Too good to waste

Here at The Snail of Happiness we are firm believers in the assertion that there is no such thing as “away”. This is why we have a zero waste policy: nothing is thrown away. Indeed, the ethos of our business is all about making sure that everything is used, reused or repurposed. It’s not always easy, but we’ve always been very creative at home with “waste” so the shop is no different. Here are some of the things that we do to make sure that nothing gets thrown “away”:

  • we source goods from suppliers who minimise packaging and who use compostable packaging.
  • we reuse packaging, especially plastics which we often use to wrap up repurposed goods for the shop.
  • we use cardboard boxes in many ways – storage, as mulch, in our compost bin, as repurposed packaging. In fact there’s quite a demand for cardboard by organic gardeners!
  • we sort all items that come into the shop and if we can’t sell them we pass them on to a charity shop that can.
  • we love things that other people throw away, like fabric offcuts and yarn oddments which we sell to weavers, textile artists and quilters, amongst others, or which we use ourselves (for example as stuffing in our yarnbombing creations).
  • we reuse paper for making notes and signs and then when it can’t be used any more we either compost it or take it home to use to light our wood burner.
  • we make props for the shop window out of waste – scrap timber from remodeling the shop for instance has been used for several creations and also was what we constructed our counter out of.
  • plastic containers are redecorated to use to display goods – decoupage is a great way to decorate containers (or even old furniture) and also to use old magazines or advertising material.
  • we compost teabags/coffee grounds (hopefully they will eventually nourish the garden we are planning out the back of the shop)
  • when we buy a cake from Owen (the baker) next door, we take our own plate, so there’s no bag to throw away!

The list is endless, but hopefully you get the idea.

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