On what should have been a relaxing day out on the boat, Sheila Haque and her three daughters couldn’t help but notice more than just fish in the water.
They noticed trash.
“And that’s sad,” she says.
It was on that boat that Haque, who lives in Cory Lake Isles, hatched the idea to start a zero-waste, eco-friendly business that would help chip away at the ugly sight of plastic bottles and empty containers slapping up against the hull of her boat and littered alongside roads.
Embrace Less Waste USA is Haque’s plan. It is an e-commerce site (that you can visit at EmbraceLessWasteUSA.com, or on Facebook) that will also have a part-time presence at The Grove’s KRATE container park in Wesley Chapel.
Haque says her site will sell zero-waste products from only the best companies. She will rigorously and thoroughly vet each company, which has to be philantrophic, certified and based in the U.S.
She will include extensive bios with every product from paper-based poop bags for your pets to reusable toothpaste containers to safety razors instead of disposable ones.
“Mindfulness is a big thing for people that are living a minimalist lifestyle,” Haque says. “They want to know where their stuff comes from.”
A few months back, Haque was accepted into the Pasco Economic Development Council (EDC)’s business incubator program, which she described as invaluable. She was able to refine her business concept by meeting with industry experts, and is eager to launch her website.
“They helped me tweak some things and even rethink things,” Haque says. “They make you think above and beyond what you’ve already considered.”
Because of her relationship with the Pasco EDC, she also will have the opportunity to use their container at KRATE, which is expected to open this fall. She hopes to reserve the repurposed shipping container once a month, and she will sell products and host educational workshops there.
And, Haque will keep her daughters involved in her endeavor as well. It’s an important part of her business, she says, setting an example for her children as she does her part to help preserve the planet for their future. As a family, they bring trash bags with them on walks to pick up any trash they see along the way.
“I think it’s an incredible thing for kids to see what a difference you can make if you recycle and renew versus just throwing stuff away,” Haque says.
She says she isn’t sure when she will make her KRATE debut, but it should be in the coming months.
“We’re really excited to get the site up, and to show people the products we have when we have the container,” Haque says.