Our “Green” Credentials
We are a small, independent shop located in the town of Huntly in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. We started our business on 20th August 2007, and are now in our third shop, having needed to move to bigger and bigger premises through our expanding popularity. We sell a variety of Fairtrade, ethical and eco-friendly gifts, homewares, health and beauty products, clothing, and food. We spend a great deal of our time carefully choosing our products to make sure they have as low an environmental impact as possible.
Packaging: it’s a shocking fact that less than 10% of the plastic that we so diligently put into our recycling actually gets recycled. We try to choose products that don’t come wrapped in plastic. Most of our Fairtrade items are packaged in paper. Our carrier bags are made from recycled paper as is our tissue paper. Our customers donate their used bubble wrap to us, so that it can be reused again and again. We encourage you to bring your own bags for gifty things and to reuse your own containers when refilling products from our Refillery. If you’ve bought online from us, your parcel will come to you in recycled packaging and boxes that have been used before. And we use eco-tape instead of plastic sticky tape.
Transportation: our Fairtrade items are shipped by sea as this has a lesser environmental impact than airfreight. We encourage our local crafters to use recycled and eco-friendly materials in the items that they make. And, of course, the vegetables that we sell are from local farmers / growers, so their food miles are negligible.
Energy: our shop is entirely electric. Since 2018, our electricity supplier has been supplying us with 100% renewable energy. Our shop premises is over 140 years old and has floor to ceiling windows. These look great, but they are single glazed with old metal frames. As we are in a strict conservation area, we’re not able to install double glazing, only like-for-like, so it’s not possible for us to make our shop warmer. Our heating is by electric convection heaters which is expensive. But, as stated before, our electricity is 100% green and we don’t put the heaters on unless it’s really cold – that’s why you’ll generally find us wearing our coats!
Waste: we comply with all current trade waste regulations. We reuse as much as we can within our shop, so we don’t throw away something that we know we can reuse. We have a small compost bin at the back of our shop, in which we place compostable items. The rest we split into recyclable and non-recyclable waste bins that are collected fortnightly.
Cleaning products: we sell plant based, eco-friendly household cleaning products that have been made in the UK. It’s these products that we use to keep our shop clean, so we can highly recommend them!
If you’re visiting us from outwith Huntly, there is a reliable bus service. We’re on the number 10 route that runs from Inverness to Aberdeen every half an hour or so. If you don’t live along the bus route, there is ample parking for those coming by car. For electric vehicles, there’s plenty of charging points in the town. There’s also the option of hiring an electric car or bicycle from Huntly’s Co-Wheels scheme which is run by the Huntly Development Trust.
We’re all encouraged to follow a more environmentally friendly lifestyle nowadays, and we’re all becoming more eco-conscious, but being more sustainable doesn’t mean you have to drastically change the way you live. There is no “perfect” or “one size fits all” solution to being more “eco”; you just need to choose what’s right for you. For some people, that can simply mean refilling a favourite product, using an eco-friendly cleaning product, or walking to work instead of using the car. For others, a more drastic and radical approach is pertinent, for example choosing to live completely off-grid, growing your own food and making your own electricity. Whatever your own personal journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle is, we need to remember that even the smallest change will help.