Join the sustainability movement by adopting these products and habits

We all seem to see another fact, statistic, or story about climate change and its damaging effects around every corner, and it’s easy to feel like there’s nothing you can do about a problem that seems so huge. It’s easy to get discouraged, but while some alternative stores and markets aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution to the sustainability crisis we’re all facing, it’s still important to do our best to support the businesses and practices that fight for the cause. Here are 6 businesses and practices to consider if you want to reduce your environmental footprint and work towards a more sustainable future.

1. Seed

Seed is a Canadian clothing company based in Cochrane, Alberta that is doing its part to campaign for sustainability in the fashion industry. Seed likes to operate under an admirable set of rules for its products, ensuring that they are locally made, created from natural fibers, comfortable and, last but not least, beautiful! Seed takes great pride in being locally sourced and produced and knows the powerful impact buying local can have. Not only does buying local help boost your local economy, it can also significantly reduce your carbon footprint. On top of that, Seed realizes that after a shopping spree, your trash can is still full of tags and plastic bags. To counter this, they have created the very special “Seed Bracelet”, as part of their “No Packaging!” movement. Instead of throwing your label in the trash, you can reuse the colored sheet as a bookmark! This unique tag is also adorned with a dragon’s blood jasper stone – which looks intimidating – but is actually a symbol of ecological awareness, stability and peace. So the next time you’re thinking of buying a cute outfit or a gift card for a friend, maybe consider gifting Seed’s signature antidote pants or one of their wonderful creations.

2. Patagonia

This company may be a little more well-known than others in this column, but Patagonia consistently proves that big companies aren’t always the enemy of sustainability. Patagonia uses a self-imposed property tax to hold itself accountable, using that money to support nonprofits that campaign for environmental reform and sustainability. The company also maintains ties with global sports activists, who represent Patagonia’s ideals by promoting positive change on their platforms. In addition to promoting their comfortable, stylish and ethically made clothing on their business page, they also feature videos and activism articles to keep their customers and communities up to date with the inspiring movements taking place across the country. world. If you’re planning on getting cozy by the fire or hitting the waves this summer, Patagonia has you covered with ethically created all-season fashion that’s sure to impress!

3. Carbon Environmental Shop

Not everyone can afford locally sourced and ethically produced clothing products, but there are always ways to interact with other businesses in your community that are doing their part in the sustainability movement. Carbon Environmental Boutique is an Edmonton-based company that fights to take care of its customers as well as the planet. They were launched in 2001, and since then they have been working to provide their community with environmentally friendly means of consumption. They offer a very unique service, one that focuses on top-ups. We are used to finishing a tube of toothpaste, a bottle of shampoo or a container of soap, then throwing away the plastic waste. The Carbon Environmental Boutique offers to refill these products for you so you don’t have to throw away the plastic packaging, changing what they like to call “the product life cycle”. The store itself is powered by the wind and strives to provide a low carbon footprint at low prices, offering everything from soaps and cleaners to fabrics and home decor!

4. Farmers Markets

Not every community has a specialty eco store or locally sourced boutique, but the centuries-old tradition of a farmers market is sure to pop up on most street corners around the world. Not only are items often less heavily packaged and processed, you can also significantly reduce your ecological harm while supporting business owners and creators in your area. Farmers’ markets provide an opportunity for local vendors who can’t afford to open full businesses and stores, and often provide you with fresh, organic produce that hasn’t been treated with GMOs. Prices at farmers’ markets often tend to be very reasonable, and the social experience provides a great community atmosphere that promotes local connectedness. So when summer rolls around, consider stopping by your community market, but keep social distancing precautions in mind while checking out local and affordable produce!

5. Produce bags

We’ve probably all heard of ethically sourced clothing marketplaces and outlets, but produce bags are a lesser-known weapon in the fight to buy sustainably. Whenever we buy fruits or vegetables, we tend to use half a dozen plastic bags to hold our lettuce and tomatoes. You can actually buy bagless produce and then clean it at home with apple cider vinegar and hot water, but for convenience, durable produce bags are always an option. These bags can be made of mesh, burlap, muslin and other biodegradable fibers, and offer a great alternative to the excess plastic used in supermarkets. You can often buy them at your local grocery store, and they’re an environmental and economic investment, as many grocers now include a fee for plastic bags in an effort to reduce waste.

6. Recycling right

This is my favorite set of tips for working towards a more sustainable lifestyle, and most people aren’t fully informed. Most people practice recycling, putting our cans and plastics in our blue bags and taking them out once a month, or taking them to eco-stations or depots. It may sound simple, but there’s more to this process than you think. For example, one trick in this process includes removing labels. If you don’t take the time to remove the labels from your cans, they can’t always be recycled. Some factories use a heating process to remove the tags, but it’s always best to be certain and remove them yourself. In addition to this, it is always essential to remember to rinse your bottles, cans and containers before sending them, as some recycling points do not accept unrinsed products. Plus, you should also always remove the lids from your items to save the hassle of hard-working recycling employees.

It’s certainly not a complete roadmap for the journey to a sustainable future, but it’s definitely a start. Beyond these tips, it’s always important to do your own research when shopping, which helps you learn about the practices and processes of the stores you visit and see what they are doing to improve their customers and their planet. Try to use alternatives when you can to reduce plastic waste and excess litter, and make a plan to support local businesses whenever you can. We all know that the restrictions and guidelines that the international pandemic has imposed on our world have caused us to look at shopping and business a little differently, but when industries start to open up more, it wouldn’t hurt to visit your local shop or market to sustainably meet your needs.