2020 - Year in Review
After a year that brought so many challenges, we are choosing to close it out with a few words of gratitude and appreciation. As they say; without darkness, there can be no light. And this is our way of focusing on those lights that shone brightly despite the difficulties we all faced.
First and foremost, as a result of many of the implications of the global pandemic, we saw a bond that grew stronger in our small communities. Relying on each other, on kindness and compassion, and a return to the simple things in life. To our amazing local communities of Ucluelet and Tofino—we are so incredibly grateful, it brings us a lot of joy to be able to serve you and we wouldn’t be here to write this wrap-up without your support throughout this past year, and all of its ups and downs.
One of the silver linings of The Great Pause was an overall reduction in emissions all around the world as people stopped their commutes and shifted their routines to be closer to home. Local travel became more of a focus than ever, over travelling afar. While it felt like a loss for many, the side effect of a significantly reduced carbon footprint was a win for the environment.
As business-as-usual changes (and continues to evolve), new ways of operating are becoming the new normal. More than 50 small businesses in our amazing communities of Ucluelet and Tofino chose to take ownership in reducing their single-use plastics and switch to environmentally friendly products with our BNB Refill Program. By our math, we have collectively diverted approximately 12,500 single-use bottles from the landfill in the past year and estimate that over 5,000 litres of natural and biodegradable liquid went down our drains. All during a pandemic, no less. And all thanks to our lovely local community for showing up and taking the initiative to make lasting changes.
Another highlight this year is a new warehouse space that we are lucky enough to share with Mint Cleaning Co. Their entire range of all-natural cleaning products are now available in-store and online, and we are so proud of what these women have accomplished in the last year. If you’re not familiar with their products, you’re in for a real treat. Speaking of pride, we also take a lot of pride in the fact that 80% of our products are female-run businesses, with roughly 70% of our suppliers being BC-based.
What’s on the horizon for 2021, you might ask? We’ve got a couple of exciting new partnerships in both Tofino and Ucluelet coming about in the new year—stay tuned for more on those. Here’s a hint: it’s part of our expanded BNB refill program, soon to include refill amenities to hotels with 100+ rooms. Because these larger-scale accommodation providers are responsible for approximately 150,000 single-use plastics annually due to the small in-room shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bottles provided. Together, our aim is to divert all of their single-use plastics while providing 100% ocean-friendly and biodegradable product refills. The new year ahead is bound to be filled with possibility, unknowns, and opportunities to learn, grow and evolve together.
Since we opened The Den we have been focused on serving locals first, while also appealing to the visitors who love our coast as much as we do. This past year has truly reinforced the importance of community and we can’t express enough how much we love and appreciate all of the support. Here’s to a year in the books that was equal parts challenging and inspiring. We can’t wait to see what this next year will bring. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay in touch—we love to see and hear from you on your zero waste journey.