The Bunz Flea is unique market of local vendors who accept both cash and trade. This means you can browse the vendor’s ISO lists before hand, see if you have any of the items they’re trading for and walk out of the Flea with everything on your gifting list.
To help you get a head start, we’ve highlighted some notoriously hard-to-gift people in your life and paired them with a few of our favourite vendors!
What to get for…
The parent in law:
Chances are the only thing you know about your in-laws is that their child is the centre of their universe, even if their ‘child’ is actually a 33-year-old adult. Maybe they still compare you to the ghosts of exes past, or maybe they’re perfectly normal and not at all passive aggressive. Regardless, their gifts need to be thoughtful without being overly specific.
You like them. But do you like like them? Pro tip: the grand gesture almost exclusively works in Hollywood rom coms. IRL, new relationship gifting can be fraught with insecurity and terror. Go for something personal, but that won’t be a constant reminder of heartbreak should the relationship go south.
We all have that one friend: they mention an interest in an item and 24 hours later, they’ve acquired it. This is where one of a kind items are a hit — something that’s in line with their tastes but you know they can’t get anywhere else.
Super unique furniture from ASHHCollective, made locally and out of reclaimed materials.
Cool embroidered art work by Femme Floss featuring anything from your favourite Drake lyrics to a feminist unicorn.
This person lives and breathes fashion and has their own, perfectly curated style, an aesthetic, even. With a great aesthetic comes great responsibility, and with great responsibility comes a great gift-giving struggle. Their Instagram is your best friend! Are they more minimalist? Do they make an ugly sweater look like a runway item? Whatever it is, local designers probably have it, and the fashionista will definitely love it.
The coworker who you barely know but picked in a secret Santa draw:
Nothing says ‘happy holidays’ like being obligated to find a gift for that person who you make weird eye contact with in the elevator but avoid conversing with at all costs. Gift cards are boring, and you’re definitely not boring. You want something that shows your cool factor but is still generic enough that it’s acceptable for both Karen in accounting and Jean-Paul in graphic design.
Winter is coming! And with winter comes an unrelenting desire for all things cozy, so we’ve rounded up some of our favourite cozy trades in this handy listicle for your trading pleasure. Check ’em out!
I don’t think anything screams ‘cozy’ more than your favourite scents filling up the room, the real kicker is that it’s also gorgeous and doesn’t look at all like the kind of thing your grandmother uses for her sinuses. Pro-tip: do not try to inhale the steam, it doesn’t taste as good as it smells.
I’m the kind of person who loves the idea of plants, but am a certified plant serial killer — if you’re anything like me, this book is for you! If you’re dreaming of a green winter, why not trade for this rad book to know how to take care of your plants? And if you’re really feeling adventurous, you can learn how to make your own terrarium!
I will admit that this is the first time I’ve ever used the word “homewares” and it was for a worthy cause! This talented Bun hand-makes jewellery holders, succulent pots, and ring cones — just to name a few of many items they can craft up. Whether you want to give these as gifts or hoard them for yourself, we won’t judge.
4. This vintage red couch that looks perfect for your Bunz
Look at this couch. Just look at it. Now imagine yourself in a fleece robe draped across it watching your eighth consecutive hour of Mind Hunter. Imagine spilling wine on the couch and not freaking out because the couch is also red so the wine will blend right in. What I’m trying to say here is that this couch looks like the kind of couch you could live in, and what better way to stay cozy than to never leave your home?
5. These posters that you can get for FREE. That’s right. Free. Because we love you.
Week one of five Win It Wednesdays! Treat yo’self! Or someone else! Or both! The possibilities are endless. Empty walls? Fear no more! We got you! Check out our post to find out how to enter to win it.
And that’s about it for this week’s home highlights — think we missed something cool? Let us know!
Gifting Season is upon us…. as are the pressures of holiday spending!
