Environmentalism takes many forms

What happens when two mature students find they can’t get their foot in the door of environmental careers where entry-level jobs are dominated by people under 30? They stubbornly create their own environmentally themed work.

Meet Jennifer and Chantelle, both with technical and environmental diplomas and degrees from Fanshawe College and U.W.O.

One day last September, Chantelle phoned Jennifer and asked if she wanted to start a small business together. Jennifer was ready to try something both scary and rewarding. Together, they’ve combined interests, education and the desire for meaningful work into “Natural Selections”.

Natural Selections is an online business, officially opened May 4th this year. Chantelle and Jennifer also offer home parties and individual consultations on improving customer’s typical domestic ecological footprint.

The business is like a small department store, offering green-conscious products in many categories. These include cleaning, household items, personal care, toys, snacks and teas. Jennifer and Chantelle have searched out Canadian companies making Fair Trade, certified organic and good quality “natural” products. The majority of items for sale on the site are made and/or processed by Canadians, which in addition to supporting Canadians, reduces the overall transportation footprint for store stock.

Natural Selections continues to search for high quality sustainable Canadian-made goods, particularly unique items from Ontario. We are enjoying building relationships with other interested retailers, while continuing to look for new vending opportunities.

Check out Natural Selections at http://nsecostore.ca, as well as in the upcoming shopping guide from EcoParent.ca and the Bits of Knowledge London Area Business Directory. Help prove that creating awareness of our impacts in everyday life isn’t limited to any age or career expectation.

Jennifer Dowker is one of two partners in the new eco-retail, Natural Selections. Among other things, she writes for the Natural Selections blog (link from the main site).
She grew up in London and St. Thomas, attending Arthur Voaden S.S. in the days of Big Hair. After bouncing around Ontario, she still finds lots to do in Elephant Town.

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