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Illuminating Lumen
March 8, 2023
Owen Hu, Grade 12

One rainy autumn afternoon, the Lumen Operations department and President went on an excursion to Kensington Plaza in North Burnaby. With Lumen being a new student-run business with Junior Achievement British Columbia, we were looking to complete our commitment to sustainability by finding any old bottles our community could provide and to transform them into the hand-crafted lamps we make.

The door to the White Spot—where I’d briefly worked two summers ago—creaks open as I see a familiar former co-worker. “Hey, I’m wondering if you by any chance had… bottles we could use for a project?” She gives me a confused look, but promises to go out back and check. And soon enough, she returns with the exact glass bottles I am looking for.

We’d then ask for bottles at a grocery store, and then a local bottle depot, and then from all of our friends for any used bottles they may have and that they’d be willing to donate.

Today, all Lumen Lamps are repurposed from old bottles—thoroughly washed and cleaned, of course—from local businesses and community members. Every so often, we’ll spend a long afternoon in our library’s beautiful Maker Space, threading wires past old bottles and screwing in LED-efficient light bulbs to hand-craft and personalize each Lumen Lamp we make for our customers. The very basis of recycling used bottles from our community is core to Lumen’s ethos and operations, and we could not be more proud of ensuring Lumen is a non-spectator to the global issue of waste.

Looking back, the production process for Lumen embodies the speech I gave in June 2022 at the BC Business Laureates: “Business is not a spectator sport,” I’d proclaimed to almost a thousand guests. Even though repurposing old bottles is an added responsibility on our Executives, and even though deliberately integrating sustainable materials to all components requires a lot of additional effort, Lumen has fought and will continue to fight to not be a spectator, in either the global world or our local community, so that each Lumen Lamp you buy is socially impactful. Ultimately, we will also be donating 100% of our profit to charity.

So, what are you waiting for? It is certainly a bright idea to buy your Lumen Lamp today (just contact!).