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.

September 13th, 2015

Onyx+Green – a Canadian company making school and office supplies more sustainable.

Onyx+Green sustainab;le back-to-school supplies

One bamboo writing instrument may not seem like a big green deal, but consider this: According to the EPA, Americans throw away 1.6 billion disposable pens every year. (Yes, BILLION!) That’s a lot of waste to write off. So if you want to make a green difference you can see and touch every day, consider your school and office supplies.

Onyx+Green Recycled PensWrite with recycled pride. Onyx + Green offers pens and mechanical pencils made from from bamboo. recycled aluminum, recycled PET plastic (the kind from recycled drink bottles) and even recycled carton material.

L8817652Cut into waste with biodegradable scissors. Corn-based plastic handles and metal blades mean that these scissors won’t be around for hundreds of years in the landfill when you are done with them.

Go treeless for your notes. These Onyx + Green notepads are made from…. stone. That’s right, crushed stone is bound into smooth, white, water-resistant sheets that consume nary a single twig.

Contain it all with natural materials. Our modern fabrics contain a lot of plastic. But these styling pencil cases are 90% natural and biodegradable (made with a ramie leaf / jute plant blend fabric)

Less packaging is more better. OK, bad grammar. But by using simple paperboard designs (no bubble plastic!) and soy based inks, Onyx+Green has made it easy to keep packaging waste to a minimum. And that’s worth writing about.

The local connection. The products are made in China, but designed in Canada, and importantly, produced by a Canadian-headquartered company (Onyx+Green is a division of Onyx+Blue, a Quebec-based company) so you are supporting Canadian jobs and profits, while still getting affordable products.

If you want to add a sustainable reminder to your everyday school and office routine, take a look at the Onyx+ Green product line. It’s the write Green Deal for Back-to-School. (Sorry, that pun probably gets an F)

February 27th, 2015

CLIF Bar – An energy snack that’s helping power 
organic farming in Canada.

L4959268You might not expect the #1 energy bar in North America to be big on organic. But it is. Meet Brian Krumm, a fourth generation farmer from Saskatchewan, and a proud supplier of organic oats to Clif Bar.

In this amazing video, Brian tells the story of his family farm and why he made the switch to organic way back in 1996. It’s a testament to the food-based approach that Clif Bar takes, and it’s no surprise that they are a family and employee-owned business as well.

They use as much organic as possible, (70% in their original energy bars and Mojo bars, and their upcoming Z-Bars for Kids will be fully Certified Canada Organic)
Clif Bar keeps the environment, community and people on top of their list of corporate goals, even as they grow.

So when you’re out and about, hiking, biking or just going for a stroll, take a few Clif Bars along.

It’s the Real Green Deal of pocket snacks!

May 13th, 2013

Toshiba and the environment – just how green is the company behind the product?


There’s more to improving the environment than making recycled products. These days, corporations are taking a good hard look at systems, processes and policies to save money and win consumer trust.

Toshiba is not a company you might immediately associate with green. But a closer look reveals that they have been focusing on improving their environmental performance for at least 5 years.

On their Facebook page, Toshiba Innovation / Sustainability, they even go so far as to say their mission is “to establish Toshiba as one of the world’s foremost eco-companies…”

That’s a bold statement. So what are they doing to get there?  Specific goals they want to reach by 2015 include:

  • Reduce greenhouse gases 65% from 1990 levels
  • Reduce manufacturing waste 71% from 2000 levels
  • Reduce chemical emissions 77% from 2000 levels
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 15 million tons through energy savings features
  • Remove polyvinyl chloride and brominated flame retardants from all products
  • Increase product resource savings 50%

Toshiba is also a manufacturer of hybrid electric vehicle motors, which they say will help reduce greenhouse gasses as they are integrated into mainstream transportation technology.
So if you like the idea of helping companies improve their environmental performance, do some research and buy from those that are setting ambitious goals.
Then stay tuned and help make sure they follow through.

February 28th, 2013

What’s the Green Deal with half-empty medication bottles?

Photo: L.Craig

Photo: L.Craig

We occasionally get email from customers who are puzzled at the extra space in their bottle of London Drugs medications. This is one of those situations where the most effective environmental choice comes up against practicality in a calculation that can be a bit more complex than it first appears.

