BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Plastic bags have been banned in New York State for over a year, but whether you’re ordering online or going to the store it can be hard to avoid plastic.
“Products that people use everyday and don’t even think about it, all of that’s getting thrown out, none of it’s getting recycled,” said Michael Mahoney of Buffalo.
Mahoney is the co-owner of a new shop in the Elmwood Village with home goods and personal care products that can help reduce your waste.
“Zero waste is the goal," said Tracey Wei, Co-owner.
It’s called Little Salmon at 230 Lexington Avenue and opened up in mid-July. It's the first of its kind in Buffalo, according to Mahoney and Wei.
They have reusable bags, metal straws and some other products that may be new to you, like toothpaste tablets.
"Another product I really like is the beeswax wraps, instead of using plastic saran wrap for your leftovers at home, you wrap it in this wrap, it seals it nice and tight, when you’re done you just rinse it off," said Mahoney.
Plus a refill station for some of your liquid products.
"Body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion to cleaning products, an all purpose cleaner," said Mahoney.
And to make it even more sustainable, a lot of the products you'll see on the shelves are from right here in WNY.
"Just from a carbon footprint standpoint, it has to be transported an packaged a lot less,” said Mahoney.
Mahoney is from Buffalo, but lived in Brooklyn until last year.
"We’re basically victims of the pandemic, my partner Tracey lost her job and we have two kids so we made the decision to come back home," said Mahoney.
In the few weeks they’ve been open, they say Buffalo is showing a lot of support.
"They’ve really embraced it, popping in on us all the time, it’s been great, the sense of community is awesome," said Mahoney.
Their ultimate goal is to have a generational impact.
"We've got my parents using certain things, they’re in their 70s so they’re making a change too! There’s a famous quote that Tracey really likes, 'we don’t need a few people zero waste perfectly, we need millions of them doing it imperfectly,'” said Mahoney and Wei.
They have a big following on Instagram and say a lot of those followers are young people who want to make the switch to zero waste products.
And that’s actually where the name 'Little Salmon' comes from—salmon are known for swimming back upstream to create the next generation and that’s what they hope to do here with their products. A portion of their proceeds go to Massachusetts Avenue Project, a non-profit in Buffalo's West Side.
Little salmon is open Wednesday thru Friday 10-6pm, Saturday 11-6pm and Sunday 11-4pm. Find their website here.