I was walking up and down Abbott St in Vancouver looking for number 221. At least 5 times up and down, and I was late which I didn’t want to be, and my stomach felt a bit weird too. And then I finally saw it: The Capilano Tea House. I rushed over the street, into the Tea House and saw Alison already sitting there, looking great: long blond hair, a young woman who’s going to make the world a better place. In Vancouver.
We said Hi, I needed a tea first, I was really kind of nervous. So then we sat down, sipped our delicious teas and I wanted to ask her a million questions.
Alison is part of the team that is working hard on opening Vancouver’s first Zero Waste Market. Brianne Miller is the founder and I had hoped to meet her too but unfortunately she had travel plans already. The other team members are Paula (co-founder), Aly (video grapher), and here I was sitting with Alison.
Alison got into Zero Waste via her Environmentalism and Sustainability studies. ‘I find it very interesting where the waste streams go, one of the four incinerators or the landfill. Many people have no idea what happens with their trash.‘ She had met Brianne who was working on opening the first Zero Waste Market in Vancouver and Alison found this to be so inspiringthat she applied for a position, worked as an intern for a while and is now a full time part of the team.
I can see it sparkling in Alison’s eyes when she talks about Zero Waste and I ask her: ‘What’s fun about Zero Waste for you?‘.
She said, ‘Finding new businesses, that are already working towards Zero Waste but have no idea that this is a term or there is a whole movement behind it. They have a light bulb moment and get totally excited when they find out that it’s not a niche thing.‘
Aaand, what’s the plan with the store?
‘We’re going to have around 200 bulk bins with dry goods and will also have liquids including cleaning supplies and body care. Long term we want to have meat and dairy too and also vegan cheeses. We’ll start with distributors but will over time phase them out and go as local as possible.‘
‘We’re currently negotiating the lease in the neighborhood Kitsilano. Would be perfect if that works out. We’re hoping to be able to open the store by the end of the year, that would be amazing. Until then we’re doing pop up shops.‘
I wanted to know how Vancouver in general is for a Zero Waster.
‘It’s totally possible to live Zero Waste here. You will find your resources, there are different options, or you might go without. There is a Zero Waste Club here that meets in person. They have a master recycler background. And there is the facebook group Zero Waste Vancouver, which is really helpful too.‘
We also talked about the wonderful Bloggers that are in the area: Celia with litterless.co and Katelin and Tara with paredownhome.com. And rumors are that Shia with wastelandrebel.com might move to Vancouver too.
By the end of our tea I was so excited about the store, the wonderful Zero Waste Movement and that I have met Alison, a truely wonderful person, on my journey.
I’m crossing my fingers that everything works out perfectly for the Zero Waste Market team, and the Zero Waste community in Vancouver.
To find out about the pop up shops sign up for their newsletter on www.zerowastemarket.ca or get involved in the facebook group. And check out Alison on Instagram for some inspiration too!