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April Community Partner: Canary

Yoga Santosha Blog Canary Refillery & Zero Waste Community Partner Calgary

April Community Partner: Canary Refillery & Zero Waste Market

MARCH 27, 2019

April Community Partner: Canary Refillery & Zero Waste Market

Our own Lisa Watts (Whitford) and dear Santosha friend Tara Meyer are the visionaries behind Calgary’s first dedicated package-free shop and refillery. Canary is on a mission to reduce waste with options that are good for the planet. They just opened in Kensington and are helping us all to tread more lightly and make small changes where we can.

How was Canary dreamed up?

Canary is a passion project that was dreamed up with a desire to create a friendly, non-judgemental space that provides a spectrum of choices for all walks of life that are looking to live more sustainably. Both of us had been searching for a new and meaningful project that was even a small part of the solution to what is a growing environmental crisis. Our goal is to help people reduce the use of single-use plastics and products going to landfill and consider the lifecycle of the items they are using in their homes. The name Canary came to a friend as he was thinking about the use of canaries in coal mines to detect toxic gases in the environment. Despite this darker side, the word Canary invokes optimism, the colour yellow and potential for change – all of which we want to embody with our shop!

There are definitely some scary stats out there about waste. Most of us know we need to tread lightly but we might not know how crucial it is. Can you share with us some truths about what’s happening?

We’ve all heard the scary statistics of how much trash is ending up in our ecosystem, and it can feel a bit paralyzing to know how to help or what to do. The fact that if we carry on the way we are, there will be more plastic by volume in the oceans than fish by 2050 should be of great concern to everyone. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way and making small changes in the way that you shop can be a good place to start. We’ve been working with suppliers and designers across Canada and beyond (we carry lots of locally made products too!) to source lines that are designed with end of life in mind. We also have a refillery where you can bring your own containers to refill everything from laundry and dish soap to bubble bath and toothpaste and skip the packaging all together.

Zero waste can far away for most of us and as you said small changes can make a world of difference. Can you help those of us out that don’t even know where to begin but want to!

We look at the journey towards zero waste as a practice and an ongoing process of both learning and change. We can move forward with mindfulness and a willingness to change even one thing at a time. Some people may start with committing to bringing their own coffee cup or water bottle around with them, while others who are at a different place in their journey may be looking to eliminate things like plastic wrap and plastic bags from their lives. The point is to start thinking about where things come from and where they end up – the whole lifecycle, especially with things that are only used for a short time. It’s not about perfection, but a process – and remembering that it’s not an all or nothing thing. It’s about intention – we need everyone do this imperfectly and not just a few doing it perfectly!

How do you choose the products?

Ethical and sustainable sourcing are at the core of our shop. The bulk of our products are made in Canada, followed by the United States, Europe and Australia. We are proud to say we’re supporting many Calgary based businesses as well.

Fave ones so far?

Besides using the refillery for our home and body products, we love the Stasher bags which are the closest thing you can get to a ziplock bag. Also, the wood and natural brushes that are built to last and can be composted at end of life are great. We’re also excited to be using a refillable and natural toothpaste that we actually love the taste of!

You two are incredibly close in life and now in business. What are the benefits to working with one of your best friends? Obstacles?

We’ve been friends for almost 30 years so we’re sisters really! We have a great deal of trust and respect for each other which allows us to make decisions and dream about the future with one another’s best interests at heart. The only obstacle so far has been planning vacations and fun things together with so much work to do, but we see Mexico in our future one day as we’re able to bring on more help 😉

For Santosha members: Make a purchase over $30 and receive a free medium produce bag made by Ecobags, valued at $5.

Free Yoga: Bring in your receipt from Canary and receive one free class at Yoga Santosha Mission or Kensington from April 1-30.

Stay up-to-date with all Canary info and updates:

Follow them on Instagram
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Check out their Website

*One free class per member per month.