8. Artisan Farmers Markets – Reducing Waste at Farmers Markets







Project Title

Communicating Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics

Organization Name

Artisan Farmers' Markets


Farmers markets, waste-reduction, zero-waste, sustainable packaging, local food, economic development, business model

Related Course Concepts

Asset based community development, Sustainability

Organization Information

Organization Name

Artisan Farmers' Markets

Mission and Vision of Organization


To connect consumers directly with local farmers, small food producers and artisanal makers in order to support the community’s financial, social and environmental objectives.


To celebrate BC farmers, food and handmade items in vibrant, welcoming, community-connected markets.

Guiding Principles + Values

To support local farmers and small business people who grow, make, bake, raise, or wild-harvest their product in BC by creating strong sales channels.

Contact Information

  • Primary Contact Person(s): Tara Immell
  • Email: tara@immell.com
  • Phone: 604-446-8272
  • Address: Market mailing address: 109 - 9259 Edward St., Chilliwack, BC, Canada V2P 4C5
  • Website: artisanmarkets.ca

Preferred Method of Contact

  • Best method(s) to contact: Email, Phone, text
  • Best day(s) to contact: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays
  • Best time(s) to contact: Mornings, Afternoons

Project Description

Artisan Markets is the selling location for hundreds of vendors, each of whom individually choose their packaging. To help inform vendors of earth-friendly packaging options, students will:

  • First participate in a waste audit to benchmark the existing choices
  • Then speak with vendors and show samples of sustainable packaging
  • Finally, document barriers vendors see with switching.

The main project deliverable is the systematic documentation of the current packaging, and sample dispensing items, used by vendors, and barriers vendors face when considering earth-friendly changes.

What challenge or issue does the project aim to address?

  • This project will address the concern that vendors are unaware of the newer, more earth-friendly packaging alternatives to single-use plastic.

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Keen interest in sustainability
  • Willingness to sort waste on a single occasion

Student Assets and Skills (to be developed through the project)

  • Understand current zero-waste options in packaging, and food sample dispensing
  • Experience with a survey interview and waste audit

Is a criminal record check required?


Project Location

Burnaby, Lonsdale, or Ambleside Market (students will choose their preferred market)

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

Markets run through the end of October, on Saturdays & Sundays, so plan to work on at least two Saturdays & two Sundays.

Project/Partner Orientation Materials

Students should review these materials prior to the first partner meeting:

Additional Project/Partner Orientation Materials

The following will be provided at the first community partner meeting:

  • A visit, Saturday or Sunday, to the farmers' market of their choosing early in the project.

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

Students are welcome to volunteer at any of the Artisan Farmers' Markets, helping vendors at setup/takedown and customers during operating hours.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about...

  • the impact of single-use items on the environment and reasons why vendors continue to use them

I think students will come to appreciate...

  • the motivations behind buying either sustainable or not as sustainable packaging

Through this project, students will develop...

  • an appreciation for the values held by small business owners

Organizational Outcomes

Intended Project (Short Term) Outcome

  • Market managers will gain greater insight and awareness of the challenges facing vendors as they consider more sustainable packing options.

Medium Term Outcomes

If the student project is part of a larger project at your organization, how will the students' work contribute to the goals of this larger project?

  • Market managers will be able to provide appropriate education and other barrier-reducing initiatives for the vendor community with regards to sustainable packaging options

How does the student project contribute to your organization's mission and long-term vision?

  • The project contributes to Artisan Markets' stated goal of having more earth-friendly markets.
source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/F2019/ArtisanMarketPlastics