Did you know that the average Canadian spends $1.68 for every dollar they make? Consumer debt is the worst, so is the mall and so are the thoughtless gifts your best friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s uncle bought you (a Keg gift certificate?! For a vegan?! C’mon Jim, we’ve been over this).
Why spend money you don’t have? Use Bunz to get what you need! It’s the key to getting great gift-able items, while also helping you offload some of last year’s gifts that you never got around to opening.
If you have brand new, or like-new items that would make great gifts for others, help get them into the eager hands of your fellow Bunz!
Make your posts easy to find by updating your item description to include the hashtag #GiftIt and watch those items fly into the hands of your fellow Bunz.
There’s a number of other hashtags that can also indicate the gift-worthiness of your items, here’s a few to consider adding as well:
#BNIB / #BNIP = Brand New In Box/Package
#BNWT = Brand New With Tags
#EUC = Excellent Used Condition
#TRUETRADE = expresses a willingness to trade only from what’s already on your profile
Connect with other members this Holiday season and help each other get by!
Stay tuned this week and be sure to follow @bunzofficial in the app, as we’ll be giving you multiple opportunities to GIFT YOURSELF with some amazing prizes! To qualify, get aboard with the above advice and tag at least one of your items with #GiftIt!
Taylee is a dancer, designer, foodie, unicorn hair haver…and most importantly, a fellow Bun who is always on the hunt for a good trade. Taylee is a self described recovering shopaholic and uses trading for items on Bunz as her rehab
Last month, Taylee tweeted something that caught our eye:
The #bunziverse can be a wonderful, magical, yet tricky place to navigate. Seasoned traders have been mapping their journeys with steady dedication for years, while new traders float in daily with anxious enthusiasm. When I joined Bunz a year ago I set a personal challenge to complete 365 trades in 365 days and it was an amazing experience. As I completed more trades and interacted with hundreds of other buns, I developed some best practices that helped improve the volume, quality and ease of my trades.
Here are the lessons that I’ve learned – may they help everyone trade better, faster, kinder and with more joy!
● Describe your items in detail, including size, colour, age, any wear, damage, and purchase place (if known).
● Be clear and upfront in your description. It’s much better to be honest about any flaws first, instead of having someone be unpleasantly surprised or disappointed afterwards and express that in a negative review.
● Be clever, creative or unique in your descriptions to grab attention.
● Use relevant hashtags like #truetrades, #homezone or #BNWT (brand new with tags) so people can search your item with various terms & categories.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, swear, be rude, disrespectful, use all caps, assume tone, or be a “mean girl” (all genders inclusive).
We all know how a simple interaction online can turn nasty – fast. Let’s imagine you aren’t chatting with a stranger on Bunz – you are sending a text to your boss, your mom, or your bestie. How does your tone and language change? Take the time to include the pleasantries in your texts with strangers that you would include for people you like, respect or care for. You may suddenly notice that all those people with “attitude” have disappeared! 😉 Still encounter a moody Bun? Exit the chat and don’t engage. Spend your chat time where it matters – with the next Bun waiting to trade with you.
Highly organized. Multi-tasker. Detail-oriented. Remember all those words you padded your CV with? Here’s where those skills truly come into play.
● Highly-organized: schedule your trades into your device calendar with details on time, location, travel time and items to bring. Set alarms for travel time and trade time. Develop a reminder system that works for you so you are ahead or on time. Pack up your trade items the night before so you’re not scrambling around trying to find things right before trading (been there, done that!). Not sure if a trade is on? Double-check with the other Bun. Keep in touch with your trades if you will be delayed. Most Buns say not hearing from the other Bun is far more stressful than waiting an extra few minutes when they know the Bun is en route.
● Multi-tasker: Arrange trades around the same place & time if you can. If one Bun cancels on you, you won’t have wasted your time. Arrange trades in at least 15 minute increments if you’re travelling by foot or subway, allow for more time by car. Use google maps to estimate travel times. Remember to add another 5–10 minutes for unavoidable delays with transit or weather. Arrived early? Let your buns know – you might be able to meet earlier and save time waiting. Multi-taskers are flexible and creative, and will try to make trades happen in a variety of times and places around their work or social schedule.
