July 25th, 2017

5 Things You Need to Know About Greener Sunscreen.

Great Green Sunscreen Info Graphic

Sunscreen is one of those things we are supposed to apply liberally to our arms, legs, face, kids… so what’s actually IN it? How does it work? Are some sunscreens ‘greener’ than others? Here’s some information for your consideration from the London Drugs’ What’s the Green Deal Team:

1. How sunscreen works: There are 2 types:

MINERAL sunscreen creates a layer of particles (zinc or titanium oxide) that deflect the sun’s rays.
Effective immediately
Does not degrade from UV exposure
Does not penetrate the skin
Also effective against UVA rays
Can leave white residue

CHEMICAL sunscreen uses compounds that absorb the sun’s rays and turn them into non-damaging wavelengths.
Easy to apply, non-whitening
Requires wait time to be effective
Chemicals can penetrate skin
Chemicals degrade when exposed to UV

2. Chemical Sunscreen Ingredients
Chemical sunscreens typically contain a combination of two to six of the following active ingredients:
oxybenzone
octinoxate
octisalate
octocrylene
homosalate
avobenzone
2
Recently, concerns have been raised about long-term safety of some of these ingredients, particularly oxybenzone (benzophenone-3 ) which, in addition to sun protection, acts as a penetration enhancer. This chemical has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cellular damage.
(Oxybenzone is present in over 500 other North American cosmetic items.)  1

Watch the Spray!
Spray sunscreens have increased in popularity, but some experts don’t recommend them, because of the hazard of inhaling chemicals and particles. 2

3.Look for Broad Spectrum Protection
The suns rays come in different lengths, and it’s a good idea to protect against them all.
UVA radiation
Goes deeper into the skin (dermis).
Causes premature aging and wrinkles.
Causes tanning.
UVB radiation
Affects the skin’s surface (epidermis).
Contributes most to burning of skin.
Damages your eyes. 5

4. Is Higher SPF Better?
People assume that they get twice as much protection from SPF 100 sunscreen as from SPF 50. In reality, the extra protection may be negligible. Used correctly, sunscreen with SPF values in the range of 30 to 50 will offer adequate protection, even for people most sensitive to sunburn.6

UV protection does not follow a linear relationship, meaning that if you apply half of the recommended amount you get LESS than half of the labeled SPF protection.

5. Protect ecosystems and coral too – Biodegradable and Reef Safe options
Researchers have identified four common sunscreen chemicals as toxic to coral health. (oxybenzone butylparaben, octinoxate and a chemical called 4MBC)
Unfortunately, 25 to 60 million bottles worth of sunscreen chemicals wash off into coral reef areas each year. Sunscreens with titanium oxide or zinc oxide, (natural mineral ingredients), have not been found harmful to corals. 4 If you are swimming in nature, choose one of these options.

Great Green Sunscreen Options
London Drugs is pleased to offer a range of sunscreen options. Here are some choices that protect as sustainably as possible:

Aveeno Mineral & Aveeno Baby
Mineral based protection
UVA, UVB protection

Badger Sunscreens
Non-Nano Zinc Oxide Mineral Protection
Biodegradable
87% organic ingredients
UVA, UVB protection
What’s the Green Deal Featured

Boo Bamboo Natural Sunscreen
Active ingredient: Zinc Oxide, Titanium Oxide
UVA, UVB protection
Made in Canada

Goddess Garden
Certified organic
Non-Nano, Reef Safe, Non-GMO, Biodegradable
Vegan, Cruelty Free, Paraben and Phthalate Free
UVA, UVB protection
What’s the Green Deal Featured

Green Beaver
Non-nano zinc oxide and titanium oxide mineral protection
100% natural, biodegradable and reef friendly
Made in Canada
UVA, UVB protection
What’s the Green Deal Featured

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc
Active ingredient: Zinc Oxide
UVA, UVB protection

Trying a new sunscreen?
Test a little on a small area of skin. If you have a reaction, please bring the product back.

LEARN MORE at greendeal.ca 
Blogs, videos, articles & products to help you live a little greener.

