Is it just me or will 2019 be the year of the environment? Last year’s IPCC* report certainly was a wakeup call for many among us who knew that Climate Change was real, but saw it as a distant threat. Climate change happens here and now, and according to experts, we have 11 years to act and avoid consequences that would be “catastrophic”.

In the coming years, all levels of governments will need to step up their climate action game, and History will judge them on whether or not they rose to the challenge. But we as individuals also have a role to play. As consumers, we send messages to the market every single day. If we buy products that are bad for the environment, we condone a system that puts profits over the health of our planet, and ultimately, our own health and existence. But if we buy wisely and sustainably, we signal our opposition to this system, and encourage an economy that puts planet and people first.

At NU, we believe in individual action and encourage our followers to take incremental steps towards zero waste living. The whole purpose of NU is to make the zero waste lifestyle more accessible, and to create a platform for exchange. After one year and 4 months of NU, we are thrilled to see how the zero waste community has grown in our home town of Ottawa, and we are proud to be one of the hubs where this community gathers. What we see every day at the store is a diverse group of compassionate individuals who care about our planet and believe in making a difference, one reusable container at at time. It is heartwarming.

The zero waste lifestyle is more than just reducing your garbage to (ideally) a mason jar per year. It is a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity. The first question we ask ourselves as zero wasters before we buy a material good is: “do I really need this”. And if I do need it, how can I satisfy this need in the most sustainable way possible. We want to reinvent consumerism. Buy less, buy better, and save the planet.

Let’s do this together! Have a wonderful 2019.

Valerie and #TeamNU

*The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations, dedicated to providing the world with an objective, scientific view of climate change and its political and economic impacts.