The Severn Weigh zero-waste store at Oldbury Naite: pop in to refill your containers or use web shop for Click & Collect or local home delivery with plastic free packaging. Ethically sourced loose organic whole foods; natural skincare; toiletry & cleaning refills; sustainable household items.
A delicious and decadent chocolate! Crisp outer dark shell with a rich and creamy pistachio truffle centre! Vegan, gluten-free, no soya , no refined sugar. 4 in hand-painted gift box; plastic free. Bristol made dairy free / gluten free / soy free and have no refined sugar. Contains NUTS (pisachios).
We are gathering together a range of plastic free gifts which include a range of 6 books written and each one signed by a Cornish environmental author which are gentle true stories focusing on a particular animal habitat and the effects of climate change or plastic pollution.
We also have a range of wild flower Seedball tins and locally made and plastic free colouring boxes - both make great stocking fillers.
We have a tasty selection of sustainably produced savoury snacks and where possible we look for British produced. Our split pea and fava bean snacks are from Hodmedod's:
"We're committed to providing quality food from British farms that's more sustainably produced. All Hodmedod's pulses and grains are British-grown – and always will be!"
We have a range of ethically sourced Coffees; certified Organic, Fair Trade and two are also Rainforest Alliance certified.
We currently have 5 coffees on offer, something to suit most tastes, ranging from mild and mellow to our dark, highly developed roast. Four of these are single origin and one is a delicious blend. We also have a Swiss Water decaffeinated using no chemicals just pure water and osmosis to produce coffee that is 99.9% free of caffeine.
We are joining the 2022 UK wide ‘Just One Bottle’ campaign - to encourage more people to refill empty bottles already purchased rather than buying products in new plastic each time. The challenge is for everyone to select just one product to regularly refill and so collectively we can make a huge difference in the reduction of single use virgin plastics - perhaps choose washing up or laundry liquid, hand or body wash, shampoo or conditioner and v
Here are some thoughts.
The perhaps misleading and sometimes misunderstood term 'zero waste' is far more complex than the literal words imply because it embraces an holistic philosophy that promotes sustainable living in the wider sense rather than to strive for a somewhat illusive goal of literally producing ‘zero waste.’ (Some do attempt to get close however!)
Producing waste is of course a consequence of living in our world but this approach challenges us to examine how we may habitually be creating excessive waste and to take personal responsibility for reducing it.
Essentially, zero waste living aims to drastically reduce all kinds of needless waste in our day to day living; buying enough to support our needs whilst mindful of avoiding excess - whether food, clothing or general retail shopping. It flies in the face of so-called ‘retail therapy’!
A zero-waste perspective, on the other hand, is rather more an invitation to a different approach; requiring a shift in our thinking which challenges the socially accepted wasteful and polluting excesses of our current world. Ideally, we move away from impulsive consumerism and purchase when in need, giving consideration to its quality and durability. We are more likely to then value what we have; consider mending rather than replacing; and when no longer useful, we can repurpose or re-home before we choose disposal. Recycling is a careful consideration, reserved as our last resort.
Zero-waste living at its heart is living with compassion and appreciation for the wider world in which we live. We are invited to tread more softly in the world - to share from the planet and help replenish. This involves gaining a wider understanding of how our food, clothing and ‘things’ in general are produced and by whom, which implies a wider ‘mindful’ shopping experience - certainly to reduce plastics, unnecessary packaging and waste, whilst also to consider the impact of their manufacture upon other people and the world around us.
Zero-waste living is perhaps best understood as an inspirational concept that we redefine for ourselves throughout our lives; acknowledging that each other’s choices are largely determined by our differing needs, finance, life transition and health. It is not an aspiration for perfection and neither is it an elevated position from which to judge others. It is rather a subtler, simplistic and yet hopefully an enriching way to live, that can demonstrate to others that every small change we each make will collectively make a significant difference and will help restore balance to our polluted world.
For me, it essentially means living more mindfully and simply and wherever possible to do least harm to the environment, animals or to other human beings.
Our lives are so crammed full..with busy-ness and ‘stuff’ which appears to have taken ownership of us rather than serving our needs! Perhaps a good starting point is to take a step back and reassess what is important and to see how we can take back a sense of control by letting go of surplus - whether possessions or commitments.
Decluttering our lives, in every sense, fits hand in hand with zero-waste living. It offers us an opportunity to live more simply, purposefully and with space to breathe and discover enjoyment of what we have.
1. Refuse to be a part of the problem. Confidently refuse over-packaged products and single use plastics.
2. Reduce what you don’t need, simplify your life, donate unused items. Then reduce your carbon footprint in other areas too.
3. Reuse bags, jars, bottles, clothes; give everything a new lease of life.
4. Recycle what can’t be refused, reduced or reused.
5. Rot your organic materials, composting is nature’s natural process of recycling.
They also go on to say:
“Even with one small change YOU have the power to make a huge difference over the course of your lifetime and who knows who you will inspire along the way. Striving for zero waste isn’t about being perfect; it’s about taking responsibility for your own actions and looking at the bigger picture. Most importantly it’s about pledging to make conscious decisions in day-to-day life that will help to heal this planet and allow it to thrive, as it should.”
Essentially, it is one way of enabling people to live in a way that drastically reduces waste both in terms pf packaging and food. It is a return to a more traditional style of shopping which eliminates the use of single use plastics and excessive packaging. It encourages customers to consider the repercussions of ‘convenience’ shopping and the overstretched system of ‘recycling’, erroneously believed to be the remedy for plastic pollution. A wide range of dried whole foods, liquids and cleaning products are stored 'loose' in a range of dispensers for customers often to self serve and refill their own containers / bags with as much or as little as is needed.
