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Our Philosophies

We are all human:

First and foremost it must be said that we are all only human. Life is short and it isn’t always convenient or possible to make find a solution that looks perfect from every angle. What is easiest on the wallet isn’t always the easiest on our environment. Big box grocery stores are convenient in so many ways. They are open long hours, with many locations, they are cheap and keep a huge variety of foods in stock. But using them means your dollar is probably leaving the local economy. The food probably has a traveled a long way to make it to your table and often isn’t very fresh.

The moral of the story is that there are a lot of choices and each person has to decide for themselves which is best for their life as a whole. While we hope that you will decide to make the extra effort to buy highly nutritious, in season, very fresh and delicious, local food, we understand decisions aren’t always straightforward.

Support Local

Supporting local is a way to make a small change in our habits, and that has many ripple effects. Spending your dollar at a mom and pop style shop instead of a big box store means a few things…

  • Your money remains in circulation the local economy
  • Local companies take pride in our back yards. Local, small scale farms are highly invested in doing the best we can for the local environment because we live both in and off of it.
  • Local companies are invested in the local community. Since the owners of local businesses live in this community we are more likely to sponsor local sports teams, donate to local food banks and get involved in local issues.  These are our issues!

All of these things mean that buying local can be a single change that has many positive effects.

What Our Neighbour’s Garden is doing to put this into action: 

  • We do our best to shop local when we can. We buy our sprout and microgreen seeds from Mumm’s Seeds. It is an organic,  family run farm and business in Parkside, Saskatchewan. Local is still relative as many seed companies aren’t Canadian. It makes us feel good to support a family venture. 

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

And do it in that order.

Refuse:

Making do with less doesn’t mean going without- sometimes it is as easy as changing a habit. Make coffee at home instead of buying take away and choose products in bulk or loose, to eliminate packaging.

Reduce:

Plan your shopping trips so you are only buying what you actually need. Impulse purchases (food, clothes, the latest smart phone when yours still works fine) can be hard on your wallet and can lead to more waste. Make a list and stick to it!

Reuse:

Consider reusing items you don’t want by selling on sites like kijiji etc or at thrift stores like Goodwill. Shop for used items before purchasing something new. Re purpose old clothes into rags and take those old glass spaghetti sauce jars to Bulk Barn.  Good Earth on Whyte Ave provides bulk cooking oil and vinegar for refilling containers. Get creative-a little energy will go a long way!

Why Recycling alone isn’t enough:

If is far easier to bring your reusable bag to the market with you, or your refillable coffee cup to the cafe than it is to clean up the waste from single use containers. Even though Edmonton has a very good recycling program, recycling still takes energy and resources. And you may be surprised about where your recycling actually ends up…

Here is a link to a CBC article published in March 2018 about how China is no longer accepting many kinds of recycling because it doesn’t want to be the “world’s dumping ground.”  Our communities may collect recycling but this doesn’t mean that the product actually gets recycled. Some cities have resorted to putting their collected recycling in landfills until they implement systems that sort recycling more effectively or until they find a different market for their recycling because China is no longer accepting it.  This Edmonton Journal article outlines more how changes will effect Edmonton specifically. By first Refusing, Reducing and reusing paper product means you don’t have to worry about as many of these recycling complications.

Recycle:

If you reside in Edmonton and have trash that you have to do something with consider downloading the Wastewise App to decide what is the appropriate method to do so. Here is a link to the City of Edmonton information page so you can read more about the app, what it does and how to get a hold of it. It may surprise some people to hear that neither single use coffee cups nor the associated plastic lids are recyclable and should be disposed of in the garbage- regardless of what it says on the cup (but the cardboard sleeve is recyclable).

What Our Neighbour’s Garden is doing to put this into action: 

  • Packaging is a huge offender for single use waste. While we do offer produce in individual plastic packaging, we also carry it in bulk. Just fill up our measuring bowl with greens and then pour them into your own bag or container. Note that as an incentive to encourage people to bring their own reusable container, the bowl is a little larger than the amount we put in our single use plastic bags.
  • If you do need a bag to carry away your haul of local veggies we provide a recyclable paper bag. We try to reduce waste before recycling, so we encourage you to bring your own reusable bag.
  • The labels used on our bags are printed on thermal paper. No ink is required. Less chemicals that need to be manufactured and less printer cartridges that need to be specially disposed of. 
  • We farm using almost all organic methods, with very few chemicals used being carefully chosen and used sparingly. We have not applied for organic certification yet, but we are careful to do the best we can to build the fertility of our land, and reduce our carbon foot print.

Let’s leave our environment better than we found it.

 

 

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