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Public anger over Government’s lack of action on Britain’s litter epidemic

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 New research from the UK’s leading behaviour change charity, Hubbub, reveals British public anger about the increasing amount of litter in their local area. The British people are calling on the government to take more action to address the litter problem.

Thirty million tonnes of litter are collected from Britain’s streets every year with the clean up costing British taxpayers a staggering £1 billion.

The survey, conducted by Populus on behalf of Hubbub, highlighted people’s frustration at the Government’s inaction, on the day that results of the Neat Streets Campaign are presented to Government. The Neat Streets campaign has been trialling innovative new techniques to encourage people to dispose of their litter responsibly.

– 81% of Brits say that seeing litter on the streets in their local area makes them feel angry and frustrated.

– 90% say that littering is an issue nowadays not just in cities, but in towns and throughout the countryside.

– 73% think that not enough is being done to address the litter problem.

– 76% say that the Government needs to do more to address the amount of litter on our streets and in the countryside across the UK.

When asked what they would like to see more of in their area, the public were clear on what needs to happen next – which included raising awareness of the issues and creating community initiatives so people feel they have a part to play in addressing the problem:

The research shows that the public doesn’t feel that existing ways to prevent litter are working. Instead litter louts should be named and shamed and littering classified as anti-social behaviour.

– 72% think that fines for dropping litter are not enough to deter litter louts.

– 70% that if litter louts were named and shamed that would deter them from littering.

– 89% say that dropping litter should be viewed as anti social behaviour.

Hubbub, the behavior change charity addressing sustainability issues, launched Neat Streets to tackle the growing problem of litter on our streets. Launched in Westminster, Villiers Street (near Charing Cross station) in the heart of London, the area known to have the most rubbish on its streets, has been home to a series of interactive installations from ‘talking bins’ to ‘naked bin men’ to trial new ways of encouraging people not to litter.

Keep Britain Tidy, who conducted baseline research on Villiers Street ahead of the Neat Streets campaign, has been monitoring the impact of the creative initiatives:

– By October, the amount of litter counted on the street had dropped by 26% compared to May.

– The amount of chewing gum discarded decreased substantially in the months that Neat Streets focused on gum initiatives and then returned to normal levels in the following month, demonstrating the need for sustained activity.

– Cigarette littering decreased during the six months, with the biggest dip in September corresponding to the month of cigarette litter prevention activities, with 29% of correct disposals corresponding to people using the bright yellow voting bins.

– Behavioural observations suggest that rates of littering have decreased by 16% from before to during the campaign.

Following the success of Neat Streets Hubbub will now be rolling out the Neat Streets campaign to three new areas – including two towns and one rural location – in the UK.

Jeremy Paxman, Patron Clean Up Britain, and supporter of Neat Streets campaign, said: “It’s abundantly clear that the threat of being fined is simply not enough of a deterrent to people who drop litter. The Government needs to put litter higher on their agenda and actually take decisive action on the shocking state of Britain’s streets and countryside. Together – as part of a collaborative national campaign – we need to change the behaviour of people who litter, that’s the only sustainable solution to Britain’s chronic litter problem.”

Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder of Hubbub said: “We believe Neat Streets has been a huge success in raising awareness of littering and finding creative solutions that make the public engage in their environment. Community is important as littering affects everybody – where we live, work and socialise.”

“People get very angry about litter and are open to new ways to keep our environments litter free and the Government needs to take action. We hope that the encouraging results from the Villiers Street will be replicated and our fresh, creative approach to behaviour change will encourage people to think again before they drop litter.”

We need to break the cycle – rubbish on the streets encourages others to drop litter and often people do it when they don’t think they will be caught:

– 82% think that having litter on the streets encourages other people to drop litter.

– 93% say that littering shows a lack of respect for the environment around us.

– 73% think that litter is more likely to happen when no-one else is around.

– However, people do not feel in a position to confront the litter offenders, 61% said that they would be afraid to confront people who drop litter.

– 44% say that they often end up clearing up other people’s litter.

Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice President, Veolia UK and Ireland said “Getting the public to think twice before they litter is key to tackling this problem. Humour is a great way of changing people’s behaviours but unfortunately this is only one street in London and the problem is much bigger than this. We hope to expand this scheme across our UK street cleaning contracts so that littering becomes the exception, not the norm.”

To coincide with the report, Hubbub is launching a Litter Manifesto calling on government, business and local organisations, to take action to make local spaces cleaner, safer, and more inviting.

Putting a Lid on Litter – Five Point Manifesto

We need to work together to make sure that the areas in which we live and work are cleaner, safer, and more inviting.

Let’s all put litter in its place:

Government: Don’t loiter on litter. Create a strategy that has teeth. Show leadership by providing or stimulating funding. Engage with the signatories of the Litter Prevention Commitment to create a robust plan winning widespread support.

Businesses, NGO’s and Local Authorities: Move litter up the agenda. Act with a unified voice to push litter up the agenda with government and the public. Share bright ideas and support innovative, collaborative behaviour change schemes nationwide.

Local Organisations: Create new coalitions, take community action on litter.

Business Improvement Districts take a leadership role and share results so that successes can be replicated elsewhere.

Public: join the discussion and create debate – this is a serious issue that costs taxpayers more than £1billion per year. Help us tackle the issue, capture the imagination of the public, hold people to account, and promote pride in our local areas.

Everyone: Litter is in your hands, stop littering full stop. We are all litter bugs in one way shape or form, and things will only change if we change our behaviours. So start taking care of all your litter from chewing to cigarette butts, to free newspapers, create a home for your litter.

Current Manifesto supporters include: Clean Up Britain (CLUB) CIWM – Clean Britain, Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Marine Conservation Society

Beer and Pub Association, British Soft Drinks Association, British Plastics Federation, Industry Council for research on Packaging & the Environment (INCPEN), McDonald’s, Packaging Federation, Packaging and Film Association (PAFA), PlasticsEurope, PwC, Veolia, The Wrigley Company Ltd.

Trewin Restorick, CEO/Founder of Hubbub said: “Littering affects us all – making our local spaces dirtier, less welcoming, and encouraging anti-social behavior – and it’s up to all of us to take action to tackle it. Hubbub is seeking to create a fresh approach to fighting litter making it easier for government, businesses and local organisations to work effectively together.

“We have found the best new approaches from around the world and have launching Neat Streets with a series of interactive installations throughout the summer to engage the public, raise awareness of littering and ultimately to change people’s behaviour.”

Environment

Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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Connect With Nature

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.

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6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

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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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