August 18th, 2017

Update on the August 21st Solar Eclipse

Glasses,  Safety Precautions, Other ways of Viewing & DIY Viewers

About London Drugs Celestron EclipSmart Solar Glasses:

  • In anticipation of the eclipse, London Drugs sourced and stocked ISO-certified Celestron EclipSmart solar safe shades. London Drugs is now sold out of eclipse glasses.
  • London Drugs was one of the only Canadian retailers on the American Astronomical Society’s Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers. See the complete list here: https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters.
  • Customers can bring their Celestron EclipSmart Solar Shades to London Drugs for recycling after the eclipse on August 21st to receive a coupon for $10 off the purchase of any regularly priced camera, lens or binoculars valued at $99 or higher.* Eclipse glasses will not be safe to use for the next eclipse in 2044. They should be discarded if they are more than 3 years old.
    *One coupon per pair of Celestron EclipsSmart Solar Shades recycled.  Limit of one coupon may be applied to any camera, lens, or binocular purchase. Coupon effective August 21st (after the eclipse ends) until August 31st.

About Safety Precautions for Viewing the Eclipse:

  • Do NOT view the sun directly without eye protection. Regular sunglasses do not provide enough protection to view the eclipse since they don’t block out the ultra-violet and infrared rays that can damage the eyes.
  • Even with eclipse glasses, direct viewing must be limited to a MAXIMUM of 3 minutes (as per the recommended time from the manufacturer). Ensure that you are taking the time to rest your eyes between viewings. The best practice is to cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright Sun. After looking at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter, do not remove it while looking at the Sun.
  • Watch out for counterfeit eclipse glasses. If your glasses were not purchased at London Drugs or another source listed on the American Astronomical Society’s Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers, make sure they are designated ISO 12312-2, have an “ISO” icon and the company name and contact information must be clearly printed on the glasses.
  • Inspect the solar filter lenses for scratches or damage before use. Don’t use any eclipse glasses that are scratched, punctured, torn or damaged; or if they are over 3 years old these are unsafe and should be discarded. For more information, visit: https://www.eclipseglasses.com/pages/safety.

About Other Ways to Safely View the Eclipse:

DIY Solar Viewers

  • Do-it-yourself instructions can be found online. Examples include;

Previous blog post: http://blog.londondrugs.com/solar-eclipse-aug-21



August 17th, 2017

Raise Your Backyard Party Game with These Accessories

It’s that time of year when your browser history reveals the hours spent ogling other people’s backyards. It’s hard not to think of all the decor changes you could make for your outdoor space, from accent colours to string lights. Here are a few scenes to recreate this year (or someday soon). When inspiration hits, London Drugs has the accessories you need to raise your backyard game.

Tractor Chic

Taking inspiration from the farms of Alberta, tractor-themed accessories (like these sweet solar lights and milking stools and matching tractor table) can transform your backyard into a rustic chic haven. If you’re looking for a pop of colour, channel the classic red barn door with this sharp patio set.

Steel and Magnolias

Do you love the smell of fresh herbs? The most fabulous gardens combine opposites in beautiful ways, like these pretty blooms planted up in old buckets. Pot basil, chives, and other garnishes in this cool wrought iron planter for a lovely scented centrepiece.

Backyard Party on the Patio

In the light-filled summer months, we’re more keen to stay up late and dine al fresco, sharing laughs and meals with friends. Set the mood with delicate fairy lights or a pathway of solar-powered torches for an outdoor space you can enjoy all night long.

Soundscaping

The perfect evening get-together needs an audio experience to match the lovely conversation with friends. Hardy waterproof speakers allow you to choose a complementary soundtrack for any backyard soiree.

Stay Warm

Let’s not forget that Canadian necessity for summer evenings: the fire pit. Redesigned as bowls, tabletops and glass aquariums, London Drugs has many to choose from. Just decide on your backyard’s theme and enhance with an engaging fire feature. Always practice fire safety and pay close attention to fire bans in your area.


 

The time you spend with friends and family in your backyard will undoubtedly become treasured memories for years to come. Find all the gorgeous accoutrements you need from London Drugs online and in-store from our Outdoor Living Guide.



August 13th, 2017

Tangled Necklaces While Travelling? We Take Care of That.

