My Carbon Coach is a sustainable living shop based in Taunton. First opened in September 2021, the store sells low/no waste household items to help you reduce your carbon footprint and impact on the planet. Every product in the My Carbon Coach store is carefully chosen, cruelty-free, vegan and low waste. We spoke to owner Tim about the why he set up My Carbon Coach and what sustainability means to him.
1. Tell us about the beginnings of My Carbon Coach and the inspiration behind it.
In 2018, after over 15 years in corporate retail, I decided to completely switch career and went to study a degree in Environmental Science with the Open University. Whilst doing that, I got a part-time job as a barista in a local co-working space and became very inspired by all of the people coming in working for themselves. Then, over a few months in 2021, a wild string of events happened. In May I returned to work after being furloughed, in June I graduated with my degree, in July I was made redundant as the co-working space closed down, and then by August I’d signed the lease on a space to open up my own sustainable living shop!
2. What does sustainable living mean to you?
Sustainable living to me means being mindful of our consumption. Not just of food but of products and items in general. Being aware of the impacts of our actions and how over-consumption can impact the people and ecosystems around us. I guess there’s a small amount of crossover with minimalism in that way!
It’s taking a look to see if there’s a plastic-free or a chemical-free option to buy when something you own runs out or reaches the end of it’s working life, and to understand the impact of our decisions. Whether we take the car to work everyday, whether we buy a meal deal or pack ourselves a lunch. In a way sustainable living requires each of us to slow down a little, to take stock, to think ahead.
3. How do you picture the future of My Carbon Coach?
I really hope it continues to grow and keep on developing to meet the needs of my local community. I recently expanded the refillery to add food such as pastas, rice and other cupboard essentials after lots of feedback from customers. I’d love to introduce some fun events such as clothes swaps, evening talks and maybe a book club or takeovers from local environmental groups. The possibilities are endless, but sadly time isn’t!
4. What are three principal values that you champion as a store?
Firstly, it is that everyone has the power to make a difference, no matter how big or small, it all contributes towards a better planet.
Secondly, that a sustainable life should be available for everyone, no matter who you are.
Finally, that everyone needs to start somewhere. There’s something really amazing to welcoming someone into my space who hasn’t begun their eco journey and isn’t sure where to start but now knows they want to do something. It’s never too late!
5. Lastly, which is your favourite H!P product?
I absolutely adore the White Berry Crunch Bar! When I switched to being plant-based I wondered if I’d ever find a great tasting white chocolate again, then when I discovered H!P and it had a dash of fruit in it too I was totally sold!