Interview with Bethan Walker, owner of Simply Green Zero Waste in Nailsea

 

We continue our series of interviews with our zero waste store partners across the UK and seek their insights on how we can do more to reduce our reliance on plastics. These stores are more than just retailers, they are improving the high street, educating the community and opening our minds to the major environmental issue associated with non-recyclable waste. We are now supplying more and more loose-leaf and organic tea to these stores so that more of us can drink better and more ethical tea.

We chat to Bethan Walker, owner of the beautiful Simply Green Zero Waste in Nailsea about how to get started in reducing our use of plastics and how zero-waste shops across the UK are benefiting the entire community.

CT: Tell us about how Simply Green Zero Waste store came about?
SGZW: I really enjoyed using similar shops, but there was nothing like this in Nailsea. I started off at some local markets but really wanted to move into a shop so that people could shop zero waste on a regular basis!

CT: What’s your motivation behind zero-waste?
SGZW: I think we all need to do our bit for the planet, we can’t ignore what’s going on for the sake of our future. I also find it really enjoyable to find new ways of reducing plastic or leading a more zero-waste lifestyle.

CT: What did you do before?
SGZW: I worked as an administrator for Bristol Community Health; a company that organises palliative care in the community. Before that, I worked as a nursing assistant at Weston Hospital, but I’ve also travelled a bit in between.

CT: Tell us about your best-sellers? What are your customers after?
SGZW: Our customers love porridge and fruit crunch, which is a cereal type thing. Another big seller is the fudge!

CT: Do you have any advice for people who are looking to reduce their use of plastics at home? Where can they start?
SGZW: Start by changing the small things that you use all of the time; for example, buy a reusable water bottle or a bamboo toothbrush. I found once you start making plastic free swaps you can’t stop!

CT: Are you seeing any new trends in the green movement at the moment?
SGZW: It’s definitely growing, people are a lot more willing to make the extra effort now!

CT: Do you think that zero-waste shops are making a positive impact on the high street and in the community?
SGZW: Yes! I think it brings people together and encourages people to support local business. I also believe that zero-waste shops are often very community-minded and want to contribute and give back to their local areas.

 

 

CT: From where and how do you source your products?
SGZW: I get a lot of my food products from a local food cooperative wholesaler, however, if I can source things from small independent wholesalers I will do. Most of my non-food/ lifestyle products are sourced from local makers. The zero-waste community are very supportive, and I often discuss local suppliers with them.

CT: Are there any green heroes that inspire you?
SGZW: I’ve been inspired recently by Extinction Rebellion in the last few weeks, it’s incredible to see so many people working together so passionately for our planet. It makes you want to do more!

CT: How do you rate tea amongst your products? Is it popular?
SGZW: Tea is very popular with customers, it’s an important product in store as it’s an everyday essential crossed with the luxury of having loose leaf tea. People want all sorts, more than I currently stock but I am working on that! A lot of people go for the classic Assam All Day Tea, but the peppermint and chamomile are favourites too!

CT: Have you had any feedback from your customers about the teas you stock from us?
SGZW: They love it, people say it’s delicious. They love that it smells so amazing, especially the earl grey and peppermint, and can’t help buying some once they’ve smelled it.

 

Posted by Alicja McCarthy
15th May 2019

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