Sources:

Source: London Drugs Health Blog 2014 – http://healthblog.londondrugs.com/suncare-update-2014
Source: Environmental Working Group Sunscreen Report 2017 – http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/executive-summary/#.WW_md4qQxE5
ENvironmental Working Group – Do the Chemicals in your sunscreen damage fragile coral reefs? – http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2016/07/do-chemicals-your-sunscreen-damage-fragile-coral-reefs#.WW_vvIqQxE4
US National Park Service Bulletin – Protect Yourself, Protect the Reef! – https://cdhc.noaa.gov/_docs/Site%20Bulletin_Sunscreen_final.pdf
Canadian Skin Cancer Foundtion -http://www.canadianskincancerfoundation.com/sun-screen.html
Environmental Working Group – What’s wrong with high SPF? – http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/whats-wrong-with-high-spf/#.WW_054qQxE4

September 15th, 2016

Looking for a more soothing natural remedy? Traditional Medicinals might be your cup of tea.

Traditional Medicinals tea natural remeby

Wisdom of the ages says that a good cup of tea can cure what ails you. Traditional Medicinals tales that a step further, with tea blends that are actually licensed Natural Health Products – meaning they’re recognized as safe and effective over-the-counter remedies.

Here are just some of the health issues these teas are designed to help with:

  • Insomnia
  • Lactation
  • Detox
  • Digestion
  • Relaxation
  • Appetite
  • Regularity
  • Sore Throat
  • Cold & Flu Symptoms

When looking for a tea with verified health benefits, look for a Natural Product Number (NPN) prominently displayed.

According to the Traditional Medicinals website, the health claims on their tea boxes are supported by evidence, which may include evidence of traditional use, clinical trial data or published studies.

ChamomileTo meet the strict Natural Health Product  licensing requirements, they must ensure that herbs used meet the high standard of pharmacopoeial grade – ensuring the quality and the correct effect for their intended purpose.

Each herb has its own quality standard to ensure optimal activity, such as high essential oil content, the right amount of bitterness, or a specific level of active compounds. The result is tea that has power.

Sustainability is continuously brewing.

The variety of plants used in Traditional Medicinal blends is fascinating. Beginning with Chamomile (good for calming the nervous system and indigestion) you can scroll through 11 of the most popular plants on the Traditional Medicinals website and learn more about where each is grown and what its properties are.(Here’s a link to learn more about the harvesting of Slippery Elm Bark for the Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat blend)

So next time your throat tickles, you can’t sleep or you’ve eaten too many kale chips, consider a warm cup of tea. Or just drink it for the pure taste of it all. Either way, Traditional Medicinals is the REAL Green Deal.

July 3rd, 2016

Made from Milk Jugs! Play a Little Greener This Summer with Green Toys

Looking for some more sustainable toys that can also teach the little ones a thing or two about recycling? Take a look at the Green Toys line. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic, these great looking vehicles are bright, durable and perfect for the beach or playground.

Green Toys ScooperThe toys are made from recycled milk jugs (#5 PP plastic) and packaged in recycled (and recyclable) cardboard cartons printed with soy inks. They also contain no glues, screws or paint.

According to their website, every pound of recycled milk jugs used to create a Green Toys product saves enough energy to power 3,000 AAA batteries, a TV for 3 weeks or a laptop computer for a whole month.

The Recycling Truck is the star of their video, but the line also includes the Dumper, Scooper, Tug Boat and Helicopter.

So grab some Green Toys and head for the sandbox. And don’t forget to recycle your milk jug!

Green Toys Recycle Truck

September 1st, 2011

How to control fruit flies without poisoning your pad.


At this time of year, kitchens are filled with the bounty of summer’s harvest; ripe berries, healthy fruit and of course, fruit flies. Thankfully, Drosophilidae are not as bloodthirsty as mosquitoes, but they breed like small winged rabbits and are surprisingly difficult to squish.

If you want to control the annual pilgrimage of these pests without coating your organic bananas in a fog of toxic insecticide, take a look at the Tanglefoot Fruit Fly Trap. It’s basically a small jar that holds a natural attractant and a piece of sticky card. A special entrance tunnel means the flies can check in anytime they like, but find it hard to leave. It’s odourless and non-toxic. The lure and sticky cards are refillable, so you can use the trap year after year, and it really works. (Our family has successfully used the Tanglefoot trap for the last two fruit fly seasons)
Tanglefoot also makes traps for house flies, pantry moths and wasps.

Now if only they could develop a snare for annoying summer house guests…