Refill Hastings has over 50 venues!

Being a seaside town, Refill Hastings is very conscious of the issue of single use plastic. It washes up on our beaches on a daily basis.

In the past Hastings has had a reputation for being a down and out seaside town but it is now experiencing a bit of a resurgence. It is a very creative and somewhat eccentric place and also has a very socially and environmentally aware and active community.

The Refill scheme was initiated by Transition Town Hastings and the local Green Party along with support from Surfers Against Sewage. These local groups (as well as the Marine Conservation Society) carry out beach and street cleans and often collect a lot of plastic waste.

Launch of Hastings Refill at the Ocean Symposium, September 2018.

We’re a small group of volunteers and, so far, we have signed up over 50 venues in the local area to be Refill Stations.

We launched the scheme at the Ocean Symposium at St Mary in the Castle in September 2018.

Julia Hilton of Hastings Green party said:

“The UK currently uses 13 billion plastic bottles every year, but only 7.5 billion of these are recycled with the remaining 5.5 billion either landfilled, littered, or incinerated but we are also lucky enough to have some of the best quality tap water in the world — and with the Refill app it’s easier and cheaper to carry a bottle and refill it than to constantly buy new bottles. We can help make carrying a bottle the norm and make sure people know how easy it is to find their refill.”

Visit our facebook page or join the facebook group to get involved.

Celebrating sustainable practices at The Big Green Fair

Transition Town Hastings will be exhibiting at the Big Green Fair this Sunday.

We have been working on a new festival launched this month called Sustainability on Sea bringing together local groups and initiatives working to make Hastings and St Leonards a more sustainable place to live. They are tackling important issues like single use plastic, a need for affordable housing and cheaper energy bills, healthy eating habits and growing our own food and using cleaner forms of transport.

The festival closes with The Big Green Fair, an all day event at the Stade in Hastings Old Town which takes place this Sunday, 30 Sept between 11-4. Entry is free.

Expect a variety of stall holders selling eco wares as well as information stalls and activities for families from Source BMX, Bike Lab Hastings, Co-wheels car sharing scheme, Refill Hastings, Plastic Free Hastings, Hastings Furniture Service, Hastings Fermentory, Hastings and Rother Beekeepers Association. Energise Sussex Coast, the organisers of the fair, will have information about how to save energy and money on your energy bills.

Bring along your bicycle to get a free bike check from Bike Lab Hastings. Kids can try out BMX bikes from Source BMX, play solar powered retro arcade games, make pompoms with plastic bags, plant seeds and have a go on bikes that generate electricity. There will be information about ways to make electricity from sunlight, wind, flowing water as well as some unusual ways such as used on Mars, electrostatically, from bent crystals and from lemons (yes, lemons!). The East Hill Sunshine Band and comedian Helen Keen will provide entertainment alongside a solar powered cinema.

Drop by for the programme of talks and demos on composting, plastic recycling, sustainable housing, Alexander Technique, Transition Town movement and permaculture in the garden.

Something for everyone young and old!

Visit the website for more details: http://www.sustainabilityonsea.org.uk

Launch of Hastings Refill

Project aims to save people money and reduce plastic pollution

Saturday 22 September, 10am – 4pm, St Mary in the Castle, Hastings: Hastings Green Party and Transition Town Hastings [2] will be launching a new water bottle refill scheme for Hasting next Saturday (22 September) at the Ocean Symposium [3] at St Mary in the Castle.

Over fifty local businesses in Hastings have already signed up to the scheme.

Julia Hilton of Hastings Green party said: ‘The Hastings Refill scheme [4] is part of a nationwide initiative to reduce plastic pollution and save people money by encouraging them to carry and refill a water bottle rather than constantly buying plastic water bottles [5]. Wherever you see one of the blue ‘Free Tap Water Available Here’ stickers on display, you’ll know you’re welcome to ask for a free refill. Or you can download the app from https://www.refill.org.uk, which makes it quick, easy and free to find out where to refill on the go.’

Sarah Macbeth of Transition Town Hastings added: ‘We’ve all heard of the phrase; reduce, reuse, recycle. Often recycle is where the focus lies. But with this scheme, we’re going straight to the heart of the matter: reduce! According to recent research British households are failing to recycle as many as 16m plastic bottles every day – nearly half the total used [6]. By refilling bottles we can help reduce this waste while also taking away the need for recycling, itself a complicated process when it comes to plastics.’

Any café, restaurant or business with easy access to water can sign up to be part of the scheme, either using the online app at https://www.refill.org.uk or by emailing refillhastings@gmail.com.

NOTES

[1] https://hastings.greenparty.org.uk
[2] http://www.transitiontownhastings.org.uk
[3] The Ocean Symposium will run from 10am – 4.00 pm at St Mary’s in the Castle on Saturday 22 September. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-ocean-symposium-2018-and-marine-exhibition-tickets-46801977976
[4] https://www.refill.org.uk/refill-scheme/refill-hastings

[5] https://www.refill.org.uk
[6] ‘British households fail to recycle a ‘staggering’ 16m plastic bottles a day’, Guardian, 15 October 2016,https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/15/british-households-fail-to-recycle-a-staggering-16m-plastic-bottles-a-day

Sustainability on Sea festival this September!

Transition Town Hastings and Energise Sussex Coast are jointly coordinating a new festival all about sustainable practices in the local area.

Join us on Sept 21-30 for some inspiring events including nature walks, talks, demos, debates and tips on reducing plastic, a DIY solar workshop and more. We are also proud to promote events by local groups such as Sussex Wildlife Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, OVESCO, Hastings Furniture Service and Pier to Eternity.

