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A New Wave In Waste Free Consumption

“Zero waste could definitely be franchised; the trick is having smaller boutique stores pave the learning curve for big companies.” Remarked Dinsmore. Cassidy Dinsmore is the owner of the Daisy Market and Gather, two sustainable living stores in the Collingwood area. The Daisy Market is a lifestyle store and refillery for household products. Her goal is to provide customers with the products they need to reduce waste in their everyday lives. Gather follows similar values while creating a waste free grocery shopping experience of bulk goods and fresh produce.  

Dinsmore’s takes a holistic approach to sustainability and is guided by the principle that we must be able to maintain a way of life in both the short and long term without creating a negative impact on the planet. She then applies these values to consumerism when choosing vendors for her store. Dinsmore critiques each product on how it was made and how it will end up post consumption. However, she identifies two barriers while trying to reduce the waste of her store. The main barrier she faces when curating for the Daisy Market is that companies with similar values to hers fall short on their packaging. Producers are now starting to make the shift towards products that are free of chemicals and strive to be zero waste but then are ship their products wrapped in plastic. Dinsmore approaches this type of barrier with transparency in order to fuel conversation. When a mason jar pump arrives to her store in plastic packaging, she will put it on the floor that way with the hope that consumers will see what’s going on, acknowledge the problem then work towards finding a solution. Dinsmore’s second challenge is convincing people to move away from brands they are loyal to in order to try a new brand that is package free. This is where the learning curve comes in.  She claims that it’s about changing people’s ways and teaching people that zero waste and package free doesn’t mean no name. Switching to these brands means supporting something that is doing more than just fulfilling the need to maximize profit.

At the end of the day both Gather, and the Daisy Market are businesses and like everyone else Cassidy needs an income. So, I asked her about the financial aspects of choosing to run her stores the way she does. Unfortunately, the refillery aspect of the Daisy Markey does not pay the bills. Instead, it is her higher end skin care products that allow the refillery to work. However, this may be different if her store was in a large city rather than a small town. There is opportunity for a bigger margin as consumers are still looking for a cost-effective product. As a store owner it is less expensive for Cassidy to order a 20-litre container of shampoo rather than multiple 50 millilitre bottles. As a consumer, it is cheaper to buy a container once rather than paying for packaging every time their shampoo runs out. From which, you have probably deduced that shopping in a refillery style store both increases profit margin for a business owner and increases savings for the consumer. If this is the case, you may be wondering why larger firms are not jumping at the opportunity to shift towards waste free shopping. It could be the fact that such large-scale change may deter consumers out of convenience. Or possibly that higher end markets don’t bare the need to supply their target consumer with a cost-effective product. Either way, the Daisy Market and Gather are setting a great example for what sustainable shopping could look like in years to come if larger companies take the leap towards sustainability.

For more information on the Daisy Market and Gather check out their Instagram page @thedaisymarket and www.daisymarket.ca for more information. Their online store is in the works!

The Future of Data is Green!

Our future will be built on data. Of that there is no question. With this immutable destination in mind, it becomes incredibly important for us to realize the risks and benefits of our path we take as society progresses.

Data centres in the United States consume 2% of the electricity produced nation-wide. This seems shocking, yet it’s common knowledge that large information and technology corporations such as Google and Microsoft have massive warehouses full of computers optimized for data storage. Although it stands that these computers should be optimized for another factor: sustainability.

Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon have all pledged to run their data centres on sustainable energy, with Microsoft in fast pursuit. It’s this corporate responsibility and dedication to the environment which will set high industry standards that will only benefit our growing sustainable goals.

Click here to find out more!

Cape Town Is Running Out of Water!

Did you know the Cape Town is precariously close to running out of water! The second largest city in South Africa is experiencing the worst drought in recent decades. The city is working on mass water recycling programs to push back the current 100 days of water they have left.

Click here to find out more.

