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Choose to Reuse: Guest Blog from SusSH Compost Mentor Ben Bryant


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May 3, 2023

Our next SusSH Group Leaders' Gathering will focus on Saving Earth Resources, led by SusSH Compost Mentor Ben Bryant. Read on for Ben's musings on the topic and introduction to our next gathering:

Well, many of us have looked to the ‘Waste Hierarchy’ as a compass, a policy tool and a guide on how to best use resources carefully and perhaps pondered the order of suggested actions.

Nowadays many of us also prefer to talk ‘Resource’ rather than use the ‘W’ word. Waste sure seems like a dirty word to me and labelling materials as such perhaps sends the wrong message.  So, what are all the resource saving options available to us and in what order do you choose and does it really matter?

Here’s mine:


….and anything else below that down to ‘disposal’. Fair to say it is better not to produce any rubbish in the first place right, but the absolute reality is we all consume…that’s life, and we are encouraged to spend and consume more

I say ‘any which way’, whatever saves resources, but one thing is for sure we cannot just recycle our way out of this mess. We need to stop exploiting earth resources on a global scale and act locally using principles of resource efficiency and of circularity (rather than a linear model of resource use).

There is of course not such place as ‘away’.  We must stop transferring our environmental burden elsewhere.

So with this in mind we invite you to join a jolly band of resource saving activists at our next Sustainable South Hams ‘Groups Leaders Meeting’ on 10th May in Ivybridge. Come along and bring your ideas, talk about your local projects and aspirations, even if only an embryonic or way out idea.  You will be supported.

We will be hearing from our host for the morning, Nadine from Makers Mews, and also from Roger and Mirella of Share Shed project who will give an update on the findings and successes of ShareFest 2023 (held sat 29th April at CIVIC hall Totnes). Many of the local activators will be contributing to that marvellous event in the name of sharing.

We will be talking along the lines of repair cafes, Tool repair & reclaim, Food surplus, food waste saving, Compost clubs, Clothes Upcycling. Furniture Upcycling, Share Shed, share Lockers, pop up free markets, book cycling etc.

What projects are already happening that we can replicate further across the South Hams and what more new ideas and actions can we bring? Together we can make a big impact and pool our resources and knowledge to strengthen our network.

By way of inspiration, we hope to see you at ShareFest to witness a dazzling showcase of beacon projects locally and I also encourage you to check out Hubbub for a range of innovative ideas.

The Month of May brings The Big Fix, a collective effort to maximises efforts in the repair café arena. Check out this project and register here.