● Detail-oriented: Are you meeting on the SB or NB subway platform? Which exact street corner? Have you described your outfit, or something that makes it easy to spot you? For many buns who don’t have a face photo as their profile pic, this information is critical to avoid a missed connection. Establish these details in your chat well before your trade time. If your meeting location has spotty or non-existent wifi, you may not be able to use the app in real time and could miss your trade completely!
Everyone’s time is precious and valuable. Whether you’re a neurosurgeon or a professional thumb wrestler, you’ve got s**t to do. No one likes to be stood up. Keep in touch with your Buns. Apologize if you forgot a trade. Postpone a trade if you can’t make it. Cancel a trade if you change your mind. Not showing up (and yes, blocking immediately afterwards, we see you) is a pretty crummy thing to do. Save your ghosting for Tinder and keep it real on Bunz.
6. Thou shalt not commit flakery.
I like to think of flaking as “ghost-lite”. Buns that check in and out of conversations at random, repeatedly cancel trades or cancel last minute, keep other buns waiting, pending or on-hold indefinitely – these common frustrations seem to be considered overall poor #bunziquette. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a mini #bunzbreak. Update your profile with your absence. You’re not you when you’re flaky. Re-focus and start trading again when you can give others more attention.
7. Thou shalt not lowball / highball.
We all know our possessions depreciate with use. With a few exceptions, even new items lose value sitting in storage. Although sentimental value is priceless, not everyone will fall in love with your hot-pink-kittens-riding-unicorns pajamas that grandma lovingly knitted for you with her feet. Or maybe they will – no judgement here 😉 The point is everyone can easily check the prices of most items online and can make reasonable guesses as to what is a fair offer.
Most buns can and will negotiate, and many bulk trades I’ve had started with one or both of us adding items to “make things fair”. If you’re way low on your offer or crazy high on your ask, you can kill the convo right from the start. Research prices and start your negotiations somewhere around the middle to increase your trade quantity and quality. Really really really want the item? Offer a good fair trade right from their ISO before someone else beats you to it.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness, bully or name-shame against thy neighbour buns.
Maybe we’ve all been there. A chat gone wrong, a “no travel” ban, a flake, a ghost, a cash request (shock and horror!), or just a bad experience that’s left you fuming. The SJW in you cries “I must warn the others!” The secret, they-who-must-not-be-named malevolent in you mutters “I’ll show them!”. Regardless of your outer or inner motivations, airing your personal grievances publicly only serves to make everyone involved look bad. There are at least two sides to every story, and yours may not be the one smelling so sweet after the court of public opinion weighs in. Learn from the dodgy experience. Be a better bun, and move on. The best revenge is bunzing well.
9. Thou shalt covet thy neighbours profile.
Question: What are the three sweetest words in any language?
Answer: “Anything in mine?”
If you really want to increase your trades, declutter your items, or find cool stuff, you need to look at profiles and ISOs. A profile is like a Florida flea market – you never know what you’ll find and sometimes the good stuff is way at the back. Some of my absolute favourite best trades are things I saw on profiles that were not on my ISO list.
(Some non-ISO fave trades, clockwise from top: original art; sake cup; vinyl album; ring dish)
● Spend 5 to 10 minutes browsing each profile – I mean actually reading descriptions and opening pictures.
● Someone liked your item? Check their profile. If they have something you like, message them with a trade offer. They made the first move by showing interest in your item, why not reciprocate?
● As Wayne Gretsky famously didn’t say “You miss 100 percent of the trades you never take!”. I send out a lot of trade offers. I don’t worry about the Buns that don’t respond or decline – they go straight to archive. I spend my chat time with the buns interested in trading.
