November 28th, 2016

London Drugs Celebrates #BCBuyLocal Week with Local BC and Western Canadian Products.

London Drugs Local Products

As a proud Western Canadian Owned Company (Based in Richmond BC) London Drugs knows the value of a strong, local economy. So this week we take extra care to focus on products made right here by our neighbours and friends. Here are just a few of them, from companies large and small. Whether you live in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba, we hope you will share these local success stories and help spread the word.

Nature's Path Organic CerealNature’s Path  This company is an international success story, growing to become North America’s largest organic cereal maker. Much production is done south of the border now, but the company started here and is still headquartered in Richmond, BC.

Que Pasa Organic ChipsAnd don’t forget Que Pasa Tortilla Chips, (also brought to you by Natures Path), these chips are organic, delicious and made in a zero waste plant right in Delta BC.

Love Child Organics How about a BC company started by two new parents in Whistler? Can you GET any more local than that? Love Child has a great line of baby foods, and they work hard to produce in Canada and use North American ingredients wherever possible.

Holy Crap! From Dragon’s Den to commercial success, we are proud to have this organic, non-GMO star on our shelves. You just have to try it.

Hippie Foods GranolaHippie Foods  Another made-in-BC granola success story, this great brand comes from Left Coast Naturals, in Burnaby.

New World Organics From a small organic food store in East Vancouver, this local business continues to grow. You can buy their delicious granola in 908g packs, saving both packaging and money. It’s one of the best granola Green Deals in our store!

London Drugs Organic Coffee Selection

Locally Roasted Coffee! Your London Drugs coffee section is a virtual tour of amazing local roasters: Earth’s Choice, Ethical Bean, Salt Spring, Kicking Horse, Commercial Drive, Pacific Coffee… with all these fair trade and organic options, you don’t have to go any further. (And for Green Deal hunters, there’s almost always something on sale!)

Fresh is Best Tortilla Chips One of the tastiest products to ever come out of Kamloops, BC.

Hardbite Local BC chipsHardbite Chips Farmer-owned and farmer-grown, Hardbite operates BC’s only potato chip manufacturing plant. This company is so local they even have BC scenes on their packaging.

Bremner’s Juice Family owned right down the way in Delta, BC. This line of pure juices is just that – no additives, no sugar… just fruit!

Adwood Pine CrateAdwood Pine Crate Here’s a great product made from BC wood by a BC company – its sustainable, durable and looks terrific, whether you leave it unfinished or decorate it with your own local artistic touches.

black-mountain-vinylLocal Music There are some amazing bands right here in Western Canada – from 54-40’s CD of love songs (Delta, BC) to Alberta’s Jann Arden to Saskatchewan’s Northern Pikes. And you can get their music right here at London Drugs. We even have Vancouver’s Black Mountain on Vinyl in our amazing record section!

Manitoba Harvest Manitoban Mike Fata started this company back in 1998, and now they are the world’s largest manufacturer to grow, make, and sell their own line of hemp food products.

London Orchard Honey Made from pure Manitoba honey, manufactured by Manitoba bees.

Do YOU have a local product you’d like us to feature, or carry on our shelves? Let us know!

October 19th, 2016

Earth’s Choice Helps Tackle Waste With State-of-the-Art Omnidegradable Coffee Bags.

Earths Choice Biodegradable Coffee Bag

For coffee lovers, keeping beans fresh has always meant sacrificing some waste to the environment. Coffee bags must provide a shelf-stable barrier to oxygen and moisture, while providing a one-way valve to release naturally occurring CO2 from the roasted coffee.

That means most coffee bags are made from plastic that will last for thousands of years in our landfills – or worse, in the natural environment.

In line with their philosophy of offering sustainable products at a reasonable price point, Earth’s Choice wanted to make a better packaging choice.

So they selected a bag from TekPak solutions, made with Organic Compound Plastic (OCP) designed to break down in any environment where microbes are present – landfill, oceans, soil – eventually leaving only water, CO2 and a tiny percentage of organic matter.

Earths Choice Coffee London Drtugs biodegradable bag Green Deal Sustainability ProductEarth’s Choice says the bag is currently the only one of this type in Canada, and will decompose in less than 5 years in any post-consumer facility. (Standard coffee bags on the market can remain in a landfill for over 500 years, or multiple generations)

This packaging material complies with ASTM standards for biodegradability, and the TekPak website also has a lot of interesting information on different kinds of plastics, degradable and otherwise.

