Reducing our reliance on Single Use items has been a hot topic lately; driven by convenience, Health Department requirements and our fast paced lifestyles, it’s easy to understand why we use so many items in our lives that quickly go to the landfill or recycle depot.
A big part of our #BigMtnLife campaign was asking ourselves to ReThink our assumptions and routines. What value do these items bring to our lives? At what cost? Zero Waste might be a lofty goal for the hard core few, but us normal types can certainly aim to be more waste conscious.
My resolution for the business in 2019 is to support our customers with information of our products that take them from Lust to Dust. From the first moment you see something you think you want, to the moment that item is disposed of, our job is to do the research to help you make more waste conscious decisions in your home. As we go into the holiday season, I encourage you to consider your purchases in this light.
You want that. It’s shiny, it says you’ll be able to make the best dinner in no time flat! Sometimes, you want it because your friend gave a rave review. Sometimes, you want it because you saw a convincing video on a screen. Often, it’s the pictures on the box that appeal to you.
Packaging and shipping items around our planet has an environmental cost that is often ignored; ever wondered about so called “free shipping” when you received a small item in a large box?
Excessive and irresponsible marketing overwhelms us daily with messaging and has a social cost on our leisure time, especially youth.
This is the best time to ReThink! The questions suggested below might reveal hidden social and environmental costs and benefits to balance the economic cost of the price tag you see. Only you can make decisions for your household! I’ve included a few of our experiences with the products that but the questions could apply to anything.
- Why do you want the item? Is it reviewed by a friend you respect, or a stranger on the web? Or was it a splashy ad or box?
- We look for responsible companies who provide parts and good warranty support that we can provide in store; often when asked about a specific item that is popular online, we have an equivalent in store.
- Will it add joy to your life for a long time, or just a short moment?
- Textiles are not recyclable; if used often, it’s often cheaper to buy high quality towels and bedding rather than buying a new set of less comfortable fabrics each season.
- Will the convenience it provides save you time for more valuable endeavours? What is the trade off to that convenience, and is it worth it?
- While quick to cook and easy to clean, most non stick pans have a lifespan much shorter than stainless steel or cast iron, and the flavour of the final dish is often considerably different.
- Can it be fixed? Are there parts available to extend its life?
- We actively seek out companies that provide parts for high wear pieces; new cutting blades for blenders, gaskets for coffee makers, spare lids and knobs for cookware
- What type of business are you buying from; are they supporting your community and personal priorities, or would you be contributing to a CEOs third yacht?
- We give back to our community, and try to run a tight ship, as do many local businesses. #GiveStoke!
Only you can decide what decision is best for your home; if you don’t use a can opener very often, a cheaper model will last a long time and save you money. Freeing up time seems great, unless it lessens time spent with loved ones cooking in the kitchen.
I didn’t learn to cook alongside my grandma or mom; our meals were simple and often bought prepared and frozen to fit with busy lives. Now, some of my favourite quality time is in the kitchen sharing home made meals with friends.
- No matter how high the quality of something, eventually it will no longer be suitable for its intended purpose. What then?
Can it be repurposed for some other use?
- Broken stoneware can be used in the bottom of planters for drainage
- If it can’t be repurposed further, what is the disposal plan? Can it be composted or at least recycled, or will it head for the landfill?
- We help with metal recycling to make it more convenient; you can drop off old cookware and bakeware and we’ll bring it to the recycling pile at the dump for you.
Waste Conscious Lifestyles
A lot to think about, isn’t it? I hope that this gave some perspective on some of the hidden Social and Environmental costs of our purchases, as well as highlighted some of the benefits beyond a good price. Our lives are meant to be more fulfilling than just working harder to buy more stuff; the relationships we share and the time spent making memories is so much more important.
Shop wisely this season, my friends!