Minimizing your environmental footprint can be daunting but Canary Goods, a new refillery and zero-waste market, is giving Calgarians a place to start.

The market, which opened in Kensington on Saturday, provides Calgarians with simple, package-free options. Ranging from shampoo and conditioner to deodorant and reusable straws, all created with the environment in mind.

Tara Meyer, co-founder of Canary Goods, says she realized that while living a sustainable life can be challenging it doesn’t have to be especially difficult.

“Everything in the store is aimed at helping people reduce their waste and finding simple alternatives to single-use items, particularly plastics.”

Briana Loughlin, co-founder of Plastic Free YYC, is working with Canary Goods. She says the store offers Calgarians concrete ways to reduce waste, but much more needs to be done to encourage conversations that translate into actions.

“Sustainable is a big word. It has turned into one of those cliché, almost a greenwashing word. Everyone uses it, but there are different definitions around it.”

Israel Dunmade, associate professor of sustainable engineering at Mount Royal University, says it comes down to living in such a way that doesn’t heavily impact the environment.

“When we look at sustainability, we look at how our actions affect the environment. The way you live shouldn’t have negative impacts on the environment but instead, a positive impact.”

Meyer adds that living more sustainably doesn’t mean that consumers need to immediately change every aspect of their lives but instead encourages people to go at their own pace.

“We wanted to be able to enable people to make small changes that help decrease their footprint. We want to provide people with easy swaps, even one thing at a time.”

Loughlin adds that even little changes can lead to big outcomes.

“It doesn’t matter if at this moment, the only thing you can do in this life is say no to plastic bags — that in itself is how change happens.”

Meyer agrees and says it’s also important to remember that people don’t have to be perfect to still make a difference.

“We are ordinary people and we sometimes forget our shopping bags and forget our reusable coffee cups and we are not here to try and set a standard. We want to get the dialogue going and get people thinking.”

 Editor: Huyana Cyprien |

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