Climate Emergency – please can you help us?

Dear Horsham and West Sussex residents,

Climate change news is everywhere. It seems too bigger problem for many people and is the greatest environmental threat humanity has ever faced, but you can do something. Here are some ways in West Sussex and Horsham you can help….. Read more

Caring for clothes & planet events

During the first half of 2019 Sussex Green Living and the Horsham Repair Cafe are out and about, inpiring people to ‘make do and mend’, remake, repair, repatch and basically love the clothes and materials around them. Come and learn long lost skills of sewing, patches, repairing buttons, clothes etc. Learn about fast fashion and the damage it is causing our planet, solutions, ways of saving money and the planet……

2nd (10-4pm) and 3rd March (10-3pm) Horsham Repair Cafe and Sussex Green Living are at the Kinder Living Home Show, County Hall, North Horsham, Park Street, Horsham, RH12 1XH. The event aims to encourage more sustainable choices in our homes, gardens and daily lives. We will be offering repairs to electrical household items and clothes and clothes swapping. Read more

No do NOT make eco bricks!

Here at SGL headquarters we are contacted time and time again about whether we could be a drop off location for eco bricks, our response is always NO NO NO.

Eco bricks have been around for years, they were first developed to deal with flexible single use plastics and plastic bottles in countries which did not have a council offering waste collection and recycling. The idea being it was better to collect the materials, preventing them from going in the rivers and sea and making something useful with them. Now Eco bricks have taken off in the UK after a post was seen a lot of times, and people have begun to ‘make’ them.

For those who don’t know, and I can’t imagine that there are many who read this blog who don’t know, an Eco brick is made by stuffing all the single use plastic, cigarette butts and other non organic rubbish from your household into a plastic bottle of any size. This may seem easy but it is difficult to do and entails the plastic being cut up or shredded and placed in the bottle. Helped with either a wooden spoon, a knitting needle or a stick. The filled bottle can then be used to make outdoor furniture, bus shelters and buildings. They should not be used to make items for internal use as I think they are quite inflammable.

Many people who have started making bricks had no idea that they were using so much single-use flexible plastic and also had no idea where the waste goes. This is a quote from the Facebook site, posted today:

“Just by spending the last 2-3 weeks keeping all plastic and starting my ecobrick has made me completely rethink the way I shop and I am changing as much as I can because ultimately we need to stop producing the huge amounts of plastic that we do. ”

At Sussex Green Living ‘Towers’ (;-) we have been aware of the plastic problem for a long time, and it is really hard to imagine that there are still households that don’t know about single-use plastic, landfill taxes, recycling and the 10 ‘R’s – refuse, reuse recycle, refresh, re-home, reduce,remake, rehash, responsibility,refill, etc – I could go on. We are not keen on Eco bricks for the reason that the bottles CAN be recycled and that it may give permission to consumers to continue to buy single-use plastic and plastic bottles.

But there are consumers who are just waking up to this problem and I think it is in our own interests to encourage the Eco brick phenomenon, even though it ultimately does not offer a solution to the increasing challenge. These new Eco warriors for want of a better term, are beginning to realise that the single use plastic is not environmentally acceptable and are starting to educate their children, their schools and they are emailing their MP’s, the supermarkets, and anyone else who has a hand in making this plastic. They are also finding out who deals with our waste, where our waste goes, and how it is dealt with, which is amazing and a very good thing. Their new voices are being added to ours and the more pressure we exert, the better.

Ultimately we have to start thinking about ALL of our waste as even the recycling bin must be reduced at some point. The markets are becoming saturated and in many cases (varies from County to County) our single-use plastics are being shipped to other countries to burn in incinerators, generating energy for their national grid – this is called toxic colonialism. The hard plastics (bottles, pots and trays) are usually shipped to countries like China, where they are recycled into new goods. All this shipping of our waste around the world is not good for the environment, council waste lorries will move the recycling a minimum of 6 times from point of collection (your house) to where it will be recycled, the ships use fossil fuel which when burnt releases horrendous quantities of carbon dioxide, which is causing climate change.

