Climate Shop – ‘The World’s Greenest Department Store’ Opens Saturday in Aberystwyth!

18 September, 2021
By Ru Hartwell

Climate Shop – ‘The World’s Greenest Department Store’ Opens Saturday in Aberystwyth!

Veteran forester, Ru Hartwell, came up with the idea during Lockdown and says, 

 “It’s a pretty simple ‘Junk into Carbon Capture’ 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 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 goods 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 2021. 

“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, goods are not priced in pounds and pence, but in the unique Climate Shop currency of “Trees Planted.”  

Ru explains:

“Normally, whenever we buy something new, the natural world is harmed— because everything has to be manufactured, processed and delivered. 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 £2.00.” 

Alun Williams, Aberystwyth Mayor, who will launch the Shop 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.  

Links:  www.climateshop.org 

Climate Shop on FB www.carbonlink.org

Aberystwyth Climate Shop address: 36 Great Darkgate St,SY23 1DE ________________________________________________________

Ru Hartwell bio:  Maverick Carbon Forester. Planted his first tree in Wales in 1976 when his parents bought a Cambrian Mountain hill farm above Lampeter. 2.4 million trees planted in Kenya so far. With help from the 2 new Climate Shops and the national climate charity, Size of Wales, the project in Kenya is now planting 1 million trees every year.

 Supporter quote:

“Can’t get to the launch but love the idea and will be dropping in soon to plant some trees whilst replacing my kettle.” – Jerome Flynn, Soldier, Soldier; Game of Thrones


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