The latest from the Cove...
Sent this to IKEA today...cuz I like the Ocean.
I appreciate your conversation regarding "Zero Waste" and the importance of a "Circular Economy." These are some inspiring quotes I've just pulled from your website:
"Imagine a zero-waste world." - IKEA
"Rather than thinking cradle to grave, we need to think cradle to cradle."
-Anna Granath, Product Developer, IKEA of Sweden
”What we do has a big impact on the environment because IKEA works with large quantities." -IKEA
I'm working on a plastic free initiative in my small seaside community in Canada, beginning with eliminating plastic straws. As you know - plastic, in particular single-use plastic packaging, is killing our planet.
A friend forwarded me your April 22-30 Sustainability Challenge and I thought, "what a great opportunity for IKEA to walk the walk and immediately and permanently cease the production, marketing and sale of single-use plastic straws. I don't know if IKEA uses plastic straws in the in-store food environment, but if so, there are alternatives (like paper straws, available only by customer request) that could easily be substituted. Perhaps you already do this, if so, high five!
Straws cannot be recycled in most of Canada (and the rest of the world.) They will be sent to landfill and many will end up in the ocean.
I don't have to tell you that plastics are killing the ocean. Or that sea animals are mistaking plastic for food, filling their stomachs with it, and dying of starvation. Or that micro plastics are entering the human food stream.
I'm fighting for a plastic free community. Seeing a large corporation like IKEA selling single-use plastic straws (which very purpose is to be used for a few minutes and discarded), is appalling. It makes my job harder and it's already hard enough to change human behaviour.
Ikea sells "SODA" Polypropylene plastic straws for $1.49 CAD for 200 straws and "SÖTVATTEN" (which are apparently "new" ?) Polypropylene plastic straws for $1.99 CAD for 100 straws.
Surely the life of a sea animal (and the survival of our planet) is worth more than 0.00745 cents (the retail price for one "SODA" straw)?
IKEA could upcycle the worldwide stock of IKEA plastic straws into something far more sustainable. We must move away from single-use plastic products with a great sense of urgency.
Thank you and I look forward to your reply.
June 8, 2018: As part of IKEA’s global commitment to people and the planet, the company will eliminate all single-use plastic products from its home furnishing range globally by January 1, 2020. This includes straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, garbage bags and plastic-coated paper plates and cups.
IKEA Group will also phase out single-use plastic items offered in customer and co-worker restaurants, bistros, and cafes, including straws, cups, cutlery, plates and beverage stirrers. These changes will also take effect by the end of 2019 across its 29 retail markets, including all IKEA Canada locations.
This was a recent bridal bouquet for a casual pub-style wedding in Vancouver. In lieu of gifts, the couple asked for donations to the MS Society and Callanish. How rad is that?! Giving back (and making people smile) is what makes playing with flowers meaningful. Flowers that Empower is our way of spreading the love and for every event, we donate to an important cause. xox
My life changed in November 2016 after hearing Tsleil-Waututh elder, Amy George speak at a rally in Vancouver. I'm sure there were other amazing speakers that day, but I was sobbing too hard to hear them. Amy spoke of the devastation in the Tar Sands and how her mission was to speak for all the innocent sea life and animals who have no voice and are under threat of extinction due to dirty politics and corporate greed. How Indigenous people's communities have been decimated and how people are dying from the effects of extraction. When the Kinder Morgan expansion was announced, Ta'ah (Grandma) simply told her people to "Warrior Up." And they have. Again and again and again. The People of the Inlet have been leaders in climate justice for tens of thousands of years and continue to lead today.
The biggest threat facing humanity is climate change. Surely we can all find some common ground there? If that becomes our baseline, all decisions have to be made with Momma Earth first. That's why building a new pipeline in 2018 seems insane. Does it really matter how many zeros you have in the bank if there's no planet?
The science is real and it's real scary. Change can't happen someday, it has to happen this day. As in right now.
And what about fresh air, the sound of a owl, healthy oceans and clean drinking water? What changes are we collectively willing to make to ensure their survival?
Starting on a itsy-bitsy local scale, a group of fellow merchants along with Oceans Ambassadors Canada are trying to change behaviour on one tiny street.
The amount of waste (particularly plastic waste) we create as a tiny community is unacceptable. Big lightbulb moment when you realize that waste doesn't ever really go "away." Recycling is a bit of myth and very little plastic is ever actually recycled. That means it's destined for the oceans where by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish by weight.
I believe we can do better. I'm changing and I'm asking my fellow merchants to change. I'm also asking my community and our guests to change. Bring your own containers for take-out or leftovers and your own mugs for coffee. Refuse single-use packaging, ask more questions, demand change from local businesses and support them when they do change by giving them a thumbs up or a hug. Let's be the Lower Mainland's first Zero Waste Community.