The aim is to promote a sustainable future encouraging positive behaviour change and supporting and promoting those who are playing their role towards this goal.

The festival finale event is a Big Green Fair on the Stade Open Space, Stade hall and Classroom on the Coast. The day will include talks, demos, art workshops, food workshops, bike checks, music, local information stalls and eco products for sale. Not to be missed!

See www.sustainabilityonsea.org.uk for more details.

Refill scheme in Hastings

Along with Surfs Against Sewage we’re establishing a Refill scheme in the Hastings area. We’re asking venues, cafes, bars, restaurants etc if they will agree to refill water bottles for free in an aim to reduce the amount of single use plastic being used.

The Refill Scheme is taking the country by storm! Refill recently won Gold at the Global Good Awards for ‘Best Environmental Behaviour Change’. There are now over 1600 Refill stations across the country and that number is set to rise steeply as London joins the movement with the support of Thames Water and London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Refill now have a new promotional video which had 150,000 views on Facebook in its first few days.

Refill Hastings now has 23 stations signed up and we will continue to sign up more. We are now receiving support from a newly appointed regional coordinator who is helping us with the formalities and a promotional plan.

We’ve just set up a Refill Hastings Facebook Page  so do give us a like!
Don’t forget to download the Refill App to find all refill stations or to add one yourself! If you want to sign a venue up to the scheme do let us know and we’ll give you a sticker for the window and the necessary info.

Recycle Food Waste Petition to HBC

PROVIDE SERVICES TO RECYCLE FOOD WASTE IN HASTINGS

Food waste:
– smells, attracts vermin and seagulls, and contributes to CO2 emissions in landfill sites.
– could be turned into valuable compost.

Hastings Old Town residents said in recent surveys that not knowing what to do with food waste was one of their main local concerns.

Lewes District Council will save 4000 tonnes of CO2 over 5 years by recycling food waste. They will also produce soil conditioner from the waste that can be sold to bring money back into the community.

We call on our Council to provide regular food waste collection services for Hastings residents. This will reduce the problems of bins attracting seagulls, reduce CO2, and encourage people to reduce their own food waste.

Sign the Petition to Hastings Borough Council now

Image © Beccy McCray

Our visit to Hollingdean Materials Recovery Facility


A truly fascinating and educational morning was spent by 14 Transition Town Hastings folk at the Hollingdean Materials Recovery Facility in Brighton last week.

We found out they don’t actually recycle Hastings and Rother recycling waste – it goes to Crayford in Kent!


Before the sorting begins

We did get to see how they process all of Brighton’s recycling, as well as fly tipping and commercial waste and learn about what they do and don’t recycle.

They employ  a team of people to sort waste as well as relying on machinery to filter out paper, steel and aluminium. Machines suck up paper and steel cans get pulled away by magnets. They mostly sell on paper, steel and aluminium made into large bails and sometimes shipped to China!

Seems we need more industries in the UK prepared to buy recycled materials to manufacture products. At present, more than 50% of materials recycled in the UK are exported and often manufactured into down-graded products – instead of becoming raw materials for UK industry.

According to our guide at Hollingdean many food companies are reluctant to use recycled plastics because of fears that people will not buy their products (like plastic milk bottles that look slightly grey).

Non recyclables collected at Hollingdean end up in the Newhaven Incinerator down the road where energy is generated and fed into the National Grid.

Also at Hollingdean and other Veolia sites they are working with a new (and secret) technology to recycle coffee cups.

We think every school pupil in the country should visit these sites to find out what really happens to our waste.

Takeaway Food Packaging Campaign

We are currently in the planning stages of developing a campaign to support and encourage local takeaway food outlets to make the transition to sustainable packaging.

Too many times have we walked along the seafront and seen those dreaded polystyrene food containers blowing their way along the beach, or we go into a new and recommended cafe, only to be disappointed when they serve up your takeaway in a polystyrene box.

From speaking to businesses who’ve already made the transition, it was relatively easy and cost effective. Let’s make Hastings stand out as a green flagship town!

If you’d like to be involved please get in touch by email.

New local community swap shop of art, goods & services

We’ve recently discovered a new place on Kings Road, St Leonards. Bargain are running a community swap shop of art, goods & services at Bargain, until late September (potentially longer).
Open Saturdays 10am–5pm + by appointment
More info: www.bargainstudio.co.uk
Current offers: instagram.com/bargainstudio
Could be a way to find a new home for unwanted items/materials but you can exchange pretty much anything – services & skills included.
Happy swapping!

Household sustainability talk

It’s quite hard to get your head around which of our actions create the largest CO2 emissions. Also how much do we need to reduce to keep temperatures from rising by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels?

Ian Smith’s talk on Household Sustainability at Nico’s Kitchen last Saturday provided some answers. Many thanks to Nico’s Kitchen for hosting.

The talk, which you can download below, encouraged us all to consider our personal contribution to global carbon emissions.

Did you know that travelling on a cruise creates more CO2 than flying in a plane?*

Also, turning your thermostat down by 1°C could save 8-10% on your heating consumption?*

However, we all need to make big changes to our lifestyles to reach the ideal target of 2 tonnes of CO2 a year!

Download Household sustainability presentation file.

*Statistics above and in the presentation come from Carbon Conversations.

We’d really like to hold some Carbon Conversations for local residents. Please get in touch if you are interested in getting involved.