Autumn Carlson says the water around La Ronge, Sask., has changed.
During the last 17 years, Carlson has noticed more plastic and Styrofoam gathering along the grassy shoreline each time the ice melts in the spring.
Her kids noticed, too.
"I started to think about what kind of world I want my children to see, what kind of world I want my grandchildren to see," she said.
Carlson routinely takes her kids to help gather up the garbage that emerges after winter. She also co-created the Facebook group "Unplastic Northern Sask.," alongside Angela Plunz. It's meant to raise awareness and share practical solutions on how to reduce single-use plastic in the tri-communities — La Ronge, Air Ronge and Lac La Ronge.
The focus is on reusing and reducing, but they also encourage people to recycle properly. Carlson is also encouraged as local businesses get on board.
"It's the feeling that it's working. We just have to keep working at it to get more people are willing to change," Carlson said.
Several local businesses are starting to charge a fee for plastic bags or have stopped using plastic and Styrofoam for food and beverages at events. The restaurant Cravings has gone entirely plastic-free.
Carlson said the Riverside Motel has a bulk store that offers sustainable products like laundry soap, insect repellent or shampoo.
She said they're in the process of trying to take their initiatives further by bringing local government leadership on board.
"A lot is happening, a lot still needs to happen."