Everyone knows the common saying “waste not, want not” – but this couple has taken it to a whole other level.
Nicola and Richard of Devon, England became tired of taking heaps upon heaps of their recycling to the city center. They were frustrated by the journeys back and forth, and surprised at just how much waste the two of them made.
Then, the couple got an idea.
Nicola and Richard opened the first Zero Waste Shop in the United Kingdom – and it has been wildly successful.
“All food (even liquids and nut butters) comes loose and gets put directly into the customers own reusable container,” says Nicola. “We reuse, reduce, or recycle as much of the packaging that we get as possible. We donate the large paper sacks to customers to use as mulching on their allotments and we reuse the plastic drums with each new order of our cleaning products company.”
The store is just as conscious about food waste as well – since the food isn’t pre-packaged, customers are also able to buy as much of a product as they need without having to worry buying to much and using it all before it goes bad. Plus, everything sold is organic; the cleaning products are non-toxic; and the soap is locally hand-made.
People have reportedly come from far and wide to check out the wares, which only serves to spread the message of conscious, responsible consumerism.
Though Nicola and Richard don’t plan on opening up any more stores – they are just one humble family, after all – they are working on putting out a downloadable PDF manual on how you can open up your own zero waste shop in your area.
“The opening of our shop has brought plastic pollution to the forefront of peoples minds. We have had emails thanking us for taking this step, people have expressed that it made them analyze their plastic usage, and that it has encouraged them to make changes in their lives. We feel we have also demonstrated to people that it takes just one person to make one change for it to have a huge impact.”
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