Purple Earth - Taking that small step

One third of all plastic comes from the supermarket and then, from there, it is often used once and then thrown away. Julie, aware of the damage that this single use plastic inflicts on the planet, set out on a mission to help her community become more earth conscious.

With the climate crisis becoming more prominent in today’s media and TV shows like Blue Planet airing the truth about the dire situation surrounding marine life, it’s no wonder that people are taking note of the plastic problem. From the ban on plastic straws to the rise of reusable coffee cups, people all over the world are taking small steps in plastic reduction.
Understanding that a small step is all it takes to make a massive difference, Julie McFarland set out to bring a zero waste store to her area, hoping to help her community travel down the plastic free road. “I started doing pop up events last September at fairs to gauge the interest in the ‘zero waste’ movement in Northern Ireland. Thanks to the likes of BBC’s War on Plastic and Blue Planet, the public are more aware of the environmental and health issues we are facing with the amount of single use plastic and its disposal.”
After hearing the feedback from her pop-up events, Julie created her first crowdfunder to establish Purple Earth as a community based food refill shop!
“Crowdfunding was scary at the start as I took a risk with an all or nothing campaign. However, as the pledges started to come in, it got exciting! You have to work tirelessly throughout your campaign and it got a bit nail-biting towards the end but it was well worth it.”
It was definitely worth it as, in the end, Julie raised £4,310 from 103 supporters in just 28 days, making her dream of bringing a zero waste shop to her community a reality.