Plastic Free July

July is upon us, and so too is Plastic Free July. This is a global movement aimed at reducing plastic waste. You can find more about the challenge and ways to go plastic free on the Plastic Free July website.

It’s not just plastics we need to think about. Whilst they’re very definitely a big problem, all litter has a huge environmental impact. Taking our rubbish home from a day out is essential – to help prevent injury to wildlife, reduce the risk of wildfires and to keep the countryside a beautiful space for all to enjoy – and sorting it for recycling when we’re there is really important too.

Plogging – a running-based rubbish collecting trend from Sweden.

Plogging is another way we can contribute to helping care for our environment: you don’t need to be running to take part, just some gloves and a bag in which to collect the rubbish you find, and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after. What sorts of things do you find – what colours, what materials, what shapes?

Everyone can do their bit in everyday life when it comes to plastics (and recycling in general), either to reduce how much is used or to stretch and go completely plastic free. To reduce what you use, there’s things like ‘bags for life’, reusable cups and containers and wax wraps instead of cling film.

A recycled plastic bag

There’s also crafty ways you can re-think your recycling to re-use it in new ways. One of our previous posts from Learning Assistant Joanne showed you creative ways to upcycle your recycling.

Taking it one step further, as part of their Festival of Archaeology (11th – 19th July) the Council for British Archaeology are holding a competition where they’re encouraging you to get ‘arty with rubbish’.

The Rubbish Art competition is encouraging innovativeness and creativity to take your rubbish and recycling and give it a new lease of life, re-using it in an exciting new way with an archaeological theme. There are prizes to be won (full details, including how to enter and a link to the terms and conditions, on the competition website) and fun to be had.

In Northumberland National Park there’s lots of amazing archaeology all around us; some examples include:

  • Hadrian’s Wall
  • Humbleton Hillfort
  • Cup and Ring markings are Lordenshaws Hillfort

Why not have a go at making some Rubbish Art of the incredible things to be found in and around the national park? We’d love to see photos of what you’re inspired to make – we know it won’t be rubbish!