Products will be sold at the warehouse Thursdays and Saturdays until a permanent location is found. (Brieanna Charlebois/ Morning Star)

Zero Waste Store opens in Vernon

Permanent location is sought for Vernon store, Kelowna store to come.

The recent worldwide movement to reduce waste has prompted a new business in Vernon.

Farm Bound, a locally-owned Okanagan business, has been delivering organic, Okanagan food to communities throughout B.C. for over three years. The founder, owner and CEO of Farm Bound, Jaye Siegmueller, decided that the next step for the company would be launching a zero waste store.

Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to end up in landfills, incinerators or the ocean. Its an approach that aims for a massive change in the way materials flow through society, ideally resulting in no waste.

“The zero waste movement started in Europe a few years ago and it’s just spread like wildfire. There’s a lot of awareness around plastic usage like the no-straw movement, which is a really great start, but we can do so much more. At Farm Bound, we’re really committed to local food and environmental sustainability so I wanted to take that one step further to invite the consumer to look at our habits,” Siegmueller said. “It’s just a small simple thing but if we can just get used to bringing jars and containers and bringing reasonable produce bags, we can eliminate so much waste and, inherently, we’ll just eat a lot healthier.”

Related: Entrepreneurs challenged

Related: Vernon grocers give back to food bank

Set to launch last September, she said they initially decided to open the first Zero Waste store in Kelowna but the project was halted after a pipe burst just nine days before the official opening.

So, in the meantime, she said they have decided to test out the model in Vernon.

“We were really lucky to get containers from a business in Armstrong that was getting rid of their bulk section so now we’re going to open up a Zero Waste store here in our warehouse for our Thursday sale and start looking for a more permanent location in Vernon that can be open seven days a week.”

Vernon’s Farm Bound warehouse sale takes place Thursdays from 12 p.m.- 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10a.m. – 3 p.m. at 1935 11th Avenue.

“What we do for the warehouse sales is sell off our overstock from our deliveries at a discount and now, at the same time, we’ll also be selling the zero waste stuff.”

She said that they are hoping to have access to the Kelowna store by the end of the month, while also actively looking for a permanent store location in Vernon.

“Honestly, we just want to get started,” she said. “We kind of lost steam a little bit with all the flooding and I just want to get it going. So we’re going to start by opening here and I think that’s a great way to test out the market, see what people like and what they want to buy.”

With a focus on locally-sourced, fresh food, she said that she’s excited to have gained some traction with local suppliers.

“They’re really on board with it. They don’t like the packaging either because it’s an expense for their business and they really see that there’s an opportunity to do better. It’s good for the consumer too because there’s also going to be cost savings of 10-20 per cent because they’re not going to have to package food products,” Siegmueller said.

“The zero waste movement is just the next evolution. So our purpose is to connect everybody with the local, organic farmers and then now, let’s look at our waste and take it one step further so everything is a progression. I don’t know what will be next after zero waste.”

Related: Nature’s Fare donates $13,000 to Vernon Food Bank

Related: North Okanagan food box program’s rebirth a success

Related: IPE announces Charity of Choice

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