5 ways Murtle Market is sustainable

June 25, 2024

Our new sustainable social enterprise, Murtle Market, is due to open to the public later this year!


Murtle Market is a zero-waste refillery shop and heritage hub, showcasing our local seasonal organic produce and sustainable arts and crafts. The main purpose of Murtle Market is to provide meaningful work opportunities and skills development for our young people whilst promoting our ethos and sustainable practices.


Below, we share five ways in which Murtle Market will be sustainable.


1. Construction

From the moment you step foot into Murtle Market sustainability is front and centre. That begins with sustainable building practices. Wherever possible we have reused and repurposed materials. Including the heart of our market which used to be a book shop and is more than 100 years old.

Retaining the former building saved approximately 50% of the carbon emissions that would have been generated from demolishing and building a completely new building. The new extensions on either side of the building feature reclaimed granite and woodshavings for insulation. Elsewhere, the Welsh slate roof from the bookshop’s roof has set aside for future repairs on other buildings on the estate.


2. Local organic produce

Keeping food miles and plastic waste to a minimum, Murtle Market will stock fresh fruit and vegetables grown in our organic walled garden on Murtle Estate which already serves homes across the estate.

As our gardens are organic and feature biodynamic practices, no harmful, manufactured chemicals are used to encourage or enhance growth. These chemicals can be damaging to the environment and harmful to other wildlife that inhabit the gardens.

Murtle Market will also be a trading point for other local land growers who also uphold the same sustainable practices as us.


3. Seasonality

As Murtle Market will showcase local fresh produce grown in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, our stock will always reflect what’s in season.

Eating seasonal food has many benefits for your health and the health of the environment. In terms of sustainability, eating seasonal produce means no harmful chemicals have been used to force the food to grow outside its natural life cycle or in an unsuitable climate. On top of this, buying ingredients from local distributors reduces the journey the food takes to get to you. By shortening the food chain, we’re reducing our foods carbon footprint and you know exactly where Murtle Market’s fruit and veg has come from!


4. Delivery

Our fleet of e-cargo bikes, which have kindly been donated to us from Sustrans, Energy Saving Trust and Vattenfall’s Unlock Your Future Fund already help us make light work for delivering produce from our on-site workshop FRUVER (our internal supply service) to homes across our estates while keeping our carbon footprint to a minimum. We’ll be using them for short-distance deliveries for Murtle Market too.

We also recently received funding from the Just Transition Participatory Budgeting Fund to buy an electric delivery van for the store which will help us reach people living nearby.

Cargo bikes and electric vehicles help us reduce our carbon emissions, allowing us to become a more sustainable organisation.

Later down the line, customers near Murtle Market, located on North Deeside Road in Bieldside, will be able to order products for home delivery through our website. So, if you’re local to Murtle Market, keep an eye out for updates on our delivery or click and collect services!


5. Circular economy principles

At Camphill School Aberdeen we ensure that everything we do is in line with our circular economy ethos. A circular economy aims to reduce waste and keep products and materials in use. We promote this by having strict recycling rules in all of our buildings, partnering with local charities as a member of Circular Communities Scotland, and repairing unwanted bicycles.

Aside from food, Murtle Market will also showcase unique arts and crafts that have been made by our young people. Our art workshop upcycles, repurposes or creates new items out of recycled materials to support a circular economy. For example, wool from our alpacas is often used to create 3D, texturized designs.


Building Futures, Transforming Lives

The development of Murtle Market is part of phase one of our Building Futures, Transforming Lives campaign. This appeal aims to raise £10 million over 10 years allowing us to open our doors to more young people with complex additional support needs who need our support. Phase one also includes the construction of an 11-bedroom residential home and a fully inclusive sensory playground.


Everyone has a meaningful part to play in protecting our planet to ensure the world is a better place for our young people. We hope Murtle Market will inspire the wider community to make more sustainable choices when it comes to consumption.

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