Salmon Arm businesses’ partnership benefits bottom line and environment

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Crowns Furniture and Mattresses and The Pilates Architects find new use for packaging

A pair of Salmon Arm businesses have found a synergy that’s meeting a need while fulfilling a shared desire to lighten the load on the local landfill.

Aaron Alcott, sales manager at Crowns Furniture and Mattresses, said he and a co-worker were crushing Styrofoam packaging from a delivery of appliances into a dumpster when they were overcome by the sentiment, “There’s gotta be a better way.”

Alcott called the sheer volume of Styrofoam waste going to the landfill “discouraging.”

“We were just chatting, there’s all this waste, it should go somewhere instead of just to the dump and we were looking for some way to recycle it,” said Alcott, who also happens to be a Salmon Arm firefighter. “I thought well, I’m going to chat around and when I went to fire practice I had a chat with one of the guys there who has got a manufacturing company and we kind of figured this might work…”

That guy was Victor Javeri, who owns and operates The Pilates Architects with spouse Andi Javeri. As it happened, Victor, who handcrafts the one-of-a-kind pieces of pilates equipment in Salmon Arm, was asking around practice for boxes that he could ship his wares in.

Victor and Alcott got to talking, and soon after a partnership was born.

“There’s multiple benefits for both sides here,” said Crowns owner Kari Puffer in a media release. “We’ve eliminated literally several dumpsters a month of Styrofoam and cardboard from going into the Salmon Arm landfill where Styrofoam, a number 6 plastic that isn’t recycled locally, takes up to 500 years to decompose, and we’ve reduced our cost of disposal to less than a third of what it was.”

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The Javeris said they’re also realizing significant savings through the arrangement that now provides ample materials to, as Andi put it, “bombproof” their equipment shipments that are sent across North America.

“Shipping is a big deal,” Andi told the Observer, noting a new box alone can cost up to $150. “It’s really hard to ship all this really big stuff. We have finally now found an affordable way…”

The Javeris also see the arrangement as a win for the environment.

“Packaging, shipping materials need to be shipped to us before we can ship them back out protecting our product, so the positive impact for the environment just compounds,” Victor commented in the release.

“We love where we live. This only makes more and more sense, the more you look at it both financially and responsibly. If we just use ‘single-use plastics’ even only twice, it cuts the plastic in the landfill in literally half. What’s not motivating about that?”

Alcott is hopeful the partnership struck between Crowns Furniture and Mattresses and The Pilates Architects inspires others.

“The environmental impacts of our partnership should be appealing to any business,” said Alcott. “If maintaining the beautiful environment of the Shuswap isn’t motivation enough, the financial benefits will appeal to any business owner and we hope our model will encourage other small businesses to make more use of their waste instead of thinking this is something only big businesses do.”

More information about the two businesses can be found at thepilatesarchitects.ca and crownsfurnituremattresses.com.

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