Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think I should have to open any doors for myself. Not in this climate, thank you very much. My feminine spaghetti arms notwithstanding, we all have reason to be wary of doors (and doorknobs, and handles, and buttons) right now. A few weeks ago, local entrepreneur Collis Verdicchio noticed exactly how many doors he had to open (and how many germs he was exposing himself to) while taking the garbage out from his Coal Harbour apartment. “I started using my shirt, my dog’s leash and the inside of my jacket,” he says. “It was disgusting.”

So Verdicchio, who owns Vancouver-based Sumaq Alpaca Rugs and Diversion Zero Waste, decided to craft a door-opening tool to protect himself and others from the spread of COVID-19. Sustainability is always top-of-mind for him—Diversion Zero Waste is an eco-conscious company that demolishes used film sets and processes the remains into biofuel. “I didn’t want to make something that was just going to be thrown away after,” Verdicchio explains. Especially bothered by the waste caused by discarded gloves, he gave people a reason to use his product post-COVID.

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And the Comate was born. Manufactured on Mitchell Island, the multi-tool is made with 100-percent copper and advertised as antiviral and antimicrobial. Verdicchio explains that although the virus that causes COVID-19 can live on some surfaces (stainless steel, plastic, wood) for days, it only survives on copper for four hours. Of course, this isn’t to say that the virus can’t be spread via the Comate. Users should still wash their hands and take every other precaution to reduce the spread. But as Verdicchio points out, you’re much more likely to rub your face with a shirt sleeve than a copper tool.

Once this is over and we’re all tenderly caressing door handles again, you can use your handy-dandy Comate as a bottle opener. That’s sustainability at work, folks. 

The Comate is available online for $34.99, with free shipping within Canada. Verdicchio will donate $1 from each tool sold to Food Banks of Canada. A pandemic-era gentleman.