Finding the right button – Zero Waste and Charity Fundraising

I think it’s safe to say I’d struggle to run Zero Waste Week without the support of Lyn. Lyn takes care of the Zero Waste Pinterest boards and helps run the Facebook Group.

She’s also there on the end of an email when I’m having a ‘can’t decide on this’ moment!

Today Lyn is here to share her thoughts on how we can find our passion to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Here’s Lyn…

“I am a great believer in getting everybody on board with Zero Waste – you just have to find the right button to press. Identify what motivates people and link it to Zero Waste.

I am fortunate to be able to combine two passions – zero waste and fundraising for a small but national French Bulldog rescue charity. The dogs are immediately fostered in to a home but medical expenses can be crippling. Plenty of supporters are more than happy to contribute financially when there is a crisis but it’s a steady trickle of income that provides stability. This is where recycling for funds comes in and I want to share with you the ways that we are getting supporters to recognise the value of things that might have gone in the bin.

It’s not rocket science! We collect stamps, recycle inkjet cartridges,  sell used books, DVDs, CDs and games. Washing up liquid caps, triggers from cleaning bottles, biscuit wrappers – they all make money for us. We make money from collectables (anything with a frenchie on it goes down particularly well of course) and unwanted everyday items. So, what have we learned?

  • Saving the planet is not always a motivator but people willingly recycle if they can see a reason closer to home.
  • Simple is good – find the easiest way for your supporters to engage. If recycling needs an online registration, a complicated website and a box to post it’s less likely to happen.
  • Be prepared to become the recycling hub. Often people prefer to give you the items than deal with them themselves. Our garages have never been so well used!!
  • Sometimes the effort is not worth the reward. You could do the world a big favour by collecting up discarded soda pop cans but at 20p a kilo I prefer my recycling bin.
  • People like pre-paid envelopes to shove in the post box. Recycle4charity takes our inkjet cartridges.
  • Fundraisingstamps also provide pre-paid envelopes. Plenty still save stamps and are just waiting for the right opportunity to pass them on.
  • Every day household kitchen, cleaning and beauty packaging items give you a great opportunity to attract contributions from a wider group. Have a look at Terracycle’s free waste streams.
  • Ziffit has helped us set up a charity specific recycling scheme for books, DVDs, games, CDs. It’s freepost and just requires trip to the local collection point.
  • Our FB French Bulldog Saviours auction group has a growing taste for good quality used and collectable items sourced through general donations.
  • Find the ‘What’s In It For Me?’ factor – if you can help people declutter you will be top of their list for car boot items. Standing in a breezy field selling to complete strangers is by far our most lucrative recycling stream.

For me, our fundraising through recycling is an important arm of the charity because of its dual aspect. We aim to provide financial support but also raise the level of awareness of the good that ‘rubbish’ can do. You just got to find the right button to push.”

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Rachelle Strauss

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  1. […] to charity Zero Waste Week, 120 billion pieces of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry. In […]

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