The unrecognised recycling sector
On Monday I gave a seminar on carbon footprinting and carbon management (using the Terra Infirma brainstorming tool) at the Association of Charity Shops Annual Conference in Keele. I learnt a lot, as I always do in this trade (I’ve worked with everyone from multi-national pharmaceutical companies through to a crazy golf course – you pick up all sorts of weird factoids). The sector is a huge, professionally run, and very competitive retail operation, a huge chunk of the reuse industry and a huge source of materials for recyclers. This was not lost on the three recycling companies who sponsored the event.
The seminar went to plan and was well received – despite some shock when we spent half the time actually doing some work. Solutions we generated included checking tyre pressure of vehicles, better use of steamers, buying translucent kettles and even screwing down the thermostat dials. The big contentious issue is open/closed door. As with all shops, open door = more sales but massive energy loss. We didn’t resolve this one, but if anyone can think of a solution, post it in the comments.