Summer Picnics & On-the-go Recycling Tips by Every Can Counts

Drink can recycling

At Every Can Counts we believe the summer months are made for eating and drinking outdoors.  The Irish weather may sometimes like to challenge that theory, but armed with rain jackets, a whole host of flimsy umbrellas and a Child of Prague statue we’re still determined to get out there and make the most of it.  

Once you have the know-how you can cope with just about anything, and the same can be said of having a delicious on-the-go recycling friendly  meal in your favourite park, beach, or even in the back garden.  Whether you’re hosting a family BBQ, or picnicking in a local park, beauty spot, or at the seaside, a little bit of prep goes along way for you and the planet alike.

Festival recycling

 

During the summer months I take Every Can Counts on tour, travelling to all sorts of events across the island of Ireland, encouraging drink can recycling.  From the many pitfalls and experiences I have had at these events and conversations with other seasoned festival folks and colleagues I’ve compiled a few tips to make your outdoor feast as green and delicious as possible:

  • Reusable cup – they’re brilliant, but if you’re like me and hate carrying extra things you might find them cumbersome. So I’ve opted for a stojo coffee cup that folds into itself, it’s the same size as a compact mirror (which I also don’t carry with me).  However if you’re not willing to invest in something fancy, stackable cups will do just as well.  Top tip – bring a small wet bag to place them in after use so the dregs don’t get around your bag.
  • Water bottle – Again, I hate carrying extra things so I choose to carry an empty water bottle, or only half fill it, and seek opportunities to refill it if I need water throughout the day. Parks, beaches and beauty spots have really upped their game when it comes to providing drinking water on tap.  Of course my water bottle is made of metal because, not only does metal recycle forever, it also keeps cold drinks cooler for longer!
  • Cans – Naturally I’m a fan. There are now a huge variety of canned drinks besides the carbonated classics.  Water is particularly handy, when you’ve left the bottle behind, many places including Teddy’s Ice Cream in Dun Laoghaire now sell Cano Water, which is a re-sealable endlessly recyclable can of still or sparkling water.  Carbonated flavoured waters are great for breaking up the hydration monotony, I particularly like the Ballygowan apple, elderflower and lemon flavour or Vit Hits raspberry watermelon with Ceylon tea. Remember to bring reusable straws if you have smallies with you who haven’t mastered the art of drinking from a can yet.   There’s also a huge new no/low alcohol beer movement, besides canned wines (great if you don’t want to open a full bottle) and hard seltzers (White Claw Black Cherry is my favourite).  Once you’re done it’s easy to crush and carry them with you until you find a recycling bin.  We offer free recycling packs to organisations, if you spot a venue that could use one of these packs get in touch here.
  • Spoon – I bring spoons from home. None of these fancy bamboo cutlery packs with their fancy price tag for me thanks!  Everything can be eaten or prepared with a spoon, I’ve worked through salads, soups, curries, burrito bowls, all with my trustee spoon.  It’s also handy for refusing wooden stirrers while getting hot drinks.  Again, make sure to bring a little bag to pop it into so it doesn’t muck up your bag while dirty.  A word of warning, your housemates/family members may notice the lack of spoons in the drawer if like me you forget to wash and return them.
  • Foil wrapping – It keeps all your prepped foods fresh but can double up as a foil plate you can use to eat just about everything from. It’s so versatile, I’ve formed it into a temporary dog water bowl when in a jam.  It’s also uber-easy to clean (just wipe down afterwards) and recycle (scrunch into a ball with all the other clean foils and pop it into the nearest recycling bin).
  • Foil foods for your shopping list – Yoghurt and cream cheese lids, foil wrapped tea cakes, cakes, and chocolate, if it’s wrapped in foil (the kind that doesn’t spring back after you scrunch it) you can add it to the foil bundle that is endlessly recyclable. Think of those individual portion cherry bakewells, sweet mallow filled tea cakes and some spreadable cheeses.  Foil, like cans, is endlessly recyclable, so keep this in mind when writing your picnic/bbq shopping list.
  • Dedicated recycling bag – bring one bag that’s dedicated to collecting recycling and let everyone know what you expect them to put in there. Before the feeding frenzy begins is usually the best time to outline your recycling rules.  Read through the national recycling list here, at mywaste.ie.
  • PYO – pick your own. Raspberries are in season right now, blackberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants are soon to follow. Not only are they a delicious treat, but also a fun family activity. A quick google can usually lead you to where they’re grown wild, or you can visit one of them many PYO farms. Grab a basket or a jar and get picking!
  • Clean BBQ-ing – The big decision is what fuel to use.  Propane burns much cleaner than both wood or charcoal, but there are some organic charcoal options available.  For the clean-up, use soy-based cleaning products.  These natural alternatives are equally efficient and don’t leave behind any chemical residues.  Remember to always check local rules when it comes to barbecuing at beauty spots.

