October 19, 2021
The start of the friendlier movement
If you would have asked me 2 years ago about my outlook on the environment, my response would have been pessimistic.
I had fallen into a habit of watching every environmental-related documentary on Netflix. It’s funny how each one highlights a different problem but follows the same overall storyline:
1. Present a unique problem that is the biggest threat to the planet
2. Show evidence supporting the claim that it is the biggest threat to the planet
3. Present a call to action that claims to be able to solve the problem entirely
While the calls to action are inspiring, I was left feeling like there were too many problems to solve and not enough bandwidth to solve them all. At the time, Kayli and I were university students, completing our final co-op placements as Chemical Engineering students. As the end of our schooling loomed, we searched for full time employment.
With a mind clouded with fear for the planet, it seemed impossible to take a job that wasn’t contributing in a large way to preserving and restoring the environment. I remember thinking, if climate change is going to wipe away humanity, I want to know that I have done everything in my power to stop it. That was the moment that Kayli and I decided that we would do everything that we could to make as big of an impact as we could.
One year later, with a global pandemic added to the list of problems that the world faces, Kayli and I launched our reusable packaging system with our first restaurants in Guelph Ontario. I remember the shear joy and excitement we felt with every new partner we acquired. I felt such amazement when I witnessed a consumer bringing back a container for the first time.. “should I tell them that I started this company? Would they care?” It was an entirely new experience for us. What started as 20 minutes/week of dishwashing at the University of Guelph turned into 2 hours, then 4, then 8. Pretty soon, we were desperately searching for our own facility with 24/7 access. The containers poured out to restaurants and flocked back to us week after week. Our hands were raw from dishwashing and our sleep was at an all-time low, but our dream was coming to life before our eyes.
With the start of Waste Reduction Week 2021, we are proud to announce the rebrand and relaunch of Friendlier, formerly A Friendlier Company. We are more than just one friendlier company, but we are joined by so many businesses, supporters, and change makers on this mission to eliminate waste. Together, we are all striving to be Friendlier.
If you ask me about my outlook on the environment, I am no longer pessimistic. I have witnessed the power of people and their capacity for change. We are moving in the right direction, and I am extremely proud to be a part of this Friendlier movement.