This year is all about reducing your waste and being part of the change. To help you reach these goals, amazing businesses are responding to your demand for change. Popping up around our city or at your front door is nudemarket. They are leading the charge in zero-waste shopping in Calgary! Be sure to visit them online or at their next market.
Name of company: nudemarket
Location: Pop-Up at Farmers Market and Events
Social media accounts: FB/nudemarket IG: @nudemarket.yyc
Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself, your products and how your company came about?
My name is Margaret Taylor, I founded nudemarket in the Spring of 2018 to make it easier for consumers to make environmentally-friendly household choices. I found that trying to live plastic free was next to impossible, and I felt like I was negating any positive impact with the extra carbon footprint from all the different trips I was taking in my car. Not to mention the time I was wasting.
What is your biggest driver for being sustainable?
My children are my biggest driver. Through starting up nudemarket, I have been able to have a positive impact on my children by making them aware of issues surrounding plastic and the environment. My mission for them is to instill the habits and values at a young age so that they can carry these values with them for the rest of their lives. Then they won’t have to struggle as much as our generation does. Less wasteful choices will be easier to make with much less sacrifice.
How would you differentiate your products from other sustainable alternatives? What sets them apart?
While there are sustainable and eco-friendly products out there, most of them are in single use packaging or are still single use in and of themselves. Even though they are likely to be compostable, biodegradable and plastic free, we encourage a shift towards using sustainable products and packaging that can be used more than once or can be refilled. We encourage our customers to return jars and other containers and we refill them inhouse.
We also prioritize 1) Calgary-made products and 2) Canadian-made products whenever possible because we believe that it is important to support local businesses. We especially love working with newer companies like ourselves because we get the opportunity to influence their business for increased sustainability while they are still small enough to easily make changes.
What are the biggest sustainability challenges you face personally and professionally?
Personally, having to drive to multiple locations to get what I need for my family and our home. It is taxing not only on my carbon footprint, but also my time. Another challenge is the stores I go to not being able to accommodate plastic free alternatives even when I am able to bring in my own containers.
Professionally, in terms of the supply chain, it is difficult to obtain some aspects of sustainability because it is difficult to scale. This is the case for many new businesses that are taking on the circular economy business model.
What is one thing you have done at your company to drive sustainability that other businesses could replicate as best practice?
Nudemarket has some exciting things going on and as we continue to grow, we hope to be able to influence the whole process from the supply chain to the consumer. As of right now, we have the power to say no to suppliers if they are unable to deliver products in a way that aligns with our mission at nudemarket. Saying no creates conversation and helps business see things from a different perspective.
What have you done outside of work to live a more sustainable life?
It is all in the way that I shop. What I buy and who I buy it from is very important to me. I try to shop locally when it comes to produce, I buy my meat from a local butcher, and I have had to learn to say no to some things that can’t be found not packaged in plastic. Cutting out convenience foods is hard, but in the end as a family we eat healthier and save money as well.
Which sustainable action or change you’ve made in your life are you most proud of?
I am proud of the products I have learned to make at home instead of buying them. I don’t spend a cent on cleaning products and when the girls were babies, I made baby wipes and skincare to keep them soft in the dry Calgary winters.
What is your “guilty” habit that just isn’t very sustainable? How do you plan to change it if you could?
Seaweed. My family loves seaweed which come in those little seaweed packages. So, in terms of plastic packaging, it is bad. I guess we need to find a more sustainable packaged seaweed, because I think it is such a good snack for kids! Other guilty pleasures come twice a year on our summer road trips when we stop for a Tim Hortons Steeped Tea. And then there are those times that I get hungry and I am not at home and I get convenience food because I am just too hungry to wait
In one phrase, what does sustainability mean to you?
Creating long term solutions.
Can you provide three top tips for others trying to lead more sustainable lives and reduce their waste?
1. Take one step at a time – I recommend introducing one new habit every three weeks. That is about how long it takes to create a successful habit. And you don’t want to overload yourself or you might find it too hard and give up. I think of it in the same way as I started introducing my children to food. I introduced one type of food at a time to make sure they didn’t have a negative reaction, and slowly but surely they were eating a huge variety of foods.
2. Actively refuse a specific product that you can’t find unpackaged. Make it vocal to the store you get it at. That is a way to help build awareness. This may mean you can only get certain fruits or vegetables while they are in season.
3. Getting used to carrying a kit around with you with a reusable container, cutlery and beverage container. It will help you in those moments if you need to get food or something to drink while on the go so that you can avoid the waste that tends to come along with the convenience.
Which businesses besides your wonderful company would you recommend to help people reduce their waste?
I recommend the Dandelion Café in Inglewood. They opened in September of 2018 and have a great initiative. They are building a to-go container donation bin for people who want to get food to go. You can borrow a container and avoid using a single use one. All you must do is pay a deposit which you get back when you return the container to the bin! Their entire menu is delicious and vegan – AND they have many gluten free options which is a big one for me.
We are so pleased to have nudemarket as a partner. nudemarket has supported Plastic-Free YYC with generous funding opportunities since they opened!