We all complain of traffic (present company included), but aren't walking, biking, or taking transit enough. Let's advocate for (and use) clean, renewable options to move in and out of the Cove so more people who live, work and visit can enjoy the ocean and the trees rather than the sound of horns, smell of exhaust and game of frogger trying to cross the street. With Greater Vancouver's population set to increase by 1.2 million people by 2040, we have to find new ways for people to move throughout the Lower Mainland. We can start that change here, on a tiny scale. I'm committed to taking transit somewhere every week and I'm lucky to walk to work already. Wanna be my bus buddy?! Norway is leading the world in Electric Ferry Technology. How RAD would it be to use our waterways to move people instead of oil? What if Canada led the world in fossil-fuel free shipbuilding?
Deep Cove's stunning nature can directly inspire more people to take better care of the planet. It's meant to be shared and we have an amazing opportunity to connect the preservation of that spectacular environment to changing individual behaviour. If we want X, stop doing Y. That sort of thing...
Thanks to everyone who's learning, changing and fighting for Momma Earth...and for supporting me and my little biz as we attempt to navigate these crazy ass times. xox
I'm very fortunate that I don't have to worry where my next meal is coming from or where I'm going to sleep at night. Because I'm in a position to consume things that go well beyond basic necessities, the very least I can do is to use my position to make the most responsible and ethical choices.
I abhor mindless, excessive consumption. And I wonder, "Am I the only one who got the memo about climate change, human rights violations, innocent sea life being drowned out by the increase in freighter traffic, etc., etc., etc.???"
This isn't information that only a few folks have access to. It's simply about being willing to listen, learn and to have your beliefs challenged.
The world is crying out for our help and I want to be a part of the solution. It's been a challenge to figure out how I fit in a business model that is based on consumption.
What I know is that I can be better. And I'm not alone in wanting to do more to help save our home (aka earth). The amazing women I'm lucky to work with (from my lovely shop team to the talented makers and artists we represent) - want to be better too. From rethinking the materials we use, to eliminating plastic packaging to analyzing the lifecycle of every product we sell. We're committed to looking closer. The more the merrier! I hope you'll join us. xox
Join the merchants of Deep Cove as we raise funds for The Greater Vancouver Food Bank and kick-off the holiday season. Each business is doing its own thing, but we'll have treats and bubbles and lots of good cheer at Room6. Cash goes further than cans for the food bank, so cash donations of any amount are appreciated! This is a family friendly evening, everyone is welcome. Hope to see you in the Cove! xox
Hope y'all had great summers and are happily settling into Fall. I love the change of seasons and after a frenetic summer in the Cove, I've been longing for quieter days.
Between the craziness in the world and the craziness in the Cove, I took a step back and decided to make some big changes recently and I'd I thought I'd update anyone who's interested!
In February, I launched a not-for-profit called The Hellebore Society. I feel very strongly that we all need to step up and speak out for people & the planet...and just generally be better global citizens. That means recognizing our privilege, educating ourselves (and others) and talking about difficult subjects that really matter. It means less time swiping and more time marching. Thanks to local artists Olivia Harrison and Maggie Boyd for their efforts on behalf of rescue.org and 350.org respectively. You can buy THS t-shirts (100% proceeds donated to the IRC and 350.org) here.
In May of this year, Rich and I sold A'hoy back to our original business partners. Running three shops was sorta crazy (who knew?!) - it's all good and we're happy to have A'hoy as our neighbour now. Thank you to everyone who supported us with that venture from the beginning.
Rich and I took over ownership of Sunnyside in May too, with the idea that it would evolve as a business. We weren't sure exactly what that evolution would look like, but we knew some big changes were ahead. On October 6, we're closing Sunnyside so we can dig in and get a move on other projects.
I'd like to thank the talented artists & makers that made our shelves so beautiful, our customers for supporting our small business and our staff for their dedication and hard work.
We're moving many of the Sunnyside collections you (and we!) love back to Room6. Plants and flowers will finally get to hang together in one space and soon we're going to have flowers and plants all the days, not just Fridays.
We're saying yes to styling and floral design projects. Need a comedy/florist duo? Krista and I have been refining our act and Sabby dreams of delivering flowers on her bike.
We'll have a dedicated crew on our web shop too! Thank you, thank you for all your patience with our infrequently updated website.
We're launching an all-new, in-house collection of soaps, candles, organic teas, linens and more (hopefully in time for the holidays, but no promises on that timeline haha...). Many of these ideas and products have been in the making for over a decade, and I'm really excited to bring this new brand to life.
The most exciting part of this evolution is bringing our talented, capable and kind shop team together in one space. I'd be nowhere without my crew and who wouldn't want to work with mermaids!? Also, have you been to Deep Cove in the summer? It takes me like, 10 minutes to cross the street and I was never very good at Frogger.
So here we are, back to one little shop and I couldn't be more excited.
Thanks so much for your continued support, I wouldn't be here without ya!
Y'all know I love me a reno! About three years ago, we did the "big one" at Room6 but there was one wall that I'd never finished. It was midnight before we were scheduled to open the next day (which was already delayed) and I literally threw some crates up on the wall fully acknowledging I'd been defeated by my ridiculous timeline and poor planning.
Three years later (+/-) and voila! Thanks to Deep Cove's, Brett (@brettreikertdesign) for making it happen.
In other news, I'm taking a woodworking course this Fall so I can figure out all the tools Rich is hoarding in our basement.