Veteran forester, Ru Hartwell, came up with the idea during Lockdown and says,
“It’s a pretty simple ‘Junk into Carbon’, project really. People give us their unwanted gear and we sell it to fund tree planting down in Kenya. As they grow, the trees draw down carbon and so help to keep the planet cool.”
With a floor area of 6,500 Sq. ft, 2 floors and 10 departments, Climate Shop is stocked to the brim with household gear entirely donated by people in Wales concerned about the environment. It follows on from the success of a smaller shop in Lampeter which has raised enough cash to plant 125,000 trees since April.
“The community here have really taken to the idea and they’ve given us fantastic support.” Says Ru. “It’s a bit of a win/win all round. Less stuff goes to landfill, fewer resources are consumed in making new products, poorer local people get some cheap gear, whilst African farmers receive a helping hand and the planet gets a few more cooling tropical trees.”
In an unusual twist on the standard charity shop model, in both stores all the goods are not priced in Pounds and pence but in the unique Climate Shop currency of “Trees Planted”.
“Normally whenever we buy something new, the natural world is harmed because everything has to be manufactured, processed and delivered etc. but this is a Nature-positive shop. Here, every single purchase plants trees which support biodiversity and absorb Carbon. It costs us 20p to plant each tree so if a frying pan is priced at 10 Trees Planted, it will cost £2”.
Alun Williams, Aberystwyth Mayor, who will launch the Shop at 1.15 this Saturday says,
“In a drastically changed economy, it’s going to take locally based innovation like this to fill the gaps in the High Street, left by the old chain stores.”
Climate Shop is managed by Treeflights Ltd, a 100% non-profit company (Company Number 6462199) and is part funded under the Welsh Government’s Wales and Africa Grant Scheme.