Early in 2018 we started to look at how the shop could operate more sustainably. We have now introduced a range of plastic-free products including: shampoo bars (considerably cheaper than Lush!); toothtabs (to replace toothpaste and the tins can now be refilled); bamboo toothbrushes (for adults and children); plastic-free dental floss (which can also be refilled); who-gives-a-crap toilet paper (recycled paper of course); beeswax wraps in different sizes from The Beeswax Wrap Company (not the cheapest but, we think, the highest quality – recommended in the Guardian, the Times and the Telegraph); stainless steel straws; Chilly bottles (oh, how I love my Chilly bottle – it really does keep drinks hot all day and drinks really cold for 24 hours); and, various drinks containers. We are always on the look out for new products so let us know if you have any suggestions. 

Plastic carrier bags (unless brought in my customers to be recycled) have now been phased out to be replaced by American style ‘block-bottom bags’. Watch this space for a new initiative for ‘bring-me-back bags’.

A major initiative being led by the shop is eco-bricking. Eco-bricking is a way of removing single-use waste plastic from the environment by filling plastic bottles so full with plastic that they act as a brick. The bricks will be used to build a snake-shaped eco bench at our local primary schools. We now estimate the number of bricks made for us to be about 340, but we need even more. (The images below are courtesy of www.ecobricks.org)

Creating an eco-brick requires patience and determination! There is a minimum weight requirement for each size plastic bottle – for example, a 500ml bottle must weigh at least 167g to be an eco-brick and must feel firm to the touch when you stand on it. We run workshops to help people learn how to eco-brick – email hncshop.co.uk if you would like further information and if you would like a copy of our leaflet that gives minimum weights etc. or if you have any questions.

Eco-bricks that are at least the minimum weight can be dropped off at the shop, or left at one of the following collection points:

Thatcham: Thatcham Baptist Church

Hungerford: Hungerford Garden Machinery, Unit 8-9 Charnham Lane, Hungerford, RG17 0EY, 01488 684105, Mon-Fri: 8.30am to 5pm, Sat 9am to 1pm

Great Bedwyn: The Three Tuns Pub

East Garston: Penny Locke, Hillsprings, East Garston RG17 7HW

Thanks to all the above! Great to have villages and towns working together.