On Earth Day, Footprints team encourages waste reduction one small step at a time

Eco-friendly a step at a time

A local store has been able to save nearly 100,000 single use plastics from the landfill through encouraging and supporting eco-friendly practices, according to store owner Jennifer Norman.

Norman said her business, Footprints, has been able to develop and grow in a way that has made eco-friendly products and practices accessible to all — something to celebrate this Earth Day.

“You don't have to be a zero waster to shop here by any means,” Norman said, adding that she never wants anyone to feel their store comes from a place of judgement.

“But it gets pretty exciting to see your garbage can convert to your blue bin, and then for your blue bag to convert to your compost.”

Footprints has been operating since March 2020, when Norman began offering products through an online platform. The brick-and-mortar store opened its doors in August.

At Footprints, products like shampoos, household soaps, cleaning products and essential oils can be refilled. Customers bring their own containers or use those provided by the store.

Eco-friendly makeup and local food products are also available.

“For a retail side of things we like to carry products that are reusable, long lasting or compostable at end of life,” Norman said.

Footprints also runs a composting program, which store manager Kate Potter said has diverted over 30,000 pounds of kitchen waste from Kamloops landfills.

The business itself has also managed to keep its own waste to a minimum, according to Norman.

“We, as an end result, only produce one garbage bag a month on average as a business. So that's something to be proud of, and something I think we can help other businesses do,” she said.

Norman said up until recently, they ordered product in 20-litre jugs, and haven’t needed to recycle a single one.

“They’ve all been repurposed and kept in a circular economy,” she said.

Recently, Norman said, the store has moved to ordering product in 55-gallon drums, which Norman said are repurposed as rain barrels, garbage cans and storage containers for water or grain.

“We've got a long list of people who want them when we're done with them,” she said, adding ordering product in a larger volume also allows them to pass cost savings to customers.

Potter said when looking to reduce waste, it’s important to start with small steps.

“We always talk about simple swaps. So it doesn't have to be going and changing your whole household. Start with the bathroom, change your toothbrushes to your bamboo toothbrushes, change to a refillable toothpaste,” Potter said.

“That's what we did in our house. And I found it was way easier to just do a little thing at a time.”

Norman said she sees movement towards more eco-friendly lifestyles becoming increasingly popular.

“I think starting a business where it is changing with yourself, and changing your habits, you're starting to see that change have a ripple effect everywhere else," she said.

"And so we hope that stores like this just pop up everywhere."

Footprints is located at 620-1055 Hillside Drive.

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