By Tim Walker, Creator and Owner of My Carbon Coach…
I opened My Carbon Coach at the start of September, a plastic-free shop in Taunton town centre helping people make changes to their shopping habits to mitigate the impacts of climate change. I’d been blogging and creating social media content about looking after the environment for a few years whilst studying a degree in Environmental Science and having just graduated it was time to go big!
The shop offers a wide range of items that all households need on a regular basis, but without the plastic. Everything either comes with no packaging, or as little as possible, and what there is can easily be reused or recycled. For example you can get washing up sponges made from wood fibre that can go in your compost heap, and toothpaste that comes in glass jars which always come in handy afterwards!
Even over the course of the first month the range of products I have in stock has expanded as it’s been so lovely chatting to each person as they come through the door, finding out about their eco-journey and the things that they use to reduce their carbon footprint. It is really important to me that everything on the shelves in my shop is tried and tested. It is also really important to me that all items are cruelty-free, palm-free, vegan, and sourced as locally as possible. My shampoo bars are made near Exeter, the tea bags are from Dulverton. I have planners and journals from Bath, and candles and ear rings from right here in Taunton. The smaller the items footprint the better.
I also set up the shop to have a space for the community in and around Taunton to use. There is a giant notice board for local environmental groups to advertise their latest events, and enough space to hold 10-12 person meetings, which a group called Climate Action Taunton has already done. I also act as a recycling hub, so if people have crisp packets, tetrapaks, anything that can be recycled but they are unsure where to take it, they can bring it in and I will get it to where it needs to go.
Coming in mid-October is my first masterclass. A large part of My Carbon Coach is to help others discover what can be done to tackle the climate crisis through coaching. This first event is aimed towards fellow sole traders and SMEs who want to learn more about growing and developing in a sustainable way. From the carbon footprint of an email, to the credentials of our website hosting service it all adds up. Non-business owners please don’t worry though, in November I’ll be launching a masterclass to help households assess and reduce their carbon footprint too!
There are so many ways that we can all help fight against the climate crisis. It’s a global problem and it’s going to take global solutions, but at a local level it’s about all of us doing what we can rather than a handful of people doing everything. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush doesn’t sound like it would do much on it’s own, but if everyone in Somerset switched that would be a huge amount of plastic toothbrushes no longer making their way to landfill. The same goes for refusing a single-use cup from the coffee shop and always remembering to take a reusable one with you when you leave the house. Small changes that don’t really impact your day to day life all that much but multiply together to make a massive impact on our planet.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this exciting eco-adventure you can find me and the shop at 2 Bridge Street, Taunton. If you’re further afield then I have a website, blog and online shop at mycarboncoach.co.uk and can be found across almost all social media platforms as @mycarboncoach