Planet Pantry offers small steps that anyone could take to lessen their environmental footprint.

1. Switch from a plastic to a bamboo toothbrush

In order to keep the bristles effective and the bacteria at bay, dentists say we should be changing our toothbrushes every three-four months. That is a lot of plastic. Luckily, there are now more sustainable options with biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes! A simple switch and you likely won’t even notice the difference.

2. Use reusable shopping bags and produce bags

This is something that so many folks were used to doing pre-COVID-19 and for a while there we stopped. Most stores are now allowing reusable bags to be used, but please do wash them first and know that you will be asked to bag your own groceries if you choose to bring your own bags.

3. Store food in containers or wrap in reusable food wrap

Plastic takes up to 1000 years to decompose in a landfill and this is one of the easiest ways to cut down on our plastic use. Sam also mentioned that once we are able to eat at restaurants again, you may consider bringing your own reusable take-away container to bring home your leftovers.

4. Carry your own reusable water bottle and reusable coffee cup

Soloway shared an extra tip with us here too: Get a reusable cup that is good for hot and cold beverages and you can cut down on the number of items you are carrying with you in an effort to reduce the amount of waste you produce.

5. Carry your own reusable straws

So many of us have already purchased or been gifted reusable straws at this point… the trick is to remember to carry them with you. If you carry a purse, toss them in there or possibly consider a model with a carrying case that can attach to something you always have with you, like your keys.

6. Compost

Composting can be a small or large scale operation but no matter the size, it is a fantastic alternative to sending your organic waste to a landfill. Plus, your garden will certainly thank you!

Witherspoon and Soloway are committed to educating Winnipeggers in the way of zero-waste living and also making the lifestyle easier than it has ever been before in this city. This weekend Planet Pantry will set up their first online pop-up shop selling kitchen and bathroom essentials all with no or reusable packaging.

The virtual shop will be open to place orders on November 14 and 15 and those orders can be picked up at Drop in Dance Winnipeg (1381 Portage avenue) one week later.

“We don’t need everyone to do this 100% perfectly every day of the year. We just need people to make small changes that are sustainable and easy for them to do and those small changes that we do every day… when we have a bunch of people doing them, it makes a huge impact," says Witherspoon.