London Drugs buyers need to source packaging for a very wide range of medication quantities and sizes. But, as you can imagine, finding, ordering, packaging and shipping a wide array of bottle sizes drives up time and cost through the whole process. From an environmental perspective, it can also be more energy-efficient at the factory to produce fewer sizes of bottles, once set-up, start-up and shipping/packing materials are considered for each run. As well, for examples like the Melatonin pictured above, a bottle small enough to hold those 60 tablets snugly would not be big enough to display all of the ingredients and information – in both official languages.

So in order to keep our prices low, our team made the choice to go with three or four basic bottle sizes instead of over 30 bottle sizes. Which means that, unfortunately, for some products, there may be more air than we would like. It isn’t a perfect solution, and we will continue to work to find solutions that balance all the factors as best we can.

We do specify a readily recyclable #1PETE plastic for our bottles, and all medicine containers returned to our stores are recycled. So whatever their size, please Bring Back the Pack.

If you want to make a real environmental difference, please don’t forget to return unused medications. Flushing them down the toilet does not really get rid of them, as our waste treatment systems are not designed to break down these complex compounds. As a result, fish stocks can be adversely affected. (Read more on our blog here)

In the meantime, we do appreciate customers keeping the pressure on for us to do better. And we will keep working from our end to  monitor our bottling system and choices.

February 25th, 2013

London Drugs is North America’s first retailer to offer drop-off recycling for BRITA filters

BRITA-filter-recycling-London-DrugsThis is great news for people who like to filter their own water at home (thus saving waste from bottling and delivery) but who don’t like the idea of throwing old filters in the landfill. Now recycling those filters is as easy as looking for the big Brita box at your local London Drugs. The filters are then shipped to Preserve®, the leading maker of 100 percent recycled household consumer goods.

Recycled filters get a new life as 100 percent recycled products such as toothbrushes, cups and cutting boards.
The filter ingredients — activated carbon for creating great-tasting water and ion exchange resin that reduces mercury, copper, cadmium and zinc that might be found in tap water — will be regenerated for alternative use or converted into energy. Preserve has calculated that the benefits of keeping Brita® filters out of landfills and making them into Preserve products outweigh the impact of shipping them for recycling through this program. All Preserve plastic products are also recyclable, giving Brita® filter materials a third life.

If you aren’t near a London Drugs, you can still participate in the program. Simply mail your filters to Preserve:

  • Dry the filter by shaking off excess water and setting it in a dry place for at least three days.
  • Wrap the filter in a plastic grocery bag, then pack it in a box. (Boxes and bags will be recycled.) If possible, send multiple filters at a time.
  • Mail filters via ground shipping to: Preserve Gimme 5, 823 NYS Rte 13, Cortland, NY 13045

Any way you filter it, it’s a great Green Deal!

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 26th, 2012

London Drugs Celebrates Earth Month, Taking Recycling Beyond the Blue Box

Introducing eco-cycology, a top consumer trend for 2012 Eco-cycology involves recycling old products and waste products innovatively, by doing something constructive with them; taking them beyond the blue box and making them useful components of new products. Continuing its sustainability efforts, London Drugs has made significant strides over the past year to pioneer this type of behavior.

Through a pilot project with Cascades Recovery and Cascades Specialty Products Group, manufacturers of the Cascades line of recycled paper products, bathroom tissue and paper towels sold at London Drugs, cardboard returned through London Drugs’ Bring Back the Pack package recycling program can be used to create new paper products sold in stores.

“When a customer brings back cardboard packaging to London Drugs for recycling, they could eventually be buying paper products from us that contain some of that same material,” said Maury McCausland, Administrator of Retail Operations for London Drugs. “That’s pretty exciting.”

London Drugs is Canada’s only major retailer to offer packaging return and recycling, including Styrofoam, which is not accepted as part of many city recycling programs. Styrofoam returned to London Drugs is sent to recycling partner Genesis Recycling where it is compressed into large bricks, which are sold as polystyrene and reused for the manufacture of new products. So far, London Drugs has recycled over 118,000lbs of Styrofoam that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.

