September 27th, 2017

With discounts up to 40% OFF, It’s time to save money on power, Manitoba!

The Manitoba Hydro Power Smart program is a savings and rebate plan with incredible deals on high-efficiency lighting and Energy Star® Certified products that will ALSO save you money in the long run.

Go through your home and upgrade your lighting to long-lasting LED quality. With 20% – 40% OFF on a wide variety of light bulb and lighting styles, there may never be a better time.

For a look at all the bright deals available, see the chart below and check our rebate lighting selection online here.

But remember, to get your rebate you must shop in-store. So head to your local London Drugs before October 31st and stock up on Energy Star® Certified lighting for the dark winter nights ahead!


Product                    Rebate Amount

LED Bulbs

  • 20% off 40W/60W A-line
  • 40% off 100W A-line
  • 40% off specialty
  • ENERGY STAR® certified


September 27th, 2017

With product rebates up to $15, It’s time to save money on power, Alberta!

Energy Efficiency Alberta is offering a rebate program with incredible deals on high-efficiency lighting and ENERGY STAR® Certified products from September 28th to October 29th.

You can get rebates up to $2 per bulb on select LED light bulbs and $15 on select Smart Power Bars that will ALSO save you money on power bills in the long run. There may never be a better time to go through your home and upgrade your lighting to long-lasting LED quality.

For a look at the bright deals available, see the chart below and check our rebate lighting and power bar selection online here. But remember, to get your rebate you must shop in-store. So head to your local London Drugs from September 28th to October 29th, and stock up on ENERGY STAR® Certified lighting for the dark winter nights ahead!


Product                               Rebate Amount

LED Lighting (A-line) – $1 per unit (Energy Star® Certified, max. 8 units)

LED Lighting (non A-line) – $2 per unit (Energy Star® Certified, max. 8 units)

Smart Power Bars – $15 REBATE on Advanced (Smart) power bars with “master” and “slave” sockets


December 17th, 2013

Don’t blow your fuse! Recycle those old Christmas lights for free at London Drugs!


Photo: istock

The kids are playing catch with your grandma’s vintage tree ornaments, the dog is rolling around in tinsel and after trying 12 new bulbs, that dang string of lights still just isn’t lighting. Don’t string together a streak of language that will get you put on Santa’s naughty list. Just bring that old set of lights to London Drugs for free recycling.
While you’re there, you might want to pick up some high-efficiency LED lights. According to the US Department of Energy, they have some surprising advantages over old-style incandescent lights:

  • Safer: LEDs are much cooler, reducing risk of combustion or burnt fingers.
  • Sturdier: LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, not glass.
  • Longer lasting: The same LED string could still be in use 40 holiday seasons from now. (Some people I know would still have them on their house)
  • Up to 25 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket. So you could create a virtual runway for Rudolph without browning out your street.

You can also save some holiday dollars off your energy bill.

Estimated cost of electricity to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days (a bit extreme, but you could do it…)

  • With incandescent C-9 lights: $10.00
  • With LED C-9 lights  $0.27
  • With incandescent Mini-lights $2.74
  • With LED Mini-lights $0.82

So gather up those old strings and bring them in for recycling. Less money spent on electricity means more left over for chocolate.

August 30th, 2013

Your Green Battery Guide – Rechargeables vs. Alkaline – The Great Battery Debate

Battery comparison chartTo recharge or not to recharge? Is it cheaper? When does it make sense to use regular batteries? In this blog, we will explore some current thinking around the issue.
First, the options. The Energizer Recharge systems available at London Drugs offer several battery models, sizes and charger configurations, depending on the devices you want to run. From the basic mini charger for 2 AA or AAA batteries, to the 4-battery Smart Charger that shuts off automatically to save power, and lets you know if one of your batteries goes bad.
According to the website, they offer 2 versions of rechargeables: The Recharge Universal, for devices that require frequent charging, and the Recharge Power Plus, designed for power hungry devices such as digital cameras.

Comparing single-use alkaline batteries to rechargeables

We compared the best battery deal energizer offers at London Drugs – 24 Alkaline batteries for just $17.99 – that’s about 75¢ each.
Regular price for 4 Recharge AA’s and the premium Smart Charger is $39.99. So in the worst case scenario, if you only bought those 4 batteries and used that one charger for them, the price per battery is about 10 bucks. (Realistically, the cost of the charger would be amortized over the lifespan of several battery sets)
Even with this biased comparison, the rechargeable batteries come even with the single-use batteries after being used just 13.3 times. To be practical, however, rechargeables (in my experience at least) lose some of their power over time, compared to alkalines. So a closer estimate might be 15 – 20 charges.
One blogger at calculated his family’s battery consumption yearly and compared it to investing in rechargeable systems. They were paying $77.70 a year for quality AA’s. The equivalent number of rechargeables and charger cost them $148.74 to set up. So after 2 years, they were basically getting battery use for free. (An interesting sidebar – a year’s worth of electricity to recharge the batteries came to a whopping 24¢!)
Now, let’s look at the waste. One set of rechargeables and a charger vs. 15 – 20 alkaline batteries. Of course, both can be recycled (right here at London Drugs) but that’s still 15 – 20x the shipping, handling and recycling energy use right there.

