I’m rounding out the Earth Week content with a themed obsessions post! From drag-tivism to my favourite shops in Ontario to access low waste products – these are a few of my favourite things.
Instagram Obsession: @Pattiegonia
I adore Pattie Gonia and Wyn Wiley equally. They raise such awareness for outdoors-people who don’t look like “hiking white” people and I think really bring an intersectional lens to environmentalism is such a fun way. I also think it reaches the “drag brunch” crowd in a way that most environmentalists are not able to. Also they’re ginger so we absolutely must stan.
Instagram Obsession 2: @gocleanco
Now this might seem like a weird one for this week because she is not an environmentalist, she is not a low waste blogger, and there is definitely plastic all over her page. However, one of her lines that really strikes me every time she says it, is “Your stuff isn’t wrecked, it just needs cleaned”. And if that isn’t an environmentalist’s attitude I don’t know what it. We don’t always need to be consuming, consuming, consuming. That’s why the first R is reduce. If we take care of our stuff it will last forever (well not forever because there is still planned obsolescence and wear and tear but you get it). Also the houses her team cleans! It is truly disgusting and so satisfying to watch.
So I think I put this in either a Mid-Week Procrastination or an Obsession post a couple weeks ago but I am adoring this show. It’s very Planet Earth, but with Will Smith instead of David Attenborough. On Instagram @KatieSturino says that it’s impossible to talk about nature without sounding high, even if you have never smoked or don’t smoke or do any kind of drugs. That’s the energy this has, I think it is just solely the lack of a British accent. Like if everyone who talked about nature sounded super posh then we wouldn’t sound like a stoner, but all North Americans who talk passionately about how cool nature is sound like hippie stoners. I don’t make the rules, that’s just the way it is.
So I have always known that I would be the kind of person who would really enjoy the Ologies Podcast. It’s the generalist energy in me. HOWEVER, I did not understand how much I would enjoy the Ologies podcast. It has that energy of that TikTok Hank Green did where he went off about how people say that scientists don’t want us to know and he’s like NO, literally the only thing they want to do is talk to you about their research. Well everybody on Ologies is like “This is my chance” and is so passionate about their work and just. It’s very similar energy to Getting Curious with JVN. Love it.
My favourite low-waste stores across Ontario:
The Pale Blue Dot and The Cave in Hamilton, Ontario
I adore this place, it was I think the very first physical low-waste store I ever went to. It’s so lovely and homey and cozy and I love that they also have this really beautiful, curated vintage and antique furniture section in the basement (The Cave), it is just so thoughtful and feels so homey.
The Stone Store, Guelph, Ontario
It makes so much sense to me (and I think anyone who has spent a decent amount of time in Guelph) that the city has had a store like this for 50 years. It is definitely a little pricey, and their focus is more on food and supplements than Zero Waste options, but if I was ever looking for something and didn’t have time or a vehicle to get to Hamilton or Waterloo, there is a good chance The Stone Store had something similar to what I was looking for, and excellent package-free backed goods!
Zero Waste Bulk, Waterloo, Ontario
I will never forget how excited I was to learn that this place was opening. Waterloo is super close to Guelph, but it opened pretty shortly before I left Guelph so I didn’t get there that much. But it is the closest thing I have seen in Canada to those images you see of completely package-free grocery stores from Nordic countries or America. It is so beautiful and the owners are so kind (it’s also right next door to an amazing spin studio and there is a fabulous coffee shop down the street, so make a day of it!).
Unboxed Market, Toronto, Ontario
Unboxed Market is one of the original stores in Ontario. I think it may have been the very first zero waste grocery store? I’ve only been to it once, the first weekend that Kind Matter Co. was open literally 2 blocks away from me in Oakville and I was meeting a friend in Toronto and picked a coffee shop nearby specifically so I could go here. I was slightly overwhelmed by it, it had so much and was so crowded but it was beautiful. The prepared foods section was especially exciting to me because I had never seen anything like that in a low waste store before. If you live nearby you have to check this place out.
And lastly, Kind Matter Co. I was so lucky to live close to this place, it really made refills of cleaning products and ody care so much more accessible and a part of my routine. It also really opened my eyes to how much a physical store being in the community could change people’s thoughts of the sustainability practices I was promoting. In the time it opened I saw so many people I worked with using more and more things from the store. Now that obviously coincides with increased awareness of the climate crisis and such, but still, it was cool to see how items being easily accessible could create change. Also, if you are at the Oakville location I cannot recommend stopping at Kerr Street Cafe for brunch or lunch. Get the Soul Dark Mocha if you can, for me?
Have a great weekend and spend some time outside appreciating everything we have this weekend!