(West Coast Refill/Instagram)

With the recent study released by Environment and Climate Change Canada stating that Canada is warming up at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the world, you may be asking yourself what you can do at an individual level to reduce your carbon footprint.

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So we’re here to make things easier for you with a list of 10 ways to reduce your plastic consumption, along with local recommendations for where to get your new eco-friendly products!

1. Bamboo toothbrushes

One simple replacement for an everyday plastic product is a Bamboo toothbrush. Switch out your toothbrush for this eco-friendly one at West Coast Refill – a zero-waste lifestyle market, aimed at helping Victorians live a waste-free life.

2. Reusable food wraps

Avoid using copious amounts of plastic wrap by switching to reusable food wrap. Local entrepreneur and ocean lover Amy Hall combined her passions and created an artistic way to reduce plastic consumption – then she built a company, Goldilocks Wraps, around that idea right here in Victoria!

3. Fashionable reusable shopping bags

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Juliana & @baggu – Have a great day everyone ‼️

A post shared by Flavour (@flavourvictoria) on

Moving away from the plastic bag has become the new norm. Here’s a way to add your own flair to it! Conveniently enough, these reusable shopping bags are located at multiple stores around Victoria.

Flavour, a locally operated clothing boutique, sells them at both of their locations – Uptown Mall and Lower Johnston.

4. Reusable diapers

Happy Island Diapers is a local business that offers an alternative to disposable diapers. They also wash them weekly and return you clean ones, so you don’t have to worry about finding the time to do it yourself!

Visit their website to learn more about switching from disposable diapers to reusable ones.

5. Green cleaning products

As we all know, Victoria doesn’t have the greatest sewage system (yet). Spare our oceans while cleaning your home, and pick out some greener cleaning products next time!

Victoria Soap Exchange sells a collection of natural, eco-friendly cleaning products.

6. Sustainable self-care

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The Little Beauty Bar That Could. – 64 square feet. That is what this business has been run out of for 7 years. With a small closet in the back for storage and a desk upstairs to fulfill online orders. When @google showed up last year to take pics, the first question was ‘where’s the warehouse’. 😂 – There’s no time to get emotional today, because we’re opening the shop @uptownvictoria tomorrow and well, it ain’t ready yet. But I don’t think we’ve ever had a more fitting #tbt to share. I had high hopes of sharing the full story of this business thus far in a blog post, but this month has been all consuming with what’s next. But I tell you – my heart has been on the LAST 7 years every day. So for now, I share with you this: I started this business 7 years ago with no money. If you slide over to the first pic you will see the ‘store’ in its first month of business (2nd pic 2 years in). It consisted of two product lines (Paperdoll and @my_sappho) and a blank wall where shelves + product were added as sales grew. Sappho was one of the only companies btw who would take a chance on a 25 year old with no experience in the beauty industry. Because I had no money, I couldn’t advertise. So I would close at 6pm and take ALL products off the walls of the shop, pack up my car, and go do home parties. I’d then pack up late at the customers house, and then set it all up the next morning in the shop, as I didn’t even have enough money to have a separate set of stock. I have grown this business slowly. Some have questioned that, but I have never wanted to get into a bunch of debt, nor let ego run any decisions. The business has grown solely by putting its profits back into it to make it grow. To boost that, I started an acoustic project singing around town to help me pay my own bills. That ended up turning into something I never expected (@thecountyline) but that is a whole other story. There have been HUNDREDS of people involved in this business to get it to where it is today. We r still a VERY small business with a long way to go. But today, I am overwhelmed at what can happen when u work REALLY hard, have a hell of a lot of heart, + have amazing people around you.

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From candles, to body wash, to makeup – Green Kiss, located at Uptown Mall, offers vegan beauty products for the socially responsible makeup guru.

Avoid the chemicals in body wash, and skip the plastic for all your self care needs!

7. Metal straws

Ditch your plastic straw and pick up a reusable one. If you’re unsure of where to start, Habit coffee on lower Pandora is one of the many places around town currently selling reusable straws, along with pipe cleaners to keep them clean!

8. Glass bottles of milk

Skip the carton next time you pick up milk, and grab a bottle instead. Glass is much easier to recycle than milk cartons!

The 100+ year old Vancouver based company, Avalon Dairy, commits itself to producing organic and avoiding big corporations and politics in order to stick to its green goals.

9. Reusable mugs

Help cut out single use products in our city, and carry your own reusable mug.

You can get a reusable travel mug almost anywhere, but if you want to support local, check out Murchies Tea & Coffee’s collection!

10. Shampoo bars

We’ve cheated a bit on this one! While LUSH may not be a local company, (or even a Canadian one) we do have two locations in Victoria that have recently come out with a new way to reduce your plastic consumption.

Enter: the Lush Shampoo bar! Wash your locks while skipping the plastic bottles they come in. Check out the product on their website.


Have ideas of your own? Comment below to share them with us!