How did Purple Earth come about?
Purple Earth has been a natural progression for me, from my previous holistic therapy practice where I offered sustainable products and liquid refills from the treatment room, to attending pop up events and fairs to gauge the interest in the ‘zero waste’ movement in Northern Ireland.
Like many people I have watched programmes such as The Blue Planet and Drowning in Plastic and had my eyes opened. Consciously look around any supermarket and see how much single use packaging is being used – it will probably scare you! From a trio of peppers wrapped in plastic to microwave meals in their unrecyclable black trays; from the plastic bags used for dry food packaging to the rows upon rows of toiletries and cleaning products in plastic bottles; and that’s before you think about our toothbrushes, water bottles, disposable coffee cups and cotton buds. When the sheer scale hits you, you cannot unsee it.
I have grown up in this ‘throwaway society’, but as an individual I have a responsibility, not only to our planet but also to my young family and my children’s futures. Remember when we throw things away, there is no ‘away’.
What’s it all about?
Purple Earth was set up as a not for profit venture, aiming to give back to the local communities, help the environment, and cut down on plastic use and food waste, as well as helping customers save money and budget. It gives you the opportunity to help you and your family make conscious choices about products you use, the food you eat and the gifts you give, so that together we can ensure the Earth's resources are sustainable for future generations.
The product range is sourced as locally as possible, and includes eco-friendly alternatives to household and selfcare products such as reusable water bottles and coffee cups, stainless-steel straws, wax wraps, bamboo toothbrushes, etc. I buy loose foods in bulk, in huge paper sacks where possible, and bag down smaller amounts for customers. Before Covid-19 hit the physical unit was akin to an old-style scoop shop, so it is going back to the way it was a generation or so ago. The online store offers staples like pasta, lentils, rice, cereals and spices plus sweet treats, nuts & seeds.
Refillable cleaning products such as laundry liquid and washing up liquid, and self-care products like shampoo and body wash are also stocked. All products are from ethical, eco-friendly companies and many can be refilled at your doorstep – you buy the starter bottle once and then refill, saving even more single use plastic.
What does the future hold for Purple Earth?
Obviously Covid-19 has been a challenge for us all. I look to the positives – having to ‘shield’ for a few months gave me the opportunity to get purpleearth.net up & running and reach a wider audience. Hopefully the planned workshops will take place in some format in the near future.
The vision is not to shame people into acting; or show unachievable images through Instagram or similar. It is to educate and involve individuals to adopt even one or two workable changes into their lifestyle. If we all take just one step, we can create a better future and have a positive impact.
Thanks for reading,