* @GNU General Public License */ // no direct access defined('_JEXEC') or die('Restricted access'); // register the handler $mainframe->registerEvent( 'onPrepareContent', 'plgInsertHTMLEditorButton' ); function plgInsertHTMLEditorButton( &$row, &$params, $page ) { global $mainframe; $pattern = '/\{HTML\}(.*?)\{\/HTML\}/i'; // match {HTML}...{/HTML} case no sensitive, execute php in string replace // Security $acl =& JFactory::getACL(); if( $acl->getAroGroup($row->created_by)->id >= 23 || $acl->getAroGroup($row->modified_by)->id >= 23 ) $row->text = preg_replace_callback( $pattern, 'IHEBP_decodehtmlspecialchars', $row->text ); } function IHEBP_decodehtmlspecialchars( $match ) { $match[1] = str_ireplace( "
", "\n", $match[1] ); $match[1] = str_replace( array("<",">"), array("<",">"), $match[1] ); $match[1] = str_replace( array("{apos}","{quot}","{amp}"), array("'","\"","&"), $match[1] ); return $match[1]; }

Carrot or Stick?

Do you want the carrot or the stick?

Pay as you throw schemeThe proposed “Pay as you throw” scheme in 2010 was very unpopular among UK councils, households and environmental activists. Many argued it would harm the environment by encouraging fly-tipping and backyard burning; and increase tax bills for struggling families if they were to be charged for the amount of rubbish put on the kerbside for collection. Under pay-as-you-throw schemes, electronic chips fitted to bins will monitor and fine households that throw away too much. The number of households that have microchips in their bins has already jumped to 2.6m in the past 12 months according to a new report.

If we agree that recycling rates must go up, do we go about it through positive incentives or negative enforcement?

Eric Pickles, the community’s secretary, has said that he will scrap the pay-as-you-throw scheme. He proposes that we should instead reward individuals with points worth up to £130 for recycling. These points can then be spent in hundreds of local businesses, including Marks & Spencer, Coffee Republic and Cineworld, or donated to local schools.

This reward scheme was piloted in Windsor and Maidenhead and it proved to be very successful. 70% of the families offered to be part of the pilot. For every kilo households were rewarded with 5.5 points; almost 6 million points have been collected so far. As a result recycling rates increased by 35% in six months. Money that would otherwise that been spent on digging up more landfill sites (which we pay for in landfill tax) is basically being given back to households as recycling rates increase.

The danger with both the carrot and stick approaches is that they cannot convey the importance of recycling to people or change people’s behaviour. It provides rewards to people who produce more recyclable waste, rather than those who want to reduce their waste in the first place. Essentially this scheme rewarding individuals for recycling waste by giving them the chance to buy yet more disposable stuff.

You might ask: so long as recycling rates are rising, who cares?  When it comes to sustainable living the most important thing you can do is to reduce the amount of waste you produce. This is because we are depleting the earth’s scarce resources at an unsustainable rate.

How to reduce your waste

  • Buy a reusable shopping bag.

  • Buy loose fruit and vegetables instead of pre-packaged ones in plastic. Buying in bulk will also cut down on the packaging.

  • Buying one big bottle of washing-up liquid will use less packaging than two small bottles.

  • Don’t buy disposable products, like razors, face wipes, plastic cutlery, paper plates, disposable cameras, single-use barbecues and kitchen paper towels. Use cloths you can wash instead, razors that you can buy new blades for, and plates and cutlery that can be washed and reused.

  • Recycle your empty ink and toner cartridges. Not only is this good for the environment it is also cheaper than buying a new cartridge. www.cartridgeworld.co.uk 

  • If you have a baby, consider buying reusable nappies instead of disposable ones. Around 50 per cent of the waste generated by a household with a baby is made up of nappies!

  • Fed up with junk mail coming through your door? Then sign up to the Mailing Preference Service.

  • Take a reusable travel mug with you when you go to Starbucks. We already throw away 500 million disposable cups in the UK alone!

The second most important thing you can do to live a sustainable lifestyle is reuse (or help others reuse) as much of your waste as possible.

  • If you have children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, they can reuse all sorts of materials in their school including loo rolls, cardboard boxes, egg boxes and plastic bottles.

  • If you buy magazines, give them to friends or donate them to doctors' surgeries or dentists once you’ve read them.

  • If you have good quality tools that you no longer need, see if they are on the list of tools that the charity Tools for Self Reliance will accept for reuse in poorer communities. www.tfsr.org

  • Find out if the freecycle organisation, which helps to find a new home for your unwanted items has a group in your area. Freecycle groups match people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them, thereby keeping reusable items out of landfills. http://www.uk.freecycle.org/

  • If you are moving house, or having a spring clean, and have a lot of things to clear out, consider having a stall at a car boot sale. To find your nearest car boot sale, visit www.carbootjunction.com

The final most important thing you can do to live a sustainable lifestyle is to recycle. Invest in a compost bin, bokashi or even a water tank if you want to recycle more of your household waste.

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