In April 2018 a summit was called to discuss reforms and regulations needed relating to packaging in the UK. This summit was between the government and other regulatory councils and committees on packaging (WRAP, INCPEN and ACP), with a list of 162 cross-sector organisations involved in production and recovery of packaging. It’s resulted in identifying some of the major challenges currently faced and recommendation for future action.

This is a huge step, albeit one in its infancy. However, there is no timeline.

For now, we need to continue to push for change. Reduce our consumerism. Write to corporations. Let them know we won’t stay quiet, and we’re not going to sit idly by while they take their sweet time figuring things out. Put the pressure on!

We can help you recycle some of your single-use plastics, which would otherwise go to landfill or incineration. We have run since 2012 a special recycling scheme, most of the waste resources are sent to a company called TerraCycle. This is the list of waste resources, the recycling of them raises money for the William Penn School and the Springboard Project. The public drop-off locations are:

  • William Penn Primary School, Coolham, Nr Billingshurst, RH13 8GR – accessible school hours, the bins are in the staff car park.
  • Quaker Meeting House, Worthing Road, Horsham, RH12 1SL – accessible 24/7, please use the green Sussex Green Living branded bin to the right of the cottage door.

Thank you for caring!

Pulborough born and bred resident Nicola Peel has been building around the world with ecobricks for the last decade,  where she helps communities  clear their neighbourhoods and build something useful. These photos are from some of her projects. For more info see Ecobricks in action.

Photos courtousy of Nicola Peel.

Written by Jill Shuker, Sussex Green Living volunteer and co-founder of the Horsham Repair Cafe.

“Greening Sussex by Sussex families”

Whose waste is it anyway? Event in Brighton

Whose waste is it anyway? Is a new event taking place at the Brighthelm Centre, Brighton on Thursday 1 November 2018 between 10:00 – 3pm. Carrie Cort, founder of Sussex Green Living is giving a talk on the shocking journey of a cotton T shirt and the environmental effects for the fast fashion industry.

Waste is a hot topic right now.  Read more

Wildlife Eco Warrior assembly & workshops

This workshop is a fun, informative and practical session, showing the synergy between biodiversity, environmental protection and upcycling. Led by Carrie Cort the founder of Sussex Green Living, this is one in a series of workshops Carrie offers.

In this workshop we generate ideas which  inspire our children to become the next generation of green champions. In turn these ideas can help them make decisions about the way we do things individually and collectively, both locally and globally. This will improve the quality of life now, reducing damage to the planet in the future. The workshop includes some hands on creative upcycling for the garden, e.g. butterfly hibernation boxes from TetraPaks, owl boxes out of old wellington boots, bird feeders out of plastic milk bottles.  Subjects: Science, PSHE, Art & Design and Citizenship.

Learn more about the Wildlife Eco Warrior session we ran for Annington Homes at Gamlingay Primary School in Bedfordshire…..

Read more

Stop using one-time plastic coffee pods

Tassimo mountain

Since 2012 Sussex Green Living has recycled approximately 80,000 Tassimo ‘T-Disc’ coffee pods and packaging through Terracycle UK and given the proceeds to a local school, but suddenly their pick-up point has changed. Now we are wondering: what are we going to do with all this waste?

Sussex Green Living is one of the UK’s best TerraCycle collectors, however due to changes to the Tassimo Brigade public drop offs we no longer able to receive money for our beneficiary the William Penn School. The nearest drop off location is now Findon and that’s a 35 mile round trip. Read more

Help is at Hand for Horsham!

Help is at hand in more way than one, the Horsham Repair Cafe has been given a helping hand by Horsham Tesco shoppers and Tesco. This inspiring new community initiative has been voted the winner of Tesco Bags of Help, during November and December shoppers in the Horsham Tesco Express stores and the Broadbridge Heath store were able to use the tokens to vote for their chosen community initiative, the Horsham Repair Cafe received the most votes. Read more

​Horsham Repair Cafe Christmas and beyond…

Groundwork offering energy advice

Press Release


Horsham Repair Cafe wrapped up three months of operation on Saturday 2nd December with a truly outstanding session.