Na Smyth, The Severn Weigh. (Originally posted on facebook July 7th 2018)
Another Way... July 2020
For many reasons, we were unable to set up in town as a refill shop offering a self-serve zero waste shopping experience to customers. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, with so many shops having to adapt to social distancing, we realised that perhaps we could offer our community another way of shopping as close to the principles of zero-waste as possible primarily through click & collect and home delivery. The obvious key difference being that customers generally make orders through our website which are weighed out and packed by us but this of course must involve some form of packaging!
Whilst we acknowledge that compromises may need to be made and packaging is inevitable, we aim to reduce all forms of plastic packaging where we can and will never package orders in single use plastic!
We purchase our food in paper bags where at all possible and re-use all forms of bulk packaging before recycling. Further, our customers' orders are always packed in PLASTIC FREE packaging - and so this will include recycled food grade paper bags or certified home compostable cellulose bags depending upon which food product is being packed.
* UPDATE: We have now introduced returnable glass jars for teas, hot chocolate, coffee and small orders of nuts etc plus amber bottles for our liquid refill products. We also sell organic cotton produce bags.
You can also simply pop in with a shopping list and bring your own containers for refilling and we will weigh out the contents for you. This is working well for customers who do not mind waiting or have just a few items they need. For larger orders, you might prefer to order online but please state that you want to bring in your own containers in the comments section at check-out and then bring them in to be filled - you can either wait while we weigh it out for you or come back later. Either way is fine by us!
Get in touch if you want to discuss various options - happy to help! Contact us here
And so although we could not open in the high street as originally planned, we are now settled into our store in a beautifully tranquil field close to the River Severn. Why not arrange for a walk along the river and drop by afterwards to collect your order?
We look forward to meeting you!
Inspiration for The Severn Weigh - written by Na Smyth (founder)
Following a break from my business (Nooma Organics Natural Skincare) in 2017, I began to walk daily with our dog along the Severn Way at Oldbury on Severn.
The tides had washed up a considerable amount of plastic debris along the shoreline and so as a family we began to clear some away each time we visited.
These river walks gave me lots of thinking time; initially I felt challenged to curb our own family’s single-use plastic waste and then later questioning how we could help reduce plastic waste in our wider community. Alongside a good deal of research, a new business idea emerged - a heart felt mission to open a zero-waste / plastic free organic loose food shop, preferably within our home town Thornbury.
Although we had lots of other ideas, it seemed fitting to name the business venture ‘The Severn Weigh’ after our river walk inspiration, the ‘Severn Way’ - hope you like the pun! Likewise, our goose logo, whilst not food related also refers to the river; inspired by a goose family that I used to look out for each morning!
In 2018 I devised a questionnaire about the prospect of opening a zero waste shop and set up a facebook page @SevernWeigh and received a lot of positive feedback. However, after nearly a year of research, planning and securing funds, we were unable to find affordable local premises and then the whole Brexit issue loomed large - and so we reached an incredibly difficult decision to take a step back to rethink.
In 2019, I was invited to join forces with the Thornbury Organic Food Co-op and to help them to develop a wider range of bulk / package free foods alongside an overhaul of the cleaning products and toiletries. We felt pleased to be part of this, given that we were also committed to 'Plastic Free Thornbury' and “CATS” (Climate Action Thornbury & Surroundings) which are two groups concerned with reducing our town’s plastic intake and carbon footprint both from a personal and wider town perspective.
After the lock down, in order to reduce the risk of COVID contamination, the co-op founders decided that it was safest to work alone packing orders. Furthermore, unable to expand or take on new members, it became clear that there was need for an additional organic food business that was accessible to more people.
As small food shops closed their stores and began selling online or offering deliveries, this new possibility emerged for us - a click & collect organic whole food refill store.
After much searching for premises, we were really excited to discover a new building on a farm at Oldbury-on-Severn, making our 2 year wait seem worthwhile, given that this is where our inspiration for our business and its name originated! We loved the location and watching the swallows overhead in the field. And so we have finally opened The Severn Weigh!
The Severn Weigh is a zero-waste grocery store based at Oldbury Naite, Oldbury-on-Severn, near Thornbury, offering organic loose whole foods, plastic free toiletries, personal and household items and liquid refills. We offer Click & Collect and a home delivery service to local residents and those living in the surrounding areas in South Gloucestershire with the postcode BS35, BS32, BS36, BS37, GL13.
We also welcome visitors to simply pop in with a shopping list and bring own containers to be filled (otherwise we can fill our paper or home compostable bags and glass jars). Beforehand, it is a good idea to look at the items online because browsing space is limited and cannot really do justice to the hundreds of products we have in store!
Also feel free to give us a call 01454 419475 or message us via facebook https://www.facebook.com/SevernWeigh if you want to check if an item is in stock. You can also place a quick telephone order and pay by card / phone in store.
Information on Click 'n' Collect HERE.
We are a vegetarian family business with a commitment to ethical sourcing, vastly reducing waste, to omit single use plastics and essentially to promote sustainable living. Part of our goal is to work with local suppliers that fit with our ethics.
The Severn Weigh, Oldbury Naite, Oldbury-on-Severn, South Gloucestershire, BS35 1RU.
The Severn Weigh founders and owners are Naomi and Rod Smyth - both in their 50's with two adventurous teenage children plus two crazy but very loved hounds - our whippet Gracie and our rescue greyhound Woody.