Unfortunately, the bag won’t yet break down as fast as the coffee grounds themselves, but it’s definitely a big step in the right direction. Add that to its organic and fair trade certification, and that makes Earth’s Choice a great choice when you are looking for your next green caffeine fix.

February 11th, 2014

Be my Green Valentine.

A Green Valentine's Day Poem

Roses are red
Recycling is green
Will you make my Valentines
A sustainable scene?

I’ll hand feed you chocolate
Every nibble Fair Trade
Brew organic coffee
Before the bed’s made

We’ll cook veggie dinners
And compost each night
Recharge our batteries
Under LED lights

When we move in
And need things for our home
I’ll take back the packaging
Even the dang Styrofoam

Old gadgets and computers
Won’t clutter our space
I’ll take them for recycling
To a responsible place

And years down the road
When our meds all expire
They’ll go back to the pharmacy
So the fish don’t get higher

Now that you know
just how I feel
Tell me our love
Is the real Green Deal

Then let’s share the earth
We don’t need to abuse it
I’ll give you my heart
If you say you’ll reuse it
L.S. Craig

December 3rd, 2013

Want to shop a little more local for Christmas? London Drugs is right up your street.

ld_story

There are a lot of reasons to join the local economy. From supporting good jobs to contributing to your community, spending your dollars locally makes a difference. But thinking local can go beyond artisans and craft fairs. London Drugs is 100% Canadian Owned, and we service our network of 78 stores from our head offices right here in Western Canada (Richmond, BC) We employ some 7000 people, focusing on truly serving the communities in which we operate. Because of our Canadian roots, and our regional focus, we work to stock a selection of Canadian and local market products. Here are just a few examples that might put a little more local love under your tree.

Fresh Is Best Tortilla Chips – Made in small batches in the pseudo-Mexican desert of Kamloops BC, these original snacks will add a dash of festive colour to your table.

L3741188Manitoba Honey – Our London Orchard brand of honey comes from Manitoba, made by 100% Canadian bees! Perfect for holiday baking and recipes.

Dolce D’Or Chocolates – “Sweet Gold” made in Delta, BC. Which means you can eat more of them (Don’t ask why, it’s just one of those things)

Ganong Chocolates – Did you know this family-owned Canadian company has been making candies and chocolates in New Brunswick for 140 years?!  Their Delecto line is perfect for Christmas gifting. Check out their video story on YouTube here.

Camino Chocolate – a Canadian Organic, FairTrade company that supports family farmers. That calls for another piece of chocolate.

Nature’s Path – A great company that started in BC and is beginning to go mainstream in the US. Dedicated to organic and non-GMO, they make great cereals for stocking up at home, and snack bars for stuffing stockings.

LD-Coffee-smallFair Trade Organic Coffee – Perfect for an office gift or gift basket. We have a huge selection, roasted in Canada, including blends by Commercial Drive, Salt Spring Coffee, Kicking Horse Coffee, Ethical Bean, Level Ground and Earth’s Choice. Find out more about our coffees in our blog post here.

Uncle Luke’s 100% Pure Maple Syrup – A Canadian tradition from a Canadian company who has been making syrup for over 35 years. Who couldn’t use a jug of this sweet love?

Cascades Bathroom Tissue – OK, not the funnest gift to unwrap. But think practically here – with holiday guests arriving, better stock up. 100% Canadian and recycled… from some of the very materials we collect locally!

So next time you are heading out to do some shopping, consider that local comes in different sizes. And remember, when it comes to larger retailers, if you live in Western Canada, London Drugs is about as local as they come.

November 7th, 2013

A Great Green Gift Basket is as Close as Your Local London Drugs

green-deal-sustainable-giftbox-2

If you need a gift for a friend or client who is into all things ‘green’, look no further. A bundle of GreenDeal products from London Drugs will have something to please almost anyone.
For this box, I chose a variety of food, housewares beauty and cleaning products totaling about $65, including the classy suede-like storage box at $7.99 (I have not yet researched the supply-chain on this particular item, but I like that its very useful and reusable)

Here are some highlights:

Coffee: I chose Ethical Bean because it was on sale, but LD has an awesome variety of organic, locally-roasted fairly traded blends.
Reusable MugThis cool cup from Aladdin is made from recycled plastic and is recyclable at the end of its life. Open the cup and close the loop.

