Keeping Mother Nature Clean-Using Entrepreneurship to Achieve Sustainability

Written By: Christine Wincentaylo

The idea of entrepreneurship is how I created my own project. Humans are naturally creative, we must use it to the best of our advantage. My project is called A Tin A Day, which creates social change within homeless populations in Edmonton and the surrounding areas, by providing self-care tins to individuals. These tins include essential items all compacted in a container. For each grant used for the ATAD, I buy one plastic-free packing product to use as one of the essential products in each tin. Pads and tampons are commonly placed in our tins, but Period poverty is the reality for many menstruators, with “nearly a quarter of Canadian women and a third of women under 25 have struggled to afford menstrual products”(Parraga, 2020). My project has focused on working with homelessness and helping with the gaps of poverty, by giving the essentials needed for the winter season and self-care items to help with health and wellness needs. Zero hunger is another sustainable goal, which is why I place protein bars and healthy snacks inside the tins and we place gift cards for food vendors. and finding products to help with period poverty, food insecurity through free food coupons. Food insecurity sadly has impacted 9.9 percent of people, with  “811 million people who still go hungry”(World Hunger, 2021). Once the pandemic started the number of “undernourished people grew by 161 million”(World Hunger, 2021).

I chose to use tins because they are durable during the cold months in Canada. Tins are unable to be recycled, so I chose to reuse them, otherwise, they would have ended up in the landfill. Mental health plays an essential role in what A Tin A Day supports. A QR code is placed inside the tin lids, once scanned the QR code directs individuals to mental health resources to the “A Tin A Day” website. The QR code is accessible for individuals with any technology that can scan a QR code. Another goal I’ve been working towards is reusing items that can be recycled. Sustainability is a priority for a healthier future. In Canada, roughly “one-third of an average dump is made up of packaging material”(Unknown, 2021), and Americans “throw out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted”(USI, 2021).

 I’ve created cardholders with the cardboard of tea containers, while also using plastic muffin cavity containers to place inside the cardboard container that have ATAD’s “Mental Health Resources” cards for small businesses and non-profits in Edmonton and surrounding areas. Reducing inequality is why I have cards that have been translated into five different languages, working on reducing the inaccessibility of language being a barrier to finding help. Also within my project, I also started collecting pill bottles to create “opioid helplines” that have helplines inside the pill bottles for individuals to call for immediate help. It’s also to share and destigmatize the idea of pills, medication..etc. 

References 

Action Against Hunger. (2021). World Hunger: Key Facts and Statistics of 2021. https:/ /www.actionagainsthunger.org/world-hunger-facts-statistics

Parraga, J. (2020). Period Poverty- Rapport. Western University.https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/rapport/2020/topical/period_poverty.html

UN. (2021). Take Action for the Sustainable Development Goals. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

The University of Southern Indiana. (2021). Solid Waste & Landfill Facts. https://www.usi.edu/recycle/solid-waste-landfill-facts/

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