Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009: Did you know?

Buying secondhand from charity shops and donating unwanted items instead of chucking them in the bin is a way to reduce your carbon footprint.

In the UK, between 4 and 5% of domestic waste is made up of clothing and other textiles. About 25% of this is recycled by charities and their associated trading companies.

The Salvation Army Trading Company recently sponsored research to find the energy used by reuse/recycling of textile items and whether this resulted in net energy saving benefit (and hence reduced carbon emission).

The energy footprint of textiles was estimated using a streamlined life cycle assessment which was restricted in scope in order to target specific aspects of the footprint, in this case energy consumption.

Taking into account extraction of resources, manufacture of materials, electricity generation, clothing collection, processing and distribution and final disposal of wastes it was shown that for every kilogram of raw cotton replaced by use of second hand clothing approximately 65 kWh is saved, and for every kilogram of polyester around 90 kWh is saved. Hence, reuse and recycling of donated clothing results in reduced carbon emissions in comparison to purchasing new clothing made from raw materials.

(Life cycle assessment for reuse/recycling of donated waste textiles compared to use of virgin material: An UK energy saving perspective Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 46, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 94-103. Anne C. Woolridge, Garth D. Ward, Paul S. Phillips, Michael Collins and Simon Gandy)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where we are in Cambridge City

View RSPCA in Cambridge in a larger map

Map showing the location of our clinic and shops.