July is plastic-free month and the global movement has inspired over 250 million participants in 177 countries to reduce single-use plastic in their everyday lives.
Castanet spoke with two local businesses to see how they’re helping residents live a more plastic-free, sustainable lifestyle, without getting overwhelmed.
“It is overwhelming and it’s expensive so we’re thinking, hey you know what your toothpaste runs out – think about it, be like hey do I want to switch to a jar – yes,” explains Karolina Bialkowska, general manager at Our Footprints Co. in Kelowna.
She herself started her journey into sustainability by switching out her shampoo to a more eco-friendly option and from there has slowly changed her lifestyle.
Bialkowska says as your products run out think about switching over.
“You don’t want to waste money, you don’t want to throw things away. As they run out you can refill them in a more sustainable way and that’s what we’re focusing on for July and long-term as well.”
And over at Chickpeace Zero Waste Refillery, Kelowna only zero-waste refillery they’ve made it easier than ever to switch over to a plastic-free lifestyle during the pandemic because they do all the filling for the customer.
“You come in here, you walk around and you fill out a little clipboard with all the things you want and then we fill it all for you while you walk around or go out,” says Allisha Heidt, owner and CEO of Chickpeace Zero Waste Refillery.
They have many options for free containers like, community jars that have been donated and sanitized, compostable paper bags and deposit jars, where you can bring back the purchased jar to get your money back.
Both say even the little steps make a difference.
“The intention behind that action so even if you feel like oh well I’m using my metal straw but it’s not really going to save all those turtles in the ocean – it’s the energy and the intention behind that action that’s going to catapult all sorts of great actions in the future,” adds Heidt.
“Once you start making small changes in your life you may not think it has an impact it does and then other people around you notice and they might be inspired to make that change,” says Bialkowska.
She says one change leads to another creating a snowball effect and by the time you know it a year is up and you’ve become more sustainable.
“I find that one of the biggest obstacles to making these changes is changing all of your household cleaning and personal beauty products at once is really expensive and people get overwhelmed and it’s daunting and they don’t do it.”
Bialkowska says Footprints help residents figure out their budget and help make small changes until they’re able to make a big impact in the future.
“That’s the goal, you could be half of your life, your whole life or it could be 10 percent of your life but that’s 10 per cent more than you were doing before and that makes a difference.”
To see how you can get involved, check out plasticfreejuly.org.
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