April 22nd, 2017

Recycling Over Lunch at CanWel Building Materials Vancouver

The London Drugs What’s the Green Deal team was proud to be invited to speak at a local Lunch & Learn event focused on recycling, held in the National Office of Canwel Building Materials. The event started with a presentation on office recycling by Cascades Recovery, designed to increase knowledge and diversion rates. (Cascades is also a major London Drugs Recycling Partner) Green Deal blogger Lorne Craig then talked with the group about home recycling, showcasing all the recyclables listed on the greendeal.ca website that can be taken back to any London Drugs store.
Then participants broke into teams and faced the Waste Sorting Challenge, diverting a select batch of ‘trash’ into the appropriate streams within a two minute deadline.
Everyone was a winner, as all attendees left with a London Drugs Big Green RecycleBag for their efforts. Not to mention a fresh appreciation for the possibilities of home and office recycling.
Way to go Team CanWel! YOU are the REAL Green Deal!

Office Recycling

March 15th, 2017

Love single serve coffee, but hate the waste? Melitta introduces the world’s first certified 100% compostable single serve coffee pods.

If you crave the taste and convenience of single serve coffee (K-Cups) you aren’t alone. By some estimates, 12 BILLION of them will be sold this year – enough to circle the earth around 13 times!  Until now, that meant a lot of waste that was difficult, if not impossible to recycle. But now, thanks to Melitta and Canadian researchers at the University of Guelph’s Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, a solution is at hand!

PurPod100™ cups are the world’s first single-serve coffee cups* that have been certified 100% compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI).

That means, according to the Melitta website, that “testing shows the pod can break down completely in as little as 5 weeks” That doesn’t necessarily mean every local compost program will accept them. Municipalities and other composting facility operators have their own guidelines for what they accept as being compostable. But many DO automatically accept items that are Certified 100% Compostable by BPI. And testing is underway to see how well the pods break down in home compost situations.

Even with those caveats, the development of a certified compostable coffee pod is big news. But it’s really still all about enjoying great tasting coffee! So if you have been avoiding your Kuerig because you feel bad about pod waste, just pick up some great tasting Melitta pods at London Drugs, compost your leftover pods and you’ll sleep better no matter how many cups you brew.

All Melitta single serve coffee pod varieties at London Drugs feature the new PurPod100™ compostable cup.

*PurPod100™ cups are designed to work with Kuerig 2.0 brewers, and it should be noted that they will work best if the brewer is regularly cleaned and de-scaled.

The new Melitta compostable pods are almost entirely made of plant based material, and the ring is actually made from coffee chaff – a byproduct that is usually wasted!

June 16th, 2016

YOU can help stop FOOD WASTE! Here are 5 things we can all do!



Ontario-based consulting firm Value Chain Management International (VCMI) Study – http://vcm-international.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Food-Waste-in-Canada-27-Billion-Revisited-Dec-10-2014.pdf

Quest Food Exchange – http://www.questoutreach.org/

Alberta Food Bank – http://www.albertafoodbanks.org/



Canadians waste $31 billion in food each year.* When that food decomposes in a landfill, it creates methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gasses. So our environment pays the ultimate price. It’s up to us all to do what we can to make food waste history.

Where food waste comes from:*

  • Consumers – 47%
  • Retail – 10%
  • On Farm – 10%
  • Processing, Transport & Distribution – 24%
  • Restaurants & Hotels – 9%

What YOU can do:

1. Compost your Food Scraps Vancouver treats food waste as “a resource,” says Carrie Hightower, a technical adviser in Metro Vancouver’s zero-waste implementation program, sending it to commercial composters like Harvest Power where an anaerobic digester converts organic waste into green energy.

2. Switch to smaller dishes and portions  The standard plate is up to 36% larger than it was 50 years ago!*** So while 6 oz of pasta on an 8” plate looks reasonable, the same 6 oz on a 12” plate may look more like an appetizer.

3. Give uneaten Food a second chance Put that old banana in a smoothie. Make vegetable soups, or try your hand at freezing & home canning!

4. Never waste water-intensive foods such as meat Throw away that burger and you’re wasting more than just food. Producing 1 kg of animal protein requires about 100 times more water than producing 1 kg of grain protein!**

5. Try the FoodKeeper App to help keep track of expiry dates This handy little app gives you information on food storage times, helping organize your meals to make the best of food you have.

What is London Drugs doing about Food Waste?