10. Honour thy father and thy mother Bunz.
Technically this is the 5th commandment, but I saved it for the end. Bunz can be so many things to so many people – a community, a lifeline, a resource, a game changer, a declutter-er, a money saver, a fun distraction, a shopping channel, a trend alert, a social network, a casual fling, a serious commitment. For the people behind the scenes, it’s their job, but it’s also their passion. It is what we make it. It might not be all things to everyone, but for most of us, it’s pretty darn amazeballs.
Cherish these commandments, go forth, trade well, and live your best #Bunzlife.
Bunz tends to be synonymous with Toronto…but actually, we’re global! Helping Bunz find its’ footing in your city might take a little work, but it will pay off! Below are a few tips to start a thriving Bunz community wherever you are. It starts with you signing up at Bunz.com, or getting the app for iOS or Android.
A post a day 🍎… sets a great example!
The best thing you can do to start a new Bunz community is make sure there is something new on Bunz every day. This way people are more likely to keep coming back to see what’s been posted. At the same time, people are more likely to post items themselves, following your example!
Getting started ✅
On Day 1, try making 5–10 posts to populate the feed in your city. After that, try posting 1–2 times a day over the course of a few weeks to keep the momentum going.
Share your posts on social media 👀
Next, you’ll want people to see the posts you’re making on Bunz. The easiest way to do this is by sharing your posts to wherever you are most active on the web. Facebook is a great place to start.
Consider sharing your posts on your wall, your friends’ walls and into groups that you’re a part of, and tell people about the greatness that is the growing Bunz community in your city.
You can also share posts on Twitter, Instagram, via email or text message (if you’re using the Bunz mobile apps on Android or iOS).
If your friends need more convincing, send them a link from our press page!
Get social 🗣
Last but not least, engage with Bunz on our socials! You’ll always receive a response…and it’s a great way to get linked in the the Bunziverse! 🙂
An online community of people in Toronto are mobilizing to provide for those in need, using the online trading app, ‘Bunz’
There’s a raw, brutalist element to the streets of Toronto and in winter it gets cold. Really cold. Throughout the Downtown area thick, grey concrete reaches for the sky; concrete built to withstand these frigid and uncaring, Canadian winters.
This style of architecture, imported from Britain, was adopted as it lent itself to Ontario – being an affordable, attractive and inexpensive way to construct buildings in a way that allowed climate control to be easily regulated.
All around you are the sights, sounds and smells of a big city. Traffic. Sirens. Garbage. People heading somewhere, in a daze, heads down, headphones shoved in ears. Nobody is looking for a conversation, nobody looks to connect with others. Only digitally.
The immersive digital world has become both a blessing and a burden to our societies. Many facets of digital technologies have made us close off to the outside world, disinterested in venturing outside of our own, closed communities.
These figurative horse blinkers — in the form of mobile phones – make many of us ignore problems like homelessness.
Throughout downtown Toronto, men and women clutch onto signs of desperation; visible cries for help which often go ignored, as if they exist in a different dimension.
Digital communities are plugging the gaps in services by coming together
Luckily, more and more people are coming together online to help provide for those in need, whether through tackling food insecurity of donating items they no longer need for those who are really in need. People are showing the the digitalization of our lives isn’t all bad news.
Social media is also breaking down barriers, enabling individuals who fall on hard times to tell their stories so that those who might be otherwise be indifferent, can grow compassionate about the plights of others. We saw this in the series, Red Button Stories, where homeless youths in Toronto were given camera phones in order to document their lives. It takes knowledge of something for change to come and from that, compassion is sometimes able to grow.
This compassion is really shining through in many forms on Bunz.
What is Bunz?
Bunz is a digital trading app where you can swap items you no longer need for ones that you do. People generally meet at subway stations or street junctions to swap their items.
Eli Klein, who works for Bunz, said: “We’re an internet company that makes people get off the internet. People review each other, and when they do we consider that a completed trade. So we can see that between 700–800 trades a day are completing; that’s 1,500 people meeting offline a day.”
