Interiors expert gets behind Give-Back January
Journalist Kate Watson-Smyth was taken aback to learn about the enormous amounts of unwanted electricals hiding away in homes across the UK. “Staggering” was her word for it when she learned from Recycle Your Electricals that some 31 million laptops, for example, are “sitting in houses doing nothing”.
An interior design consultant and co-host of the Great Indoors podcast, Kate naturally sets great store by the look and feel of her home – one that has featured in Living Etc, HeartHome, The Wall Street Journal and Corriere della Sera.
“I would sum it up like this: something old, something new, something black, something gold. And always some natural wood. I like to call it Urban Glamour. You may prefer Modern Rustic.”
Imagine Kate’s shock, then, when she discovered rather more old stuff than she’d been expecting – an unplanned, unglamorous tangle of old electricals hidden away in this lovingly cared-for home.
On hearing about Give-Back January – the campaign to encourage more people to donate unwanted electricals to good causes – Kate imagined she would struggle to come up with any old gear. “I was worried I didn’t have any. I routinely send old phones back to be recycled and we don’t really have anything that’s broken.”
“Then I decided to clear out a cupboard in my office, now being done up for the 17-year-old, and there I discovered the box. The box that is full of old cables, and an obsolete playstation box and its controllers. And an unused speaker. And yet more cables.”
Learning that there are enough cables in UK homes to go round the Earth five times over, Kate said: “I think it’s possible that half of those were in my cupboard.”