Single-use batteries still have their uses

So, it makes total green sense to use rechargeable batteries, but there are times when single-use alkaline batteries may actually be more practical.
According to some online sources, it makes more sense to use traditional alkaline batteries for low-draw devices like your clocks, radios, smoke detectors, programmable thermostats, and remote controls because they lose power at a much slower rate than rechargeables. And because traditional alkaline batteries can hold a charge for years when not in use, they are a better choice for items that sit unused for long periods, like back-up batteries and emergency flashlights. Here are a few tips for getting every electron of power out of your single-use batteries.

Rechargeable Battery Care and Maintenance

Many rechargeable battery problems are due to overcharging or improper storage.  Overcharging is usually caused by  poorly designed first generation battery chargers that continue to deliver current to batteries even after they are fully charged.  “5- hour” and “8-hour” timer type chargers can damage NiCd or NiMH batteries if they are frequently used to charge batteries that are only partially discharged.
Another common cause of damage to NiCd and NiMH batteries is leaving them in a device like a flashlight left “ON” after the battery has run down. Appliances normally switch off when the battery is discharged.  But some devices, like flashlights and many toys, will continue to drain the battery even after the it is run down.  Eventually this could cause the polarity of the battery to reverse.  Once this happens the battery will not take a charge. Rechargeable batteries should be removed from any such devices that will not be used for several weeks or longer.

Rechargeable batteries also are not without their challenges. Energizer claims they can be charged ‘100’s of times’, but that may be a bit optimistic, depending on how they are used. But as our calculations show, even if rechargeables are used only 20 times, you (and the environment) still come out ahead.

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!

November 17th, 2011

How Johnson & Johnson received top-10 status in Newsweek’s Green Rankings for Business

Healthcare giant, Johnson & Johnson, recently was ranked #6 in the US and #26 in the world for their green practices, according to Newsweek’s advisory panel of corporate sustainability experts.

This was the result of some pretty impressive sustainability measurement and improvement for a massive company; they introduced the “Johnson & Johnson Healthy Future 2015” initiative, which lays out its environmental goals for the next few years, reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by 23 percent from 1990 to 2010, recently tripled their solar-energy capacity to 13 megawatts and are one of the largest users of solar energy in the U.S. Between 2005-2010, the company also decreased hazardous waste by 25 percent and non-hazardous waste by 12 percent.

Newsweek’s Green Rankings claim to ‘…cut through the green chatter and compare the actual environmental footprints, management (policies, programs, initiatives, controversies), and reporting practices of big companies.’ The overall ‘Green Score’ is derived from three component scores: Environmental Impact, Environmental Management, and an Environmental Disclosure Score. If you want to dig deeper, you can see more on the full Newsweek methodology here.

Of course, no one company is perfect. Even as this news hits the wire, J&J are responding to claims they have not done enough to deal with ingredients of concern in their product line in different countries.

Still, it is encouraging to see large mainstream companies moving toward a more sustainable future, even as we celebrate the new up-and-coming green brands that are evolving.

October 24th, 2011

LED. The evolution of the light bulb.

There has been a lot of noise recently about the demise of the incandescent bulb and the rise of Compact Fluorescents. In the meantime, LED bulb technology has been getting steadily better and more affordable.
Well, affordability is always relative. An LED will still likely be the most expensive bulb you have ever bought. But when you factor in their 20-year durability and the miserly bit of energy they sip over this impressive lifetime, the math makes good sense for long-term savings.

The light quality has improved as well. I tested the new Philips Ambient LED 12.5 Watt bulb and found the warm light very appealing compared to an old-school ‘cool’ CFL light I had in my vintage lamp. The Ambient LED also comes on instantly, works with dimmer switches and does not hum or buzz. An additional benefit is that it is made without mercury, so does not have the recycling or breakage issues associated with CFL’s.

But back to the long-term math. According to the mini-scientist type on the back of the Philips box, the Ambient LED will use $34.40 worth of electricity over its 25,000-hour life. A 60-watt incandescent bulb would use $165.00 worth under the same conditions.

So perhaps we are seeing an evolution of the light bulb from cheap disposable replacement item to long-term engineered part of your lighting fixtures. In other words, a light bulb you’ll unscrew and take with you when you move.

London Drugs has a selection of LED bulbs for a variety of lighting fixture types. Come in and give them a look. It might be the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship.

June 30th, 2010

Green Deal 101: What makes a Green Deal product ‘green’?

