Old problem, new ideas

I am
running a bit behind on posting things as a combination of holiday preparation,
staying up to date on Springwatch, and keeping on top of life in general has
taken over my free time. However, I just
wanted to write a little bit about last week’s fantastic meeting. A number of new ideas were put forward, and
it was also a good reminder to follow up on previous activities.  For me, that means keeping the pressure on
Clean for the Queen regarding the professional cleaning of the Chippenham Grot
Spot
, and Beverly is going to follow up with the green footprints to see if we
can refresh this simple intervention.

One of
the themes that emerged was to ensure that businesses played a role in cleaning
up.  By law, they are supposed to keep
within 100 meters of their premises clean, and you can imagine that if all
stores did this on a daily basis, streets would stay much cleaner.  We are going to investigate whether an
American-style “street adoption” would encourage businesses to look after
particular areas, much as is already done with some roundabouts.

However,
there is also recognition that cleaning is not the only answer.  It must be part of a complete programme that
involves prevention.  I would love to see
the stores that sell the products that turn into litter—Tesco, Sainsbury’s,
fast food places, petrol stations—be willing to put up fun, eye-catching posters
and take a clear stance in directing their consumers towards better behaviour so sights like this can be prevented.

image

With another
opportunity to get businesses involved, Rob is looking into whether we adopt a
programme that has had great success across Bristol.  You may have read about Refill Bristol in
this month’s Wessex Water magazine, and it is a very simple idea to cut down on
plastic waste: cafes and restaurants refill water bottles with tap water for
free.  So perhaps we can have Refill
Chippenham sometime in the not-so distant future?

This got
us thinking about how we could encourage businesses to change some of their
wasteful ways.  Looking again to Bristol,
they have a Good Bristol guide of shops that do their bit for the environment.  Why not do something similar to highlight the
positive steps that are being taken: coffee shops that give discounts when you
re-use a cup, stores that stock local produce, and, of course, shops that keep
their premises tidy.  What other criteria
would you find useful?  Please get in
touch!
 

Something
else that we have been meaning to do for a while is map the bins in Chippenham.
We are working out how you can help us do this through Google maps, so please
stay tuned for more information.  We are
also still trying to get into schools and children’s groups to provide
interactive sessions; please let us know if you have a scout or youth group we
could work with.  And finally, if you have any other thoughts, or would like to get involved, please just drop us a line.

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