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Business woman ‘takes leap of faith’ in new venture to reduce waste and plastics

Green Life Pantry owner Jenny Salvidge

A business woman inspired by activists such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his programme ‘War on Plastic’ has set up her own shop in West Lindsey. 

Jenny Salvidge is passionate about reducing waste and decided to open up a zero waste, plastic free, weigh your own shop, called The Green Life Pantry.

Based in Market Rasen, the shop gives people the opportunity to weigh their own foods, buying only what they need and reducing the need for unnecessary packaging. The aim is to reduce use of plastic by encouraging customers to refill their own containers, adopting the idea that recycling and reusing will protect the earth.

Jenny said: “I was getting frustrated that there weren’t options for shopping plastic-free. I put feelers out to try and gauge if that type of shop would be used, and the local feeling was good, it was still a leap of faith though.”

Growing up Jenny was taken to the local weigh and save shop, learning to buy only what was needed to cook the family meals from scratch. What began as a need to save money has engrained in her a way of shopping that is also beneficial for the environment.

She explained: “This way of shopping helps to reduce food waste, which is a huge problem. As customers are buying to their needs, items also take up less space. It takes slightly longer to shop but is ultimately far more rewarding”

West Lindsey District Council’s recently released Sustainability, Climate Change and Environment Strategy defines its vision, aims and ambitions for the environmental challenges that we face today. Climate breakdown is happening before our eyes, and as traditional resources are becoming harder to obtain and the environmental impact of their extraction and unconstrained use makes it more difficult to justify, it is clear that change is coming in the way we go about our lives. It will also affect the way our council operates.

Tracey Coulson, Chairman of the Environment and Sustainability Working Group said: “We are fortunate that we have businesses and people living in our district who take the environment seriously, Jenny Salvidge is just one of many people who are working hard to make a difference and it is great that the Council was able to support her with grant funding. Being mindful of the small ways that we can help the environment, such as using less single-use plastic will help move us as a district towards living ‘greener’ lives. “This is just one of many ways that we can help to combat Climate Change and we wish Jenny the best of luck with her business venture. We hope more businesses will share their news with us to let us learn from businesses who are environmentally friendly.”

As part of the Council’s support of businesses during Covid-19, Green Life Pantry received grants which they have put towards new dispensers in the store, making life easier for customers to weigh their own ingredients more accurately.

The shop sells a range of dry goods including grains, nuts and flours, but also stocks gifts, sweets, tea and coffee and fruits. Jenny has also created an area dedicated to household refills such as cleaning products and shampoos. The shop is looking to buy a new scale for customers to use to enable them to buy exactly what they need and ensure they are never over-charged.

Jenny added: “We do try and promote recycling in the shop, we encourage customers to donate their used containers as we feel it is better to re-use first, rather than recycle.

“We would love to see a community recycling scheme in Market Rasen, alongside the council’s provision of litter bins, it would give some of the local community who are less mobile or unable to get to the Tip a place to take excess recycling.”

Jenny believes that we can all do our bit to help the environment. Her top tips include:

  • Only buy what you actually need – think carefully about the food that you will use.
  • Be aware of where your food comes from; shopping locally can reduce the distance items travel, reducing carbon footprints.
  • Ask if you are able to take your own containers to shops to reduce use of plastics, the local butcher for instance allows customers to take their own containers. (Lancasters – Queen St, Market Rasen)

Read the Council’s Environment, sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, where you can find out about the Council’s work and view key documents and research.

You can also post comments on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or email #LetUslearnfrombusinesses who are environmentally friendly #climatechange #westlindsey

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