Local businesses & sustainability: where we shop matters

Local businesses

Would you consider that a store five minutes from your home is a local business if, for example, all their products were sourced from the faraway China?

At Green Sparrow Foods we believe this shouldn't be the case. For us, a local business is one that sells to the community and makes an effort to source the products and/or the ingredients as much as possible from other local business.

And we're proud to be an example of a local business: as you may know, we make fresh nut butters and peanut butter. We obviously need to purchase different varieties of nuts and peanuts and because we don't grow these food items in Teddington, nor in London nor in the UK, we're of course forced to source them from abroad. But even with this handicap, we're happy to have made the commitment to buy these goods from other small suppliers which yes, are local to us.

Another example are the containers we use for our nut butters, which are glass jars (see why we chose this material in the section below). As we wanted Green Sparrow Foods to be a local business, we researched if we could find a supplier close to us. And not only did we find a company only a few miles away, but we were also extremely satisfied to find out that the glass jars themselves are made in the UK. Additionally, the metal lids that we buy from the same supplier, which are BPA-free, are made in our neighbouring country France.

local business shop small

Have you seen our lovely Kyoto (click here if you don't know who Kyoto is) featured in our labels? Well, our labels are just one more example of why we're a local business, as we have all our labels printed in the UK.

We love discovering other local businesses, why don't you share your favourites ones in the comments section below? Let's spread some love!


The majority of our customers are pleased to see our nut butters are sold in glass jars and the truth is, this is the material that first came to mind when we were planning the setting up of the business. We chose glass jars as these are easily reusable, repurposeable and also recyclable. Furthermore, it's also common to find jars made of at least 75% recycled glass, which is the case of our own ones.

glass jars sustainability business

You might have noticed our labels are imperfectly perfect. What we mean by that is that they might have some spots or variations in colours, but that's ok by us, as we chose labels made of recycled paper, that are also plastic-free and vegan. We like to think each product we sell is unique, as the spread inside is customised to your taste, and the label outside has some tiny visible marks.

If we had one thing crystal clear when setting up the brand, was that we didn't want to be associated with plastics. Plastics no, thanks! And we pretty much nailed it:

  • as just mentioned, our labels are plastic-free
  • our containers are made of glass jars and metal lids
  • when packing products to be delivered, we only use
    • paper tape
    • paper rubber wrap
    • paper tissue
    • carboard boxes
  • when doing hand-deliveries, we use brown paper bags
  • our beautiful stamp is made of wood and sustainable rubber and the pad for our iconic green ink, even though it is plastic, it can be refilled again and again
sustainable business

As we grow, we will also be able to purchase insane amount of nuts at a time, which usually come with carboard boxes. For now, though, we're forced to buy smaller quantities in bulk which unfortunately do come in plastic bags. However, these bags can be recycled (yay!) at big supermarkets who may offer this service.

Are you aware of the sustainably standards of your favourite brands? How conscious are you about the environment and the welfare of our planet? Surely we can all take small steps towards living a more sustainable life!

Where we shop matters

and it matters a lot! Oh, yes! You see, by buying certain products from certain big corporations, we're creating demand. And by creating demand, more is offered to us. And when more is offered to us, it often is offered quite cheaply. But we need to be aware of the hidden costs (to our planet) that this economic system implies. 

That's why we're very fortunate to have businesses like The Refill Larder, in Teddington who are making big efforts to provide customers with groceries in bulk and a great array of plastic-free products.

And here at Green Sparrow Foods we're so grateful to Kate for mentioningTW Magazines Teddington us on this month sustainability section of the Teddington's edition of the TW Magazines. For those of you who don't know, TW Magazines are local magazines in Teddington and in Twickenham offered in both online and printed formats, delivered to 14,000 homes and businesses and enjoyed by over 37,000 readers. 

In the editor's, Christiane Ella, own words, these magazines are all about

supporting local independents by spreading the word and encouraging people to take advantage of the amazing services and products in our community


TW Magazines Green Sparrow Foods nut butters
Extract of page 18 of March 2021 Teddington edition of the TW Magazines, where our local, plastic-free, small and vegan business is featured. 

We would love it if this article had made you think a little bit about where you spent your money on. Please take these words as an inspiration and a reflection, no offense meant :) 

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