Edinburgh’s First Zero-Waste Shop Celebrates 1st Birthday

This Saturday, husband and wife Matt and Stephanie Fouldes hosted a small party to thank the community for the successful first year of their shop, the Eco Larder.

The event took place between 2 and 4PM and was free to any visitors, although a donation of around £3 was suggested.

“The Eco Larder’s first birthday party was a really fun and exciting event,” one volunteer said. “It is great to see how much success they have achieved with their zero waste movement and their initiative in helping Edinburgh become more sustainable is inspired!”

While Stephanie was pregnant, the couple began to consider how they could help to make the world greener for their daughter Jasmina, and decided to found The Eco Larder to help reduce plastic waste.

“It’s also about making one’s carbon footprint as small as possible,” the owners explain. “This doesn’t always quite align with plastic waste, but both of these areas are very important to focus on. We want to make a difference in people’s plastic and carbon footprints.”

Celebrating the community is an integral part of The Eco Larder’s philosophy.

The shop was initially founded with the help of a crowdfunding website, through which over £22,000 was raised with the help of nearly 500 supporters.

At the birthday celebration, time was set aside at the end so that members of the community could bring their own ideas and suggestions to the table.

The Eco Larder also has plenty of opportunities for volunteers to help out and make a difference.

The event also served as an opportunity to reflect on the past year. On the shop’s social media accounts, they have posted statistics about the types of plastic waste that their products have helped to avoid, as well as how much of each one.

One example is soap. The Eco Larder’s soap bars and soap refilling stations have helped to avoid 503 bottles of liquid soap, which equates to roughly 38 kilos of waste. In total, they have avoided over 100,000 pieces of packaging going to landfills this year.

Aside from soap products, The Eco Larder also sells an assortment of other products. They carry various toiletries – including shaving bars, deodorant, and skincare products – as well as cleaning products and various foods.

All of their products are fairtrade. The majority are locally made, with some being prepared in the shop itself. Their fruits, vegetables, spices, and legumes are sold plastic-free. Customers can buy containers, or bring their own, and then weigh the product they want to purchase and pay by weight.

“We have saved the most plastic with our milk bottles, which you can refill from the vending machine; our orange juice machine; and our oil refill station,” owner Matt said on the subject.

In the coming year, The Eco Larder aim to set their targets even higher. The owners are hoping to continue stocking more diverse products.

All of their previous activities, including beach cleans, yoga sessions, and crafting workshops, will continue running. Hopefully, this time next year The Eco Larder will be able to announce that they have saved even more waste from going into landfills.

Click here for the fourth episode of  The Eco Larder’s podcast, all about their 1st Birthday!