The following list of ideas for Circular Cambridge events and activities was brainstormed by groups at the Circular Cambridge launch at ARU on January 25th 2016, with some additions by Cambridge Carbon Footprint.


  • Attach repair cafes to food banks
  • Run/support/publicise repair cafes
  • Repair cafes – generate excitement around them
  • Book swap & computer repair with FoodCycle on a Saturday lunchtime
  • Combine Repair Café with UpCycling Café
  • Addenbrooke’s engineers – community repairs
  • Regular Repair Café for in-patients goods and staff at Addenbroke’s
  • Engaging with major employers (e.g. Microsoft for tech repair)
  • Provide info and advice so it’s easy to repair and upgrade IT rather than replace
  • Organise an ‘introduction to repairing’ workshop
  • Audit your workplace. ID underused/unused/broken items and pass them on or repair them


  • Run events where people meet up and make new products (e.g. bags) out of used materials
  • Making textile shopping bags and distributing (butcher; greengrocers) – local sewing group
  • “Mors” bags made out of old material
  • Urban Shed café in Kings Street specialises in upcycling – hold event there?
  • Run an upcycling challenge during fair
  • Share images of beautiful and useful upcycled objects – hold an exhibition
  • Create a sculpture/public art piece from unwanted items/materials


  • Adopt an Engineer. Twinning/mentoring with engineer students
  • Organise a skillshare on how to sell, share things, swap and rent things on the internet
  • Join CAMLets
  • Investigate Futurelearn – huge online learning resource

Alternatives to consumerism

  • Skills share – swap goods for experiences (alternate Saturday experiences – not shopping)
  • “Game-ifying” – incentives to 'not’ buy
  • Promote sustainable gift giving – provide ideas
  • Set a gift challenge - give ideas to colleagues/friends/your community group to give presents that are experiences/preloved/homemade/thoughtful
  • Encourage people to give pledges/promises/experiences/subscriptions etc. instead of items
  • Have a Consumption Day showcasing new thinking and local opportunities
  • Hold a reflective gathering. Consider feelings and experiences v stuff and consuming


  • Connecting groups of people – recycling energy of people
  • Engaging with major employers (e.g. Microsoft for tech repair)
  • Hold an activity where you get people to write down or express what makes them really happy


  • “How to make money from nothing” campaign
  • Campaign on debunking Health & Safety myths e.g. items at jumble sales
  • Campaign to encourage people to fix items (rather than rely on warranty)
  • Guerrilla stickers – wash advice; boycotting
  • Campaign for “Policy framework” – legislation, taxation, lobbying
  • Campaign to stop junk mail – stickers on doors
  • Start/join a campaign for lifetime labelling on products


  • Myth busting which items are safe to re-use/when to replace
  • Encourage repair guides to be sold with products
  • Share ifixit website
  • Get local repair shops to run workshops to better advise what is repairable – advertise results on website
  • Create a Repair/Circular Cambridge directory
  • Tips on reducing environmental impact at every stage of a products life-cycle (e.g. washing machine)
  • Create “yellow pages” for everywhere you can repair (clothes, machines etc). Both on-line & paper versions
  • Design new solutions to broken products (innovation in repair)
  • Historical cycle of products in last 5 decades (e.g. make do & mend)
  • See if volunteer/social groups in workplaces will take on spreading the message
  • Work with County Councils – education on benefits of people recycling properly
  • Organise talks, debates on themes
  • Organise film screenings to tie in with Hugh F Wittingstall’s ‘War on Waste’ in Spring 2016
  • Showcase people in your group/community doing well/good things
  • Promote the renting/sharing/swapping platforms and sites. Show people how to use them. Workshop asking people to bring in their laptop and learn how to use platforms, get on and upload something, need lots of wifi capacity


  • Organise an audit at work of items thrown away
  • Name and shame league table of poor products (monitor recycling centres)
  • Work with County Councils – education on benefits of people recycling properly
  • Waste audit – café/shop etc – matching waste to who needs it
  • Campaign to ban disposable cutlery etc. from workplace/community setting
  • Try plastic free challenge, zero waste challenge
  • Make an art work out of the plastic or other waste collected in 1 week/month
  • Develop Circular Cambridge kite mark for products
  • Waste audit – café/shop etc – matching waste to who needs it


  • Sharing scheme among employees (e.g. tool library)
  • WARPIT – unwanted office equipment to be distributed to other offices
  • Work with existing groups (e.g. Skillshare; CamLets)
  • Organise a Swishing Party (clothes swap)
  • Sharing equipment – steamer; shredder, camping and sporting equip, marquees, kitchen equipment, etc.
  • Toy swap and fun run at school
  • Sharing deliveries etc.
  • Set up a lift sharing scheme
  • Swap party or lunchtime session – clothes, books, toys, jewellery etc at workplace/school/church
  • Audit your workplace – ID underused/unused items and pass them on
  • Investigate share/swap/reselling clothing sites: Copious, Vestiare Collective, BuyMyWardrobe, Grand Circle, Vibba, MUD Jeans, Budget Fashionista, Rendezvous
  • Swishes, Babyclothes Exchange
  • Find out about City Council Reuse Projects and recycling Champions
  • Familiarise yourself with the following online platforms: Freegle,, Ebay, Gumtree, StuffUSell, neighbourghood Facebook selling groups, Swapaholics, Neighbourgoods and Rentezvous
  • Look into land/garden/growing share schemes: Landshare, Garden Share, Crop Share, Growzones (allotment sharing)
  • Look into home sharing sites: Homeshare, Airbnb,, Kook, Lovehome Rentals
  • Look into shared working spaces: Marriott, Liquid Space
  • Take a declutter challenge

Selling on

  • Organise an auction or yard sale as a fundraiser
  • Look into and promote our local Furniture Reuse Network, Emmaus, OWL
  • Promote our local charity shops
  • Promote Argos’ tablet and phone buy back initiative


  • Develop local media
    • Develop a strong on-going personalised storyline, feature case studies
    • Reports from local groups on climate change activities
  • News updates – emails
  • Promote sustainable gift giving
  • Publicity – leafletting; stunt
  • Cultural change very important – use all events to promote the new normal – create a counter culture
  • Think about and plan how to talk to the unconverted?
    • Build on general goodwill – overcome vague knowledge and inertia
    • Bridge between professional life and individual actions
  • Write and publish a blog about circular economy related stuff
  • Organise talks, debates on themes
  • Showcase people doing good stuff in a newsletter/exhibition

Engaging groups

  • Run Circular Challenge with groups (e.g. U3A)
  • Circular Challenge – inter WI; village group
  • Build rapport with community/faith groups – relate climate change challenges to their values
  • Congregation sharing group – ways of measuring impact/activity – good for funding & measuring success
  • Exploit existing events (e.g. talks at libraries; coffee mornings; community hubs)
  • Show films/TED talks/documentaries ie: “The lightbulb conspiracy” – (Rebecca L-G film)
  • Think about engaging the ‘true blue’ areas and what might motivate them – is it all about the money (note - George Marshall book on how to engage)?


  • Oral History project
  • Marginal gains campaign – get businesses involved
  • Recycling urine (in compost; diluted as a plant nutrient)
  • Water use; reuse & SUDS
  • Emmanuel Unitarian Church – possible venue
  • Need to create profit in repairing
  • Create/use an “ethics in business” framework for judging businesses on its ethics
  • Find ways of measuring impact/activity – good for funding & measuring success

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