Meet Anastasia Kiku, TSC Athlete & Co-Founder of Reusables

Anastasia Kiku

Is currently finishing her last semester at Sauder School of Business specializing in Operations and Logistics. She has been on the UBC Thunderbirds Sport Clubs Alpine Ski Team for the past 4 years and has held the Finance Officer and Co-Club Lead executives throughout her time.

Anastasia is the co-founder of Reusables, a container-sharing platform for restaurant take-out that started at the height of COVID-19 to help eliminate single-use plastics.

1. “Tell us about yourself.”

I am currently finishing my last semester at Sauder School of Business specializing in Operations and Logistics. My university experience at UBC has been amazing as I got to learn from great people both inside and outside the classroom. Having grown up in Russia and attended high school in Switzerland, I enjoyed the exposure to different cultures at UBC and the many study abroad opportunities it offers. My interest in sustainable development led me to first do field work in Indonesia and later study for a semester in Copenhagen. Doing research in Indonesia gave me a good insight into what implementation of economic development project looks like. Later, living in Copenhagen showed me that modern living can be done in a more sustainable manner – both in terms of a life-work balance and environmental impacts. Looking back, these two experiences largely shaped my passion for mindful living and inspired me to get involved in social entrepreneurship.

2. “How did you get involved with the UBC Alpine Ski Team with UBC TSC?”

When I was choosing a university, I was looking for both a strong academic reputation and a tightly-knit sports community. I have been ski racing since the age of 3, so Vancouver’s access to mountains made choosing UBC a no-brainer for me. I have been on the UBC TSC Alpine Ski Team for the past 4 years and have held the Finance Officer and Co-Club Lead executive roles throughout that time.

3. “What is your favourite thing about being a TSC athlete?”

I don’t even know where to start! TSC gave me the opportunity to enjoy everything I love about ski racing without the pressure felt by a professional athlete. Traveling to races in the US with my teammates and friends has been a super fun experience. Since joining the TSC, I gained a lot more than just the university racing experience. Many of my teammates became my close friends and family away from family, making the homesickness a little better.

4. “How has being a part of TSC helped you?

Being a TSC athlete taught me very valuable lessons about leadership. Initially, having the responsibility over my peers or even athletes older than myself, I was struggling to find a way to lead by example and not come off as bossy. Hearing from other Club Leads share their experiences and challenges was a great resource for understanding how to manage my peers effectively. TSC has also made me a more adaptive on-the-spot thinker. When traveling to races, things often didn’t go according to the plan, but dealing with those issues always made it easier the next time.


For me, TSC executive roles were a great simulation of the real-world accountability. It’s a perfect imitation of decision-making that I have to do every day: given the limited information, you have to make the best possible decision. Having this experience, made me comfortable with ambiguity early on and allowed me to develop a rational approach to hard choices.

5. “What exactly is Reusables and how does it work?”

Reusables is a container-sharing platform for restaurant takeout. Since the beginning of COVID-19, we’ve seen takeout delivery grow exponentially, which, unfortunately, also caused a lot more waste from single-use packaging. Our goal is to make reusable containers as easy of an option as the current disposable packaging for both end-users and restaurants. By providing a cost-effective solution for restaurants and convenient return process for customers, we hope to achieve our vision of zero waste.

We are currently in a pilot phase with 4 restaurants in Commercial Drive and Mount Pleasant area. Customers who want to receive their takeout meals in Reusables sign up for a membership with us. When ordering the takeout, they ask the restaurant to prepare their order in Reusables through the ‘Notes’ section on the ordering app. After enjoying their zero-waste takeout, we ask customers to rinse the containers and return them to any of the participating restaurant locations within 2 weeks. That’s right – you don’t even need to bring your Reusables back to the same restaurant!

6. “How did you come up with idea?”

The idea itself is not new. Mugshare and Cuppy have attempted a similar model in Vancouver before but with coffee cups. The most crucial part of this idea is the implementation. Inventory tracking and management becomes challenging once you get to a bigger scale, and bigger scale is required for sharing economy to have a substantial impact.

I don’t think Reusables can take credit for the container-sharing idea, but I believe that we figured out a unique way to make it work, and make sense for both restaurants and customers.

7. “How can someone get involved?”

You still can sign up to participate in the pilot until end of April. Starting in May, we are going to launch a subscription-based membership and add more restaurants. Stay tuned for that!

8. “Anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?”

Besides Reusables, I am involved with another cool project called Lighter Foodprint. Not many people know but food production accounts for about 25% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Lighter Foodprint’s goal is to communicate the impact of food to consumers through climate labeling on restaurant menus. We want every menu to have a climate label next to it similar to how there are, for example, vegan labels. We hope that labels will allow eaters to make more informed food choices, and thus limit the amount of food-related emissions.

It might seem like I am very attached to the restaurant industry, but the reality is that it’s very easy to tell stories related to food. Everyone gets it 🙂 In all seriousness though, the restaurant industry is a great example of a non-toxic, progressive sector in Vancouver. Every restaurant owner I’ve talked to so far truly cares about their impact and understands that sustainability needs to be a core part of their business. They are hungry for great solutions!

Thank you so much Anastasia for talking with us about all the great initiatives you are a part of!