Conscious Consumerism

Kate- The Tare Shop

zero waste, retailerNick OgdenComment

I am a big supporter of young entrepreneurs and an even bigger supporter of young entrepreneurs that create here in Halifax. As an introduction to this segment of the blog I will be periodically interview local and non-local entrepreneurs with projects along the conscious consumerism path. This will be a showcase of young local talent building momentum in our community towards a more sustainable Halifax and global future. Our market is ripe with opportunities and there are young people around here making those opportunities a reality. 

Kate, recent Dal grad with a double major in Sustainability and Environmental Science with a minor in Marine Biology. She is what is known as a Zero-Waster, someone who strives to create as little or no waste while living on this planet. After graduating from Dal and spending a year contemplating life and realizing she has the skills and know how to make Halifax a little better, The Tare Shop was born.

The Tare Shop will be a zero waste cafe, bulk foods and sustainable goods boutique with a community centred approach; offering eco-education classes for the whole family, yoga classes, and community space. A seriously awesome ambitious idea! During our chat, Kate, emitted this strong belief in community and wants to create a space that is not only offering her values but will offer the values of the community, reflecting community wants and needs pivoting to react and support the people who support The Tare Shop. Kate has had a run with community support and eco-education through another project of her's: Our Positive Planet. This is a resource of positive eco-friendly articles dedicated to showcasing the good in our sometimes over critical world. Education and community are what seem to drive Kate.

Kate is an extremely positive person and has an incredible outlook on our market. When we talked about what impact she thinks the Tare Shop will have on other Halifax retailers, her response was nothing short: 

I really hope other businesses will move toward zero waste, it truly is the best thing for our planet.
— Kate

In thought, I really damn hope Halifax retailers follow suit. This might be a bit of stretch for some of the bigger stores but our homegrown shops should seriously think about it. Our market is small but we are an extremely loyal, loving, and supporting consumer base for local shops. As consumers if we ask retailers to follow suit of the Tare Shop then they will hopefully listen. 

I asked Kate about what the zero waste cafe might look like and more importantly, how in the heck is she going to convince Halifax to start bringing reusable coffee cups?! 

We won’t offer one use coffee cups but we will offer reusable coffee cups for sale in the shop, and maybe for those people not looking to spend that kind of money we will offer mason jars.
— Kate

The ever so useful, always gosh darn handy, ruler of the container, mason jar. These bad little beasts are in all honesty, the answer to so many of my problems. The only thing I hate about them, they get so darn hot with coffee in them. When discussing the mason jar coffee cup I suggested a leather sleeve, a buddy of mine makes them and boy do they work (shoutout to you Paul!).  

I asked Kate if she thought community and collaborative driven business is the way of the future: 

Yes! We will support local as much as we can, putting Nova Scotia suppliers as our primary source and then reaching further across Canada as needed, hopefully not stepping to far outside our country.
— Kate

To Kate, community isn't just her immediate supporters and geographical neighbours but rather an interconnected network of local business (as local as she can). This model of business is certainly a more sustainable way of supplying ones business but it does come with limitations. Global markets and trading have opened our demands to stretch far further then Canada can provide, however, Canada is blessed with some amazing things. I salute and support Kate's mission to support Nova Scotia first, Canada second, and global trade as a last resort. This style of business I think is what, as consumers, we should try and support. It doesn't say "no global trading" but rather "let us support ourselves and our local economy first". 

Lastly I asked Kate for any advice she would give to someone wanting to start to live a zero waste lifestyle: 

Start small, one change at a time. Do not restrict yourself to your perception of what a zero waste lifestyle means. For everyone it is different and it is always changing.
— Kate

Kate is one inspirational and positive person who I am so thankful decided to stay in Halifax after her degree and grace us with her entrepreneurship. The Tare Shop will be opening in the fall of 2018, North End Halifax. Keep your eyes and ears out for anything and everything that Kate does. I look forward to more chats and stepping into The Tare Shop this fall. 

Thank you for stopping by and have a great week!