As this issue is looking at the environment, I took a stroll along Chilwell Road to art supply shop Artworks, where being green isn’t just a colour in tubes of watercolour paint, but a small step to help save the planet, as the shop has recently turned part of its floor space into an area where you can buy green goods in recyclable packaging…
The ‘Waste Less Shop’ only opened on the 11th of June this year by Jessica Leatherland, daughter of Frank Noonan, the owner of Artworks. Previously the space was being used for displaying local artists’ work, but it wasn’t really paying its way, so Jessica, a keen environmentalist anyway and a veggie who is trying to go vegan suggested that the space be turned into a shop where people can come to help reduce and eliminate single-use plastics from their house.
So what sort of things are available to buy at the moment? They basically fall into five categories: household cleaning products, personal cleaning products, storage for small items, baby clothes and a small section of jewellery. The range of cleaning products includes washing up liquid, laundry detergent and loo cleaner, of which are all dispensed from large containers into reusable bottles. The batch number of the liquid is always written on the bottle, just in case there are any problems with the production.
You can also get your dishes clean by using soap in bar form that doesn’t contain any plastics or palm oil. Long-lasting, it can also be used as a spot cleaner on clothes and carpets. Then there are scrubbing pads that are made from coconut fibre. Get your pots and pans clean without scratching. And when it wears out, you can chuck it into your compost heap.
Going shopping? How about using an organic cotton bag for carrying your bread, fruit and vegetables in, instead of a plastic carrier bag?
For you or that special person in your life, you can buy body butter, toothbrushes made from bamboo and toothpaste tablets, which are especially useful if you’re travelling abroad, as the Border Force won’t confiscate them, as they might with liquid toothpastes.
Crafters and journalists aren’t forgotten either with Coccoina glue that’s been made in Italy since 1927. Created from potato starch and almond paste, it’s a non toxic safe glue that smells of marzipan. Then there are pencils that have been made from old newspapers.
The baby clothes have been made by one of Jessica’s relations, branded under the name of ‘Handmade by Grandma.’ Some of these cute little jackets have been made from bamboo, which sounds unlikely, but are knitted the same way, and is just as soft, if not softer than wool.
Whilst chatting to Frank; as Jessica is currently on maternity leave, he told me about an event that took place in early September at Calverton’s Village Hall. “A local group in Calverton organised this plastic-free pop up shop event. We went along, even though Jessica was pregnant at the time, and it was a very successful day. We met lots of people and saw all sorts of other products. The money that was raised from the event went to the Surfers Against Sewage conservation charity.”
At the other end of Beeston, there’s Out of The World, who also stock green products. I asked Frank how the Waste Less Shop tries to differentiate itself from this larger retailer. “We try not to stock products that they do, and vice versa. If we don’t stock something, then we will send the customer there, and likewise, they will send their customer here.”
As the concern over the environment grows by the day, this can only mean that there has to be a seismic shift in the way that companies make products and how people use them. This also could result in a return to more traditional methods of production and an increase in smaller, independent traders on the high street.
Waste Less Shop offer everyday items to help you reduce your waste. We have a selection of products available to help you eliminate single-use plastic from your home.