By Mabell, Dave on November 9, 2019.
A stack of 15,000 bottles would create a problem at many of Alberta’s smaller landfills.
But that’s how many bottles have been saved for reuse by a Lethbridge retailer. The Purple Carrot Health Foods and Wellness store reports it’s already saved more than that since opening near downtown.
“The impact of this is amazing. This means that we have less garbage in the landfill and less pressure for recycling,” says co-owner Cris Robinson.
“Recycling is not an option anymore,” she says. “It is costly and most of the plastic that goes in the recycle bins actually goes to the landfill.”
Today there’s greater awareness of waste reduction, she adds.
“People are seeing that there is another way, that you can be part of the solution.”
At Purple Carrot – now in its third year, in the former Fanny’s Fabric location at 1243 2 Ave. S. – customers are encouraged to bring in their own containers to refill with a variety of items.
In addition to such food items as dried foods, herbs, spices and teas, visitors can also shop for refills. Laundry detergent, dish soap, dishwasher tabs, window and toilet cleaner -they’re all available. So are selections of body care items including deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, hair gel, dry shampoo, body lotion and hand soap.
As a further incentive, Purple Carrot offers a community donation program. For each container brought in – and for each reusable bag – customers are given a nickel to donate to a local charity. They currently include the Lethbridge YWCA, the Lethbridge Humane Society, Wood’s Homes, Lethbridge Sustainable Living Association and the Lethbridge Food Bank.
The program has raised more than $800 so far, the owners say.
Co-owner Cathy Lancaster says their focus is on the community’s health.
“Our southern Alberta community is very important to us. Our planet is very important to us. Because we only have one planet, we invite you to join us on our journey to zero waste.”