Every store has a program in place, with connections to multiple organizations across Western Canada.
In small rural communities or single markets we work with local charities, food banks or churches. If that’s not an option, items are returned to our distribution centre and forwarded to one of our larger partners.

In BC we partner with Quest Food Exchange, whose goal is ‘reducing hunger with dignity’. Unusable items are put into an organics recycling program.

In Alberta we partner with the Alberta Food Bank in Edmonton and Calgary. These fine groups also provide education and support, like nutritional seminars and kitchen classes.

More towns & cities are creating infrastructure for organics recycling. We are happy to share our knowledge and learning with any organizations or agencies involved in reducing food waste.

In the first quarter of 2016, we diverted or gave out over 72 Tons of food!

Learn more. Visit our website for blogs, videos, articles and products that help you live a little greener.

February 11th, 2016

Got a Great Green Friend? Send them our Video Valentine.

From the Saskatchewan Mom who brings in all her kids batteries, to the Lower Mainland team that takes care of our electronics recycling, to the kids who clean up the roadside litter in Prince George, it takes a big green village to make a difference. So we wanted to say ‘Thanks’ and show our love with this little Valentine’s Day video. If you have a special green person in your life, feel free to pass it along to them. Because sharing appreciation for everyone’s efforts, is the REAL Green Deal. Happy Valentine’s Day!

June 10th, 2014

Quick Tips for Greening Your Neighbour Day Event


To celebrate how Calgarians came together after the worst flood in its history, many communities will be hosting celebrations on Neighbour Day, June 21st. The flood created an estimated one year’s worth of garbage in Calgary in only a few hours. So when you are planning your commemorative event – or  any backyard BBQ or block party – it’s important to think about minimizing the waste.
Here are a few of the ways you can green your event:

non-paper-platesMake It a BOYD Party

If you’re hosting a BBQ or potluck party, an easy way to reduce the amount of waste created is to ask your neighbours to bring their own dishes. “This not only helps reduce the amount of waste being thrown away at the end, but it also saves you some money and cleanup,” says Louise Daly, Manager of Events with Green Calgary. It’s also important to have some disposable plates on hand in case people forget to bring their own. World Centric sustainable and compostable fibre plates are a great green option. They are made from wheatstraw fiber – an annually renewable resource – and they are soak proof.

Have a Dishwashing Station

If your neighbours are on-board with bringing their own dishes, have a dishwashing station that allows them to clean up their plates, cutlery, and cups afterwards so that you can minimize the mess. All you’ll need is dish soap, a few wash tubs and some wash cloths and you’ll be all set for your eco-friendly potluck or barbeque!

Choose Green Food & Beverage Options

Food and beverage are a big part of any event, but they can create a lot of waste. To keep your community space clean after the big party, Green Calgary recommends opting for food and beverage items that minimize waste – this can be a wide variety of things, from providing tap water instead of bottled water to serving drinks and condiments in bulk form.  Asking your neighbours to bring their own reusable water bottle  and provide jugs of tap water instead of individual disposable bottles for re-filling.

Recycle & Compost Leftovers

Set up waste stations at your event that include recycling and compost bins in addition to garbage bins; this way, your community can recycle and compost as much as possible. If you use compostable dishware like fibre plates, be sure to let your neighbours know they can go in the compost bins. Bag to Earth food waste bags  are made from all natural materials and are designed to disappear fully into the earth: perfect for disposing of food scraps and other compostable materials at your party.

Since the 2008 launch of  What’s the Green Deal, London Drugs now tallies more than 42 million pounds of materials recycled including over a million kilograms of electronics and devices, and over 200,000 pounds of Styrofoam.

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

August 21st, 2013

London Drugs goes Green Thumb with the Hastings North Community Garden

An empty lot that was once home to a London Drugs store is now growing broccoli in aisle 3. On opening day, August 10th, spirits were high as neighbours planted, watered and enjoyed the sun. Check out our opening day video to see the green action for yourself.

This location, in the 2500 block of East Hastings Street in Vancouver, was slated to be built into a mixed-use retail residential development, but market conditions led to a delay in that project. Rather than let the lot sit empty, the real estate team at London Drugs partnered with Shifting Growth to sponsor a temporary urban garden on the site. (The Hastings Street London Drugs store #7 is still operating in a location right next door)

The Shifting Growth organization has a total of three community garden locations in Vancouver, with a fourth in the planning stages.

With 170 plots, three fruit trees and a community herb bed, this garden has created a lot of interest around the neighbourhood. This East Vancouver community has a history of people growing their own food, but not everyone has the space. The infrastructure is mobile, so when development starts, plots can be moved to another Shifting Growth site.

