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UBU Goes Plastic-Free in Blackpool

A Fantastic Plastic-Free July in Blackpool

At ubu, we take a keen interest in what’s going on in the world around us and we have found ourselves talking more and more about what we can do to improve our carbon footprint and help to reduce our waste. Getting everyone together, we decided that we would challenge ourselves to be greener and so we committed to go plastic-free in Blackpool this July.

With the challenge set, we turned our thoughts to how we would meet our task head on. We were ready to make a difference to the world that we live in, but, we wondered, what would that look like for everyone on a daily basis. How would we have a fantastic plastic-free July?

Speaking with our enabling team, we thought about all the different ways in which we could cut back and decrease our plastic usage. Working together as one big green team, we came up with lots of smart ideas that helped us to make a real difference to our plastic use. Would you like to find out how our plastic-free ideas made a difference to our day-to-day lives?

Go Go Glass

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated and to drink plenty of water but, if you don’t really think about it, you can find that you use a lot of plastic bottles in just one week.

To support our fantastic plastic-free July, we’ve been supported to buy a glass drinking jar which we can use communally. This reduces the need for buying and using plastic water bottles. The glass drinking jar can also be stored in the fridge, which will give us all lovely, cold, fresh water. It’s also really easy for us to use independently, helping ourselves as and when we need it. Our water cooler helps us help the environment while promoting independence and saving money. What could be better?!

As a lady that loves to shop, I am usually spotted with a collection of plastic bags full of goodies – but that’s not very green! Not only are my plastic bags not sustainable, but they’re not easy to use when you’re a wheelchair user. They can get in the way and be quite cumbersome. I thought that I might be able to cut down on my plastic use if I was to buy a reusable shopping bag. I was supported in buying a specific bag that I can use with my wheelchair and now I don’t need to use those plastic bags. I am delighted with my new bag and now use it all the time – as I couldn’t cut down on my shopping!! It feels really good to know that I am contributing and helping to reduce plastic usage. With my efforts, I know that the world will be a better place as every plastic bag not used makes the whole planet a little bit better.

One of my favourite things to do every week is my weekly shopping. I shop locally – which is green in itself – and I take great care to carry my shopping home in bags. However, when talking with our ubu enabling team, I wondered if I could find a more permanent solution for my shopping. My team then supported me to purchase a shopping trolly and it has made a huge difference to the amount of plastic that I am using. Not only does my shopping trolley take the strain of carrying all the bags, but I no longer need to use plastic bags to carry my shopping. As well as being safer and easier to use, I am helping to reduce plastic consumption and saving money. I don’t need to buy any more bags at the checkout and I am making a difference. It’s making me feel so good!

Upgrading our back packs

At Kytson, we’ve been working out how we can make a difference to the world around us. There’s so much news coverage about climate control and being more sustainable; we wanted to play our part in making the world a better place to be. As with many others across ubu, we decided that the we would take on the July Challenge and seriously reduce our plastic usage.

We chatted between ourselves, supported by our enabling staff, and we realised that we could make changes that we could really see – and we wanted to help some of our favourite friends in the world – animals. We love to visit the zoo and the Sea Life centre to see how animals behave. The zoos and aquariums that we visit have a focus on sustainability and conservation so it made sense that we would do something that would make a difference to the animals we love watching – even though we’d be making the most difference to the animals still in the wild. We visit the animals to learn more about them and we want to play a part in keeping their natural environment safe. It was this that helped us to decide on what we would do as a Kytson group to use less plastic.

Once we knew that we wanted to make a difference to the natural world and tie in with some of our favourite activities, we thought that one of the best – and easiest – things we could to do use less plastic would be to reduce our reliance on shopping bags.

When we go shopping, remembering to take plastic bags with us or buying a few more items than we thought has us reaching for new plastic bags at the checkout. It’s expensive and not very green. We also forget to bring all of our plastic bags next time, which means we end up buying even more!

We looked at the different options that would give us reusable bags that we could fold away and carry in our pockets when we were out and about on our adventures. We now all have bought foldaway backpacks. They are brilliant! Light and easy to fold into a small hand-sized package, we’re all really surprised about how much our bags can hold when we start to fill them.

Our foldaway backpacks have been fantastic! They’re so easy to carry around when not in use, but when we have them filled, it means that our hands are free!

We all really love our new back packs and have one to take out with us when they go out. Why don’t you all try our ideas and do your bit to save the wildlife!

A Triple Bonus in Fleetwood

We really love to head out to do our weekly shopping in Fleetwood, but we’ve all noticed an increase in the prices in the shops. We know to expect them as we see so much coverage in the news but it can mean that shopping really adds up. There are a few things that we could do to help us make our money stretch further but it can make it difficult to bring home the bargains when you also have to carry lots of shopping bags.

We began to chat about how we could save money when we were out shopping and look at anything we could do to save a bit of money and offset the increase in the cost of living.

We took our conversations to our enabling teams and they helped us to find a solution that has proved very, very simple but very effective. We realised that if we were to buy some shopping trolleys, we could pick up bargains when we saw them and maybe even do a little bulk buying. We can see that, when we are out shopping, buying slightly bigger amounts of the things that we need can mean that we pay less in the long run. Too heavy to carry, we now simple have to pop a multi-pack or special offer in our trolley. It’s wheely helpful!

Double Saving with an added extra bonus

Our trolleys have proved much, much handier than we could have imagined. In fact, investing in our trolleys has really changed the way that we do things when it comes to shopping.

Before we had our trolleys, we would buy what we wanted and then have to buy plastic shopping bags at the checkout. As our shopping was so heavy, we’d often have to phone a taxi to take us home. We were grateful to get a lift home with our heavy shopping but it was an extra charge and made our shopping seem even more expensive!

Now, we’ve bought our shopping trolleys and we’re doing more walking to and from the shops. Able to throw all of our shopping into our trolleys, we’re able to buy a few multi-packs and we don’t have to buy more and more plastic bags at the checkout.

Walking home with our shopping in our trolleys means that we’re saving even more money, but we’re pleased to see that our new trolleys are also helping us to save the planet too. While our taxi ride home may have been good on our feet, it wasn’t so good on the planet that we live on. With taxis saved for only the very rainiest of days, we have been taking fewer car journeys which means that we’re responsible for being involved in causing fewer emissions from car fumes. It’s also making a huge difference to our step counter.

We’re greener and leaner with our shopping trolleys!


Why not, sit back and read more about some of our great successes.

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