I’m doing things a little differently this year and focusing my favourite green things list on local Edmonton businesses who really embody sustainable practices. Greta Thunberg really has had a significant impact on my thinking in the last several months, and I want to do even more to lower my own carbon footprint. One of the ways I can do that is by shopping local!
Here are my favourite LOCAL green things for 2019!
I encountered PLANTiful at the recent Good Goods Market at Ritchie Market in November, and I was immediately impressed by the lack of plastic packaging of the products. There are a lot of “natural” body care products out there – but many are still packaged in plastic, which is disappointing. I stopped to check out the refillery for laundry soap on display and filled up my mason jar with it – it is made with leftover pieces from their bar soaps, and mixed with washing soda and other toxin-free cleaning ingredients! Cool, right? THEN my eye was drawn to the herbal lip balms. They are in CARDBOARD TUBES!!! You may know that I have ordered cardboard tubes myself in order to make my own lip balms – and they are very hard to find, compared to the cheap plastic ones you can get from Amazon. I have never seen a company use cardboard tubes for their lip balms!!! That in itself pretty much sold me on trying one. The cardboard tubes are bigger than your average plastic tube – and because they are full from the bottom (the plastic ones usually are only about 2/3 full), it’s actually more than 3 times the amount of lip balm in the tube! (Comparison pic below!)
So… it’s a compostable tube, AND contains way more product so you don’t have to buy it as often – WOOHOO! THEN… I saw one of the flavours was Earl Grey and I love Earl Grey tea! I sniffed it and instantly fell in love. I knew I had to have it. And then when I put it on – wowza! It glides on soooooo smoothly and feels so incredibly nourishing, perfect for ridiculously dry Edmonton winters! I do make my own lip balm sometimes, but I’ve never made one that is as glorious as this one! Every time I put it on, I feel so happy! (They also have other flavours like The Spice of Life and Encourage-MINT).
You know those people who are really good at wearing makeup and always look amazing? I am totally NOT one of those people. I am the laziest makeup wearer ever. Even though I am aging and really SHOULD use more makeup, most of the time I can’t be bothered to do much more than an eye pencil and mascara. The Rosy Glow Cheek + Lip Tint is PERFECT for lazy people like me! It is the same size as the lip balm, so it’s easily thrown into my bag. And it’s a multi-tasker, so I can use it for cheeks and lips. It is just as gloriously smooth as the lip balm, and makes my skin feel soooo nourished, providing a little bit of colour that isn’t at all overbearing. This is such a versatile product and so good for your skin (cheeks AND lips)! Additional plus – I never have to worry about sharing this with my kiddo because it has absolutely no harmful ingredients.
PLANTiful has many other skincare products that you can check out on their website. You can also buy local at various locations in Edmonton (like Bamboo Ballroom on Whyte, The Maker’s Keep in Kingsway Mall or The Enjoy Centre in St Albert, and Earth’s General Store) and Calgary, listed here.
I am really impressed with their mandate: LOVE IT –
Environmental friendly packaging
I also love that they have a “NEVER List” on their website of the commonly found toxics in mainstream skincare products. A brand after my own heart!
It’s a no brainer. Wax wraps are the universal replacement for plastic wrap. I love using them because they make my food last longer, and sometimes I don’t want to put stuff into another container – I can leave it in the bowl/plate and cover it with my wax wraps! Simpatico Makers is a local Edmonton brand, and they are trying to make wax wraps affordable and easy to use. Anita Simpatico, the owner, started making them when she realized how expensive wax wraps were to buy. Simpatico wraps are different from other wraps because they are made into rolls, just like plastic wrap. You can customize your own sizes to fit your dishes perfectly!! (The rolls come in 3 different widths.) I LOOOOOOVE this concept! People always ask me what size wraps they should buy – so this takes all the guesswork out and makes the perfect gift.
You can get Simpatico wraps locally in Edmonton at:
- Hideout Distro
- Maven and Grace
- The Makers Keep (Southgate, Kingsway, The Enjoy Centre in St Albert)
- Majesty and Friends
- Alberta Branded (store at the legislature)
- Urban Whyte (Devon)
You can also shop online at etsy.
Earth Rebel Stainless Steel Bubble Tea Straw Set
I talked about Earth Rebel (previously Project Straw) stainless steel straw sets before, because they have great quality straws, and awesome prints available for their straw pouches. I recently got one of their new pouches that has snaps, and a water resistant lining (read – super easy to keep clean) with 2 bubble tea straws and LOOOOOVE it! The snap pouch is a step up from their drawstring pouches, and the bubble tea straws are so perfect for my husband and me as we love bubble tea! I always felt so guilty about using the plastic bubble tea straws in the past because I couldn’t find reusable ones – now my problem is solved! (Check out my Instagram post where we used them at The Alley.) Perfect gift idea for bubble tea drinkers!