In the meantime, we’ll watch for the tomatoes to ripen.
For more information visit hastingsnorthgarden.com

July 26th, 2013

Green Stampede Breakfast a success – 79% waste diverted. Yeehaw!


A few blogs ago we told you about the Rocky Ridge Royal Oak Community Association (RRROCA) Stampede Breakfast and their efforts to make it a waste-free event (with the help of Green Calgary and London Drugs)

green-stampede-breakfast-statsWell, the numbers are in and it looks like a great inaugural event, achieving a 79% diversion of waste from landfill.
RRROCA asked all community members, in advance, to bring their own reusable foodware. Wash stations were set up to clean sticky dishes with London Drugs’ brand of natural dish soap.

London Drugs also donated compostable products and organics and recycling bin collection was provided by PEL Recycling.
PEL was able to collect meat products and processed organic products (grilled pancakes), along with the certified compostable foodware that was provided to those who did not bring their own.

This impressive initial measurement can be credited to the partnership between London Drugs, RRROCA, Green Calgary, PEL Recycling and the dedicated volunteers. When guests deposited materials in the incorrect bins, volunteers would often retrieve the item and place it in the correct bin.

Green Calgary’s report also pointed out a list of recommendations for improvement. Here are just a few of the good ideas:

  • Develop signage that is specific to the event, with images of materials and clear indication of where they should go.
  • Encourage London Drugs to obtain testing for biodegradability and a third party certification (Environmental Choice, EcoLogo, EcoCert) for Naturals Dishwashing Liquid.
  • Train volunteers that leftover pancake batter can be composted. (the batter that was sent to landfill weighed about 20kgs – half of the waste weight. If this had been composted the diversion rate could have been 89%!)

Congratulations to everyone involved. Way to make your Stampede Breakfast the real Green Deal!

June 21st, 2013

It’s time for green beach days and guilt-free picnics.


Sustainable living doesn’t mean you have to give up on the summer fun. If you’re throwing a beach party and don’t want to worry about washing dishes, World Centric has a line of almost-guilt-free disposable dinnerware. The plates and bowls are made from wheat straw fiber instead of trees. Their cups are made from paper and 100% bio-based lining instead of petroleum-based plastic. World Centric cutlery is made from TPLA, consisting of 70% non-GMO corn and 30% talc. All of their products conform to the ASTM D-6400 standard of biodegradability, meaning they break down in commercial composters in 3-6 months. (Should be no problem for municipal systems like those used by Vancouver’s Green Bin program) If you’re a real green picnic geek, you can learn more on the World Centric website.

recycled-platesIf throwing away your plate still seems evil, try the reusable plates and bowls from Preserve. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic, (including take-out containers) these green beauties are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. Preserve will even take them back and recycle therm AGAIN when you are done.

green-sunscreensAs you are basking in your righteous green-ness, don’t forget to keep the warming sun at bay with sunscreen alternatives by Green Beaver and Badger. Green Beaver Sunscreen is certified organic, biodegradable and gluten-free. The Badger formula is non-nano, biodegradable and water resistant.

Barbecue and beach season await, so get out there and enjoy the world. And leave a smaller footprint at the same time.

June 8th, 2013

Taming the Trash at the Calgary Stampede


For over 100 years, the Calgary Stampede has been hootin’ and hollerin’, and one of its greatest traditions is the Pancake Breakfast. Unfortunately, with hundreds of these festivities throughout town, the annual Stampede ‘trash hangover’ is getting a bit wild.

Now an innovative community collaboration is helping one community association host their annual flapjack festivities without the waste. London Drugs is sponsoring Green Calgary to divert waste from the Rocky Ridge Royal Oak Community Association’s (RRROCA) Stampede breakfast and inspire other community groups to celebrate Stampede with sustainability in mind.

Last year, over 2,000 people attended the RRROCA Stampede Breakfast, leaving garbage bins overflowing.
Green Calgary and Green Events consultant, Lauren Minuk, will be working with RRROCA to divert as much waste as possible, with re-usable plates, water stations, composting, recycling and more.

Come see what a greener breakfast looks like July 6, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the North West Family Church (10307 Eamon Road NW).

“Our commitment extends beyond our stores, to the communities we serve and into the homes of our customers,” says Clint Mahlman, Senior Vice President and COO of London Drugs. “Sponsoring waste reduction at the RRROCA Stampede Breakfast is a natural extension of our in-store waste reduction and recycling programs.”


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