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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Windsor, Ontario, Canada

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Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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Carly77



Registered: November 2018
Posts: 1
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I had never given much thought to the environment until last fall, when I began working part time at a retail store. This job opened my eyes to the astonishing amount of waste created in North America, from the hundreds of plastic bags I used each shift as a cashier to the returned products that were tossed directly in the trash. I began to really think about our culture of convenience and disposability, and about what really happens to the things that we throw away. My interest in the environment only increased when I spent 10 days on a service trip in Kenya in March; the simplicity of their possessions and their connection with nature were a stark contrast to what I was used to in Canada. I learned that Canadians produce the most garbage per capita of any country - an astonishing 2.7 kilograms per person each day, and I knew I had to do something about it.
When I returned home, I began to make changes to my daily habits, like switching from bottled soap to bars and bringing my own coffee in a reusable mug. However, even though small changes are an important step, I still felt that there was much more I could do. As a result, I decided to encourage others to be more sustainable by using my small business as an outlet for environmental change.
I started my handmade sewing business, Completely Carly, in 2013. I sew a variety of products and sell them at various craft shows and markets as well as in a local store. Social responsibility has always been a part of my business, as I donate 25% of sales to charity, but I decided to expand this and include a new line of products to help people make environmentally friendly choices. This line consists of three products: reusable cotton produce bags, to eliminate the need for plastic bags while grocery shopping; reusable cotton rounds, which are used for makeup application and removal and replace single use options; and utensil pouches, to encourage people to bring reusable utensils instead of single-use plastic cutlery.
Since launching these products in late September, I have sold over 120 of these items, and their addition to my product line has opened the door for countless conversations about the importance of environmental responsibility. Not only do these items provide sustainable alternatives to items that would regularly end up in the garbage and encourage members of my community to think more critically about the waste they create, 25% of the total sales from these items are donated to Rainforest Alliance in order to create global change as well. So far, I have been able to donate over $350, which will go towards protecting areas at risk of deforestation and educating indigenous and forest communities about sustainable forestry practices.
This project has really helped me consider the impact that the actions of myself and those around me can have on the environment, and has motivated me to try to live a simpler and more meaningful life. As a current first year engineering student in university, I plan to go into civil and environmental engineering in order to continue working towards a more sustainable planet.
Date: December 24, 2018 Views: 142 File size: 21.4kb, 1743.9kb : 2800 x 2800
Hours Volunteered: 100
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18
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