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Is someone giving it away? A story of community crowdsourcing

Welcome to Episode 4 of our “Building a Low Impact Grocery Store” blog series! ICYMI – we’re almost done construction of Nada and have learned a lot about how to build and renovate with as little impact as we know how. Last week, we shared our overall construction decision process, which basically consisted of seven questions:

  1. Do we need it? Are we sure we need it?
  2. Do we already have it?
  3. Is someone giving it away?
  4. Can we purchase it second-hand?
  5. What about pre-loved? Or reclaimed?
  6. OK, are we sure we’ve exhausted all of our options for finding it second-hand?
  7. OK fine, fine, fine. If we really have to buy it new, what can we do to make this the best purchase possible?

Today, we’re on question three – and how we crowdsourced from our community rather than buying new!

Is someone giving it away?

We wouldn’t be able to write this post if not for the incredible community who has contributed towards this store. From the beginning, we wanted to involve you guys in the build-out as much as we could, in recognition that it truly took a community to create this store. We were so grateful to have a team of dedicated volunteers on hand to help us tear down the walls, sort materials, paint fixtures, and more – basically everything that needed to happen to help keep these #zerowaste hacks affordable, and thus possible for us.

But on the subject of giving stuff away, you guys truly came through. A couple weeks ago we asked our community to help us source a whole lotta random bits and bobs for the store – everything from dishcloths to barstools, plant holders to a computer! As always, you guys totally came through, and we had so many offers of donations to the store. We’ll be highlighting all of the stories of crowdsourced items in-store as we open, so that you can see just how much the community built this store!

It may not be glamorous, but here are some of our early wins: a cork board and storage racks from our neighbours at La Boussole, and even a commercial-grade Blentec taking a ride in the rain!

This not only helped us tremendously – helping us not buy new, helping us save some cash, helping us connect more with our community – but so many of you shared that these were items that were just sitting around for you, collecting dust. The expression “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” might be cliché, but it reminds us of all the stuff that is out there, if only we could find better ways to connect! So let’s give a huge high-five to the #sharingeconomy and to everyone in our community who shared with us!