Want Not Waste's outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability

Mon, 12 Jul 2021 14:21:00 BST

Want Not Waste are on a roll! For the second year in a row, the team have won the student category of our Making a Difference Awards, for their outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability.

Sustainable principles are embedded into every aspect of Want Not Waste. They are a zero-waste, plastic-free shop and project striving to achieve environmental sustainability and climate action.

Pre COVID-19, their shop space was used regularly, but they have since adapted successfully to functioning online. A silver lining of the lockdown was that it afforded more time to devote to their freshly launched blog, which has gone from strength to strength and covers a range of topics, including DIY how-to guides, reviews and educational resources authored by several of their volunteers. They’ve also grown their presence on social media, with Instagram takeovers and giveaways to maintain community connections while people couldn’t physically be in the shop.

The team aims to open up the conversation about sustainability with customers in the shop as well as their online community - by regularly sharing resources and tips on their social media pages. They foster a community of knowledge sharing, supporting one another (as well as the planet) and inspiring positive choices. Many of their volunteers take their passion one step further by studying environmentalism units within their degree or actively campaigning within societies such as People and Planet.

Want Not Waste have grown their project over a 2 year period, gradually expanding the team and refining the service that they provide. The project aims to create an inclusive space for students and increase the ease of sustainability. They have a focus on climate action and responsible consumption and production. Sourcing local items and foods has created connections with local businesses, whilst also providing affordable, ethically-produced and sustainable products to customers.

They are keen to promote the message that everyone can live a more sustainable lifestyle; reassuring people that environmental impact is not about living the perfect sustainable life, but about making small changes and learning along the way.

A Want Not Waste team member spoke of winning the Making a Difference Award for the second year in succession: “We were thrilled to win the Oustanding contribution to environmental sustainability award again at the 2021 Making a Difference awards. We aim to make sustainability accessible and affordable for students and members of the public. We have worked very hard to open up a discussion about environmental sustainability: hosting events, building our online presence and creating a safe space in our shop. Sustainability is central to almost every aspect of our project, from our Terracycle schemes to the local, ethical businesses we partner with. It is so rewarding to have our hard work recognised with such a prestigious award.”