Drink can recycling

Above all the most important rule of enjoying the outdoors is to ‘Love this Place and Leave no Trace’.  Every time we pack up our van after a festival, I look back over the space we’ve just vacated, our campsite, our dining room, our dance floor, and I take great pride that there was no evidence of our fun.  Like  it never happened and we were never there at all, as it should be.

-Róisín 

Programme Manager, Every Can Counts Ireland

CanMail 2020- our first newsletter!

Read our very first newsletter to find out about the latest Every Can Counts activities in Ireland and how we’re rising to the challenges of the COVID-19 era.

Read CanMail Ireland via issuu by clicking here.

T&C’s Festival Tickets Social Competition

Festival Tickets Social Media Competition T&C’s

  • One entry per social media account.
  • Entrants may take part across multiple social media platforms.
  • Entrants must satisfy all criteria as requested by the competition post (for example, liking, tagging, and sharing).
  • Winners are chosen at random from all those who satisfied the criteria. Every Can Counts decisions are final.
  • Tickets cannot be exchange for a cash or any other prize.
  • Winner may be required to pick up tickets from the even box office, or they may be posted to their home address.

 

Can It! To Win It with Tidy Towns and Every Can Counts

Every Can Counts wants to help you to score high marks with the Tidy Towns entry form and pick up the ‘Can It’ award and €1,500 along the way.

Every Can Counts aims to make it easier for people to recycle their cans when they’re out and about, we provide free recycling packs to organisations who want to offer can recycling facilities for the customers, staff, and visitors.

Each pack includes three indoor recycling bins, posters, and liner sacks.  Every Can Counts works with existing waste contractors who take away these bags of segregated cans.

The Can It! Award challenges groups to increase the number of can recycling points within their town or village.  There are four simple steps to take part and win:

  • Identify local businesses or organisations who could use FREE can recycling bins. (It could be a café, a leisure centre, a GAA club or anywhere you see a need).
  • Speak with the business owner/manager and ask them if they’d like some free can recycling packs (includes 3 indoor bins, posters, and bin liners).
  • Contact Every Can Counts at everycancounts@aluproireland.ie with details of the venue and how many bins they require. Please include a contact name, number, and address, and let us know if they consent to receiving and using the recycling packs.
  • Fill in the application form found here and return it to info@everycancounts.ie

The quantity and variety of locations where groups place an Every Can Counts programme will be taken into consideration when choosing a winner.

Remember to mention how many Every Can Counts programmes you have implemented in your Super Valu Tidy Towns entry form under the ‘Tidiness and Litter Control’ (90 marks) and ‘Sustainability –Doing more with less’ (50 marks) headings as it could contribute towards your overall mark.

Drink cans are endlessly recyclable with no loss of quality, and save huge amounts of energy when made from recycled materials (95% energy saving), this makes them the perfect on the go drinks choice for sustainable businesses, towns, and people.

To download a Can It! Application form click here CANIT!Competition2019

For more information on the Tidy Towns and all of the other special awards click here

If you have any questions about the Can It! Award get in touch with Róisín at info@everycancounts.ie

Upload pictures of Every Can Counts at work in your town to your social media and include  #everycancounts and we’ll repost your efforts for all to see.

Good luck to all the Tidy Town applicants in this year’s competition!

Closing date 17th of May 2019