Eli is still amazed at how the company he works for can bring such warmth into people’s lives: “Ultimately, what it comes down to is community and that people are helping each other. That’s why this started, that’s why we do what we do and it’s really heart-warming to hear stories where that is happening.”
Bunz was created when Emily Bitze posted online looking for ingredients she needed in order to make a dinner. She ended up sharing a meal with a neighbour and the group — initially a closed invitation-only group — took off from their. There is now an app and it has seeded in cities like Montreal, San Francisco and beyond.
Meet Lisa Gardner
Lisa has lived in Toronto for 20 years. For much of that time, she’s been a line cook; a role that has been both physically and emotionally draining, without ever being paid a living wage. She has previously suffered from symptoms of anxiety, like agoraphobia. Lisa now works part time in a bakery, while studying psychology: “I know I can’t carry on working in a kitchen all my life,” Lisa told me, explaining how much it took out of her to cook full time and the impact it was having on her mental health.
She started using Bunz so that she could afford to survive in the city.
“I’ve been to culinary school and I’ve never earned more than $14 an hour. And that’s why I’m trying to get out of this field of work.
“The cost of living in Canada generally has increased, whereas the wages have generally remained stagnant. So where twenty or thirty years ago someone could go to college or finish high school and get a job and support a family on one income; a modest family, a modest home. You really can’t do that any more,” she said.
“I am getting better at negotiating and I am learning that my skills are valued. which is building my self-esteem.”
Lisa said that although there are soup kitchens and services in the city which help those on low incomes, or those suffering from food insecurity, some ask to see pay slips or proof that you are indeed struggling — processes Lisa believes some people may find invasive and embarrassing. Though she sees the reason for these checks, she thinks Bunz allows people to feel they are giving something back, rather than simply taking and abusing people’s altruism: “I’ve known about Bunz for a year, and used the Facebook page before crossing to the app.
“I feel it really has a sense of community and it’s a really great way to survive for those on a lower income.
“A lot of young people starting out, students and people living in poverty are really benefiting from Bunz. People who have a home and might make a living, but what they earn is not sufficient to meet all their needs. This is a great way for them to get a little further.
“We all have homes full of objects; some we don’t need or use. It’s much better to be able to trade something you don’t need for a service or item that you do and I think this is beneficial to both parties, making use of all the resources in a community that way.”
She uses the skills honed from her career as a cook to facilitate her trades on Bunz. She has already traded over 25 jars of jam she made herself. She also reciprocated the love from the Bunz community she had received, by filling a backpack with food and giving it to an individual she had seen to be struggling in the city.
Lisa told me she was interested by how rural ways of living — in the sense of community spirit and sharing — seemed to be permeating life in big, Canadian cities like Toronto and Montreal. She grew up out West and whenever her family were visiting friends or relatives they would take a food, clothing and groceries that were no longer needed to give away. Sharing resources. It is this way of thinking which, she believes, is beginning to thrive in Toronto, noticeably through the medium of Bunz: “The great thing about Toronto is that million dollar properties sit next to ramshackle properties, but everyone does their best to get along. We’re all part of this society so let’s do our best.”
Amanda Eston is collecting care packages for women’s shelters
Amanda Easton has been creating care packages for women’s shelters. Using her own money, she had started to put together packages to help women who found themselves homeless, or in need or feminine hygiene products that were too expensive.
“I was watching CBC News and they were talking about the adversities that homeless women face. They mentioned how hard it was for some to get a hold of feminine products, so I thought I’d start collecting things on my own,” Amanda said.
On a friend’s suggestion to do so, she reached out to the Bunz community to ask for supplies and donations in order to help put the packages together. She didn’t quite expect the volume of those wanting to help her: “The bags are focused on women’s needs during their menstrual cycle.
“So my friend posted in the Bunz group, and people were super receptive. I have to say, what a great group of people.”
