Hello, and welcome! This is the inaugural blog post for Refills on the Road, a mobile refill and plastic-free shop launching in the Derbyshire Dales in August 2019. I'm Darcie, the shop's owner, and to kick things off I wanted to explain a little bit about the shop, its origins and values.
I'm starting this venture because I have grown concerned about the amount of plastic waste we are generating - both individually and as a society. When I began to take steps to reduce my own use, I was frustrated by the lack of sustainable shopping options in my area. I wanted to have a shop where I could take my own containers and refill them with staple foodstuffs and cleaning products. As I couldn't find one less than a 30-minute drive away, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
My vision for RotR is to bring sustainable shopping to the Derbyshire Dales by opening a mobile refill and plastic-free shop that is affordable. Starting with local markets and pop-ups in village halls, my goal is to eventually "move in" to a shop in a van and be able to serve a wider area.
This is an old concept made new again - not that long ago people used to visit 'scoop shops' to buy things like cereals, pasta, nuts, etc. As plastic packaging became more pervasive our shopping habits changed, and supermarkets have conditioned us to buy pre-packaged goods in larger quantities. Sometimes when I look in my cupboards I feel like I haven't so much bought food as invested in it!
I think that by opening up a shop that's eco-friendly in this way, people will make assumptions about me and my lifestyle, so in the interest of transparency I want to take this opportunity to tell you about myself and the values that are behind this business.
There are a lot of problems facing this planet right now - climate change, species extinction, pollution.. I am concerned and trying to do my bit to make a positive change, but I am focused on single-use plastics. I am not a vegetarian or vegan, and I don't eat everything organic. As I learn more more about the ways my choices impact the planet I may make different choices in the future, but I won't attempt to transform my entire lifestyle overnight and I don't expect anyone else to, either.
Just remember this brilliant quote from Anne Marie Bonneau, The Zero Waste Chef: "We don't need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."
This is going to be an interesting journey!