As a result, it has been decided to add a date in January, rather than wait for the next officially publicised event which was to be in February.  The additional date is confirmed as Saturday 6th January 2018 and people are invited to bring along such items as Christmas cards, cracker decorations and unwanted cracker gifts; any wrapping paper which is not going to be reused next year and cardboard kitchen rolls for some upcycling fun.  Anyone wishing to participate in an unwanted gift exchange should contact HRC on the email below. Read more

​Horsham Repair Cafe – saving energy & Christmas lights!

Press release

Do you dread turning on your Christmas tree lights? The festive season can be an expensive and wasteful time of year and so often those Christmas tree lights don’t work! Well if that is the case, do not despair, the Horsham Repair Cafe can help.

On 2nd December at the Quaker Meeting House, Worthing Road, Horsham there will be a team of experts ready, willing and able to fix Christmas lights, flashing Christmas jumpers, small electrical appliances, computers, iphones, ipads, tablets, clothing repairs and much more.   Read more

Launch of Horsham Repair Cafe


1st West Sussex Repair Café launches in Horsham

What do you do with a broken toaster? Or a laptop which is on the go slow? Or with a ripped pair of trousers? Bin it? No, repair, remake, reuse and refresh, saving money and helping the planet. Sussex Green Living an environmental awareness and education community initiative and Horsham Quakers are launching a Repair Café on 7th October in Horsham. This will be the first Repair Café in West Sussex and will take place on the first Saturday of every month 10am– 12.30pm. Read more

Eco Beasts take over West Sussex!

Eco Beast Competition

Eco Beast Sculptures migrated from across West Sussex and took over a marquee in Horsham Park at ‘Funday Sunday’ on Sunday 9th July.  Children from all over the county had wonderful fun making Eco Beast Sculptures out of waste resources. The best sculptures from schools and children’s uniformed groups formed a stunning public exhibition at this family event. Read more

Horsham Repair Cafe launch on 7th October

Horsham Repair CaféLaunching SATURDAY 7th OCTOBER 2017 then taking place on the 1st Saturday of every month 10 – 12.30pm at the Quaker Meeting House, Worthing Road, Horsham, RH12 1SL

Alongside the regular monthly cleaning materials refills sessions on first Saturday each month, Sussex Green Living in partnership with Horsham Quakers  Read more

A Tietastic Guinness World Records

Carrie Cort is ‘Officially Amazing’, so say the Guinness World Record (GWR) office.  Last year as part of a ‘Green Play and Display Day’ which Carrie organised in the Human Nature Garden, Horsham Park, she attempted to beat the GWR challenge for the person wearing the most neckties, which was 260 ties, 400 had been donated. Carrie managed to beat the record by 10, a small margin but her neck would take no more! Her GWR officials were (left to right) Jeremy Quin MP, Amanda Jupp – WSCC County Councillor, Paul Bellringer – founder of Horsham Festival and Sarah Bamsey, who placed the ties.  Read more

26 eco-friendly Christmas tips

Pedro ChristmasWe’ve got some great tips to help you enjoy Christmas, so you can spoil yourself and your loved ones without spoiling the planet.

Here’s a uniquely seasonal paradox. Is it possible to buy a truly green Christmas tree? Artificial trees aren’t biodegradable and need enormous amounts of energy to manufacture. So it may come as a surprise that buying a real tree is not necessarily a greener option. Read more

Top tie upcyclng ideas

Neckties are a bit of an environmental nightmare, novelty ties get bought for people who might use them once or twice, charity shops don’t want them as they don’t sell well and if sent for recycling they often get caught up in the recycling machinery and cause expensive damage.  Upcycling, remaking and reuse is best!