Amanda found feminine hygiene products at a fraction of the price on the shelves of Toronto stores
Amanda had begun to research ways she could buy expensive products for women in bulk, in order to donate them. The 29 year-old who finished Law School last year, searched on Alibaba.com and found reusable menstrual cups for $1.30 USD — products that retail at $30 CAD in city supermarkets: “I initially purchased 13. That’s virtually how it started, and from there I started collecting things.
“I was going to create the kits entirely on my own,” she said.
“Originally my plan was to go downtown and find women who needed stuff. But when I went, around July, it seemed like everyone disappeared, or I was in the wrong area. I also didn’t feel comfortable approaching people either because I thought, maybe they’re not homeless, or in need.”
The packages consist of an array of feminine hygiene products, reusable underwear, flushable wipes and toiletries. All of which can prove both difficult and expensive to those who find themselves out on the streets.
Amanda has since been in contact with women’s homeless shelters, like Nellies, who provide a list online of items they need, and hygiene products were labelled “urgent” as many similar organisations across the city do. She plans to drop off the first batch of these care packages to a women’s shelter in the near future.
“Essentially what I put in were tampons, menstrual cups, lip balm and the flushable wipes. Most of the rest of the items were donated from Bunz.”
Alena Dervisevic, Amanda’s friend who had suggested she reach out to the Bunz community, also helped her collect items from people who donated. She said: “Amanda is extremely generous and caring and puts a lot of her own time in to helping others.”
Sistering are an not-for-profit organisation, similar to Nellies, who provide a safe haven for marginalised and low-income women in Toronto.
Charlotte Empey, a spokesperson for them, praised this kind of selfless giving as vital to the sustainability of such organisations: “Many not-for-profits, Sisteringincluded, are lean operations that focus resources — human and capital — on delivering the much-needed program that serve their communities.”
She added that this often means they are not in a position to take full advantage of the opportunities available via digital communities.
“The digital community [Bunz] is uniquely placed to reach out to a wide circle of potential Sistering supporters — volunteers and donors — in ways that significantly impact both the people who want to engage with Sistering and the women we support.” Charlotte Empey, for Sistering.
“We serve a diverse group of women aged 16 to 80 plus: women with substance use and mental health issues; sex workers; women who have interactions with the criminal justice system; women who have experienced, or are experiencing, trauma and violence; immigrant and refugee women; women with health issues and disabilities; and women without legal status,” she said.
Research undertaken by the organisation highlighted that the number of homeless women in Toronto is up by seven per cent since 2006.
According to the City of Toronto website, an estimated 5,253 people are currently sleeping rough — either out on the streets, in emergency shelters or in health or correctional facilities across the city.
Due to the transient nature of those who are homeless, the real figure might be much higher, as the reported rates are believed to be underreported. They also fail to capture the extent of the current problem and take into account issues like hidden homelessness.
To lay the blame for the deaths of people who are homeless, or the reason they are homeless in the first place, would be imprudent. But it is safe to say that they are being failed. According to the Toronto Star, as of March this year there had been 27 homeless deaths in the city in just three months. This is a rate of more than two people dying each week.
While interventions to reduce homelessness exist, they are not always adequate or successful. Whether this is due to the lack of adequate housing support models or the struggle for people to break out of cycles of poverty if they grew up in it. But whatever the reason, Bunz is enabling an open-minded community of people who want to make connections, provide food and essentials to those in need and make the large city of Toronto feel more like a tight-knit community.
So as the trees of Toronto begin to shed their leaves we know that coldness is on its way. But it is nice to think that there are people out there wanting to bring warmth into the lives of others.
The dev team here at HQ has been working hard on some new features as well as improving a lot of the backend infrastructure so this app works better and faster! We wanted to update you on what’s going on here, what’s new, and what we got coming down the pipe.
First off — We’re building this for you, so we want to hear from you. What would make Bunz more fun to use? What’s that one thing that if we had it you would be showing all your friends? Let us know at [email protected] And tell us if you’re on Android, iOS, or web.
