Montrealers, along with people all over the world, are learning more and more about how everyday actions can have big impacts on the environment. Things like the way we get places, the clothes we wear and even the foods we eat. That's right: something as simple which Montreal grocery store you shop at can help combat climate change.
Basta a new one-stop-grocery-shop in the Plateau that teaches locals more about a green lifestyle that helps minimize our carbon footprints, including local products, limiting processed items and offering reusable packaging.
We got the chance to speak to Alexandre Dufresne, Basta's founder all about his journey to bring his green idea to life.
Basta is eliminating waste one department at a time.
One of the best parts about Basta is that it's got an entire section dedicated to reusable containers.
Currently, the store has 150-200 products in reusable containers and plans to expand.
Made of a thicker plastic that is durable and can be put in the dishwasher, the material was chosen for its practicality and limited energy consumption in production.
Customers pay a $2.50 deposit on the containers, which will be refunded if they are brought back to the store.
"A lot of people have been telling me they've been looking for this type of solution for a while, but they were only online or not full grocery (not a one-stop-shop)," Alexandre told MTL Blog.
Of course, not every item can be bought in a reusable container, but the goal is to make the option as available as possible.
It's a great place to learn about sustainability.
Alexandre taught us many things about environmental practices — turns out, even things we think are "green" may not be as effective as we think.
For example, did you know that here in Quebec, we don't recycle glass even though the majority of us put it in the recycling bin thinking that it is?
Basta isn't just a place to practice the green lifestyle, but to learn even more about it and the realities of our impacts on the environment.
And Alexandre wants people to know that it isn't about telling people what to do or not do. "It's important for me to be transparent and really have a discussion with my customers."
The store is filled with signage and resources to educate customers on emissions, consumption and the travel impacts on our groceries.
This project was two years in the making.
A project this big obviously took a lot of work. Two years, to be exact.
Not only does it bring more local products from Quebec and across the country to the city, but the team helps companies who have always been interested in reducing waste overcome obstacles they've faced in doing so, like brand integrity and quality control.
Even items that don't get used have a place in the store: The Basta team takes leftover fruits and vegetables to create things like soups or smoothie starters.
"I never dreamt of having a grocery store... I'm just glad it's being well-received," he says.
Address: 505, rue Rachel E., Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: To turn something as simple as grocery shopping into doing your part for the planet.