Blog Post: Gecko Makes It Easy
Gecko Makes It Easy How to reduce your impact, strengthen your community, and enhance your lifestyle. The range of new products available that have a deduced environmental impact continually impresses me. Ever the optimist, I take this as a sign that a real shift is happening in the way humans understand the connections between modern society and the natural systems we intersect. Yet, I do get a bit frustrated that sustainable products are often hard to find in my everyday shopping. Its not that I’m a lazy guy, but I get the impression that if it was easy for people to buy “green” products while they’re out for eggs and milk, they would do it more often. I know I would. This theory is exactly why I was happy to discover a store called Gecko Green Living. It’s a store in Vancouver located at 3128 West Broadway that sells, as they describe it, eco-friendly, funky stuff for the family – and they really have everything something for everyone, including man’s best friend. I currently have my eyes on an iPod case made out recycled printer mats. The company that makes it fabricates iPad and iPod cases and wallets out of mats that are used for large run printing like, for example, book covers or beer bottle labels. Each case or wallet has a super cool and unique design. Some of Gecko’s best selling products include a wide selection of green and biodegradable cleaning products and reusable lunch/snack bags. They also sell a bunch of stuff that I found truly innovative and impressive, ranging from the biodegradable doggy bags to backpacks that use solar panels to charge your electronics. You really have got to check this place out to appreciate the selection! Gecko was founded in August of 2008 on Salt Spring Island, BC by the husband and wife duo; Michael Lahay and Clare Cullen. A few months ago they moved the operation to its current Kitsilano location in Vancouver. The store was established after Michael and Clare wanted to stop purchasing single use products like zip lock bags. They found that getting access to more sustainable products was harder than it should have been, and decided to create a solution by opening a store that carried the merchandise they wanted to use. Luckily it is easier than ever to operate a place like Gecko. Thanks to the Internet, people are becoming increasingly connected to information about the impact we humans are having on the globe. More than ever people are buying products that are easier on the health of the consumer and the environment. Michael sees his store as filling a previously unmet need in Vancouver. Before Gecko opened its doors you could not find the variety of green-products that is sells consolidated in a single location. I’d agree that his store is pretty unique as far as Vancouver is concerned. In the few years I’ve lived here I have unfortunately never come across a place like it… but to tell you the truth I haven’t seen one anywhere else either! I think it’s really important to appreciate that Gecko’s uniqueness goes far beyond the products that they sell. Michael and Clare take a very conscious approach to maximizing Gecko’s positive impact on their community. They source as many products as they can from BC to cut down on the energy needed to ship those items to the store and to keep as much money as possible in the local economy. On Salt Spring Island, Gecko organized multiple earth day celebrations, creek and beach cleanup days, and skill sharing days. They are hosting an upcoming skill sharing day in Vancouver that I’d encourage everyone to check out. It’s a great opportunity to learn about all sorts of stuff from bicycle maintenance to food preservation. Because of Gecko’s focus on providing great products and community building I think it’s an amazing example of the triple bottom line thinking in action. It is a business that has made a strong commitment to building community with local resources. We could all take a cue from what Michael and Clare are doing by supporting our peers and taking the initiative to help a better world from the ground up. Gecko gets two big thumbs up in my book! If you want more info on Gecko Green Living or any of their upcoming events you can head in and check out the store at: - 3128 West Broadway or give them a call at (604) 568-7992. - They also have a profile on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GeckoGreenLiving - as well as a website coming soon.