Transition to a less wasteful, more sustainable, way of life

We live in a high consumption, high waste society – we waste the planet’s resources of energy, food, materials, land… and we know we can’t go on like this. Many Transition and other initiatives aim to reduce wastefulness and to use our planet’s resources more sustainably. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!


TTK waste initiatives

We regularly feature “Waste Matters” or “Waste not, want not” items in our monthly e-newsletter; TTK projects aimed at reducing waste, keeping stuff out of landfill and moving away from a throw-away, fossil-fuel dependent society, include:

On food, Abundance, harvesting, distributing and preserving fruit that would otherwise go to waste; growing projects, using land more productively... And How not to waste food - some advice and weblinks

Skill sharing or up-skilling – how to fix or repair or re-purpose things, including clothes and other textiles in TTK's monthly sewing workshop, Stitch in Time, which returned after a break in 2020 - see Events for up-to-date info about place and time. See below in Past TTK initiatives for a brief history of our sociable sewing sessions, which began with a bag-making workshop in 2009 and then ran monthly from January 2010 to 2014. 

Energy Group – working towards less wasteful energy consumption

Repair Café Kingston -  Launched in February 2023 and running every first Saturday from 10.30am - 1.00pm at Kingston Library - aiming to repair items (textiles, electronics, toys, jewellery, woodwork, mechanical...) that would otherwise be thrown away - see separate pages.

Recycling Minds - a collaboration between different green groups and businesses and the Council, currently chaired by TTK. Looking at what the community and the council can do together to drive up recycling and reduce residual waste. 

Local and other waste initiatives

Save the World Club and Save the Food Club have for 20 years been distributing the disposed food from supermarkets and exhibitions to local charitable groups, with an estimated over 25,000 kg of food saved from being used as animal feed, anerobic digestion or energy from waste (incineration). This has been mainly distributed using zero carbon pedal power.

South London Partnership’s new Zero Waste Map - a convenient way for you to plug in your postcode wherever you are and be directed your nearest refill businesses, repair services, second-hand shops, recycling centres and drop-off points, and mending workshops. Know a business in your neighbourhood that you can’t see in the map? Let SLP know by filling in this form.

Freegle - give away and acquire unwanted stuff

Freecycle Kingston - give away and get unwanted items

Richmond Maker-Lab, Ham - our nearest repair workshop

Squirrels Community Scrap Scheme, The Old Allotment Hut, Boscombe Road, Worcester Park - an Aladdin's cave full of goodies - donated clean waste materials to meet art, craft, recreational, educational, therapeutic or fundraising activities...

Read Kingston’s recycling guide here - what Kingston Council will recycle and which bin to put it in. 

May 2010, “Rescued”, an exhibition by Des Kay in Kingston Market House – everything in the colourful installation was destined for landfill before it was rescued and redistributed.

Greener Kingston – "working towards a zero-waste society, one plastic bag at a time!"

Love Food Hate Waste - aims to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste and help us take action.

You can also learn a lot of useful repairing and re-using skills from YouTube videos. 


Past TTK waste initiatives

September 2016, Love Food Hate Waste quiz at Green Zone, Kingston Carnival: TTK featured a Love Food Hate Waste questionnare on our stall

October 2015, TTK formed an ad hoc project group to work with Kingstonfirst and Kingston Council on an application for funding from Sainsbury’s to reduce food waste in Kingston and together we came up with lots of good ideas.

Stitch in Time, 2009 - 14 was TTK’s sociable sewing sessions, an opportunity to share skills and repair or upcycle clothes in need of a little TLC, encouraging re-use and renovation of clothes and other textiles,and  keeping them out of the waste system.  See more about Stitch in Time from 2009 to 2014

July 2014, Community plans for the Old Post Office: TTK hosted a presentation on how the community could use this neglected and potentially wasted space, just in time for the pre-planning exhibition and consultation by the new owner, developer St George. Some of the TOPO steering group later met the developers and had a tour of the main Post Office building, which was in a sorry state but has lots of potential (including for TTK events). Find out more about the TOPO consortium and its campaign.

November 2013, Film show: “Trashed” at C-SCAIPE, Kingston University.  Greener Upon Thames lent TTK the DVD of the rather grim documentary “Trashed”, but the waste problem is not totally insoluble and hopeless: we can at least urge our councils to be rigorous about arrangements for filtering and maintenance of any incinerators they commission; most of us could probably buy less, waste less, inspect all packaging for ability to be recycled and refuse plastic bags; and for everyone concerned about the amount of packaging left for landfill, even after you’ve recycled everything that can be recycled, there is a growing number of “unpackaged” shops, where you can take your own containers - maybe someone would like to open one in Kingston.

September 2009 and September 2010, Plastic-Bag-Free Days: TTK worked closely with Greener Kingston, making and distributing long-life cloth bags in Kingston Market Place.