On the Bright Side
Author: Nathalie Dulong
As I started to get overwhelmed and sick of all of this negativity, I thought it was about time someone put together a list of the good news—that is, the awesome sustainability themed projects and initiatives going on in Toronto. I hope this puts a smile on your face and motivates you to keep up the good fight; it did for me!
Fresh Fashion Library
First on the list is the Fresh Fashion Library; Toronto’s first wardrobe sharing service. It allows you to rent stylish and affordable clothes for up to 7 days, which means you don’t have to break the bank, clutter your closet, or harm the environment for that perfect outfit. The folks behind the Library are promoting a minimalist lifestyle by reminding us that sometimes access is better than ownership.
Support for Ontario Farmers
The Harvest Kitchen and Café Belong are setting a new industry standard in CSR by supporting local Ontario farmers and taking things beyond waste reduction, to remind us about the connections throughout the entire supply chain. Not only will these restaurants provide you with a healthy and delicious meal, but also one that is ethically sourced.
The City of Toronto Tackles Its Sustainability Goals
The City of Toronto has a goal to become one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world, and we are seeing this in the policies that they are implementing for citizens and business alike. For example, the Independent Electricity Systems Operator, which manages the power system in real-time and ultimately allows us to plan for Ontario’s future energy needs, is enabling a more efficient electricity marketplace. In addition the Demand Response Program, which pays participants to reduce electricity use at periods of peak demand, and the requirement that all City buildings install renewable energy systems by 2020 are also pushing the cities sustainability track record forward.
Feed It Forward
Feed It Forward is Toronto’s first “pay-what-you-can” grocery store, bakery and coffee shop. The initiative began as Feed Families – with one freezer, on one street, filled with frozen healthy meals for 10 families. This one freezer quickly became seven freezers, and within one-year a team of volunteers were serving hot, nutritious meals on the streets of Toronto every Monday.
To date, Feed It Forward has served nearly 40,000 meals and saved over 67,000 pounds of food from ending up in landfills. It is located in the Toronto Junction area, so go check it out! And if this makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, they’re constantly looking for volunteers to help out as well!
Brian Philips, owner and founder of the worldSALON has created an urban eco-haven for hair care. I walk by this salon now every day on my way to work, and it is a constant reminder that entrepreneurship and environmental stewardship can go hand in hand. Brian has won multiple awards for his outstanding work in sustainable business, is the only salon in Canada that heats their water with solar power and is part of the green circle salons, which focuses on recycling and repurposing the hair, products, and materials found in salons.
It's The Small Wins
The best part about this list, is that a lot of these initiatives can help you shift to a more sustainable lifestyle. No matter what products you are looking for or what you are trying to accomplish, there are so many options right outside your front door.
On that note, if you’re feeling down, like I was from all the bad news, I propose that you focus on the small wins too. Even if all you do is choose to buy the less aesthetically pleasing fruit at the grocery store, reduce your meat consumption or remember to turn off all of the lights the next time you leave the house, remember that change starts with small, personal actions. When you start to realize this, you’ll realize there is good, local news happening around you every day.
About the Author: Nathalie Dulong is a BBA graduate, citizen of the world and lover of all things mother nature has to offer. She is excited to be collaborating with Bare Market as she’s a big proponent of package-free, local products and the zero waste lifestyle. She is excited by the incredible people she’s met– including staff, volunteers and customers–while working with Bare Market and is excited to keep bringing awareness to this environmental movement!