A creative community group bought together by Sussex Green Living have been busy demonstrating Read more

Guinness World Record helps William Penn School

William Penn primary school children counting neckties for the Guinness World Record attempt to wear the most neckties.

Horsham families are in for a summer half term treat, a free family tietastic Guinness World Record event in the Human Nature Garden in Horsham Park!  Carrie Cort founder of Sussex Green Living has got together with the organisers of the Horsham Circle of Life Festival to lay on a fun action packed free green event. Read more

Summer half term green play

Horsham Circle of Life Festival 2016   

In and around Horsham: Saturday May 28 – Saturday June 4

Half term entertainment for teenagers and children

Wednesday June 1st starts 2 pm until 4 pm

Teenage Textile Creations – Upcycling Workshop

This workshop is a great opportunity for teenagers to exercise their imagination and creative skills whilst learning the art of textile upcycling. Read more

True cost of Christmas

Beautiful second hand paper.

All our presents are wrapped with last years wrapping paper, stunning.

Christmas is a really exciting and fun time of year, however it is a horrendously wasteful time. We eat far too much food and spend vast sums of money, but we don’t have to indulge in such a wasteful celebration. This blog explains ways of reducing the amount of waste you create, ways to save money and shows some shocking statistics about the toll Christmas has on the environment.  Read more

Green Days for Schools 2016

Working towards an Eco School Award and need some help?

No time to plan green activities for your school or group?

Want to get involved in environmental awareness campaigns?

Would like more curriculum enrichment activities?

We can help! Carrie who leads these sessions is a trained WSCC Waste Prevention Advisor, trained by Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader, RHS School Gardening trained and is an Eco School Assessor. She has won many awards for her inspirational green work, the latest award being the BBC Surrey and Sussex Community Hero Green Champion.

We have planned some themed age appropriate green days and workshops which we can bring to your school, college or group.
Read more

Furniture make-over workshop

We are currently planning some one day workshops themed around the 3 Rs. Not however the 3 Rs that most people know, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle but OUR 3 Rs – Repair, Remake and Reuse.

The aim of these workshops is for people to learn or relearn practical skills  which have been lost in over the last 20 plus years, to have fun creatively reusing and ‘making- over’ personal belongings which might otherwise be thrown away. Read more

How you can help landfill families in the Philippines

Sussex Green Living is calling for local people to help landfill families in Manila, Philippines and it won’t cost you a penny. Read on to learn how….

Recycling. We know we have to do it and we are reminded regularly of the need to keep plastics, food and textiles out of our landfills. Of course, this is the right thing to do, it keeps greenhouse gas emissions down as well as reducing our consumption and energy usage. Read more

What to Do With Your Old Mattress

Getting a new bed or mattress can be a relief for your back, but unless the delivery of your new mattress includes the removal of the old one, it can also cause a headache as you find yourself with an old mattress to dispose of. So, in order from very bad to very good, what are your options?



Read more

Food Waste – the big picture

Ok, hands up, who has ever thrown a banana skin in a bush after a picnic? Maybe chucked an apple core out of the window of your car whilst travelling down a quiet country road? I expect a few people have done this in the past. And why not? It’s biodegradable, right? Whilst this may horrify those who see it as littering, food waste is often considered ‘harmless’ to the environment, as it rots down and is eaten by detritivores or passing wildlife. At the worst it is considered unsightly or foul smelling for a short time. Read more

Recycling games for kids

Recycling is one of the most important actions you can take to help the environment and to preserve it, so that we can continue to live on a green and healthy planet instead of breathing in pollution and damaging the nature. And because of that, we should teach our children to recycle from a very young age, so when they grow up, they continue to recycle and continue to treat our environment better. Read more

More plastics recycled now!

At last residents in West Sussex, as of 1st April 2015, will be able to recycle more plastics in their household recycling bins. Prior to this date we were only able to recycle plastic bottles.

You might ask why we have only been able to recycle plastic bottles historically? Well until now there has not been a commercially viable market to sell the plastic waste resources to. Read more