Earth Day with ECOLOGY
City dwelling and an earth-centered life can sometimes feel like two opposing ideas, but they don't have to be! We connected with ECOLOGY to get some great tips on how to get closer to our Mother, one easy step at a time!
What propelled you to start this project?Access is at the core of our work. Everything we do is to create accessibility around eco-friendly living. I have always been someone with a fierce need to protect our earth and all the beings that live here, and when I started to dive into earth-centered living and low waste practices I quickly realized a lot of the information and tools necessary felt out of reach. Sustainability is buzzy, and it has been capitalized on quite heavily in the last few years. Living low waste has become a privilege, which to me makes no sense. Like many people who call so-called Canada home, I come from immigrant grandparents who lived low waste of necessity. It was a practice that was born out of lack, so how is it now a practice only afforded by those with excess? I knew I had to create a different kind of brand in this space, so I started ecology on the basis of accessibly and affordable online resources to educate folks on sustainable practices. You know, the whole teach a man to fish idea…If folks can educate themselves and have access to the information for life, they can go much further. It’s not about buying aesthetically pleasing products - it’s about shifting your lifestyle and making long-lasting changes, and if a few products can help you along the way that’s great too!
What does it mean to live a “modern, earth-centered” life?
Living a modern, earth-centered life is really just about living with the earth in mind. Recognizing that everything you do as a citizen of the earth impacts the planet - from your spending to your speaking. It’s about intentionally moving through the world and grounding yourself in your relationship with the planet.
What are your top tips for those wanting to live more “earth-centered” lives in modern and urban environments?
Top tip: work with what is accessible to you! There are so many picture perfect ideas of sustainability floating around the world wide web these days, which can add extra pressure to our earthy practices and make them feel like more of a chore - and this is not what we want! Living earthy is meant to be fun and full of joy - so work with what you’ve got. Do you have a small balcony rather than a big backyard? That’s okay! Create a mini oasis with pots and planters, growing user friendly herbs like chives, parsley and mint. Does your building, complex or apartment have a green bin or composting system? Utilize it! Choose to compost your food waste to keep it out of landfill - a small but powerful habit. Does your local grocery store have a bulk food section? Perfect! Reuse containers and bags that come your way to buy bulk rather than pre-packaged products.
What would you suggest for those who don’t know where to begin and feel overwhelmed by it all?Connect with the land! Hug a tree, walk barefoot, move the soil between your fingers. Go for a walk, breathe the fresh air, bathe in the wild waters. Build a relationship with the planet that is impactful for you so that you can really hash out the WHY behind sustainability. I find that for sustainability to really hit home, it has to feel personal. So, treat the earth like a dear, sweet friend that you love and care for. Once you’ve grounded yourself in that relationship, you can start small: forgoing plastic bags, reusing containers, buying less packaged foods. Maybe being sustainable for you means eating less meat, or choosing ethical food sources. Or riding your bicycle. Or fixing and repairing your clothing rather than purchasing new pieces. Find what works for you and your lifestyle. There is no one right way to do it, and every single action counts.
There is SO much information out there, what are some resources that you’ve adopted to simplify everything?To be honest, my greatest resources are my elders. I often think of how the generations before me lived - growing their own food, preserving foods, eating seasonally, reusing glass jars and containers, sharing and trading resources with their neighbours, repairing, fixing and crafting their own clothing, spending ample time outdoors daily. These practices are what we ought to return to - a simple means of living. A slow means of living. Working with the seasons, harnessing creativity, valuing community, and only using what is needed - nothing more. I encourage you to investigate your roots and get curious around how those before you lived. Their teachings can set a great path forward.
How can every day be “Earth Day” while living a busy, city-centric life?It’s hard to imagine a slow life when you live in the city. It’s busy, bustling and there are a million and one things to do. But the shift happens when you stop and smell the roses. Cheesy, I know - but it’s true and here’s why. I can almost guarantee that each of us has at least 10 or 15 minutes a day that are spent “unwisely” (scrolling, texting, watching TikTok videos). If we become intentional in those moments instead and choose to step outside and take a deep breath, listen to the wind, watch the trees move, the squirrels scatter and birds sing - our entire day is changed. We feel connected - and that is how we embody earth day every day. By connecting to our planet and grounding to her energy. By reminding ourselves why it’s important to show up. Following those mindful moments, I promise you that when the cashier offers you a plastic bag you will be reminded to kindly say no. It all starts with that connection piece. It’s just up to us to make space for it. And don’t be fooled - the city has so much nature to offer. That’s the beauty of our earth, even among the concrete slabs she still finds a way to break through and make herself known.
We recently learned that you moved from Toronto to B.C - What propelled this change and what is next for Ecology?
The move was very bittersweet. Toronto is an incredible city with such a powerful community. We are blessed to have launched our business there. But I’ve personally been longing to settle and plant roots in a place close to nature’s bigness. I have lived in the city my whole life and was ready for a larger shift in slowness and connection, where the earth’s majesty is undeniable. The opportunity arose to move to a small town nestled between mountain and ocean and I just couldn’t refuse. We are so excited to be here now in Squamish and meet like-minded folks - there are so many! Building new community is very exciting and we are eager to see where this next chapter takes us as a brand. We don’t have a drawn out plan, but we are certain we are headed in the right direction. Follow along as we continue to share accessible teachings to folks across North America and share tools to sustainable living. We may shift and evolve, but this will always be our M.O. :)