About Harlowe Green
Harlowe Green is an imperfect effort towards intentional, conscious, simple and sustainable living. "Zero waste" is a bit of a heavy term with a lot of pressure. But, with small steps, the goal to use up what you have first and then making a more conscious choice next time, and the barrier of access removed for our rural area, we hope that that path gets clearer and simpler for everyone. All of our products fit into our mission and I hope to add more as we grow.
I grew up on a farm in Lindsay, Ontario, and learned respect for the land and those that work in agriculture at a young age. I studied Environment and Resources as my minor at the University of Guelph and my time teaching and living in Peterborough really pushed sustainability forward into my day-to-day. I moved to Harlowe (which honestly, is the best place with the best people, here I am even putting it in my business name) in 2012 and steadily plugged away at trying to make a simpler life. But - and I'm sure the mamas really know what I'm talking about - I didn't really see the urgency to make this all a priority until our boys were born. Suddenly, the future of everything really mattered, because is was their future, and from what was once an interest, became a passion and my duty.
In 2018 I started down the path to zero waste living and loved learning about it. However, it was frustrating to see the lack of local access that existed to these types of products, and the whole goal is to buy local, Canadian, and small if you're trying to do this right. Even more frustrating, some things look pretty "green" and "ethical" on the big-box shelf, when it is just an advertising trick to market the same product (or one that's only slightly better) by big business to a different demographic. Buying right never took so much research, so much planning, and so much hassle and travel. A month ago, I was still planning my purchases around my ability to get to the right city, because bulk doesn't otherwise make sense unless it's local.
In 2019, I started sharing my journey to more sustainable living on my personal social media accounts and the connections and motivation I received by doing that gave me new life. I ended up consulting for friends on how to adopt this stuff into their own lives and businesses, and only recently did the light bulb pop up to actually do it, even with my sisters steadily telling me I should be writing and presenting it all in my own business (thanks gals). I love writing and talking and sharing about this stuff, and now I have the right group of people to share it with on the right platform. So, ask away your questions and I'll give you about 30 more details than you wanted in the first place! The small business piece just runs in the family, but it is still so scary, so I'm just happy you're here for it and reading this. There are now so many other businesses cropping up on this front, and really, I'm just happy your choosing one of us little guys. I really hope to get to know my own local community and make this stuff more accessible, raise some awareness, and help make a change.
Beyond the environmental sphere, and as a past secondary school teacher and current dance teacher of teens, I really deeply care about mental health advocacy and initiatives, especially for our youth. There is such good work being done in my own community, but I've experienced the frustrations of a system with big holes in it and often the ones doing the supporting and needing the supporting don't have enough support. Once my business is profitable, I will be donating a portion of my profits to a very special, local mental health initiative, which I'm not naming at the moment (because it feels a little weird to do that before I can make it happen!). No man (or woman) gets left behind; everyone's heart bleeds too much sometimes, and we have to take care of those that take care. Time with and appreciation of nature can heal a lot, and beyond trying to teach my own kids this connection, I hope to someday help facilitate that for others.
Our family lookin' good because Russett Photography makes us look good! Check out amazing talent Taylor Russett at www.russettphotography.com