As a student over the past few years, I was volunteering for The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, "a national conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada that provides Canadians the opportunity to take action in their communities wherever water meets land, one bit of trash at a time."
It started out as a way to donate my time and impact my community in a positive manner because I felt I was unable to make valuable changes in other aspects of my life. However, what I saw impacted me so heavily, it became the inspiration I needed to take the leap of faith and start the change with myself.
We all know that it's happening on a regular basis and that litter and garbage are a real problem - but many of us adopt the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality, something I was guilty of myself. On many of our outings, I collected tens of garbage bags of trash our fellow companions failed to dispose of in a responsible manner, and at one point, I'd had enough.
Animal and insect carcasses falling out of plastic bags as I scooped them up were the final straw - and let's not get started on the topic of straws! I can understand children and their need for straws, but can we all agree that fully functioning adults do not need them - at all!
I realized change started with myself, and though I'd switched from plastic bags to reusable alternatives years ago, I knew I could do more and help others be the change we wish to see. I started making more conscious decisions, choosing products and companies that promoted sustainable practices and offered low carbon footprint alternatives for day-to-day needs. It was the most fulfilling change I have made in my life, and those who know me know that the saying "change is the only constant in life" certainly applies to me.
What I found was that when I tried to make the switch, it was harder than I anticipated. The destructive industries of disposable convenience products are so lucrative that they have successfully destroyed a large portion of their sustainable competition, or under cut them enough to starve them out of the market. Those decisions I began to make involved researching a plethora of alternatives, and even when I found these alternatives, there was no easy way to buy them locally. I had to order from international providers and wait months to receive the product, an obvious barrier. This prompted me to provide others with an easy alternative to make the right decisions and was the genesis of what you now know as Conscious Convenience.