A COLLECTIVE of environmentally conscious companies in Northwich clubbed together to create a zero-waste lockdown survival hamper to brighten one lucky winner’s day.

Motivated by her efforts to live a zero-waste life Lostock resident Cathrene Rowell organised a competition to help promote local businesses sharing the same ideal and the winner was announced earlier this month.

Cathrene runs a blog advising followers on how to reduce waste and live in an eco-friendly fashion.

She explained: “I have always tried to live in an environmentally and planet-friendly manner. I have always recycled, bought clothing from fair trade sources, made my own bread, used canvas bags for life - when I remembered them.

“All light bulbs were already LED, I switched all billing and correspondence from organisations to online access where allowed, I used environmentally friendly cleaning products where possible, used biodegradable poo bags with my dog and shredded paper went into compost. And I was always contented with my efforts.”

That was until one day in 2018 when she was sorting her recycling and household waste into the correct bins for collection the following day.

She said: “It made me sick – one person was filling these, alone. Plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles, plastic milk bottles, cardboard. The black plastics, thin plastics from food packaging were non-recyclable and don’t get me started on parcels and redundant padding.”

“I was not doing enough. It was not enough to conscientiously recycle and avoid plastic bags. I was the source of too much rubbish. It was time to become part of the solution and not the problem. It was time to take more proactive action.”

Since launching her blog, which can be found at cathrene.co.uk, Cathrene has been a vociferous supporter of local eco businesses and as well as reviewing and sharing information on the best places to find sustainable products.

The hamper she collated included a host of offerings for local businesses including Crafty Stitches, Weigh of the World, Abda's Café, The Car Free Guide, Ginger and Browns/Innoscent Spa, Dante’s Boutique, Lavandi and Chester Cycle Tours.

Hamper winner Claire White, from Winnington, was delighted with the hamper, which was delivered by Gary Onslow of The Car Free Way, a community interest group providing information, resources, products and services to increase walking, cycling, homeworking hubs and greener produce delivery.

Claire said: “I'm absolutely over the moon, it's just the most lovely thing ever. Thank you so much for organising it all and I truly feel so blessed to have been lucky enough to have won it."