This post was inspired by this photo I saw on social media recently - this artist's play on 'Jaws' is so impactful - made the fear of sharks almost seems irrational as the dangers of plastics are much larger scale:
Then I was walking around a popular community in my home city and found there was a zero-waste grocery store called Canary goods, I was so impressed we had one and had never been. I have always thought about everyday things around me, like, how much water does it take to flush the toilet? 13 - 6 Litres actually depending on the age and efficiency of your toilet!), or why is this item so extremely wrapped?
I had done very small things, like turning off the lights, switch off the tap (most of the time, while I am brushing my teeth), bring reusable bags to the farmers market, take a water bottle to work.
Every little positive conscious change for a better environment counts. Here are some low effort ways to make an impact on reducing waste in your day-to-day.
- Bring your water bottle everywhere! According to tappwater.co, about 480 billion plastic bottles are consumed globally. Over a million bottles a minute.
- Be conscious of your water usage: 6 - 13 litres of water is required to flush the toilet, 85 - 95 litres of water are used during the average shower, 2.5 - 7.5 litres of water is used to brush your teeth. (http://www.wwcgf.com/water_facts)
- Meal Plan: North American is one of the largest culprits for food waste, meal planning will help buy enough for what you plan to eat.
- Eliminate receiving junk mail.
- Get to know your recycling rules, learn what can be composted vs regular landfill garbage.
- Swap regular plastic bags for a reusable shopping bag - who doesn’t like a good tote?
- Rely on reusable containers at home and work. Zip locks and plastic wrap are convenient but there are other good alternatives such as wax cloth wraps and glass storage container. Mason jars are very economical. I recently bought reusable straws and love them.
- Thrift shop and consign clothing. Velour Clothing Exchange, photograph by Mariah Wilson.
- Last but not least! Try getting essentials from a local zero-waste store. Often they are all different but show up with some reusable containers and explore!
Below is some advice from Hannah Chung who is living zero-waste:
"It’s not about being perfect. Rather than trying to achieve zero, look into how a small change can not only reduce waste but can save you money too. For example, I used to take a plastic bottle of water with me wherever I went — that life-giving substance, which is a basic human right, that we have now grown accustomed to buying in plastic bottles! This is intended as a single-use item and there’s no guarantee that it’ll be recycled. Any change you make will make a difference and influence a culture striving towards sustainability." Hannah Chung Instagram.
Thank you for reading!
Grow All Ways
Some stores to check out across Canada
(List from CBC News article)
Canary Goods, Calgary, A.B
In the cool neighborhood of Kensington, you can go with your reusable containers and get well-curated essentials.
Nada, Vancouver, B.C.
This airy store in Vancouver includes a cute café, hosts in-store yoga classes and carries everything from metal and glass straws to organic produce to fresh baked goods.
Zero Waste Bulk, Waterloo, Ont.
Opened late last year, this new shop offers dry bulk foods, a small selection of fresh produce, frozen Beyond Meat patties and locally made fare such as kimchi and organic tofu.
Unboxed Market, Toronto
Toronto's first zero-waste market features a café counter, pre-made hot food, a cheese counter, a butcher counter featuring Ontario products and a bulk milk dispenser.
NU Grocery, Ottawa
Opened in 2017, NU sells zero-waste lifestyle products alongside fresh produce, sustainably harvested seaweed and treats such as organic, fair-trade chocolate.
Méga Vrac, Montreal
With two locations in Montreal — Rosemont and Hochelaga — Mega Vrac offers a variety of oils, nut butters and spices in bulk, and a small section of fresh food such as eggs and hummus. Don't miss out on the cheese-making kits and kombucha on tap.
LOCO, Montreal, Verdun and Brossard, Que.
This mini-chain of three Montreal-area shops focuses on offering healthy, fair-trade and local products. There's Quebec wine, fresh produce and even kombucha-making workshops.
Vrac & Bocaux, Montreal
Ketchup and mustard in returnable bottles, vegan bagels, organic mead, local produce and prepared food are just a some of the items available at this Montreal market.
The Tare Shop, Halifax
This pretty café and store combination officially opened in October, selling package-free sprouts, local lettuce, kombucha and even toothpaste in a jar. Their online shop offers items such as silk floss and vegan lip balm in a paper tube.
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