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Pebble in the Pond’s First Summer Night Market

July 8, 2010

Everyone is welcome to come out tonight to Willingdon Beach for Pebble in the Pond’s first night market! We will be found at one of the many booths running a waste station with recycling and compost! As well check out some of our cool products including t-shirts, shopping bags, and re-usable water bottles. If you forget your re-usable Pebble in the Pond bags don’t panic – by donation we are also offering bags made of newspaper to bring home your goodies in! Hope to see you all there to check out some plastic free products and learn all about plastic alternatives!

Amelia Pond

One Comment leave one →
  1. Maxine VanBrabant permalink
    July 17, 2010 12:22 am

    As a small business owner in Powell River, I find that people are much more vocal about their concerns to me now, about everything, than when I was working in a large chain grocery store. I’m not sure if its because they feel they can’t make the large stores change their ways, and think that it is easier to demand more of the small stores, or what exactly, but I would like to clarify environmental issues that concern my business. Before I start though, please note that I am open for discussion, even suggestions, as long as they are realistic in cost, and useage.

    People seem to feel that many stores produce much waste, and I have seen that many a times. I have worked hard to make sure this doesn’t happen here. Instead of overproducing food, then throwing it out, I daily assess what is potentially needed for the days sale, reducing items that have short shelf lives, and increasing space for those that last longer. What little amounts of food that become outdated for me to sell, goes Direct to the Salvation Army food pickup, or gets personally handed out to family, friends, or families that I know can use a helping hand. Items that can be recycled back to make new products (such as bread crumbs/cookie crumbs/cake crumbs) are done so. We compost food waste, and recycle packaging. All our packaging, except the styrofoam cookie trays, are recycleable. My understanding is even the styrofoam is being picked up in some communities for recycling, but not here. I am not in 100% agreement to the corn based styrofoam, and using a “cardboard box, instead of a recycleable container, in order to save a tree” seems like a mixed up statement, although we do offer both depending on the product going inside. (Did you know very little wood fibre is even used in paper products anymore? ) As much as many of us would like to not use plastic bags, the reality is, bread goes stale if left open on the shelf or in brown paper bags and to throw it out daily is a terrible waste. Cardboard cake boxes, without windows, will not sell cakes, nor will they, even with the windows, keep the cakes fresh. It is amazing how many people come into my shop, and expect EVERYTHING to be made fresh everyday…cakes, cookies, and pies included. Are they crazy? To throw out your fridge full of food daily is as irrational as asking a store to do the same. The same people will then turn around and say they don’t want a bag because they don’t want to produce waste. So, we try to keep it as fresh as possible, by using sealed containers, but at the same time, we try to make sure those containers are recycleable, or reusable. Often, customers will find trays of goodies, gift paks of cookies or chocolates, trifles, or other desserts packaged on/in glassware, meant for the user to keep and reuse at home. Right now, for example we have cookies, packages in beach pails, bug catchers and critter containers for kids to reuse over and over again at the beach or at home. Once a container leaves our premise though, we are not allowed, by health regulations, to take it back to reuse. If you order a pie, though, and want it put into your own pie tin, i am happy to do it, or if you want to bring your own tray for sweets to go on, then that is fine..I just cannot take them back to use them for someone else. Even when we use packaging meant to be reusedby the consumer over and over again, like glass bowls for trifle, there are people who don’t want the extra dish around the house…so what do you do? You just can’t please everyone…

    We offered canvass shopping bags, of good quality, at the same price as what we paid, (less than $5/bag) but because they were not 99cents, like those ones that will fall apart yearly from the large stores, we gave away more than we sold, and ended up stopping altogether. Instead, we now use biodegradable bags, or recycle those from other venues. Our weekly garbage output is 1 bag/week..sometimes less than a full bag. We try to conserve power, for both economical and environmental reasons, by shutting down ovens, and other power equipment as soon as they are not being used.

    Overall, by trying to stay green we are saving money, however, we still cannot seem to please some people. Unfortueately people aren’t always aware of how much the existing packaging costs are in a product, (and believe me, I am always looking for ways to reduce that cost), and to move to one that costs more, would mean increasing prices yet again…the Salvation Army would have more to pick up. I am not trying to justify using plastic or non plastic packaging, but I do want people to be aware, that, at least in my company, their are specific reasons behind our choices, and if they are concerned, then please, ask me, before you condem me and my business..I’m sure they would be quite enlightened at the efforts and reasons used.

    Thank you for the opportunity to express my comments. Environmental issues are so controversial for so many reasons, and I do believe it is important that we all try our best to protect this world that we live in, but we also need to understand and respect those dynamics of trying that are different from person to person in so many ways. Again, when one young lad told me he would have his food packaged in a cardboard box, instead of a plastic bag, in order to save a tree, I had to shake my head….afterall, a tree had to be cut down to make that box……

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