Refill Shed – A Zero Waste Hero

We are sisters Philippa and Caroline & we own and run Refill Shed, which began life in September 2020 in Caroline’s garden shed.  By early 2021 we had outgrown our shed & decided to open a shop in Davenham. Our late Dad was a massive inspiration. He was a dedicated Northwich Councillor & passionate about the environment, so we opened on 5th June 2021, which would have been his birthday.  

In February 2022 we bought another zero waste shop on Altrincham Market – One Small Step.  We hope Zero Waste shopping will become the norm: saving people money, reducing waste and promoting ethical and green values.

Our aim is to help reduce single use plastic by encouraging people to refill and reuse the bottles that they would normally throw away or recycle. We offer a refill service on a range of eco-friendly household, personal care products and loose foods, so you can just buy what you need, so less waste.

All our products are ethically sourced, sustainable and we try to support as many small businesses as possible, especially local businesses.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/refillshed

Instagram – @refillshed  

Scrapadoo

Scrapadoo – upcycling clothing into quirky items for you and your home. Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming unwanted products into new products of better quality or for better environmental value. Hi, my name is Hilary Belshaw and I run ScrapAdoo upcyling in Northwich. My little ScrapAdoo business was born in January 2020, 3 months before lockdown1. I have a lovely studio in a small outbuilding at our farmhouse in Northwich. I scoured the charity shops for suitable clothing and bedding to use in my workshops and bought 4 sewing machines. For the past two years I have been running sewing workshops using upcyled fabrics for beginners and improvers. During lockdown people got their dusty sewing machines out of the attic and realised they couldn’t use them. It’s so rewarding to help people’s sewing confidence increase and tame their sewing machine. I show people how to turn old shirts into plant pots, bedding into bunting and jeans into bags. This prevents the old fabrics going into landfill. I also run natural wreath and table decoration workshops at Christmas.

See my Facebook page ScrapAdoo for more information – LINK

Email Scrapadoo@yahoo.com or text 07866 934858 

Luna Tree

Luna Tree was established in 2007, selling fair trade, handmade, silver jewellery and reproduction artworks too.

We have a simple philosophy at Luna Tree ‘ You are unique, your jewellery should be too’.

Built on deep rooted ethics of trade justice and environmental sustainability, we work directly with a community of Hill Tribe silversmiths in Thailand. Here we work in a collaborative way on the jewellery designs, while the village silversmiths run as a cooperative.

The jewellery is all recycled fine silver, produced with traditional silversmithing techniques and hand tools. This hands on approach gives the pieces a uniqueness all their own and an organic feel.

The artworks are mounted reproductions, their juicy colours and eye leading lines bring joy and evoke happiness every time they are gazed upon. We donate 50% of our profits from the sale of the artworks to The Save Elephant Foundation.

Luna Tree has been a continuous member of BAFTS The Fair Trade Network UK since 2009 and is also a plastic free business. We are also members of the Vegan Traders Union and Vegan Founded. All of our products are made without animal exploitation and are suitable for vegans.

Links

www.lunatree.co.uk

www.instagram.com/lunatreeuk

www.facebook.com/LunaTreeUK

Lets celebrate our Plastic Free Achievements!

Helen Chambers, Director, Eco Communities

With it being plastic free July quite often our thoughts turn to what we aren’t doing and need to start.  So this week I wanted to focus on what we HAVE achieved as a community in reducing plastic. 

Starting with our plastic reduction since we started taking steps in our Giki account together.  In total from our commitments and achievements we have saved 1,789 items of single use plastic from landfill by taking small steps in our own lives.   

These are the top 3 most plastic saving steps we have already completed:  

I am one who has switched my milk to a weekly delivery and I wish I’d done it sooner.  You can order online and change your order up to 9PM the night before your next delivery.  I was really pleased to see they deliver oat milk, and you can also order others items last minute (like bread) if you need something for the morning.  If you are in the Cheshire or the North West of the UK then I recommend Mortons Dairies but I am sure there are others out there.  If you know of any we’d love to hear from you at Our Eco Community

The top 3 most plastic saving steps that we are currently trying are also below:  

I haven’t yet put a stop to junk mail so I think I will try this one next. I found this site which might be helpful to others looking to do the same.

I have though changed to plastic free periods, if you are looking for recommendations check out the Moon cup and I got this and my reusable pads from Just Footprints in Chester. 

If you haven’t yet joined the Giki account and you want to see what steps you could take towards reducing your plastic then you can join for free here

There are also some more great ideas for cutting your plastic use here in Gikis latest blog.   

To see what else we are doing as a community to reduce plastic with our Plastic Free initiatives and Litter pick hubs head over here for the latest. 

How Plastic Free is your July so far?

Helen Tandy, Director, Eco Communities

Plastic Free July is a global social movement designed to help people to become a part of the solution to the issues of plastic waste. 2022 is a critical year for us all to turn the tide on plastic pollutants — as businesses and governments respond to public concern.

Plastic pollution remains a truly worldwide problem, affecting communities around the world. Despite our careful sorting, collection, and recycling efforts, plastic is everywhere — from the depths of deepest oceans to the heights of the tallest peaks. 

It is not only littering the planet, but it is now littering our bodies — plastic is even found in the placentas of unborn babies. However, 2022 has shown signs of change. On 2 March 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly agreed to a landmark agreement, creating an historic global treaty to end plastic pollution. A shift that the UN says could reduce the volume of plastics entering our oceans by over 80% by 2040; reduce virgin plastic production by 55%; save governments $70 billion by 2040; reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25%; and create 700,000 additional jobs.

