On April 1, I visited Main street which is a major north-south thoroughfare bisecting Vancouver. I chose to explore the area between avenues; 14th to 22nd. This is close to the area where we live in what’s known as the ‘Cambie corridor’.
It’s an up and coming edgy area, with many vintage clothing, recycled wares and gift stores. It also happened to be host that morning to the Spring Living Fair which celebrates Ethical Living. It was held at the Heritage Hall which is a landmark building at the corner of 15th and Main.
What a co-incidence that I run into this after I have just pledged to live more green? There were many local exhibitors with sustainable, carbon neutral, eco-friendly, green, fair trade and organic choices.
I enjoyed some delicious organic samples while learning about minimising waste. There are still 5 billion plastic bags being used in Canada per year. There is also a lot of waste thrown out still that could be recycled, however Metro Vancouver have taken great strides to reducing this. There was a smart stand promoting their Zerowaste Products which sell a variety of shopping and waste units which will enable residents to reduce the amount of plastic bags they use and separate waste in their homes. Products such as these are there to make us re-think what is recyclable and what can avoid making it to our landfill sites.
I have also learnt that since we moved in we are part of what is called a ‘Blue Box’ recycling program. It involves different coloured bags and a blue box for sorting their rubbish. This involves pulling apart everything you want to throw out into separate compartments including composting waste. It has been an enlightening step for our household to adopt this approach as it is self-serving exercise and we are becoming more committed and are more meticulous with recycling as each week goes by! One of our observations is the percentage of household waste which is compost is approximately 40% of our total waste. This is why sustainability should be visceral. This will not only reduce pollution, but will save energy and resources. It’s too easy!
It has started to make a real difference in our household. We are trying to buy only what we need and buy products with little or no packaging. We are also trying to buy products that we can re-use or buying items that can be re-filled.
A stop for some fair-trade coffee at a beautiful french bakery called ‘Coco Et Olive’ at 3707 Main Street was a peaceful place to digest all of this information. They serve large hot cups of cafe latte and it was complemented by one of their homemade vegetable muffins.
2. Second green action – CLEAR ALL PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES IN HOUSEHOLD and buy eco-friendly re-fillable ones.
Luckily there was a great store up the road on Main, between 21st and 22nd Ave called Front & Company, where I could shop my heart out with some gorgeous homewares including the eco-friendly bottles.