Welcome to GreenLifeNH’s new interview series “Five Questions With…”
Our first guest is Amanda Hackett of Bona Fide Green Goods in Concord, NH. For those who don’t know the store, Bona Fide is an awesome “all things zero waste” source on Main St. If you’re looking to make some environmental changes, you can find items for your home, personal use, new baby and gifts.
1) Did you have an “a-ha” moment when it came to caring about the Earth and wanting to change your habits? I had always cared about the Earth but I would say my “a-ha moment” was when I realized other people didn’t care or maybe didn’t know how bad things were. I knew at that point I needed to help other people change their habits while doing even more in my own life to make a difference.
2) What made you want to purchase Bona Fide? Do you have any favorite products or must-haves for your personal use? The purchase of Bona Fide was a multi-level decision for me personally. I am an entrepreneur at heart and wanted a chance to own a business but, with that being said, I would not have purchased just any retail store. The mission at Bona Fide is very important to me and I was excited to be one of the reasons the store got to stick around in Concord. I was inspired by both Deb and Maddie, two of the previous owners and wanted to keep it going for years to come.
My favorite products so far are the unpaper towels, the reusable sandwich/snack bags, hand soap paste and our cloth diaper options. These specific products have had the biggest impact in reducing our waste at home.
3) If you could recommend one or two zero-waste habits for when a person starts, what would it be? Identify the “bad” habits first so you know where to start. Reflection is key. Tackle one aspect of your life or home to start. It can become overwhelming but change over time is a much easier commitment. Start with your lunch habits or a single room in the house like the bathroom. Once you have the changes down and it becomes a normal part of your day, move onto something else. Pick something easy when you begin!
4) What type of response do you get from NH about your store? Do you ever get push-back or climate deniers? If so, how do you respond to them? NH and the community of Concord have been so supportive of the store over the years. Newcomers are always surprised by the products and a lot of them have never seen some of them before.
We don’t necessarily get deniers, but we do get people that don’t want to believe how bad it really is. We really try to be open and inviting to everyone and at least plant some knowledge seeds for later. Our motto is progress not perfection.
5) What are the challenges to owning a small business in NH – environmental or otherwise? Small businesses have limited resources to make big changes or large positive impacts on the community in certain ways. That also means we do not have a lot of “buying power” and are at the mercy of our suppliers sometimes. We are trying to automate the retail aspect so we can focus more on educating and inspiring. The doors must stay open in order to make a difference, but sometimes it’s hard to juggle the mission and the store at the same time.
We want to organize events, educational classes and be the point of contact for important information. Our goal is to be on the front lines with people fighting to make a difference. Thank you to everyone for the support and helping us fight the big fight!