Life In Leeds
You're Environmentally Friendly
Climate change is a hot topic – we’re all being encouraged to do our bit to live more sustainably and be savvier in the way we spend our money. Being green can mean paying out more initially for reusable products but it should ultimately save you money, as well as benefiting the environment. Here are just a small selection of the stores and organisations helping to make Leeds more environmentally friendly.
Go Plastic free
Did you know that glitter make-up has plastic in it? At Ecotopia, a fairly new addition to Leeds City Centre (Central Arcade off Briggate), you can buy guilt-free, compostable, biodegradable glitters for your nights out. As well as also selling a wide range of reusable drinking bottles, food containers, wrappers and cutlery, Ecotopia stock dry foods, teas and coffees which can be bought by weight and taken away in your own container as long as it is “clean, dry and sealable”. As well as the many things you can buy in their city centre store and online, their store accepts plastics that are not widely recycled, such as crisp packets and toothpaste tubes for terracycling schemes.
The Jar Tree
You can find this stall in Kirkgate Market in the City Centre, the focus here is on waste-free shopping with pay-by-weight dry foods including cereals, rice, pasta and pulses, herbs and spices. You can also stock up on household goods and toiletries including reusable make-up remover pads and feminine hygiene products.
Reuse, Recycle & Upcycle
If you’re looking for a little something extra to make your student digs a bit homier this is a great place to start. Among a huge selection of furniture, they have appliances, kitchen and dinnerware, as well as loads of second-hand boardgames, DVDs and computer games.
Got an art project or looking to upcycle some furniture? On Kirkstall Road opposite Radio Aire is Seagulls Paint, an environmental social enterprise. They reuse leftover and unwanted paint and resell it avoiding waste and saving you money! They also sell their own brand of new paint and offer bespoke colour mixing.
If you’re a bit crafty or if you, like many of our students, enjoy a bit of fancy dress, Scrap has everything you could ever want and a few things you might not have heard of! From wigs to fabric and ribbons you’re certain to pick up a bargain. It’s a bit further out as it’s in Sunny Bank Mills, Farsley but Scrap is an Aladdin’s Cave of treasures that constantly changes, as all the products are excess stock and discontinued items saved from going to landfill. You need to be a member, but membership is free.
Buying locally made/sourced goods not only reduces the carbon footprint of your shopping (international freighting is one of the biggest concerns for environmentalists) but also adds an extra feelgood factor, because you are often talking directly to the makers who get a real buzz out of you buying their products. It’s win/win.
Headingley Farmers Market
Imagine the brownie points you would earn if you got up on Saturday morning and treated your housemates to a breakfast of bacon and eggs, fresh from the farm! On the second Saturday of the month between 9am-12pm you can find around 20 food stalls “mostly from within a radius of 30 miles of Leeds” in the Rose Garden, outside Manahatta. Between 10.30-11.30am there’s usually live music as well.
Kirkstall Deli Market
If you’re a foodie, this is definitely worth a visit. Not only are all the yummy things produced and supplied by award winning locals with a passion for food, but the market takes place in the gorgeous grounds of Kirkstall Abbey so you can make a day of it.
Our Handmade Collective
Tucked away in the Grand Arcade this cute little shop houses the work of more than 70 local designers and is the perfect pitstop for gifts and treats. They sell everything from handmade cards to quirky jewellery. As an added bonus, keep an eye on their Instagram account as they will let you know when Reggie is in the house.
Is another fabulous place to pick up a gift for someone special (or yourself). The shop on Albion Street sells everything from handmade furniture to art, all made by local craftspeople. As well as their shop, they also run crafting classes, hen parties, exhibitions and events.
Out of This World
A family run business, this store opposite the Corn Exchange, specialises in Organic, Fair Trade, Eco Friendly, local and special diets. As well as food there are eco-friendly and cruelty-free toiletries and a zero waste cleaning product refill station.
A fine food store on Vicar Lane, Millie’s focusses on local Yorkshire produce with a deli and cheese counter. The shop is stocked with a large range of fresh products as well as “many unusual items and hard to find ingredients”. If you are looking for a gift, they offer a range of food and gift hampers and their beauty salon upstairs offers a 20% student discount!
Natural Food Store
If you live in Headingley you don’t even have to go as far as town for your specialist shopping (cutting down on that carbon footprint in the process). After 30 years of trading The Natural Food Store cooperative is also Leeds’ oldest and greatest whole food shop and it’s easy to see why. This little shop packs a lot in. And, if you shop there regularly it’s worth joining their loyalty scheme to get money off your future shopping.
Cut down on food waste
If you are out and about and want a guilt free meal, head to Rainbow Junk-tion at All-Hallows Community Project, just off Hyde Park Road. This café takes food that would otherwise be destined for the bin even though it is perfectly OK and turns it into wholesome meals which are sold on a Pay As You Feel (whatever you think it’s worth within your budget) basis. If you want to get more involved they’re always looking for volunteers in the kitchen and front of house, or even just support in helping spread the word. Open hours are limited so it’s worth checking the website.