Five Ways This Zero Waste Shop is Changing Online Purchasing

Today is an exciting day! It’s the soft opening of our online zero waste shop and we're doing it with purpose. Before we host our Grand Opening we want some feedback from you, and also want to tell you what makes our online shop different from the rest!

Our Executive Director, Rochelle Byrne, has been practicing a zero waste lifestyle and encouraging others to join her for the past three years. Zero waste doesn’t mean creating no waste, that just not feasible, but it does mean reducing waste in as many ways as possible over time. Over the three years Rochelle has been able to change habits, test different products and methods, and fail and succeed in several different aspects of minimizing her waste. As the zero waste movement gains momentum it is important that people can access the tools and resources they need to succeed in reducing their own waste and obtain these tools without worrying about their environmental impact or price. Here are 5 ways our zero waste shop is changing the ways of online shopping.

5. We ship zero waste
This means we avoid plastic packaging materials. Your order will arrive in a paper envelope or cardboard box sealed with paper tape. Fragile items are cushioned with scrunched up reused paper or wrapped in fabric items that might be included in your order. All packaging materials can either be recycled or composted. We reuse all the shipping materials that we receive from our suppliers and source additional second hand materials from friends, family and other businesses. Learn more about this here.

4. We select our stock carefully
We only want to sell items we use ourselves. All products have been tested by our board and/or staff to meet our approval. We search high and low for Canadian-made, organic products that come with minimal packaging. Not an easy task, but hopefully more eco companies start popping up across our beautiful country. Quality and the sustainability of the materials each product is made with are important to us. Price and accessibility to these items are also important. We research the companies we work with to ensure the items we're selling are up to our standards and our customers will be happy with them for years to come. 

3. We only sell items that make a substantial impact
We base the items we stock on the data we collect during our litter cleanups. We strive to replace the single use items we find most often on the beach with sustainable versions. More people using stainless steel straws = fewer plastic straws found on the beach. We don't want to sell unnecessary items, only items that substantially reduce waste with reuse and have become essentials in the average zero wasters tool kit. You will not find hundreds of items in our shop, just the essentials that replace the most wasteful products.

2. We purchase carbon offsets
We don't take carbon emissions lightly. The emissions created by our website and shipping are counteracted through the purchase of carbon offsets. What does this mean? We can't avoid the emissions caused by delivering your order to your door but by purchasing carbon offsets we support a carbon sequestering project located right here in Canada. We've purchased more offsets than necessary to cover the emissions caused by our shop, daily operations, and programs. Read more about this here.

1. All proceeds go straight to nonprofit programming
All the purchases from our shop go towards our Love Your Lake programming. Doing 100 litter cleanups along the shores of Lake Ontario each summer is no easy task, but it's definitely an important one. Lake Ontario is the last stop for litter before it makes its way out to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence. Over the past three years our team, with the help of volunteers, have picked up over 225,000 pieces of litter. Every little bit of funding raised for this program makes a big impact and allows us to spend more time on the shoreline cleaning up the environment and reaching more people with our message. 

Relaunching the online shop was an all or nothing venture. Rochelle has gone over the details and made sure that every aspect of this shop is sustainable and beneficial to customers and the environment. You can rest easy knowing that when you make a purchase through our Zero Waste Shop you'll be receiving quality products in zero waste packaging, and supporting a great cause. Take a minute to visit our shop and let us know what you think! There’s a form at the bottom of the shop page where you can drop us a line!