Hi everyone! My name is Maria and I am excited to join the Energy and Environment team as the new Sustainability Coordinator, taking over from Haidar. As we prepare for a new term of possibilities, we are celebrating the “Passing of the Torch” within the team. I am currently studying Public Health at the University of Waterloo and am looking forward to gaining hands-on experience and learning new skills through this internship. When I’m not working, I enjoy taking care of houseplants, traveling, and participating in community-led initiatives. I am thrilled to be a part of this team and can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

I have always been drawn to working in environments where understanding and meeting the needs of others is a top priority. Through my degree in Public Health, I have learned the value of taking upstream approaches, like effective policy making and implementation, to improve the environment around us. While these preventative measures are important, I find it really fulfilling to make a direct impact on my community. 

I developed a passion for community service early on in my hometown of Brampton, Ontario, where I began volunteering at the Regeneration Thrift Store. This non-profit organization is run entirely by volunteers and supports its sister charity, Regeneration Outreach Community, which works to improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness. It was through my time at Regeneration that I discovered my ability to make a positive impact on those in my community. 

The triple bottom line, also known as the “three pillars,” or “3P’s,” is a key aspect of Regeneration Thrift’s approach to sustainability. This framework … People-Planet-Profit … measures a business’s social, environmental, and financial performance and strives to achieve a balance among these three areas for long-term success. 

Image credit: mariakarim01

The concept of the triple bottom line was first proposed by John Elkington in 1994 as a way to move beyond the traditional focus on financial performance and consider the other impacts that a business has on society and the environment. The idea is that a business should strive to be socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, and financially profitable, in order to create a positive impact for everyone.  

One of the key strengths of Regeneration Thrift is its ability to generate profits from the sale of donated items and then reinvest those profits in supporting the homeless and vulnerable populations in the Region of Peel. In addition to this social impact, Regeneration Thrift is also promoting sustainability by encouraging the donation and purchase of lightly used, second-hand items. This helps to reduce waste and prevent excess clothing, housewares, and other items from ending up in landfills. By choosing to donate and purchase gently used items rather than new, single-use products, we can help to slow down the culture of overproduction and over-consumption and make a positive impact on the environment. 

Regeneration Thrift’s commitment to the triple bottom line aligns with the principles of a circular economy, which aims to minimize waste and maximize the use of resources. In a circular economy, economic growth is achieved through the efficient use of resources and the creation of value through reuse and recycling. By following the triple bottom line, Regeneration Thrift is able to reduce its reliance on raw materials and minimize its environmental impact, while also creating economic and social benefits. 

Despite only being in operation since 2019, Regeneration Thrift Store has established itself as a community-driven organization that adopts sustainable frameworks for the benefit of the environment and vulnerable members of society. 

Looking to learn more about Regeneration Outreach and how to get involved? Visit their site: https://regenbrampton.com/volunteer/