Can we do more here in Lymington and the New Forest to save our precious planet?

Lymington Carnival-inspired review of the small actions we can take - which together add up!

Save the planet - small steps we can take in Lymington and New ForestLast weekend’s Lymington Carnival had the very topical and relevant theme of Saving our Planet, and this week we’re following up with a special feature article about local environmental initiatives and some small things we can all do to help - added together small actions can make a difference.

Receive our enviromentally friendly Weekly What's On!

Meanwhile if you do not already receive the Lymington and New Forest FREE and very environmentally friendly Weekly What's On e-newsletter every Friday morning and full of the latest New Forest events, news and information, subscribe here: 

Online magazine "environment" section of Lymington.com

For some time we've been building an Environment section in the Lymington.com online magazine Lymington Life which you can visit here.

Recycling reduces waste - recycling New ForestA good starting point is the recycling guide which Tanya put together some time ago for Lymington and the New Forest.  The different rules between different regions are one of the biggest bugbears and very confusing of course to visitors.  So even more especially if you have B&B or self catering accommodation it could be worth including this link in your pre-arrival information to guests!  (The full url is: https://www.lymington.com/information/recycling)

We’re also taking the opportunity this week to remind everybody about some of the initiatives (best kept secrets?) already going on in our local midst.

For example, included is a link to the 20 month campaign by Transition Lymington, local member of the much wider movement which was formed in 2008 in response to a number of current social and environmental issues. 2020 Vision contains an enormous number of suggestions and challenges within the context of the enjoyment and protection of Lymington and our local area.  You might particularly want to read Month 2 Save Energy, Month 3 Easy plastic swaps as suggested by Lymington Transition Easy Plastic Swaps (lots of useful tips there) and Month 6 Produce No Waste which sets a variety of challenges which will appeal to different people...

Whilst thinking more broadly about the protection of our beautiful New Forest, let’s also remind ourselves about #Add Three Minutes which applies to every single one of us driving across the forest. Whilst this initiative was conceived with winter in mind it’s just as important with young animals on the roads in summer and indeed all year round.

Surfers against Sewage and Plastic Free Lymington update:

Click to read about a recent event organised by young people in the ongoing quest by Surfers against Sewage aka Plastic Free Lymington to reduce our dependence on plastic.

Tangible environmental tips which apply anywhere

Whilst thinking about our own daily lives we also did some online research and found lots of suggestions and recommendations which all apply hyper locally more or less anywhere - although some are probably even more pertinent to us here on the south coast.

Friends of the Earth seem to acknowledge that most people won’t make a lot of effort so have suggested some what they call "lazy" actions.

Other sources led to lists along these lines, these are the main recommended areas for savings and changes in behaviour.

  • Pay attention to how we use water (eg turn the tap off when cleaning teeth!)
  • Leave the car at home when we can and walk or ride your bike (not quite so easy for some of us in rural locations but there are times we could better double up our journeys with a bit of planning)
  • Recycle!
  • Compost!
  • Change lightbulbs and generally make our homes more energy efficient – and turn off lights and unplug appliances not in use
  • Drive smarter (slower, smoother) and also - maintain our cars

More here... (source:  How Things Work)

There’s also a great little book we found recently in Waterstones by Martin Dorey with a foreword by Chris Packham, called 'No. More. Plastic.'  Really interesting (and quick!) to read and full of loads of brilliant little things we can all do to make a difference.

Recycling and composting are both about reducing waste...

Like: we don’t have to buy lots of stuff wrapped in plastic and indeed refusing to do so will put pressure on the suppliers and retailers. We can buy meat at the butcher (Seal in Lymington) where we can also select eggs straight into our own eggboxes, take our own containers to the greengrocers (Roots & Fruits in Lymington), re-use and re-cycle containers of all kinds, re-cycle more.

Referring again to our Recycling Page we note the need to clean and separate sometimes - otherwise the things we were intending to recycle can be rejected. It really doesn’t take long and can even be quite therapeutic!

Meanwhile we can compost not only raw veg, salad and fruit leftovers but also eggshells, teabags, coffee grounds, etc – the garden will love it!

On the general subject of rubbish...

We could all very easily carry a bag for rubbish wherever we go – even if it’s a big plastic bag which will then at least fit in our pockets. If we all stop to pick up rubbish when we’re walking on the forest and beach especially, we’ll help to protect the animals and the oceans.  

Encouraging the beesAnd meanwhile in our gardens...

We can leave our gardens a little bit wild, in places at least (less work too) to encourage the bees and other insects..

And we can plant a tree - or more than one space permitting! If you explore this subject online you’ll find a whole host of ways in which planting trees can help the environment but it helps if we all remember the key point: trees breathe in carbon dioxide and contaminants from the air which we want to get rid of, and breathe out oxygen which we need!

Lymington.com Members taking their own small steps

Finally we want to mention some of our Lymington.com Member Businesses whose information on this subject you might find useful.

Colten Care reducing plastic usage and supporting Lymington Carnival 2019Colten Care – first of all were the main sponsor yet again for this year’s Lymington Carnival so a big thankyou to them! They are also on a big drive within their care homes to reduce the use of plastic and with very specific targets too - it’s really setting a benchmark for larger companies! More here.

Oscar Pet Foods home delivery service – did you know that the big bags in which the healthy food which your pet loves arrives on your doorstep CAN be recycled? Not perhaps by New Forest District Council, but Clare will collect your bags if you keep them for her, and is able to send them off via the Oscar internal recycling system! More about Oscar Petfoods here

John Cooper Carpets - containing a lot of chemical and glue as it does, carpet is not very environmentally friendly, as Alan willingly acknowledges, but old carpet makes a brilliant “carpet” for both weed suppression and the compost! Carpet lets the rain through but not the light, and is heavy enough not to blow away even when the wind is howling across the New Forest. Most people having new carpets fitted request for their old one to be taken away, these end up in a bin close to the JCC showroom on Ampress Park and from there to landfill. By arrangement Alan is more than happy to provide pieces of old carpet from this bin to anybody who wants some to use on their garden! So two things to think about – whether you can use your own old carpet and save it from going into landfill, and if you need garden “carpet” contact Alan! Contact John Cooper Carpets

The Turfcutters Arms together with many other local pubs and restaurants have responded magnificently to the local ban the plastic straw campaign so passionately championed locally some time back without use of either carrots or sticks, proof that really active education and encouragement can work! 

July 2019