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A very happy new year to you! We hope 2016 will be a great year for you, whatever your hopes and aspirations may be...
New Year is often a time of reflection - when we ponder on the highs and lows of the past 12 months, and when we have time to look at our lives as a whole. Are we as happy and fulfilled as we'd like to be? Have we achieved all that we had hoped for ourselves? It's not surprising that many business owners say that the initial decision to start their new enterprise was made over the Christmas holidays, or at the start of a new year...
It makes sense. New year new start. But would you take the risk of leaving a perfectly good, well paid career to pursue your personal passion or dream? During the last 15 months since starting Keep it in Kent, we have met so many enterprising, creative, resourceful people who have set up their own thriving independent businesses. In the last couple of months, I met up with three women who have turned their back on perfectly acceptable, interesting careers to follow their own dreams.
Prior to living in Kent, many artists have been based a great distance from South East England and yet after relocating, their creativity continues to flourish. Two such artists are the photographer Chelin Miller and the sculptor and artist Karen Gardner who are both now living near Tunbridge Wells, West Kent.
We've never been mad keen fans of those cheap thin plastic bags that they throw at you at the supermarket - except they did used to make rather handy little rubbish sacks from time to time... Anyway, when we heard that from October 5th 2015, large shops would be required by law to charge 5p for all single-use plastic carrier bags, we decided it was time to get behind the initiative. The aim of the change in the law is to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags, and the litter they can cause, by encouraging people to reuse their own bags.
Although the slightly more expensive "Bags for Life" which are still being sold can be rather nice and colourful, they are made of non-biodegradable plastic and more often than not, provide cheap advertising for the large supermarket that provides them.
So that's why we came up with the idea of the Keep it in Kent shopping bag...
Day 30 - Last day of the #NOvember Challenge 2015!
Wow, what a month it has been! We hope you've enjoyed reading our updates here, on our Facebook page and in our YouTube Channel... As you'll have seen, we've discovered some great new places to go shopping and exploring, and have managed most of the time to keep our spending local.
Funnily most people we've told about the #NOvember Challenge have looked at us in total surprise, as if we've told them about a gruelling sponsored trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, or a planned dive with sharks! "Yes, really!" we reply, "We're not spending in any major branded shops, supermarkets, restaurants, cinemas, clothes shops, or spending with businesses that aren't primarily based in Kent... EVEN petrol!"