Earth Rebel Produce Bag Set
When I talk to people about using produce bags, they always ask me what sizes they should get, and what types of bags are best. I have a few different kinds, some with a larger weave, some made from fine mesh. I really like the Earth Rebel set because it comes with 2 sizes of solid cotton bags (which you can use for any produce, and even bulk foods like rice, pasta, or nuts), 3 sizes of mesh bags (and the openings aren’t so big that apple stems get caught, or grapes fall out) and a market bag that is great for bigger produce items like bananas. The market bags come in a variety of colours too – they’re so lovely! Even though I have other produce bags as well, this set is my favourite because it really has everything you need, and the quality of the bags is wonderful.
Envirosax via Earth Rebel
Bringing your own shopping bags is becoming much more commonplace nowadays, and I typically have a bunch in my trunk. But what if you’re on the go and don’t want to carry a whole bunch of bags? I have many different reusable shopping bags – and I have to say that Envirosax are my favourite. They are incredibly lightweight, which makes a big difference when you’re trying to bring your own everything – your bag gets pretty heavy! They also roll up very simply thanks to the snaps (you don’t have to worry about folding it up perfectly!) so they are very convenient. I love throwing them in my purse if we’re going to a market or a mall because it’s not extra weight, but I always have bags on hand.
I changed over to shampoo and conditioner bars about a year ago to avoid using hair products in plastic bottles. I was able to get my husband and daughter to convert as well! I came across Earth Lover Co. bars at a market last year and got some to try. I really like them because:
- They are dual purpose – the shampoo bars can also be used as body wash bars, and the conditioner bars can also be used for shaving!
- They are larger than a lot of other hair bars you’ll find out there – so it’s more bang for your buck, you get more use out of it, and therefore don’t have to buy as often!
- They are not heavily scented like other bars I’ve tried – they make me feel like the ingredients are there to nourish your hair, rather than cover you in scents.
Earth Lover Co. recently launched their online shop and I ordered more bars from them. I was really impressed that they came packaged with ZERO plastic – a compostable mailer, and each bar was in a brown paper bag with no excess tape or anything. This company is truly walking the walk in terms of being plastic-free and good for the earth! I love their slogan – DON’T BE DISPOSABLE!
They don’t just carry soap bars – they also have vegan lip balm, biodegradable toothbrushes, stainless steel straw sets, and safety razor sets. The prices are definitely affordable too!
Boomerang Bags #YEG
Being eco-conscious about wrapping gifts is definitely on my mind for the holiday season as well, which is where Boomerang Bags #YEG came to mind. Instead of using foil wrapping paper (which cannot be recycled) and contributing to single-use waste, why not use a #boombag instead, so the gift receiver can keep using it over and over? Cool, right??
WHAT THE HECK IS #boombagsYEG?
Boomerang Bags #YEG has been formed to get folks together to make reusable shopping and produce bags in a fun and social setting from donated and salvaged fabrics. The bags are then given away FREE to our friends, families, and folks we don’t even know as a plastic bag alternative that can be used and reused or passed on to others. The only requisite to receiving one of our FREE shopping bags, is that the receiver PLEDGES to use it over and over and keep it clean.
WHERE CAN I GET A #boombag?
We have a number of REUSABLE BAG TREES around town. The #boombag forest is growing, and there will be more locations announced in the new year!
*Earths General Store
*Culina to Go
*Johnson’s Sewing Centres
HOW MANY #boombags HAVE BEEN MADE?
We have made and distributed about 3500 bags in approx 18 months! How awesome is that!
HOW CAN YOU GIVE AWAY THESE #boombags FOR FREE?
This project relies on VOLUNTEERS and the generosity of LOTS of FOLKS in our community.
Volunteers can sew, supply event space, organize their own sewing groups, wash & cut fabric, pick up donations, etc etc etc.
We accept donations of fabric, supplies such as scissors and other sewing equipment, cash, (those beautiful RED LABELS cost $$$$), food and beverages for our hard working volunteers at our events, sewing machine maintenance and loaners so that this activity is accessible to ALL interested, photography and general support and publicity of our project. (BIG THANKS TO JUICY GREEN MOM for her generosity and including us in this blog post!)
WHO MAKES THE #boombags?
We have many home sewers: we can supply the fabric – you work on the bags at your own speed, at your convenience.
Or if you like to get out and socialize: come out to a ‘SEW’cial event. We advertise on Eventbrite and ‘sell’ (FREE) tickets to these fun afternoon or evenings.
You don’t have to know how to sew to make a #boombag, our super-duper volunteers help one another to learn the simple method, and if you really don’t want to sew, there are cutting, ironing and cheer-leading positions too! Our youngest #boombag sewer is 6, the oldest 86! Honestly, ANYONE can make a #boombag and EVERYONE is welcome to our events.
HOW DO I FOLLOW #boombagsYEG?
This project is all about community, the environment and having fun while doing a little bit of good right here in Edmonton. Big change is the result of hundreds of tiny steps! Come on out and #makebagsmakefriends.