Do you celebrate Unblocktober or October? No need for stress – you can have both! But what, precisely, is Unblocktober? It’s a citizen-led initiative in the United Kingdom for healthier drains, sewer systems, and waterways.
Community leaders and citizens join forces during the event to make a positive environmental difference. They say that all it takes is to make small changes to each of our personal waste disposal habits.
History of Unblocktober
In Leeds, United Kingdom, Unblocktober was first launched in 2019 by Lanes Group, PLC. The movement came directly as a response to the growing environmental crisis caused by improper waste disposal habits. Citizens toss things into the drains, not fully understanding the harm they may cause.
Carelessness has harmed our natural and built waterway environments for decades. The Unblocktober initiative seeks to address that – and reverse the trend!
They educate the public about the harmful effects of certain everyday items being disposed of in drains and sewers They explain how improper disposal can cause blockages, damage, and unnecessary pollution.
The month-long campaign quickly gained traction, as it revealed the urgent need for awareness and action in waste management. Its primary focus has been on preventing the disposal of non-biodegradable items.
These include non-degradable items like wet wipes, sanitary products, and cooking oils in the sewage system. Each contributes to forming fatty collections and plastic pollution in our waters.
How to Celebrate Unblocktober
Celebrating Unblocktober means more than merely creating awareness. Rather, it challenges each and every one of us to take steps toward a healthier environment. Here are some ways you can participate:
Pledge to Make Personal Changes
Embark on Unblocktober by committing to making a personal pledge. This pledge means promising yourself to stop flushing or pouring harmful items down the drain.
These items can include cleaning wipes, cotton earbuds, and diapers in the bathroom. In the kitchen, you can promise to stop washing cooking oils down the sink. They can cause severe blockages that can cause inconvenience and lead to long-term environmental damage.
DIY Drain Cleaners
Slow drains? Stop using chemical drain cleaners to clear the blockages. Instead, promise to take a more eco-friendly and clean your drains by using natural cleaners like baking soda and vinegar. Here’s how to mix up this natural alternative:
- Pour 100 to 200 grams (½ cup to 1 cup) of baking soda directly into the drain opening.
- Slowly pour 240 ml (about one fluid cup) of vinegar over the baking soda. It will fizz and bubble. Remember the classic science project – the homemade volcano?
- Let the mixture sit for about thirty minutes.
- Flush the drain with up to 500 ml (about two cups) of boiling water. Keep your face and eyes back from the steam.
This drain-cleaning solution keeps the water flowing smoothly. It also keeps some chemicals out of the water systems.
Invest in Eco-friendly Bathroom Products
Make environmentally friendlier bathroom purchases. Shop for biodegradable hygiene items and toilet paper. It breaks down naturally in the water without leaving plastic residue in its wake.
This switch contributes to Unblocktober’s goals while also transitioning to a long-term sustainable lifestyle.
Kitchen Waste Management
Have better kitchen waste management habits, as well. Start by installing a grease trap to catch oils and fats before they enter the drainage system. You can also start to compost your organic waste and use mesh drain strainers for food particles.
These little things can significantly reduce the risk of creating fatbergs in sewers. Thus, you will be part of a cleaner, more sustainable kitchen environment.
Community Clean-up Drives
Organize or participate in community clean-up drives to collect litter from local water bodies and beaches.
These activities help clean our environment and foster a sense of community and collective responsibility. Engaging in these drives can be a fun, educational, and deeply rewarding experience, bringing people together for the common good.
Educational Workshops and Seminars
Participate in or organize workshops and seminars focusing on sustainable living and effective waste management. These events can feature experts discussing the impact of waste on water systems and practical ways to reduce it.
Such educational initiatives raise awareness and equip individuals with the knowledge and tools to make a positive environmental impact.
Art and Craft from Recycled Materials
Get creative with recycled materials by organizing art competitions or craft sessions. Use items that would otherwise cause drain blockages, like plastic wrappers and small discarded items, to create art.
This both recycles waste and helps spread awareness about the importance of proper waste disposal in a fun and engaging way.
School and Workplace Initiatives
Encourage schools and employers to participate in Unblocktober. This can mean setting up recycling stations.
They may also help by organizing educational sessions or distributing materials on waste management. Integrating these practices into daily routines, schools, and workplaces can play a pivotal role in shaping environmentally conscious behaviors.
Spread the Word
Utilize the power of social media to spread the word about Unblocktober. Share your newfound knowledge of this issue using the hashtag #Unblocktober.
Share compelling content, such as before-and-after pictures of clean-up drives. Or discuss creative recycled art pieces – your efforts might just inspire others to join the cause. The more people are aware and involved, the greater the environmental impact.