The Smartest Cities Are Green Cities

How do you convince 93% of your population to walk, bike, or take public transportation? You build a city that prioritizes energy conservation and clean energy generation. Check out this week’s Green Feed article to learn more about the innovative smart-city technologies that let the top green cities in the world lead the way to self sustaining urban life. Click here  to read more!

 

 

 

Cold War-Era Satellite Images Reveal Effects of Climate Change

“These spy images are a gold mine as a scientific reference point,”

Howie Epstein – Environmental Sciences Professor

During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union routinely spied on each other using high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft and space satellites. Looking for USSR military installations, the U.S. found mostly undeveloped, wild terrain.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the U.S. declassified tens of thousands of images. It occurred to University of Virginia environmental scientists that the imagery is a storehouse of information for better understanding how tundra regions are altering as a result of climate change.

Click Here for the full article.

Green Bonds Are Sustainable (In Every Way!)

Money and plant with hand with filter effect retro vintage style

Between 2015 and 2016, the total value of Green Bonds issued has doubled to $81 Billion! Given the fact that this value is expected to double yet again by the end of 2017, this marks what some are considering the beginning of a flourishing new asset class.

With the widespread adoption of environmental policies from countries worldwide, there is a mass amount of green infrastructure to be built in the coming years. Experts think that Green Bonds will be a pivotal tool for pushing this development through to completion. To read more about the Green Bond’s opportunity for social impact AND market yield, click here!

Minimalism: Reduce Before You Reuse

Most often when we discuss our ecological footprint, we like to talk about turning off lights before we leave the house, taking shorter showers, and washing clothes on a cold cycle. The fact is, there is an even greater conversation to be had. It’s not about how we USE the products and services around us, but our approach to ownership.

Enter Minimalism. A new lifestyle approach which focusses on REDUCING before we even have to reuse or recycle. People are buying 4 times as much clothing than they did 20 years ago. Whether fuelled by the fast fashion industry, or the ‘Apple consumer’ mindset of buying immediate device upgrades, Minimalism offers a lifestyle alternative which is known to increase personal happiness and our positive effect on the environment. You can read more about the relationship between Minimalism and the environment here!

Can Power Plants Reverse Air Pollution?

We’ve done it! The world finally has its first negative emissions power plant. This might seem like an oxymoron, but to the environmentally passionate team at Climeworks, it’s their job.

They’ve managed to modify a geothermal plant in Iceland, to not only generate power, but to remove carbon dioxide from the air around it. What’s more? They power their carbon capture technology through residual waste heat generated by the plant. You can read more here.

Coca-Cola Leads the Way In Renewable Packaged Goods

In Coca-Cola’s attempt to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, we can all look forward to the implementation of their PlantBottle. The product is made entirely of sugar-cane derived plastic, with the goal of using exclusively green packaging by 2020. Coca-Cola hopes to lead the packaged goods industry away from its dependence on non-renewably sourced plastic.

Their comments: “It hasn’t been an easy task, but it shows our commitment to doing the right thing int he right way.”

You can read more here.

Fisheries On Demand: The Future of Aquaculture

Last year the United States of America consumed 4.8 billion pounds of seafood, 50% of which is supported by fish farms. A method of fishing consisting of isolating a ‘pen’ of water to securely harvest fish from. What’s the problem with this? In addition to the societal overconsumption of fish, fish farms are stationary. This means that the pens are trapped within the produced waste of millions of fish. This often leads to disease, and the complete desertification and destruction of nearby ecosystems from increased toxicity.

Cue an innovative solution: InnovaSea is attempting to create free-floating domes which will seemingly solve the problem. What’s more? Not only will these pods ensure that the produced waste is distributed across the ocean safely and effectively, but these pods will actually utilize ocean currents to DELIVER matured fish to shipping ports across the world.

To see the effects of a collaboration between innovation, business and nature the following video goes into amazing details about the Aquapod A3600.  And as always, feel free to read more at this link.