52 Week Earth Day Challenge


The 52 Week Earth Day Challenge

Here are actions that have been taken by Staffordshire WI members during the 52 Week Earth Day Challenge.

Can you add to the list ? Send your contributions to admin@sfwi.org

Aluminium foil; this can be recycled via the Councils’ recycle collection scheme if it is at least the size of a grapefruit. Wear gardening gloves to cut down foil and push it into aluminium drinks cans if you are unable to get the aluminium to form a compact ball.

Batteries; collection points are available at most supermarkets.

Birthday Cards; can be recycled amongst members and families or cut using pinking shears to make gift tags.

Blister packs/strips from prescription or over the counter tablets/pills can be taken to any Superdrug that has a pharmacy. They go to TerraCycle for recycling and raise money for the Marie Curie charity.


Bras; unwanted bras can be recycled via Bra Banks

eg Action Against Breast Cancer https://www.againstbreastcancer.org.uk/recycling/bra-recycling

eg Smalls Appeal- working with women in West Africa


Challenge yourself or members to think of simple actions that could make a collective big differences such as picking up 5 pieces of litter a day. Maybe have a new challenge every month.

Check out what can be recycled at your local Recycling Hub and note their opening times.



RECYCLING HUB, UTTOXETER – also has a Repair Shop


Check out what can be recycled at your local Civic Amenity Site (Householders Waste facility) by searching waste and recycling on the Staffordshire County Council’s website and finding your nearest facility – a full list is shown of what is accepted at each location.


Christmas Cards – Christmas and Greetings Cards can be recycled with your cardboard/paper waste via the Council’s refuse service. There are also ways to reuse them – use this link for ideas: https://www.countryliving.com/uk/create/craft/a3005/recycling-christmas-cards/

Clothes; those that are still serviceable can go to charity shops or placed in Clothes Recycling bins on supermarket and other car parks. If the clothes are not suitable for re-use or if you are not sure, take them to the collection point at Primark where they will be reused or sold as rags. Money raised goes to UNICEF.

Coat Hangers; black plastic coat hangers can be recycled at Tesco stores.

Coffee Machine Pods – Selected Morrisons stores have a dedicated recycle bin for used coffee machine pods – ask for Podback recycling bags in store. or add them to your online order.

Community Awareness can be raised on any environmental issue (or campaign) by yarn-bombing, flash-mobbing, having a display or stall at your local fete, engaging with schools, churches or other groups.

Contact Lenses; can be recycled at Specsavers.

Defrosting Food; Try to remember to defrost food overnight in the fridge. This is not only good from a food safety point of view but the defrosting food keeps the fridge temperature lower, meaning less energy is needed.

Disposable Razors; any brand can be recycled via the Gillette initiative. Request a pre-paid envelope for up to 16 razors, up to 4 times a year.


Laundry products; discuss and trial alternatives to traditional products

eg those tested by Good Housekeeping.


Lights; during June, make a point of waiting half an hour longer than usual before turning on your house lights.

Make-up; Take empty make-up products to Tesco. Containers are branded ‘Maybelline’ but all brands are accepted.

Meat-free; pledge to have at least one day a week without meat.

Milk doorstep deliveries may be available to homes in your area – discuss the pros & cons.

Search milk deliveries in my area and enter your postcode.

Pens that no longer write can be taken to Rymans Stationers. Find your nearest store by visiting


Plastic milk bottles; repurpose in crafting to make, for example,

a night-light, bug hotel or ornament.

Search how to reuse plastic milk bottles for ideas.

Plastic milk bottle tops; can be recycled at Tranquility in Stafford to raise money for charity and have also been donated to Design & Technology students to melt down and make chopping boards – ask your local school, college or University if they need any items for students.

Plastic surveys -take part in the Big Plastic Count and discuss findings.


Smart Phones & Tablets that are no longer used – either working or not working – can be taken to any Vodafone shop. Vodafone will refurbish, re-box and donate the phones/tablets to Barnardo’s with 6 months of free data, calls & texts

Soft Plastics – plastics that springs back to their original shape if you scrunch up and release – for example fruit punnets, frozen food bags, biscuit & bread wrappings. These can be recycled at all supermarkets and it doesn’t matter whose plastic goes to which supermarket. Keep the largest bag and stuff everything into it so it takes up less room.

Spectacles; most opticians offer to recycle old specs.

Stamps (used postage stamps) are collected by many organisations

eg https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/ (go to FAQs)

with more organisations listed on https://www.countryliving.com/uk/news/a34891519/used-stamps-donate-charity/

Trees; plant a tree or more to help store carbon and tackle climate change. Free trees can be obtained from TheWoodlandTrust https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/schools-and-communities/tree-pack-application/

Water filters; recycle all brands at Tesco. Brita water filters are collected at Argos & Sainsburys.

Wildflowers; scatter wildflower seeds in a sunny corner of your garden or on communal land that doesn’t get mown.

‘Free’ wildflower seeds (a charge may be made for postage) can be obtained from

eg https://justbeehoney.co.uk/products/free-bee-saving-seeds

Wool; unravel knitwear and make other items such as

poppies for an environmentally-friendly alternative to a plastic Remembrance Day Wreath.

Make lap blankets for adult hospital patients, particularly those undergoing chemotherapy and make bags from recycled cotton material to keep the lap blankets clean and safe.

Use oddments of new wool to make premature baby blankets, hats and cardigans – they are always welcomed at hospitals.