From reusing old duvets as dog bedding to safely recycling old televisions, an eco-friendly junk removal and house clearance specialist has recognised for its contribution to the UK’s environment.
Just Clear, a UK company that collects and recycles over 40 tonnes of people’s junk every week, have provided a nationwide eco-friendly approach to junk removal for commercial, domestic and trade clients for over eight years, Just Clear has been named Circular Economy Project of the Year at the annual BusinessGreen Leaders Awards.
Just Clear differentiates itself by ensuring all the wide array of material they collect is separated, then re-used or recycled, offering an example of circular economy thinking at its best.
Founder and MD of Just Clear, Brendan O’Shea, says: “While we have been in the business for over eight years, the fundamental goal of Just Clear over the last two years was to reach a state of zero-to-landfill from our property clearance activities, which we have now achieved.
In the last twelve months alone, Just Clear has spared over 2,000 tonnes of property clearance waste from landfill.
It hasn’t been easy – we’ve had to forge so many unique relationships, find avenues for unwanted items that others hadn’t thought of and constantly challenge ourselves to find solutions.
“The environmental and economic benefits of zero to landfill are there to be seen. We are moving things in the right direction, addressing rising landfill taxes and the rate at which they are filling up. By sparing our collected waste from the landfill, we are passing on cost savings to customers, as well as easing their conscience with the second life of their unwanted items.
“By reaching 100 per cent landfill avoidance, we are also hopefully challenging and encouraging our competitors to do the same, but we can forewarn them of the challenges. Already they will know about difficult items, such as mattresses, old TVs and tattered sofas, but they may not be aware of ways to recycling these. We found our solutions through organisations and people with common problems and common goals.”
As an example of Just Clear’s circular economy principles: a hotel in Mayfair, London, which needed a total clearance from penthouse suite down to the basement, contacted the company. Thousands of mattresses, duvets, pillows, sheets, furniture, fixtures and fittings were collected. A large portion was recycled through charities, including providing dog bedding to a local animal shelter. The waste stream was then delicately separated, with plastic and paper distributed on a daily basis through secured sustainable recycling routes. Wood went to Eddie Stobart Biomass, metal and fridges to EMR Recycling and clothes to clothing banks. The organisation also works closely with a selection of reuse networks to rehome unwanted furniture and kitchen equipment.
Traditionally the most difficult item to recycle was televisions and computers, largely due to the lead in their screens. However, in 2012, a company in Kent called Sweeep Kuusakoski, installed the world’s first leaded glass furnace to recycle cathode ray tube (CRT) glass screens. This process has no emissions, creates no waste and avoids exporting hazardous material from the UK and now recycles all Just Clear’s electronics.
Mr O’Shea adds: “To get to where we are has been difficult, but it needn’t be as hard for other businesses trying to get there as much of the leg work has already been done. The solutions we’ve pushed for will now open doors to our competitors, and we are grateful for this, as we are all in it together. When it comes to landfill avoidance, we can put business competition aside and recognise we have an environmental and social duty first and foremost.
“The key message to be learned from our activities is ‘don’t give up’. We’ve been competing against ourselves instead of watching over our shoulder. We are our own biggest rivals and we fiercely drove ourselves through education, innovation, relationship building and environmental policies to reach the golden 100 per cent landfill avoidance figure.
“We’ve found the demand for eco-friendly house clearances to be astonishing and our London based service is now inundated with enquiries from all over the UK. This should serve as strong encouragement for our competitors to consider the appeal of a greener waste stream and disposal habits.”
Highly commended in the same category for their efforts were: O2, Recycle, Refresh, Eco-rating and Refurb Project.
For more information, please visit: just-clear.co.uk
Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness
Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.
How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature
Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.
While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.
When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness. Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.
4 Practical Ways to Disconnect
If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:
1. Switch to a New Phone Plan
It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.
One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.
2. Get Rid of Social Media
Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).
If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.
3. Create Quiet Hours
If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.
4. Build Community
Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.
As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.
Untether Your Life
If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.
6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move
Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.
6 Tips for a Greener Move
Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.
1. Maximize Each Trip
When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.
If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.
2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep
The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.
3. Reuse Moving Boxes
Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.
4. Get Creative With Packing
Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.
5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies
Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.
6. Forward Your Mail ASAP
Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.
Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful
Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.
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