Canadians searching for eco-friendly businesses, items and advice have one fantastic resource at their fingertips, thanks to Candice Batista, an environmental journalist and founder of The Eco Hub. Batista uses her online-based business as a zero-waste, plastic-free lifestyle and news publication and brand directory and blog. Brands listed on the site are primarily Canadian, meaning that purchases not only support national businesses but, in many cases, allow you to reduce shipping distances and carbon pollution.
For those of us who have been struggling to make a move to zero-waste due to limited local shops or products created with that ethos, The Eco Hub is a complete game-changer. Here’s what Batista had to say about plastic, COVID, and life in business when Mandy Gardner arranged an interview.
First, what compelled you to compile your eco-friendly directory and support the blog in the first place?
When I started living more mindfully 20 years ago, it was hard to find and seek out brands aligned with my values. There was and is much greenwashing in this space, making it difficult to know whom to trust. I wanted to give my readers a place that they can trust, where they don’t have to spend hours online trying to find brands and products that are more sustainable. I have done all of the work for [them.] I’ve worked with many of the featured brands, some of them I have known for years, and we’ve developed deep long-lasting relationships.
Have you found that more Canadians are searching for ways to reduce plastic and other waste since the onset of COVID-19?
Yes, but we still have a long way to go! I see a lot of complacency and indifference, and I get it—living a more eco-friendly life takes time and effort. Many of the things I have imported over the years have taken time and energy and society is not set up to help. The plastic lobby is doing a great job at keeping Canadians in the dark about just how bad it is. Right now, thanks to COVID, many of us are using more plastic than we want. Most places still do not allow you to bring your bags or containers. This poses a real issue for people like me. I have to find other ways to reuse the plastic that is ending up in my home.
What challenges do traditional businesses face that stops them from shipping and creating products without waste, and how have eco-friendly companies overcome those challenges?
This is a massive question! We live in a linear economy, and to move to a circular economy, we’d need huge incentives from businesses and the government. It means changing the entire way we do business, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Having said that, though, I have seen so many small businesses move towards more sustainable manufacturing, and that gives me hope. Companies can choose to ship goods in compostable mailers, for example, or decide to shop with no plastic at all. But ultimately, we need to see a shift in how we as a society consume products. Overconsumption and the complete disregard for the planet, plus the people who make the items we buy, are at the root of the issue.
What do you hope to see a change in shopping and meeting our basic needs as humans in the near future?
We need to start thinking about how we use and dispose of items. We can recycle our way out of these issues. We need to re-evaluate how we make items and think before we buy. Every item I buy, I think, what am I going to do with this at the end of its life?
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Author: Mandy Gardner, Content Writer, Toronto, Canada. If you have any stories or comments to share kindly email: –email@example.com