Women’s history month highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary...
Celebrating Women in Sustainability During Women’s History Month
Women’s history month highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary societies, celebrated in March by many countries. Here at Sustainable Life App we celebrate the women at the forefront of the sustainability movement, the women that have paved the way for this movement through their activism and stewardship of the land, and the women entrepreneurs creating business solutions to our society’s sustainability challenges.
Women have spearheaded sustainability, climate change, and conservation movements from their conception. Rosalie Edge, an environmental activist and New York socialite, established the Emergency Conservation Committee in 1929 to fight for the protection of all species, preventing them from becoming endangered in the first place. Today women like Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and the women of the Standing Rock Resistance lead the climate and sustainability conversation. The stewardship of our land has long been viewed as a female responsibility and strong women have continued to lead these movements.
As sustainability has begun to enter mainstream discourse it has remained in the female domain, with sustainable products primarily being created for and marketed at women. As women are the most powerful consumers, and remain responsible for the majority of domestic decision making in most cultures, sustainable consumerism has been created for and targeted towards them. Women are more likely to grow their sustainability knowledge and to make lifestyle choices with sustainability in mind, having a stronger ethic of care.
To celebrate this role of women in crafting the sustainability movement today, and bringing it to life in their communities and local commerce, we have been interviewing female entrepreneurs from Sustainable Life App to learn about their passion for sustainability and the businesses they have built and grown through that passion.
LC Compost is run by friends Amanda and Kristen, providing Lake Country, Kelowna, and West Kelowna with doorstop compost pick up. Amanda had always had a green thumb, and would often take friends and neighbours compost for her own garden as there was no municipal compost option in their area. Kirsten had been exploring ways to make her own lifestyle more sustainable and found the lack of access to compost made it difficult, and LC Compost was born!
We asked Kirsten how this business has impacted their community.
Our business has really shown our community just how much waste is organic matter. We are always receiving emails stating “We have gone from a full garbage can to just one garbage bag a week!” Garbage is such an out of sight out of mind problem, but once people saw just how much of it could be returned to the earth they started telling their friends and families. Most of our customers are through word of mouth!
For us this company has really shown us just how much people want to do the right thing for the planet but may not have access to make it happen. We have met and heard from so many customers that have come from cities that had organic waste programs and when moving here they were shocked that it wasn’t available to them.
The Green Hair Spa
The Green Hair Spa was founded by Jessika Guy in 2009, looking for an eco-friendly and healthy alternative to traditional spa experiences. They provide exceptional eco-luxury services, a mindfully curated selection of green beauty products, and a commitment to environmentally conscious ways that touches everything from their supplies to their waste disposal. They are a beloved part of their Stratford community.
We asked Jessika what piece of advice they would share to other women or non-binary persons that wanted to get into business, sustainability movements, or both?
When opening a business you immediately become a leader, whether you want to or not. The question is, where do you want to lead your people? You get to choose that narrative. Committing to a sustainable business model definitely has its challenges. When we opened the Green Hair Spa in 2009 it was confusing to people that such a place could exist. How could our green products perform in the same ways as conventional salon products? I wanted to help educate people about the effects of what they were putting on their bodies and to think about the supply chain; how ingredients are grown, manufactured and finally produced into all of the self care products in your home. You don’t get the option to sit still or get too comfortable. There are many people around the globe fighting for change and developing new sustainable systems, products and options to replace old ones. Keep pushing & keep moving forward.
The Keep Refillery
Jacquie and her husband decided to open a refillery at the start of 2020 with no retail experience. After learning that some refilleries were not practicing what they preached and just discarding their plastic waste, she set out to create a business model that was as ethical, sustainable, and low-waste as possible. Opening at the start of 2020 Jacquie and her husband have been navigating the COVID-19 pandemic since the inception of their business, but they have continued to grow and adapt regardless, going on to open two more locations in the past two years.
We asked Jacquie what jump started her interest in sustainability and what inspired her to open the refillery?
Since I was little I have always been "interested" in sustainability. I actually used to get called a "tree hugging hippie" by my friends. I was always the one questioning our actions, encouraging new systems to be put into place and just overall really caring about where our garbage ends up- I was an activist in the making! I certainly never set out to be an entrepreneur in the sustainability world but back in Jan of 2020 I woke up one day just totally frustrated that I had to order all my eco-friendly products online and or drive over an hour away to get anything plastic-free. Which totally defeated the purpose. My carbon footprint was offsetting all the good I was trying to do. So, The Keep Refillery in Creemore was born out of sheer necessity for me, and for my community. When I realized how much my community embraced it, we set out to give all communities an alternative to single-use plastic. We are a mission first company and one that believes that a Refillery is as essential as the post office or grocery store in every single community.