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Shop kind: Happy Planet Green Store

Located in the market town of Narbeth, Pembrokeshire, this zerowaste store wants to change the way we shop for good

After moving to Wales, husband and wife duo, Jerry and Tania Rees resolved to live their lives as plastic-free as possible. Although this proved to be a challenge, they met a lot of likeminded people along the way, who were trying to do the same thing. And that was when they decided to open Happy Planet Green Store, to offer as many zero-waste items as possible. We caught up with them to find out more.

When we moved to coastal Wales five years ago and were shocked and saddened to see the amount of plastic rubbish washed up on the beaches during the winter storms. We realised that the world was using too much packaging and many plastic items, so we vowed to try and live our own life plastic-free. This proved to be very difficult, as sourcing the products that didn’t contain it were not available on the high street. It meant lots of internet shopping – unpackaged foods were almost impossible to find. The idea was born as a result of this.

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About Be Kind

Hello, When I was little, my parents had a new fridge-freezer delivered. It was a very exciting time because, after a lot of begging, I was allowed to keep the box and I had big plans for it. I became all-consumed with my project – rushing home from school to colour in a panel, pin up a picture or paint numbers on the door. I transformed this brown cardboard cuboid into my own little office, complete with seat, desk and window, and I remember feeling totally satisfied with the finished article. I’d taken something drab and boring and, with a lot of imagination, turned it into something I deemed wonderful. What has my funny little box office got to do with saving the world? Well, this issue we are looking into how with a bit of creativity and ingenuity, we can change things for the better. There are brilliant companies who are taking plastic bottles and making them into swimwear, people that are using their crafty skills to make items for those that really need them, such as blankets for refugees, and a whole bunch of talented social media stars who can help you upcycle the items you no longer love into things you really do. We also look at the incredible benefits of indulging your creative side and how, just like when you were a kid, you should regularly set your imagination free. If you need me, I’ll be decorating my office. Have a great month, Phillipa Editor