We are opening the first zero waste mobile refill shop serving the East Riding of Yorkshire! Customers will be able to refill their own containers to stock up on dried foods, household cleaning products and toiletries. We will be both affordable and convenient by bringing packaging free shopping to your local town or village.
The growth of single use plastics is threatening our planet. Our beaches and landscapes are littered, our waste streams and landfills are clogged, our marine life is being injured and poisoned and human hormones are being disrupted.
Our community and our children are spending their spare time litter picking, but are we too busy mopping up the floor, to turn off the tap?
Alan Cookson, an environmentalist from Wales who dedicated himself to cleaning beaches is hanging up his litter picker because of a "losing battle". He says "It breaks my heart to stop, but I have three children who have missed too many [weekends] with their dad because he was fighting something he thought we could beat."
Government figures show that a total of 171,529 tonnes of waste was collected from residents in East Yorkshire between April 2016 and March 2017. This equates to around 110,000 tonnes being recycled and 60,000 tonnes going to landfill.
Just because we throw it away, doesn't mean it goes away.
Our local community is working hard to help fight the battle against waste. Plastic Free Hornsea keep the local coastline, and town, clean with the beach hut providing buckets and litter pickers to volunteers. Surfers Against Sewage have also recently awarded many local businesses 'Plastic Free Approved Status'. Hornsea even featured in The Guardian as part of their article 'Plastic-free coast: 10 seaside communities to visit in the British Isles'.
People in our region are passionate enough about the environment to be the best recyclers, but what if we stop mopping up and turn off the tap instead. Can you imagine if we all came together to cut out single use plastics from our shopping? "East Riding residents produce the least amount of waste in the country!" is a much more satisfying headline.
We had an amazing response to our recent survey, which showed 97% wanted to shop plastic free. We realise that, not only do we personally want to shop plastic free, a lot of local people want to be able to do the same. We are firm believers that many people making a small change will have a huge impact.
We have found there is little or no opportunity to shop plastic free for our store cupboard items, cleaning products and toiletries in our area. The nearest refill shop to us is The Bishy Weigh in York (1 hr away).
Rather than waiting to see if anyone else would do it, we took advice from Earth.Food.Love in Totnes - "If not me, who? If not now, when?"
As refill shops in East Yorkshire are so few and far between, we were unsure of where to open a shop. Rachel then had the brainwave one sunny afternoon on the beach - 'a van!'. This was when we discovered The Green Weigh in Bridport. Their concept is brilliant, and by having a shop on wheels we can serve all the towns and villages in East Yorkshire.
We will attend regular markets in Beverley, Cottingham, Driffield and Pocklington, as well as stopping at street trading locations throughout the region.
We plan to stock a variety of products:
We are both very passionate about enabling our community to shop sustainably and believe being environmentally friendly should not cost you the earth. We have sourced local and ethical products where available and will bring them to you at an affordable price.
We are cousins Rachel and Emily who live in Hornsea, East Yorkshire who share a passion for all things environmental.
Emily Alexander "I am a mum to two young children (aged 4 and 2), and currently work part time as an Environmental Project Engineer. It is a job I have worked hard at for over 10 years, since completing my BSc degree in Environmental Science in 2007, but I feel it is now time to try and make more of a difference and give something back. I am extremely excited about our refill shop, and am looking forward to working closely with the brilliant local community my children are growing up in. I also love to drink tea."
Rachel Beck "I live in Hornsea with my husband Stuart. Our children both attended school in Hornsea, but have now flown the nest and are "living the dream". I currently work in the office at Hornsea Community Primary School and am encouraged by the children's awareness of environmental issues and their willingness to make a difference. I started reducing the single use plastics in our home a few years ago and have recently dabbled in making my own cleaning products. I'm really looking forward to stocking washing up liquid refills on our van, and might even date my bottle so I can see how many years my single use plastic bottle can last."
The money raised from pledges will be spent on our specialised van and equipment;
- Purchasing and fitting out our van;
- Gravity dispensers, scoops, jars and cleaning equipment;
- Till & tare scales; and
- Initial order of stock - including dried food, loose tea, spices, and refills for toiletries and cleaning products
We have an array of wonderful rewards for your pledges, from becoming 'Friends' of Leafy Seadragon giving you mates rates, to super sponsorship packages for businesses. Check them out!
Please share this with all of your friends and family, and even Kev next door, to make this an accessible way of shopping for the community in the East Riding of Yorkshire.