Organic Chocolate – It’s a good idea to have something in the pack that can be eaten right away. There’s a nice milk chocolate variety pack from Green & Blacks, and a dark chocolate bar from Camino – a Canadian Organic, FairTrade company that supports family farmers.

Nature’s Path Granola – I chose the organic fruit & nut blend, but they have lots of other great products, too. It’s an added bonus that their packaging looks tasteful enough to dress up the package.

green-deal-sustainable-giftbox-1smMethod Dish Soap – Sure its cleaning stuff, but it looks like art. Biodegradable, with full ingredient transparency on their website. It’s not Sodium Lauryl Sulfate free, but the Method company does a good job of Corporate Social Responsibility, including offsetting their energy and carbon footprint.

London Drugs Organic Tomato Sauce – This is an example of a great tasting, organic product that competes on price with national, non-organic brands.

Burts Bees Lip Balm – This is a nice treat for whomever gets to it first and claims it. A premium lip balm, from a great company that makes social and environmental factors a big part of their decision making.

To make a bodacious-looking package, I propped everything up with some crumpled newspaper underneath, arranged it and wrapped it all up with a strip of cloth from a spare piece of fabric.

Got someone sustainable to recognize? Check out our list of GreenDeal products, and make up your own gift box. It’s a local, personal gift that says you care about more than just saying ‘thanks’.

March 29th, 2013

Yes, Virginia, there is a Fair Trade, Organic Easter Bunny.

camino-bunny-MEDWith all the excitement, hopping around the house on a Sunday morning and eating candy before breakfast, you can also enjoy an extra warm fuzzy feeling from this Fair Trade, Organic Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny from Camino, available at London Drugs.

Camino is a Canadian brand of fair trade and organic food products, owned by the Ottawa-based La Siembra Co-operative. La Siembra works directly with 23 producer co-ops, supporting more than 39,500 family farmers.

According to their website, Camino sources ingredients from co-operatives of family farmers in Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Sri Lanka.

The bunny contains 83% FairTrade Certified ingredients by dry weight, and is certified organic by QAI. Even the box is made with 100% recycled paper cardboard.
So why not add a taste of fair trade to the Easter Basket this year? It might just put a little extra spring into your step.

May 1st, 2012

GreenDeal Product Profile – Andalou Naturals: A good exercise in ingredient transparency.


With all the different options out there, how do you know what is best? For some it comes down to what’s inside, yet there are differing opinions on almost every ingredient out there. So it’s up to YOU to do your homework, especially if you have sensitivity to any specific chemicals or natural extracts.That’s why the issue of ingredient transparency is so important. Thankfully, it’s a lot easier with products like Andalou Naturals, because they list all of their ingredients right on their website.
Take their Lavender Shea Body Butter for example. With a bit of clicking around on the Andalou site, you are able to access a complete list of ingredients for this product, including indications of which are organic and fair trade.

Also note that none of the ingredients are listed simply as ‘fragrance’ or ‘color’ – catch-all terms some manufacturers use to avoid disclosing proprietary formulas. (Helpful for their patent protection perhaps, but not useful if you are on the lookout for any particular ingredients that concern you)
So if you want to know more about what’s in the things that go on you, you may want to support companies like Andalou, and/or encourage your favourite brands to follow their example.

Not everyone wants to go on an ingredient treasure hunt, but we all benefit when manufacturers put transparency first.

And that’s the clear Green Deal.

March 6th, 2012

What’s better then recycling? UPcycling! Level Ground makes discarded coffee bags into something better.

The dreaded coffee bag. It must keep roasted beans fresh, while allowing gasses to escape. The world’s finest eco-coffee minds have yet to come up with a viable recyclable option for this critical part of the bean’s journey to your cup.

So how about making it into another product entirely? That’s the idea behind UPCYCLING.
Level Ground Trading, a Victoria, BC based coffee roaster, has created a program to collect used coffee bags from their customers and have them made into stylish bags by Work Of Your Hand, an organization that helps artisans from developing nations find dignity and self-worth through work that pays fair wages. In an over-the-top example of supply-chain transparency, each bag even comes with a short bio on the person who sewed it.

