If the joy of seeing jars of brightly coloured sweets peeping out from behind the fronds of a giant Chamaedorea Elegans (that’s a ‘parlour palm’ to anyone not as obsessed with office plants as yours truly) isn’t enough to melt your heart on a rainy Saturday, then you might want to stop reading now. I’m talking about vegan marshmallows, jelly snakes, chocolate buttons, and a whole host of other yummy treats. None of which were on my shopping list, but I see the list as a rough guide from which I will almost certainly meander, rather than a strict framework of things I promised to achieve. Perhaps a career in politics beckons?
Well friends, the happy counter in question was at one of York’s zero waste shops: ‘The Little Green Weigh’, and you can see a picture of the cheerful inside on my very short video on Twitter (grab yourself some popcorn first). Cat is the enthusiastic friendly owner and told me how their products are perfect for Yorkies who are trying to reduce their waste. Head over to their Nether Poppleton store and buy in-person at the weekends, where you’ll no doubt experience the same confectionary-related inner wrangling as I did. Or, if you prefer to shop from the (questionable) comfort of your upcycled sackcloth armchair, they deliver for free if you’ve spent over £5. I mean, you could just buy the whole jar of jelly babies and a piece of millionaire shortbread and what more do you need (in life)? And if you’re wondering how home delivery fits with their zero waste ethos (since you wouldn't be using your own containers), Cat told me they do a bottle returns scheme, and also use paper bags that are compostable. See? That wormery I told you to get about a year ago could really be coming into its own if you follow all these hot tips!
If you’re a sucker for little gifts and books, they have a lovely display by the door, including some nature discovery kits made by local Catkin & co (my junior ed. has the bees kit and I can thoroughly recommend it). They stock The Yorkshire Pasta Company pasta, Huski cups for anyone looking for a reusable version to rival all those take-away ones, and plenty of Faith in Nature shampoo and conditioner options which come in their own bottles if you’ve forgotten yours, or can’t face your spare pasta jar forever smelling of lavender.
Speaking of which, I’m always keen to trial new cosmetic products and have been known to foist these on unsuspecting friends and family awaiting their review (sorry guys!). When I started walking more during lockdown, it seemed the perfect time to try a new deodorant that was non-aerosol (really not great for the planet) non-roll-on (slightly less awful but can we ditch the plastic please?) and so I’ve been using Ben & Anna’s Indian Mandarin (compostable cardboard tube) and Wild’s lemon meringue pie. These both smell delicious and have seen me through long hikes and fast-paced work days. Thumbs up! But I’m always on the scout for new options, so do post here or on twitter (@GreenLifeGP) and let’s see what you’ve got!
So, dear friends and unwavering foes, my challenge to you this week is to listen to your burning eco-curiosity by finding one thing in your kitchen or bathroom (or kitchen/bathroom for my London readers) and when it needs replacing, consider a zero waste alternative. Not sure where your nearest store is? Don’t worry, I’ve thought of that! There’s a neat little app called Ethy that can show you what’s local and you can search by many wonderful eco-friendly categories, including seeing who pays a living wage and is committed to sustainable palm oil, who serves vegan food and who uses free range eggs.
Remember, say no to plastic carriers at the Supermarket checkout, because baggers can’t be choosers…