More Ways to Take Recycling Beyond the Blue Box With London Drugs
London Drugs’ “What’s the Green Deal” in-store product signs point out over 200 products that offer environmentally-preferable benefits to customers, such as organic content, fair-trade certification, recycled content and local manufacturing.

Customers can also bring back virtually anything they buy at London Drugs for responsible recycling including;

  • Electrical and Electronic goods (TVs, VCRs, computers, monitors, printers etc)
  • Small Appliances (purchased at London Drugs)
  • Cell phones, rechargeable batteries and alkaline batteries
  • Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL’s) and fluorescent light tubes up to 4ft
  • Disposable cameras
  • Ink jet and laser cartridges
  • Plastic bags
  • Pop bottles and cans (BC only)
  • Insurance plastic folders

January 4th, 2012

Happy Green Year! 10 Sustainable Resolutions for 2012

The tree is at the chipper and the organic eggnog is past its expiry date. So if you are the resolving type, now may be a good time to consider one or two New Years resolutions of the sustainable variety. Here are a few on my list. Because everyone is on their own green journey, I have listed them in ascending order of difficulty. Got any green resolutions of your own? Please comment below and let me know!

Easy as shelling a green bean:

1. Recycle your batteries. Nowadays, all types of batteries can be brought back to your local London Drugs (and many other places as well) with the Call2Recycle program drop-off boxes. I keep a small bag in my kitchen drawer for watch batteries, single-use alkalines and the rechargeables that just won’t recharge any more.

2. Keep track of your mileage. It’s amazing how much difference low tire pressure or a heavy accelerator foot can make to your gas consumption, but you never know until you track it. Note mileage when you fill up and calculate the difference next time you top up. Divide liters into kilometers, move the decimal point a few places over and you get your liters per 100km rating. Example: At last fill, my 2003 Honda Element used 36.07 liters to travel 397 km. 36.07 ÷ 397 = .09 or approximately 9L/100km.

3. Wash your clothes in cold water – Not only is it easier on fabrics, but cold water washing saves energy and money. All it takes is a flick of the switch.

Greener and a little tougher – (more like celery):

4. Take your bike or transit one day a week to work or school. This is a no-brainer if you live downtown, but a lot tougher if you have a rancher in the ‘burbs. Try it anyway, just to see. You may be pleasantly surprised at the fun and exercise, or end up lobbying city hall for better transit service!

5. De-Clutter all of your old electronics and recycle them. From the ancient cell phone in your desk drawer to the old PC in the garage, give up on the idea that you will ever be able to sell them. Take them somewhere you know they will be recycled properly and any leftover data securely destroyed. Like, say, London Drugs.

6. Shop at a farmers market once a month. This is a fun day trip for the family. Take along a little extra cash, because real hand-grown food is generally more expensive than the Food Incorporated variety. But its a great way to remind the kids that food does not grow on shelves.

Deep Hippie Green

7. Know where everything you buy comes from. Read labels. Do some online research on your favourite brands. Do you know where your regular stores’ head offices are? (London Drugs is 100% Canadian owned and headquartered in Richmond, BC) The more you know about global supply chains, the better equipped you will be to vote with your wallet.

8. Buy power bars and really turn off the appliances you aren’t using. ‘Standby Power’, or the small trickle of electricity many appliances use even while in the ‘off’ position, really adds up. (A 1998 study estimated that devices on standby accounted for about 5% of U.S. residential electricity consumption, adding some $3 billion to annual energy costs) Sure, your DVD player will flash 12:00, but do you REALLY need it to tell you the time? Note: Be sure not to disconnect your alarm clock.

9. Commit to using more rechargeable batteries. This is a bit of an expense as you get going, but trust me – you will save money in the long run. And it is quite satisfying to reach for batteries you charged yourself and know that’s one less set of cells that need to be paid for and disposed of.

10. Replace your old major appliances. From the ancient, wheezing, refrigerator to the avocado-coloured washing machine from 1972, to the giant fat-screen TV in the den, old appliances suck. (Water and power that is) Look for the EnerGuide Label and get the most efficient unit that will suit your needs. Like this sweet LCD TV.

Keep on Sustaining!
Most importantly, wherever you are on the great green journey, stay on the course. Every little bit counts, and we are all in this crazy New Year together. That’s the real Green Deal!

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