Plastic-Free People: Brittney Wynnyk

Did you know that Plastic-Free YYC is operated by a group of dedicated and passionate volunteers?! This team uses their unique, personal talents and their spare time to promote plastic-free living in Calgary! We asked our team to answer some fun questions so you, our audience, can see the real faces of PFYYC…

Introducing, Brittney. As an enthusiastic environmentalist and brand-new Calgarian, this Events & Community Engagement Coordinator is ready to stir up some collective action!

What is your name? Do you have a nickname?  Do you have an IG name?

My name is Brittney, but my friends and family call me “B” (due in part to my love of our precious pollinators). I can be found on IG @brittneywynnyk!

Describe your PF-Superpower used to fight plastic pollution in our city?  In other words, what is your role with PFYYC?

My role with PFYYC is to help coordinate events, such as the upcoming Zero Waste festival, and engage the community in various PFYCC efforts.

When you aren’t volunteering your super powers to fight plastic pollution, who are you? What are you doing?

Anything and everything that gets me outside. I’m a recent Calgary-transplant, so lately I’ve been spending a lot of time exploring this wonderful city.

Being part of the plastic-free movement is important to me because:

Growing up in rural Ontario, I was blessed with a nature-rich childhood which shaped who I am today. I can’t, and refuse, to accept that the future for children does not include the nature world and I will take every action to protect it, including going plastic-free. Plus I love a good challenge!

Going plastic-free is a journey. On a scale of 1 to 1,000,000,  1 being: you have heard a rumor that using plastic is so last year. 1,000,000 being: you live on another planet where plastic has never existed & Sea Turtles run the show. How many steps have you taken? Describe in your own words where are you in your journey.

I would say that I’m probably three-quarters there, 750 000 steps. I have grown very attached to my zero-waste kit which allows me to avoid single-use while out and about. I repurpose containers and jars and shop at bulk stores as much as I can, and use cloth produce bags and grocery bags. I’m a big fan of beeswax wraps, and am always talking about plastic-free alternatives to my friends and family and on Instagram. Whatever plastic I do encounter, I try to find a way to repurpose or reuse before recycling. But there’s alway room to grow!

What has been the hardest part of reducing your plastic waste? What was the easiest?

I think both the hardest and easiest parts of reducing my plastic waste has been altering and adjusting my mindset. It’s definitely a lot of mindful effort at first- ordering a drink and remember to ask for “no straw please”, ensuring that your zero-waste kit is complete and ready to go with you, etc – but I found that once I got started and made it into a challenge for myself, it became very fun and eventually, easy. The positive feelings that behaving environmentally friendly elicit act as reinforcers for continuing that behaviour.

Do you have an guilty pleasures – plastic items you still use – you want to share?

What a great question! There isn’t anything in particular, but I’ve been evaluating my regular grocery items like bread and cheese that come packaged in plastic, and trying to figure out how I can still have those without all of that plastic wrapping.

What is your #1 tip or a piece of advice for our followers and fellow Calgarians who want to help reduce the plastic in their lives?

Just try. I promise that it is easier than you might believe, and in addition to benefiting the planet, behaving sustainably makes us feel good. It doesn’t need to be an instant life overhaul (although it can be!), every small effort counts. Pick one thing to focus on making plastic-free every couple of weeks, and watch how seamlessly you’re able to shift gears. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up- it happens, and you’ll do better next time.

“Perfection is the enemy of progress.”