Sustainability Efforts

We are committed to reusing, reducing or eliminating waste generated by The Trainyard whenever possible. Goods selected for the shop are done so thoughtfully, with the hope that they will bring joy and usefulness for many seasons to come. The list of our environmental actions is long, but keeping a record keeps us accountable. 

Plastic Sleeves: We reuse the plastic sleeves from all our greeting cards; they help us protect the cards when on display, reducing loss from damage but are no longer useful after you’ve purchased the cards. To date we have reused over 3,500 plastic sleeves, and are now able to request new card orders be delivered without plastic packaging. Plastic sleeves & cardboard backers from Print Sets are also welcome to be returned and we will reuse those as well!

Shipping Materials: Our online orders are shipped in reused boxes that our wholesale orders have arrived in. Sometimes the box carrying your purchases to your door will be on it’s third or fourth use! We also reuse all packaging supplies that arrive in the shop, including tissue paper and bubble wrap.  Boxes and shipping materials not useful to us are passed onto other small businesses for use.

Candle & Preserve Jars: We are able to accept returns of empty Circle & Wick and Earth Elementals candle jars. These are returned to the makers to be refilled. 

Paper Bags: We will happily accept returns of our Trainyard paper shopping bags, or unbranded kraft paper bags to be reused – we will no longer be branding our own bags to allow for easier reuse as gift bags or a colouring surface for kids, etc! In Fall 2020 we introduced paper bags, made in Halifax out of recycled newspaper prints. 

Locally Sourced Materials: We source materials for the shop from other local businesses when possible. This includes store fixtures, receipt paper, tissue paper, gift boxes & paper bags. These sources can be hard to find, so if you know of suppliers we should know about – or if you’re a small business looking to source locally get in touch! 

Clothing & Goods: Everything we carry is made by Canadian businesses, the majority of our goods are made by hand though as we’ve grown we’ve begun to add items made on a larger scale (in Canada!) by companies whose values align with ours. 

We focus on building partnerships with those using high quality, repurposed or sustainable materials. For t-shirts carried in-store we are slowly transitioning to have all screen printed tees printed on blanks made in Canada and sourcing replacements for things like enamel pins and stickers. Each year our capacity, and those of businesses we’re working with, grows and these sustainable changes become more accessible. 

Broader Impacts: Small businesses and makers tend to be more proactive in reducing their environmental footprint and we partner with many like minded businesses when selecting goods for the shop. Several items in store support the planting of trees with each purchase, many have switched to biodegradable packaging or found creative ways to forgo packaging, others reuse materials in the production of new items or otherwise are taking steps to reduce their impact.