THE Ryedale Environmental Group (REG) is a recently-formed group encouraging projects that reduce our environmental impacts across the district by promoting recycling, re-use and the reduction of waste.

So far town and village-based groups have been set up in Malton and Norton, Pickering and Kirby Misperton.

A monthly meeting allows us to share successful initiatives and come up with new ideas with these new groups, but with well-established groups in Kirkbymoorside and Hovingham.

Each month this column will feature a group or project to showcase our activities

This month we take a look at what the Pickering Environment Group (PEG) has been getting up to since it started tackling environmental issues in the town last year.

Pickering Environment Group (PEG) was set up in October 2018, at the same time as the Ryedale Environmental Group (REG).

Its aim was to encourage environmental action in Pickering and now has about 50 members.

Ian Aconley, who chairs PEG, said: “The group’s aim is to improve the quality of the environment of Pickering and facilitate best practice on a number of environmental issues such as recycling, single-use plastic and food waste management.

“Members carry out positive actions in a bid to encourage and inform people in the town on what individual actions we can all take to improve the environment and help combat climate change.

“We would encourage anyone in Pickering who feels passionately about environmental action to attend our bi-monthly PEG meetings and become a member.”

Over the last year PEG has carried out a number of activities including:

  • Give or Take Days - we have staged four Give or Take days – an opportunity for local people to bring along unwanted goods – from toys to books and furniture – that they no longer want for others to take away and reuse. These have been tremendously successful in recycling large quantities of unwanted items into new homes and and saving tons of items from ending up in landfill;
  • Morsbags – members and keen stitchers Daryl Canteneo and Brenda Foot have over the last few years, made fabric bags to replace single use plastic bags. Recently they have been joined by new stitchers and are going from strength to strength and are rapidly approaching the 4,000 bag mark. Daryl and Brenda also visit other groups across Ryedale showing them how to become a ‘Morsbagger’. All bags are given away completely free with the sole aim of offering a sustainable alternative to plastic;
  • Litter Picking - town councillor, Steve Jenson has been organising volunteer litter picking in the town for many years and PEG members now help out every second Saturday of the month. We meet at 10am at the exit of Eastgate Car Park for anyone who wants to join us;
  • Pickering Foodshare – following the success of similar schemes in Malton an Norton, Pickering now has its own ‘free fridge’ opened in February at Ingsgarth Community Centre. On the first day it served 99 people and handed out 71.6 kg of food that would otherwise been destined for landfill.