As the snow recedes and we welcome the colour green back into our lives once again, April feels like the perfect month to celebrate Earth Day—and in Westboro, green is a big deal!
In addition to being one of Ottawa’s most walkable neighbourhoods, synonymous with residents who do most of their shopping locally, Westboro boasts a variety of businesses whose whole business models revolve around being eco-conscious. Even before the 2012 arrival of MEC’s new sustainably-designed flagship store, neighbourhood businesses have been incorporating eco-friendly practices long before it was on-trend.
In honour of Earth Day 2018, we took a look at four local businesses whose whole ethos is eco-friendly!
Boomerang Kids-Westboro is all about making it easy to make smart choices when parents shop for their kids. Most of the store’s inventory is consigned by families in the local community. They also help the planet through reuse and recycling. All unsold items are donated to local not-for-profit charities in the greater Westboro area. “We are all about being eco-friendly, not just with the items we sell, but also with the activities we do,” says store owner Janet Ferreira:
“Last year for Earth Day we planted ‘pollen’ flowers, from seeds, in the store. It was a great activity for kids. We have also given out tree seedlings, as gifts, to celebrate our store’s anniversary. We reuse and recycle plastic bags, and we only offer recycled paper bags to customers for sale. Anything to reduce our carbon footprint!”
Rikochet is another consignment store, with a difference—while everyone can agree that perfectly good clothing going straight to the landfill is crummy, there is something even more offensive about vintage designer fashion sitting unappreciated in a trash heap (or is it o-Fendi-sive?)
Rikochet helps Chanel waste away from landfills, and they’ll Give(nchy) you 40% of the value of the sale: just one more reason to Cartier vintage clothes in! Its also a great way to outfit yourself in gorgeous vintage fashion and save. Your partner will say “I’m so Prada you for saving so much of Armani.”
There’s no shortage of ways to green-ify your life at Bushtukah. You can buy a bike and commit to using your car less, or you can go full-out and buy all the camping gear you need to live completely off-grid! Joking aside, cycling is becoming an increasingly viable option in Ottawa. In addition to having a great cycling infrastructure (complete with extensive bike paths and free-to-use tool stations) committing to biking to work once or twice a week is a great way to stay active!
Numerous studies show that daily exercise can reduce stress, alleviate symptoms of depression, improve sleep, and reduce anxiety. Furthermore, exercising outdoors – both in urban and rural contexts – has been proven to boost self-confidence and improve overall mood. Thousands of Ottawans take to the streets every May for Bike to Work month. Is this the year you make the change?
Buying used or second hand isn’t the only way you can embrace eco-fashion: Canopy is one of Ottawa’s leading retailers for sustainable style. Canopy is focused not only on ethically and ecologically sourced apparel, they also take pride in retailing only goods that meet their criteria for durability and quality, lending additional functionality over and above aesthetic appeal.
The focus on quality extends to Canopy’s reputation for customer service which has earned them a loyal clientele of repeat customers. Providing durable fashions tailored to the shoppers style is probably the savviest way to keep clothes out of the landfill—people don’t throw out things that they love to wear!