How Working at Left Coast Naturals Has Ruined Me

Posted on 09/12/2014 by Johanna

You heard me. Ruined me.

Ok. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. Maybe changed me drastically is more appropriate but “ruined me” is more catchy.

I thought I was a responsible member of society in terms of sustainability before I started working at Left Coast Naturals. I recycled (most of the time). I didn’t buy many packaged foods (this is true). I grew some of my own produce. Um…did I mention I recycled? The truth is I could have been a lot more responsible but I was too often focused on my wallet and short term gains.  Not very sustainable.

Since joining the Left Coast team, I’ve changed. No one has asked me to – it wasn’t a requirement of my employment. But I couldn’t help it. Here at Left Coast we talk about sustainability – a lot. It is a constant thread in all that we do. We talk candidly, authentically, transparently. I’ve been exposed to so much information about the organic movement and standards, the issues around GMOs and about sustainable business practices and using business as a force for good.

Once you know you can’t un-know. At least I can’t. (ok – I can un-know for about an hour as I deny how crappy I will feel after eating a whole pint of Cherry Garcia, but that is beside the point).

What have I changed?

  • Over 75% of my groceries are organic (Left Coast makes that a bit easier on the wallet with awesome environmental incentives);
  • My family is very mindful about the amount and type of waste we create as a household and buy accordingly;
  • We recently traded in our cushy, guzzling SUV and bought a two year old hybrid car (and I drive to my job at an organic food company listening to the Decemberists – I am a stereotype and am more than OK with it);
  • I buy local when I can even if it is sometimes more expensive;
  • I look into from whom I’m buying as much as what I’m buying when making a purchase;
  • I use my own bags at the grocery store and will go so far as to give someone in line one of my cloth ones if they are about to take plastic (yes, I know this is a bit bossy. It’s how I roll);
  • I talk to my children about sustainability and how it affects choices they make in their day to day.


I foresee more changes as the target moves and conversations evolve. I went as far as to suggest to my family that we get a backyard chicken coop. That was shot down by my 13 year old immediately for reasons including “Mom, I don’t want to be that East Van family. The Prius is enough.”

I’m still working on that one.

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