Since we started the program in 2008, the list of What’s the Green Deal products has steadily grown as shoppers demand more sustainable options and manufacturers find more ways to make them. So how does a product qualify for a Green Deal sign in your local London Drugs?

When a product is considered, the Green Deal team looks for the following benefits:

  • Organic Production
  • Reduced Packaging
  • Reduced Energy Use
  • Recyclable Packaging or content
  • Products that are degradable or compostable
  • Recycled content in products or packaging
  • Reduced synthetic chemicals / toxins
  • Local production
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Logical environmental advantages (such as rechargeable batteries)
  • Third-party certification
  • Self-declared environmental claims
  • Corporate responsibility

The best recommendation a product can have is third-party certification, such as BC Certified Organic, Transfair or Energy Star. Self-declared claims are also accepted if the product’s package and/or website offer reasonable transparency and support for the claim. We may contact manufacturers directly with specific questions in these cases. We also look at the product relative to others in its category. (If all the products on a shelf have recycled packaging, for instance, it would take more than that alone to qualify for Green Deal status)

Corporate behaviour plays a role, too. Does the manufacturer contribute to environmental or social causes? Are they measuring and working towards reducing their carbon footprint?

Ultimately, ‘green’ is in the eye of the beholder – there is no such thing as a ‘zero-footprint’ product. That’s why What’s the Green Deal is an information program, pointing out product benefits that also have benefits for the environment and leaving the ultimate green shopping decision to you.

We continue to refine and define our What’s the Green Deal process, so if you have feedback on our program or products, we’d love to hear from you. Send us a message on Twitter @WTGreenDeal or leave a comment on this blog.

Because the real Green Deal is what you do with it.

September 3rd, 2009

Duncan Store #70 Opening showcases some bright ideas for green development.

On August 31st, I attended the opening of London Drugs’ latest store in Duncan. As usual, I was watching the proceedings with a green eye, and was pleased to see several examples of sustainable thinking.
To start with, this store is located in traditional Cowichan Tribes territory. So the evening began with a witnessing and blessing performed by elders and traditional dancers. The food was also catered by a First Nations facility, featuring numerous local delicacies. Local community involvement is an important component of the sustainability puzzle, and the respect and consideration shown here by the London Drugs team was impressive.
The store itself is constructed with a number of energy- and water-saving features. Chris Kidson, London Drugs Manager of Retail Store Development, took me through some of the highlights:

  • Sky Windows allow for natural light to be used whenever available.
  • Lighting is T-8 standard, a smaller fluorescent tube which uses less energy. The tubes themselves are Alto certified low-mercury lamps from Phillips, on a ballast system, allowing them to dim when full power is not required.
  • Lighting reflectors maximize dispersal of light from the tubes, and are manufactured locally in Maple Ridge, BC.
  • All water fixtures and toilets are low-flow models.
  • A sophisticated building management system allows for remote monitoring and maximizing of energy efficiency
  • Flooring uses BioBased Tiles from Armstrong Floors, a LEED-rated product
  • Low-VOC paints and adhesives are used throughout
  • PhotoLab features a new ‘Dry Photofinishing’ system which releases no liquid effluent

Although the green message was not the main focus of the evening, the What’s the Green Deal product signage was in place in all departments, and London Drugs’ Green Deal program was highlighted in the podium address by President and CEO Wynne Powell. It’s always reassuring to hear those priorities coming from the top.
One thing was clear – the community in Duncan had been asking for a London Drugs for some time. Here’s hoping green shoppers in the Cowichan Valley spread the word about a new local option for some of their sustainable living needs, and keep pushing to make London Drugs greener than ever.

April 9th, 2009

BC Hydro Events at London Drugs – Last one in this series, April 16, Nanaimo North Town Centre – (Unit #175, 4750 Rutherford Road)

My apologies, readers, the horse is almost out of the barn on this one, but it’s worth mentioning that BC Hydro has been conducting a series of Power Smart events at London Drugs and there’s one left to catch.
These feature BC Hydro representatives live in-store, setting up information kiosks and interacting with customers. The Power Smart kiosks are touch-screen informational systems where customers can learn all sorts of energy tips and tricks. The reps also give out detailed information around energy conservation, speak to various product categories and usually bring some type of fun interactive activity. (Complete with prizes, I am told)
BC Hydro is also supporting price reductions on a number of products in London Drugs. Select CFL specialty bulbs are $3 off, ENERGY STAR fixtures are $5-$10 off and ENERGY STAR appliances have a $50 mail in rebate.
So head to Nanaimo April 16th and join in the green fun. You can also visit the BC Hydro Power Smart web site for a big pile of energy tips and info.
Hydro also tells me they will next be launching a campaign focused on ENERGY STAR Tier 2 TVs. So, if you’ll pardon the expression, stay tuned.