You may have noticed a couple updates ago that there’s a new way to set your location. That was a result of changing the whole way location works on Bunz. We relied on city boundaries from Google. Which was great, but what if you live on a border and you can’t see posts from a kilometre away without switching your city? So now it works on a radius around any location you select. And moving your entire location is as easy as dragging and dropping. That took a while. The update coming out so soon is more interesting…
Quicker posting flow and “Trade Value”
The latest drop is our revamp to the create post flow. We simplified it by removing a step and made it look and work just a little nicer. This is live now on web, and coming to mobile as your next update so soon.
The biggest change here is a new field you can fill out when creating a post. “Trade Value”, is an optional detail you can add to your post. First off, we know value itself is very subjective, and a rather fluid concept. A lot of the things we trade don’t have a strict monetary value in our minds. But sometimes they do, and we’re looking for a fair trade. We’ve found that one of the most common questions that is asked when inquiring about an item is: what sort of value are you looking for this? Now you can just add the value you want to a post. Or not. Entirely up to you.
We’re excited to build some new features that will make content easier to browse, and the app more fun to use.
Up next…collections! We’re removing the trending posts from the top of your feed in favour of different themed collections. Houseplants, video games, cameras, and a lot more! We’re even trying to work out how to let some of you creative folks curate specific collections in the future. Trending posts aren’t disappearing, they will still exist as a collection. Mobile app users, your following feed will also likely become a collection, so that it doesn’t have to interfere with your other notifications.
We’re also tightened up our reviewing process a bit. Soon, when you submit a review, it will not be visible until the other party has completed their review as well. Just a small tweak aimed at making things more fair for everyone.
We’re brainstorming the best way for you to be able to sort through your chats. We’re entertaining the idea of building a scheduler for you to keep track of trades. Your input has a high impact on what we build and when, so please reach out to us at [email protected] with what you want to see on the apps or website.
Two years ago this month, I was flying out to California to attend a dear friend’s wedding. (Among other things, I love celebrating love) As per usual I ended up in a conversation at thirty thousand feet with the lady sitting next to me. We will call her Claire for the purposes of this article, and to say I was unprepared for the stickiness of our conversation, would be an enormous understatement.
At the time of our flight I was flying high, both figuratively and literally. I had just finished filming interviews for our upcoming sustainability documentary, and six months prior, had safely completed a cross continent cycling tour. Needless to say, Claire and I had ample subject matter to talk about. (Film Facts available here)
However semi surprisingly, Claire quickly breezed over many of my experts to ask the simplest question of all: ‘Why are you doing all of this Stephen?”
Then Claire stated, “What do you mean zero waste?”
I replied, “Well, simply put I challenged myself to create no garbage for the first year of the project. Any garbage I did create, I committed to keeping in my house until the year was complete.” (I know, it sounds a little gross)
“So how much garbage did you create?” asked Claire.
In my most polite tone, integrating a twist of Americana, I replied: “Less than one bag Ma’am.”
Claire immediately replied: “Really Stephen? How? My Husband and I easily create two bags a week!”
Now, by this point in our conversation Claire had mentioned to me that she had two children, so I said, “Claire, what if I told you someone was holding your kids hostage, and the only way to free them was to create no garbage for a week. Do you think you could do it?”
Claire quickly replied: “Absolutely!” And that was the point in our conversation when her facial expression changed. You know the look someone gives during that ‘A’ha’ moment? Well you can imagine that look on forty something Claire from Southern California.
So I replied: “That is exactly how I did it Claire. I realized that zero waste living, and sustainability at large, is not really a challenge, it’s a choice. And when the steaks are high enough… the choice is simple.”
I share this story with you because in this week’s episode of SustainableJoes’ 2084 I had the privilege of speaking with Bea Johnson. A former French Au Pair who came to America at the age of 17 in search of the America dream, and ended up starting a global movement which is quite the contrary.