Did you know that in Ontario we each dispose of an average 2 kg of waste every single day? This means that up until today, Monday, October 16th, each of us has created approximately 578 kilograms of waste in 2017 alone.
We can change this! We cannot rewrite policies and regulations overnight, but we can change our behaviour, and our impact!
The first step to reducing waste is asking ourselves where this 2 kg of waste comes from. What we dispose of as waste will vary from person to person based on our wants and needs, but the source of our waste is the same: our daily production of waste comes from our daily consumption and disposal of everything we eat, drink and use.
Disposable drink cups, straws, plastic cutlery, grocery bags, food containers and any kind of plastic wrap are obvious contributors to our waste weight. We use these items once, and they go on to exist forever.
Every year, there are at least eight million tonnes of plastic that leak into our oceans. That’s the equivalent of dumping the content of a garbage truck into the ocean, every single minute.
Thankfully, the solution to single-use consumption is straight-forward. We can easily opt for re-usable cups, mugs, cutlery, grocery bags, food containers, and wraps.
Doing so is an important and awesome first step – so let’s start our Waste Reduction week by focusing on how we are consuming every day, an introduce re-usable items in our daily lives.
Happy Waste Reduction Week everyone!
Let’s do this.
To find how much waste we’re producing, daily, in Canada: Statistics Canada, Waste Management Industry Survey: Business and Government Sectors, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/
The impact of Plastic on the world: World Economy Forum, The New Plastic Economy, Rethinking the Future of Plastics. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/
Thanksgiving is the time of year dedicated to giving our thanks for the blessing of the harvest and the past year. While our celebrations may differ from one home to another, they are typically remembered for the delicious foods we ate and time we spent with friends and family.
At NU, we are celebrating our first Thanksgiving, but truth be told, we have been very thankful for the many families that have shared their harvest with us since our opening in August. Our local baked goods, fair trade coffee, handcrafted maple syrups, and everything in between have delighted our taste buds, but more importantly, helped us get incredible local goods from our family, to yours.
We could spend all day talking about the many families that play important roles at NU, and across Ottawa, but we’ll start with those that will be showing up in our homes, and on our tables, this Thanksgiving morning.
Helping us get our days off on the right foot this Thanksgiving Monday, and every day, are Amber and Craig Hall at Equator Coffee. They are not only waking up Ottawa with a fresh roast this morning, but are also ensuring that our coffee beans abide by Fair Trade Purchasing and Certified Organic standards.
Similarly thoughtful, and with nothing added but love, our Maple Syrup comes to us from Genevieve and Gabriel at Älska Farm. Located in Farrelton, Quebec, their handcrafted maple syrup is coming to us from near, however their inspiration for naming their farm comes from a little further away. Älska is a nod to their Swedish background, and a word which means love, adore and cherish.
Operating with ethical and environmental values in mind is possible, and John and Cora Beking from Bekings Poultry Farm are putting these values into practice. They’re probably one of the busiest teams out there, because managing a flock of fourteen thousand chickens is no small feat, and John, Cora and their son David along with their team are able to do so without compromising the happiness or health of their birds, and loyal customers.
Having also built a local following within the Ottawa community is Ichiban Bakery, which is now lead by June and has been open for over 16 years in Old Ottawa South. Thanks to them, we’ll be ending our Thanksgiving morning on a high note, enjoying some of the delicious pastries and breads that come to us every morning from their bakery.
This may cap off our Thanksgiving morning, but there are many other local families that have accompanied us on this journey that we will be showcasing on our blog in the upcoming months. For now, we hope that you enjoy a restful Thanksgiving with family and friends, filled with lots of delicious foods… and zero waste.
After what was an incredible and inspiring official opening weekend, we would like to take this opportunity to say an official thank you to all of you.
Thank you to everyone that has supported NU, from the time when it was just a vision, all the way to opening our doors in the Hintonburg neighbourhood and becoming the first zero-waste grocery store in Canada’s capital.
We’ve felt the love in the months leading up to our opening and that feeling was multiplied by the presence of the many passionate people who came by to celebrate our official opening this Saturday.
We’re grateful for the thousands of people that shared our story online and the hundreds that came to the store, reusable containers and shopping bags in hand, ready to be a part of the first steps of what will be an incredible, zero-waste journey for Ottawa.
We’re especially thankful for the presence of our local partners and words of support from Counsellor Jeff Leiper, Mayor Jim Watson, and Federal Environment Minister and Ottawa Center MP Catherine McKenna. We look forward to working together to eliminate waste and to build the most sustainable capital in the world!
After seeing hundreds of people of all ages, we are starting the week feeling inspired by the passion so many of us share for our city, country, and planet. NU might be the first zero-waste store in Ottawa, but we feel that we’re all onto something bigger than mason jars, reusable mugs or tote bags.
We’re starting a movement, one purchase at a time, and as Coun. Jeff Leiper said, “let’s vote with our wallets.”
NU is here to help you do just that – making your zero-waste purchase possible every day between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm at 1130 Wellington, right beside our friends at Stella Luna.
If you weren’t able to come by this weekend, we’ve shared what happened on our Facebook page! Then, whenever you have the chance, round up your reusable containers and come by the store! We’d love to meet you and chat about everything zero-waste.
For those of us that are new to zero-waste, and might feel a little lost – don’t worry! Our store staff (“Nubies”) will be happy to answer the questions that we heard most often this opening weekend. Check back here for more on that later this week!
Once again, MERCI!
Julie Lopez for #TeamNU
Our Grand Opening is on SATURDAY AUGUST 19, but our doors are open for business since last Saturday August 12 for a week of “soft opening”.
We have all the dry foods – nuts, grains, beans, seeds etc. – as well as cleaning products, beauty products and zero waste accessories. So come in, check out the store, chat with us and get yourself some #zerowaste goodies as we gradually stock up the shelves.
Expect a fully stocked store for AUGUST 19, with local produce, dairy and other fresh products joining in.
You are friendly and customer-oriented. You learn quickly, work hard and can be counted on. You are passionate about the environment and consider waste as an important issue.
Sounds like you? Then you have what it takes to be a NUbie! Click on the JOBS tab in the menu bar to read the detailed job description and how to apply for this position.
Your NU Team
Do you have experience in food retail at a similar level? Are you great at managing and motivating people? Are you organized and hard-working? Are you a problem solver with a positive outlook? Do you have a passion for the environment and consider waste as an important issue that needs to be tackled? Do you want to be part of a great team?
Sounds like you? Then you have what it takes to be our #numazing Store Manager! Click on the JOBS tab in the menu bar to read the detailed job description and how to apply for this position.
Your NU Team