In 2011, Level Ground collected the equivalent of 24,000 packages weighing 926 lbs. Of course, shipping the bags back and forth to the Phillipines has its own set of environmental issues, but the effort, social benefits and beautiful results from this program are definitely worth supporting. The finished bags are property of Work Of Your Hand and they can be sold as they wish (they are obligated to conduct all of their business practices according to the 10 Fair Trade standards outlined by the WFTO) 
If you would like one of these unique works of craft, they can be can be purchased directly from Level Ground by e-mailing orders@levelground.com

So buy some Level Ground coffee at London Drugs, and keep that bag out of your own waste stream. It has a better life ahead.

How reclamation works:

  • Buy your Level Ground Coffee at London Drugs
  • Save your Level Ground coffee package
  • Return it to a Reclamation Station – (find one here)
  • Level Ground will send it to www.workofyourhand.com
  • Work of Your Hand will convert the package into crafts and accessories.

February 29th, 2012

Salt Spring Coffee Really Chips In to Help Their Growers.

I recently attended a ‘cupping’ (coffee tasting) at Salt Spring Coffee’s offices in Richmond BC. This local company, founded on the BC island it is named for, has some of the tastiest roasts around, organic and fair-trade to boot. But they do a lot more than just importing and roasting great coffee.

Salt Spring supports Fair to Farmer Direct™, a third-party-certified program that goes beyond the traditional trade relationship. This means the company does a lot more for the small organic coffee growers:

  • They purchase coffee from certified organic farms and co-ops only
  • They pay farmers more than the fair trade base price
  • They encourage long-term purchasing contracts
  • They visit Fair to Farmer Direct coffee growing communities at least once every three years; many once a year

But sometimes even that is not enough. While visiting coffee co-ops in northeastern Nicaragua last March, Salt Spring made good on a project that’s been in the works for three years – delivering chippers to help make organic compost from readily available farming waste. Check out the video.

It shows that when you decide to buy Salt Spring Coffee at London Drugs, you’re getting a whole lot more than great tasting cup of java.

January 17th, 2012

Meet the Green Team: Ken Vannucci – Green meets the Real East Vancouver Deal

Walking into the office of Ken Vannucci, the first thing that hits you is the scent of fine coffee, as he fresh-grinds a quick batch before brewing it right at his desk. With 9 brands of Fair Trade and/or organic beans in the London Drugs lineup, it’s just one area where Ken’s green passion and product expertise shine.

“Educated customers want to buy ‘green’ when it comes to food,” Vannucci explains, as he steps up to a shelf merchandising diagram on the wall, “Look, we have Kashi, Nature’s Path, Annie’s Naturals, New World Natural Foods… all right next to the traditional brands. And check out these coffees. Ethical Bean, Commercial Drive and Salt Spring are all roasted right here in the Lower Mainland. You won’t find that at other drug stores.”

Being Merchandise Manager for OTC, Vitamins, Diet and Nutrition, Grocery, Baby and Paper products puts even more on his plate, including herbal and homeopathic products.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a product like Melatonin to help you sleep. But maybe you want to try something like Traditional Medicinals Organic ‘Nighty Night’ Tea first, and see if a more natural remedy works for you. Or try a combination of the two to use less medication. And if you have any questions, our pharmacists are right there to answer them. Basically, our role should be to help people do a little better overall. And if natural and organic is part of that for you, we have options.”

So does buying with all these ‘green’ variables in mind make his job more difficult? Vannucci just smiles.

“Sure, it would be easier to stock only traditional big brands. And we obviously love those brands, too. But I think giving people choices like organic, natural or gluten-free is part of the positive impact the grocery section can have on peoples‘ health.”

If that all sounds a bit green and fuzzy for a mainstream retailer, Ken’s 20 years of East-Vancouver practicality quickly puts it in real terms.

“There’s no question we are here to make a profit, but London Drugs management really supports me in longer-term decisions to do the right thing. The bottom line is, I want to give people a chance to buy better stuff without having to mortgage the house.”

We’ll raise a cup of fair-trade java to that.

For more of Ken’s Real Green Deal realism, you can follow him on twitter @KootenayBorn

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