At Want Not Waste, in the middle of the University of Manchester Students' Union, we sell loads of dried goods, cleaning products, health and beauty products, and kitchen utensils, all without plastic packaging and all from natural ingredients. We stock students' sustainable enterprises, such as bees-wraps and glass straws, and give space to other students raising money for charities, such as hand-made cards being sold for the British Heart Foundation. We have a link with a student food enterprise, Global Source Kitchen, who make hummus, accompanied by another student food enterprise, Dough to Door, who make the delicious pittas to dip - a student and staff favourite across campus!
We are also a huge recycling depository for the whole of the University of Manchester campus; we are registered with Terracycle so we collect anything from crisp packets, to bread bags, to biscuit wrappers, to contact lens cases. We also have a toiletry amnesty where we collect half-used or new toiletry products to give to homeless shelters.
On top of all that, we have a small community fridge where we take in leftovers from the Pret and Takk just up the road. We take in the excess food only once a week and our fridge gets completely full up (not for long, the students rush in to collect the unsold food items pretty swiftly!)
This is why we want to upgrade our tiny fridge to a bigger, community-sized fridge where we can take in not only unsold packaged food, but raw ingredients from surrounding food outlets, to be available to students, staff, and anyone passing by!
We have already linked up with the catering department of the University who are totally on board with our idea, and we are even upgrading our small shop to a bigger building which faces the street, so there's likely to be double the number of customers very soon. We have asked our customers what they wanted, and the Community Fridge came out as one of the top on their wish-list - so we know it'll go down well!
We're also hoping to link up with the UK Community Fridge Network to get more support and awareness of our own fridge.
As well as the business side of things, Want Not Waste also puts on a whole programme of events, from educational talks about waste, to clothes swaps, to waste-jewellery workshops. We really want to educate our students and staff alike about the benefits of Community Fridges, about the massive food waste crisis, and about amazing initiatives like Community Fridges that help fight food waste.
We've talked to the catering team and the Community Fridge, and we've decided on a double-door clear-fronted fridge that costs £1500 (that's including University discount!). We're hoping to raise £2000 so that the remaining £500 can go on publicising the fridge across the rest of Manchester, to really boost the use of the fridge.
This Community Fridge will help to put our little shop on the Manchester map, as well as help the city become a greener and more sustainable place to live, based on community values and environmental awareness. Please help us fulfill our dream!