Check out some of the latest Rethink Waste activities

Rethink Waste is Surrey’s movement to reduce waste that nearly 9,000 Surrey households are taking part in. They’re taking activities on waste reduction to win points that they are using to donate to charities, enter prize draws and help local schools.

For those not signed up yet, we thought we’d give you a flavour of some of the activities that are available. As you’ll see, they’re quick, fun and informative and as well as winning you points, they’ll be helping you to help the planet too. Find out more at

Activity 1 – Watch a Know Your Recycling Capabilities video

All you have to do is watch a video like this and you’ll win points.

Activity 2 – Take a quiz on zero waste living

Q: Can you buy zero waste cleaning liquid?
A: Yes or No.
Q: Can you buy zero waste cookies?
A: Yes or No.
Q: Can you buy zero waste shampoo?
A: Yes or No.
Q: Can you buy zero waste pasta sauces?
A: Yes or No.

Answer the questions and you’ll be given a score and some extra information on waste reduction, especially if you got some wrong! Complete the quiz and win points.

Activity 3 – make a pledge to reduce your food waste

It’s important to note that thrown away food is the most harmful element of your waste. Think of all the resources required even before the food reaches your plate, and then to throw it away, only amplifies its impact on the environment. That’s why food waste is so harmful. So take the following steps to reduce your food waste:

1. Plan your meals and only buy the ingredients you need to make them
2. Freeze any leftovers you have or use them for lunch the following day
3. Any extra ingredients you can’t use, donate them to a local food bank or freeze them
4. Upcycle any food scraps into new fun recipes like using potato peelings for crisps
5. The few scraps of food waste remaining should go in the food waste recycling bin for collection

Once you’ve read it, click a button to pledge and watch the points roll in!

Activity 4 – read a blog on sustainable fashion

We don’t know about you, but we think the latest trend if sustainability! We’re seeing more and more people rework their wardrobe, making use of second-hand fashion and even upcycling bits they own at home. But if you’re still succumbing to the deals on fast-fashion sites, you’re not alone, and we’re here to help.

Why is fast fashion problematic?

Fast fashion is where an item is produced in high volumes at high speed and then worn a few times before being discarded. Now, there is no definitive timeline on this and there are ways to slow down fast fashion, but let’s dig into why it’s so problematic in the first place.
Often when a garment is made at a high production rate, it means it’s being manufactured using all sorts of automated processes. Not the worst action in the world, but it must be noted that not all factories have environmental or even ethical procedures. It means there’s a high chance that the dyes and bleaches in your clothing end up washed way in local streams and lakes. We know there’s no need to explain how that can be harmful to wildlife and the environment!

Not only this, but a lot of factories will function from fossil fuel machinery. Renewable energy, while abundant across the globe, doesn’t necessarily reach these areas and it means more carbon emissions are released into the atmosphere than necessary. Although it doesn’t directly harm out local environment, we know that global warming is a universal issue and therefore, relieving the pressure across the globe is vital.

Not to mention the carbon intensive process of shipping products across the seas, more often than not in packaging that will not be recycled. That’s right, all those plastic delivery bags you receive in the mail, they can’t be recycled at the kerb. Which means more waste.
Now, there is a saving grace to fast fashion purchases, but they rely on you wearing the garment multiple times. For each wear, you reduce the problematic impact the garment has had on the environment. However, we don’t know about you, nothing cheap and produced on mass has ever lasted us too long.

So there’s a quick and brief overview of why fast fashion is problematic. Are you ready to discover how to avoid it?

Top tips for avoiding fast fashion

We already mentioned how to slow down fast fashion, and that’s by re-wearing items again and again. It’s also a great way to avoid fast fashion in the first place. More often than not there are plenty of items for sale on second hand sites and apps that will fit your desired aesthetic.

Currently we’re seeing lots of 90s and 00s fashion trends re-entering the cat walk. But before you head on over to brand such as ASOS, Boohoo and PLT, take a look at goodies on Vinted, Depop and eBay Fashion. You’ll be amazed at what you can find. Often, all you need to do is search for a decade in the bar or see what’s popular to get yourself a decent bargain!

While everything is done digitally these days, we cannot understate how impressive a car boot sale is! We’ve seen plenty of ‘shop by the kilo’ second hand sales, but if you’re really looking for an in-person event, the bargains are at the car boot – just a little tip from one bargain hunter to another!

Investing in slow fashion

While we’re all for slowing down fast fashion with multiple wears and second hand bargains, we know many of you will be looking for a more sustainable wardrobe. For a few years we saw the rise of the capsule wardrobe and we know many of you invested in this. But we also know that even with the most sustainable wardrobe, there are times where the need to buy new arises. So where should you go?

Honestly, there is plenty of greenwashing in the fashion industry. ‘100% cotton’ sounds sustainable until you realise that the cotton was grown unsustainably and has been bleached in local rivers across the world. Natural doesn’t always mean eco-friendly, don’t forget that! But we do have some tips for spotting sustainable brands.

Made to order – this is our favourite new trend we’ve spotted. Ordering an item has then been followed up with emails stating that your order is being made from scratch. Meaning no waste of materials, each garment is made when the order is submitted. It might mean a longer waiting period for your item to arrive but we think it’s a great option for those not in any rush!

Ethical processes are also on the rise. Brands are giving more exposure as to how they’re treating the environment. While their material resource and creation process are important to claiming ‘slow fashion status’ it’s also important to see how they’re caring for the environment and whether they’re offsetting their footprints.

Which brands should you buy from?

Now, you know that we’re not one to tell you where you should and shouldn’t spend you money, especially when it comes to something as personal as style. However, We do have a way to vet brands to see whether they’re sustainable enough for us to want to use them.
Good On You has been a very useful tool for us over the years. They’ve rated thousands of brands across the globe with various ratings including their ethical treatment of workers across the production chain. Honestly, they’ve been great at inspiring us to reach out to new brands to purchase from also. If you’re stuck for ideas and need something environmental and exciting go check them out and filter by your location and needs.

Remember that sustainable fashion doesn’t need to be expensive. You can find brands that work well for the planet, you and your wallet all in on go. It’s just a case of finding them. We’ll give you the tools to find them, all you need to do is set aside some time to browse for what you love. Deal? Sorted!

Once you’ve read the blogpost, click a button to say so and watch as your points total increases again!
These are just examples of some of the activities available to Rethink Waste members. There are so many more. Each month there’s a new theme with weekly activities relating to the theme.

Sign up now at to get involved!