—mainly in the global south.

Eco Communities have thrown everything at the problem this year.

They have started installing their Litter Pick Hubs around the Chester area as a start. This was done to ensure that everybody in Cheshire West can help to keep where they live free of litter, even if they don’t have any equipment.

The litter pick hubs could not have gone ahead without a much needed boost in the form of support and funding from Cheshire West and Chester Council. So far there are five hubs in and around Chester, with more to come to Cheshire West in the coming months. All you need to do to access one of the various hubs in your area is to register online.

Helen Tandy from Eco Communities said “As we went into lock down we shared our Surfers Against Sewage litter pickers with the community with no plan to ask for these back, we felt it was important that anyone can make a difference where they live without the need to buy expensive litter pick equipment and so the idea of the litter pick hubs came about”  You can find out more about the hubs and how to get involved litter picking where you live here —- LINK

Eco Communities are also working towards their goal of Plastic Free Cheshire, with new locations being added to the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities Campaign all the time. The group are currently actively supporting the Frodsham, Ellesmere Port, Neston, and Tattenhall areas to become plastic free. This involves engaging with a variety of businesses, schools, community groups, as well as the community at large. Chester became a Plastic Free Community in 2018 and they want to share what they learnt from this with other regions in Cheshire. We awarded the first Business in Neston its award last week, The End of the Avenue became the first Plastic Free Champion in Neston, a step forward for Neston becoming a Plastic Free Community.

If you want to give something a try – read our Plastic Free Cheshire Guide

The Welsh Dee Trust

It Shouldn’t Be In The Dee! 

The Welsh Dee Trust 

The River Dee is an iconic river. It is protected as a Special Area of Conservation for its wildlife and provides drinking water for 2.5 million people. Unfortunately, the river is not in a healthy state—57% of its water bodies, including all those in the English Dee river basin, are failing to achieve ‘good’ status. The Dee & Llyn Tegid Special Area of Conservation is in an ‘unfavourable’ condition and Salmon populations are in rapid decline. 

The Welsh Dee Trust, established in 1999 and incorporated as a charity in 2008, works to restore the River Dee for both wildlife and people. Despite our name, we serve the entire River Dee catchment across northern Wales and northwestern England, from its headwaters in Snowdonia National Park to the Dee Estuary between Wirral and Flintshire. We have already delivered a multitude of projects to restore the River Dee catchment which has included working with over 200 farms to reduce agricultural pollution and restore habitat. But the challenges to the river are many, varied and difficult to solve, and our work is not finished yet. Our latest programme, ‘It Shouldn’t be in the Dee’, aims to tackle one of these major environmental problems facing the English section of the Dee river basin: pollution. 

Pollution is one of the biggest challenges faced by the River Dee and its tributaries. Without clean water, wildlife and local communities are severely affected. Pollution has many sources and pathways, including runoff from fields and roads which can transport sediment into rivers, smothering invertebrates and fish eggs on the river bed; failing private and public sewage treatment works can lead to excess nutrients in the river and algal blooms which can then remove oxygen from the water; plastic litter which can trap animals in the river and do the same if it washes out to sea; and incorrect plumbing in residential homes which can further add nutrients, detergents and other chemicals to the river. Pollution is a challenging problem which we are unable to solve alone.  

With funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund we are creating an exciting community-led approach to finding and removing the sources of pollution and local problems for the water environment. Working with engaged individuals and local communities in Cheshire West, this may mean monitoring water quality at outfalls from sewage treatments works or run off from busy roads, identifying sources of plastic pollution from litter hotspots or getting involved in one of our many volunteer river clean-up days. 

Throughout 2022 you will find us at events in Chester and across west Cheshire, organising river clean-ups and offering training opportunities in water quality monitoring through an exciting citizen science programme. Our volunteers are a vital part of our organisation, carrying out practical tasks that improve habitat and make the river a better place to be, and we are always looking for more volunteers. We are also keen to hear from any community-based groups interested in creating wetlands to clean water before it enters the river or implementing sustainable drainage in urban areas next to the River Dee—this could mean setting up a rain garden at your school, village hall, or community centre. 

Join us so we can grow the number of people working towards a clean River Dee. Contact us via our website and sign-up to our volunteer mailing list to hear about opportunities to get involved.  

www.welshdeetrust.com  

Sharks and Crafts

Hi, I’m Jess! I set up Sharks and Crafts in 2021 and have been making a range of reusable products including wipes, wax wraps, produce bags and kitchen roll. Growing up in coastal North Wales, sailing the Irish Sea and being a scuba diver, I have a passion for protecting our oceans and reducing single use plastics. My aim is to grow my business alongside my own journey into becoming more eco friendly and sustainable and encourage others to make small steps to help protect our planet.

Etsy – LINK

Instagram – FOLLOW

Facebook – FOLLOW

Toogoodfordogs

Toogoodfordogs as this is a name we have used in the past for an earlier venture into making dog biscuits that could also be consumed by humans. My husband was a baker by trade and so an obvious progression. 

Chris has also been a keen woodturner for a number of years and when he retired five years ago it made sense to try and sell some of the beautiful bowls and platters that until then had been used at home or given as gifts. This would then mean he could generate funds to make his hobby sustainable financially. 

The woods used are gifted wood where possible but also bought from wood yards in the UK where we always try to ensure that the wood is from a sustainable source. 

We started to attend craft fairs with quite a bit of success but then along came lockdown so now we are looking to venture out again.