched by Matthew Pinsent in September 2004, Recycle Now is the multi-media national recycling campaign, implemented and managed by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) on behalf of the Government. The aim of the campaign is to encourage more people to recycle more stuff, more often.
2. WRAP works in partnership to encourage and enable businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more things more often. This helps to minimise landfill, reduce carbon emissions and improve our environment.
3. Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by Government funding from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
4. Working in seven key areas (Construction, Retail, Manufacturing, Organics, Business Growth, Behavioural Change, and Local Authority Support), WRAP’s work focuses on market development and support to drive forward recycling and materials resource efficiency within these sectors, as well as wider communications and awareness activities including the multi-media national Recycle Now campaign for England.
5. More information on all of WRAP’s programmes can be found at http://www.wrap.org.uk/
6. A survey conducted by Exodus in autumn 2005 interviewed 20,000 GB citizens and revealed that 34% of GB households have composted something at home over the last 12 months, with 23% composting both kitchen and garden waste.
7. As part of WRAP's Organics programme, the Know Your Compost Campaign works in partnership with Recycle Now to raise awareness of the environmental benefits and availability of peat-free composts that contain recycled garden material. By encouraging people to buy peat-free compost containing recycled material, the campaign helps to divert waste from landfill and complete the recycling loop.