You may have come across a photo of a sea turtle with a plastic straw in it’s nose or a dolphin stuck in a soda can holder. Maybe you felt a twinge of guilt, but kept scrolling past it. We are all aware (or should be!) of just how wasteful we are in our day-to-day life, and any effort to alleviate the paper trail of trash we leave in our wake will make a difference. Instead of stocking up on boxed goods, food packaged in wrappers and plastic, consider shopping for these items in bulk, where you can bring your own container! If you’re scratching your head because you just can’t fathom how that is possible because Stop & Shop doesn’t offer such a thing, maybe it is time to think outside of the (big) box (store).
The West End of Providence has become a rather popular area to live over the past couple of years, and businesses are popping up like daffodils in the spring. Restaurants and cafes open their doors to accommodate the many millennials that have made West End their home. One of the newly opened businesses is called Hope & Thyme, and is exactly what the neighborhood, and even the city, needs.
Hope & Thyme is a package free market and cafe, offering local produce, bulk goods, coffee, smoothies and snacks. Think about all of the plastic packaging and boxes that hold the food we buy at the grocery store; cereal, pasta, beans, granola bars, the list literally could go on to infinity. All of that waste ends up in the landfills and eventually in our oceans. And none of us want that! But shopping at a local market like Hope & Thyme not only supports local businesses, but also eliminates a lot of the waste we leave behind! Bring your own jar or container to fill up, or event rent one from Hope & Thyme.
As the smallest state, we as Rhode Islanders are taught to eat local and support small businesses, it is ingrained in our culture. Hand selecting fruits and veggies from Rhode Island and New England farms like the RI Mushrooms Co. and Little City Growers Op, helps to support the community, and help our neighbors thrive. It doesn’t stop at the green stuff, they also carry local eggs and dairy as well!
Need some caffeine? Grab a coffee, latte or tea, and remember to bring your own cup! Borealis cold brew nitro is pouring on tap, and it is oh so creamy. Also on tap is chilled Kombucha, brewed next door in Mass. Looking to bulk up on your daily vitamins and nutrients? (yes we always are) Grab a super healthy fresh smoothie! We had a green smoothie loaded with Spirulina, which is the most protein dense food on the planet! So next time someone asks where a vegetarian or vegan gets their protein from, tell them a plant packs more of a punch than a steak! Wahoo!
The cafe counter always has something yummy cooking or baking, like vegan and gluten free treats, soups and rice bowls. We snacked on little Thyme Bombs, which are little heart shaped Lara Bar style bites, without the wrapped that would get thrown in the trash! Plus, homemade is always best!
All of this sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? It seems like ideally, all of us have a desire to make a difference and contribute to a better, cleaner community and in turn, improved environment. West End is full of young people who share this mentality, so it comes as a shock that Hope and Thyme are currently in financial hardship after opening only a month ago. They are providing the community with what they need, and are currently not being met with enough of a response to sustain for the long run. If a cutting back on plastic and waste is something you strive to do, shopping for your grocery needs at Hope & Thyme is going to have the positive impact that you are looking for. If you wish to support this local business, donate to their GoFundMe, at www.gofundme.com/hopeandthyme.
We want to thank Hope & Thyme for welcoming us in, and letting us take over the space doing yoga! We hope to contribute to the cause as best as we can! Thank you to our photographer, Danny and our models! Both of these babes are yogis! Noelle (@noellecurren) teaches at Providence Power Yoga, and Alyssa (yogiano) teaches at Rhode Island Yoga Center!