Commitment to the Environment & Our Community
The Red Apron actively looks to lessen our environmental footprint, support our local community and reduce waste, especially packaging, in every step of our process.
We source all of our ingredients in bulk, in their purest form. For example, loose vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, sugar, flour come into our shop in cardboard boxes, or large paper bags weighing anywhere from 10 to 22 kilos. Meat is sourced directly from the farmer and is packaged in bulk, boxed, or wrapped in paper.
Our cardboard boxes, cans & bottles are separated from our garbage and recycled through our relationship with Tomlinson. They come twice a week to pick up those items, leaving very little that goes into the garbage.
During the growing season, our farmers deliver to us in reusable containers, and either transfer to our own reusable containers, or we hold them for our farmers to pick up on their next visit. Sourcing locally supports our community, and reduces the distance that food travels from field to plate.
Paper & Biodegradable Shopping Bags
We use paper bags in store, and encourage our clients to bring reusable bags. Plastic bags are only provided upon request and we try to source biodegradable plastic where available. We also sell reusable canvas bags in store, made by Eco Equitable Ottawa – a not for profit providing skills training for new immigrant or underemployed women. They create conference bags and promotional materials using materials that are salvaged or repurposed. We love to see our customers coming back to our store with our branded bags.
Our food waste (trimmings, peels, ends) is kept separate from our garbage and stored for pick up by one of our farmers. This provides our farmer with both income (as we pay to have it picked up) and also food to feed his pigs on the farm.
When we package items for sale in our retail store, we use the smallest container and squeeze the most food into it that we can. Our goal is not to make the food in the container ‘appear’ to be more. Our clients know that the portions are generous, and new clients are always surprised by how much food we manage to squeeze into each container. The packaging we use (lids and containers) are recyclable in Ottawa’s Blue Box Program.
Compostable Dinner to Your Door Containers
We recently moved to a compostable box for our ‘dinner to your door service’. This box is used for all food items that are not too wet to be held safely in this compostable container. These containers (Plant to Earth) go in your green bin at home and are great for collecting green bin items in your kitchen, before putting them in the green bin, reducing mess and smell in your home bin.
Electric Delivery Vehicles
In 2018, we replaced our one gas powered vehicle with two fully electric vehicles, which are used to deliver meals to our clients and run errands for our business.
Working to Replace All Single Use Plastics
We are working towards a new partnership with Tilton, a Quebec based, family owned manufacturer of containers. Our goal for this relationship is twofold: replace ALL single use plastics with items that they manufacture which are made 100% from recycled materials and are 100% recyclable in Ottawa; and where possible, to replace some of our containers with those that are made from plants, and are 100% compostable.
Our coffee supplier uses solar power to roast their fairly traded product, and it’s delivered to our door in their own fully electric vehicle. Their packages are 100% compostable, and we keep our spent coffee grains for them to pick up and they use them to fertilize their gardens. Our cold pressed juice supplier (Renew) delivers her juices in reusable glass jars, which we collect here and return to her each week
Growing Our Own Herbs
Two years ago we installed a garden wall in our back parking lot so we could grow herbs and flowers to use in our meals.
Supporting Community Organizations
We support many organizations in our community who farm, provide services to the underserved in our community, mentor and train youth & new Canadians, and provide support to people experiencing hardship. These organizations include:
– Candlelighters (Supporting families with children with cancer)
– Refuse 2 Lose (Providing support for families with children with cancer)
– Harmony House (Shelter for women escaping domestic violence)
– Parkdale Food Centre
– Habitat for Humanity
– Farm & Wilderness Camp (Providing on-farm leadership programs for youth)
– Market Mobile (Providing access to fresh food to underserved communities)
– Youth Now Farm
Ontario Bike Destination
We are a destination for Ontario by Bike, providing easy access for cyclists, and a safe place to lock your bicycle.