VICTORIA WINDREM – Everything is a process. From waking up in the morning to starting a large scale social movement. Our business, Green Street, was no different.
Today we have a thriving shop downtown in the heart of Peterborough. My parents, Angie and Verne, run the shop 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. My brother and I help out in the marketing and IT department. The business is a going concern; we meet and interact with amazing people every day.
Our shop focuses on green transportation with forays into eco-living products like locally sourced hemp and natural body care. The ‘green element’ has been a priority for our business from the beginning. In our personal lives we strive to adopt as many sustainable practices as well, in an effort to reduce our negative effects on the planet. We try to share this ideology with the community.
It wasn’t always that way. Ten years ago we were very different people with very few ideas of what it meant to be ‘green’, other than recycling our plastics. However, our emerging awareness of the earth conscious movement also seemed to coincide with the growing discomfort we felt in the traditional 9 to 5 model of moving through life.
My Dad was a veteran mechanic; Mom was a certified Esthetician. The path my parents had walked together since their early 20’s now seemed to have a few more twists and options that hadn’t been there before. My brother and I were both teenagers and starting to look for our places in the adult world. So we had all come to a crossroads of sorts in our lives. Like many others we were experiencing a growing awareness of the environment and of our place in this transitional movement. Together we started looking into other options, with a specifically green focus. Although our research led us down many different rabbit holes, our eventual path came in the form of an e-bike.
By curious chance we came into possession of an electric bike. Everywhere we went, we found ourselves peppered with questions. These quickly blossomed into a serious business idea that checked a lot of boxes on our list of priorities. On a wave of hope we went to the Farmer’s Market with 6 scooters purchased on credit.
Despite our uncertainty it turned out that lots of people were willing to take the risk with us. While at the market we made connections with other folks taking similar steps. This included, of course, Transition Town Peterborough. These new friends, along with many others in the community, gave us the support we needed to move forward.
The rest, of course, is history. Just before Christmas of that year we found the place at 237 George. It has been the home of Green Street for about eight years now. Green enterprise is what we believe in. It’s what drove us to make other drastic changes in our lives.
Changes like selling our suburban home and moving to the apartment above our shop. Turning away from the big box giants and buying from local merchants. Making our own personal care products. Eating as organically and locally as possible. Riding our bikes instead of driving the car.
These things make a difference. Of course we are still learning and adding more ‘green’ into our lives. Again: Everything is a process, a transition if you will, but I love the road this process has taken us down. I don’t know if this world is any easier than the one we lived before, but it is certainly better for the soul. That, to me, is what it means to have a green business.