Subscriber, win a summer garden goody bag

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Love Essex spring e-newsletter banner

Summer is almost here and this month’s edition is packed full of summer treats, including:  

  • a competition to win a garden goodie bag 
  • a host of outdoor activity ideas  
  • the results from our recent feedback survey
  • delicious recipes so you can enjoy a picnic. 

Also, you can read last month's edition if you missed it.

Win a summer garden goody bag

Various items in summer prize for Explore Essex competition

To celebrate the opening of the Infinity Forest Art Installation at Danbury Country Park the Explore Essex team is giving away a summer goody bag worth over £100. The bag includes wildflower mix, butterfly food and gardening starter kits to support pollinating insects in your garden. 

To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is get creative with some tree inspired art. Discover more details by reading the competition terms and conditions. 

But don’t worry if you miss out on the prize as there are lots to do this summer with your children with Explore Essex’s Infinity Forest art packs. The Love Essex team has contributed an activity so you can make the most of your cardboard toilet tubes – biodegradable seedling planters. 

Fantastic feedback from you

Plastic-free items in a hamper

Congratulations to Helen from Witham, who is our lucky winner of last month’s competition. Helen will now enjoy her hamper full of plastic-free goodies. Thank you to Helen and almost 1,000 other subscribers who gave us feedback on this e-newsletter. Your feedback helps us keep the e-newsletter useful for you. Highlights include: 

  • 96% rated the e-newsletter as “excellent” or “good” 
  • 80% subscribe to find tips on how to reduce their environmental impact
  • 77% find recycling tips useful. 

But some subscribers found the e-newsletters in their spam folders so please do check frequently (just in case) or add us to your 'safe senders' list.

Most importantly, we want to continue to hear from you. That’s why we have set up a quick poll to find out what household item you would like to read about in next month’s editionYou have until 29 June to vote.

Dawn’s lockdown composting journey 

Wool inside a compost bin

One of our volunteers, Dawn, attended a Love Essex composting webinar in September 2020 and became "hooked on composting". She wanted to reduce what she put in her kerbside collections, so she started composting grass cuttings, flowers, and fruit and vegetable peelings. But during lockdown she also discovered other materials she could compost, such as pet and human hair (as home haircuts produced waste), toilet roll tubes, crushed eggshells (after making lots of cakes) and wool (which was used as wrapping for fresh food deliveries).

Donate your old laptop to help children in Essex

Girl watching her laptop and learning

Do you have an old laptop you don’t need any more? If so, don't throw it away. 

Essex County Council is helping children and young people access learning resources by distributing laptops. They have already given out 5,000 laptops to pupils who didn't have a device at home. 

Whatever condition your laptop is in, get involved today by dropping it off at your local library.

Highlights from Love Essex social media

Become a Library of Things sponsor

Man using a drill

As part of their work on the ERDF-funded BLUEPRINT to a Circular Economy Project, Essex County Council is launching the Essex Library of Things.  

This will help local communities borrow and share items, meaning fewer brand-new items need to be produced. This protects our natural resources and creates less waste.  

The project needs local businesses to contribute new items to the service. Products on the “wish list” include DIY tools, gardening equipment and home appliances. In return, sponsors will be listed on various social media channels and newsletters, and receive a media pack with press release and social media templates to promote their involvement in the project.

For more information, email or follow @blueprint.project on Instagram. 

Reconnect with the environment

Colourful art installation in park

Our friends at Explore Essex are delighted to announce the launch of ‘Summer of Culture 2021’, a series of arts and cultural activities, talks and events.

The programme focuses on nature, climate and people. It aims to highlight the importance of our connection with green spaces for both mental and physical wellbeing. 

Features include the Essex Book Festival, The Beach of Dreams and the Infinity Forest at Danbury Country Park, alongside fantastic competitions. 

Plus, the Love Essex team have included their 5 ways to save the world. Read our guide today (on page 20).

Celebrate National Refill Day by reusing

Child refilling metal water bottle from machine

On 16 June, choose to refill. Join millions of people around the world who are taking action to waste less and reduce plastic pollution on National Refill Day. Most UK households throw away at least 40kg of plastic each yearNationwide, we use 7.7 billion plastic bottles annually. This is an average of more than 100 bottles per person, per year! By choosing to reuse and refill, you're saving millions of pieces of plastic and keeping our oceans and communities plastic-free for generations to come.  

Summer picnic leftover recipes

People having a colourful picnic

Summer is just around the corner, and with the weather heating up it is the perfect time to enjoy a picnic with family and friends (following current Covid-19 guidance). However, we often come home from picnics to find lots of food left over. Why not give these rainbow ice lollies a go? It’s an easy and delicious way to use up any fruit before it goes off.  

If you have leftover breadsticks or crisps, try making a selection of delicious dips to eat alongside them. How about lemon and coriander hummus or tasty tomato salsa? 

Mythbuster: How to get rid of unwanted wood 

Planks of rotten wood

If you have any unwanted wood or timber, then the best way to get rid of it would be to reuse it. This could be giving it away to friends or family, making something with it, selling it, or passing it on for free through Freegle or Freecycle.

If the wood is not in good condition then you should take it to your nearest recycling centre in Essex. Ask a member of staff on site where the wood and timber container is located and place the pieces inside. The wood and timber will be sent away to a reprocessing company where it will be turned into wood products such as wood chips. 

For wooden window frames or doors, you can only take one of each item in any 6-month period and they can only be taken to a large recycling centre. For more information read the recycling centre policies and site restrictions.

Plastic free bottle with 'Don't forget to share this e-newsletter with friends and family' written beside it