Behind the scenes with Forward Whangarei


By Laura

1. Why did you start Forward Whangarei?

I started Forward to try and make reducing waste easy for my community. I don't think it is fair that making environmentally friendly choices should be more work for the customer. Businesses should be leading by example, taking responsibility for their waste and creating new systems to do things differently. So, that is why Forward operates using a glass jar return system, creating a circular closed loop. This way customers can grab their shopping, without having to remember containers or bags to fill in to. They can return the jars whenever suits them. I sterilise and refill. Forward also focuses on supporting other small local businesses and bringing our community together to plant native trees across Tai Tokerau. At Forward, planet and purpose will always come before profit.

2. What is your top sustainability tip?

COMPOST, COMPOST, COMPOST! Just doing this one thing can have a huge impact. Allowing your food scraps to break down naturally, with oxygen, means they do not release harmful greenhouse gases like they would if they were buried in landfill. Separating your food scraps can also make you more mindful about your food waste.

3. What's been your funniest or most embarrassing moment during your journey of getting Forward Whangarei to where it is today?

The journey to make Forward a reality has had many stages, one of which was a temporary pop up container shop. The container sides opened outwards to create a roof and give access inside. After a long cold day it was time to close up; I totally forgot it had rained earlier and in the dark I couldn't see much, I pulled the container sides down and was hit with a waterfall from the earlier downfall which completely soaked me from head to toe. Doh!