If you are heading on a trip this year, pack up your makeup and jewelry like a pro. Prevent a tangled mess of necklaces using only a couple of drinking straws, and save yourself the frustration of untangling them all when you arrive at your destination!

  1. Start with an untangled necklace.

  2. Take a regular drinking straw.

  3. Thread each necklace through the straw (or slit the straw and slide the chain in).

  4. For shorter necklaces, cut the straw to length.

  5. Pack them up, and you’re ready to go!

Find all of your travel needs from London Drugs in-store and online, and know that we’ve got you covered with our #LDSolutions videos.


Need other great tips and tricks to make life easier? Check out more of our helpful LD Solutions Videos on YouTube or individually here on the London Drugs Blog:

How to Fix a Cracked Makeup Palette

How to De-Wrinkle a Shirt in a Jiffy

How to Remove a Ring Stuck on Your Finger

How to Easily Remove a Stripped Screw

How to Peel Potatoes without a Peeler

How to Remove Nail Polish from Your Skin

How to Cure Bootflop

How to Make a Heartfelt Gift for a Family Member

How to Deep Clean Your Blender

How to Vitamin-Charge Your Morning Smoothie

How to Clean Your Microwave with a Lemon



July 27th, 2017

How to Safely View the Solar Eclipse This Year

 

Throughout history, solar eclipses have left people in awe as the Earth plunges into darkness during daylight hours. A solar eclipse occurs as the moon passes directly in front of the sun, blocking its light either partially or in full. This causes a shadow to appear on part the Earth, and those within the shadow experience this as an eclipse.

If you’re feeling intrigued by the incredible science behind this phenomenon, why not gather a group of friends together on the morning of August 21st to take in the spectacle of an eclipse yourselves? Throwing a Solar Eclipse Viewing Event is a unique and fun way to celebrate this rare occurrence.

Fill up some thermoses with coffee and hot chocolate, grab some delicious pastries, and set up comfortable folding chairs at your location to wait for the eclipse. Be sure to look at the weather forecast ahead of time to avoid cloudy skies, and pick an outdoor space with a clear view of where the sun will be. If there’s a chance of clouds, hop in the car and program your GPS to a spot with sunnier weather–you’ll definitely want to find clear skies for this event. Bring along portable speakers and a fun playlist (Dark Side of the Moon, anyone?) to give your gathering a true celebratory ambiance. And don’t forget the sunscreen–you’ll need it even while the sun starts to go dark!

Most importantly, bring along EclipSmart Solar Safe Shades to keep your eyes safe while you observe the eclipse. Never look directly at any part of the sun without proper protective equipment, as it can cause irreversible damage and even blindness.

Where Are You Viewing the Eclipse From?

While this eclipse will only reach totality over parts of the United States, we will still be able to observe a significant partial eclipse from Canada. If you’re curious about how much of the solar eclipse you’ll see and when you’ll be able to see the sun at the peak of the eclipse, here’s a quick list showing what you’ll be able to expect! Remember, the further from the path of totality you are, the less the sun will appear to be covered. For this August 21, 2017 solar eclipse, the path of totality will curve from the Pacific Northwest through the middle of the United States to the South-Eastern Seaboard.

Victoria: 91% of the sun will be covered at 10:20 am

Vancouver: 88% of the sun will be covered at 10:21 am

Calgary: 81% of the sun will be covered at 10:20 am

Edmonton: 75% of the sun will be covered at 11:35 am

Regina: 79% of the sun will be covered at 11:46 am

Winnipeg: 76% of the sun will be covered at 12:57 pm

Toronto: 76% of the sun will be covered at 2:32 pm

St. Johns: 43% of the sun will be covered at 4:29 pm

In the meantime, brush up on your solar eclipse knowledge, so you’ll know what to expect (and to impress your friends while you wait!)

10 Fun Facts About Solar Eclipses

  1. There are three different types of solar eclipses: a partial eclipse where the moon only covers some of the sun; a total eclipse, where the entire sun is covered and only the corona is visible; and an annular eclipse, which occurs when the moon covers the sun, but is at a wide point of its orbit, causing the sun to shine around the moon.
  2. When the moon blocks out the entire sun at the peak of a total eclipse, it is called ‘totality.’
  3. There are usually two to five solar eclipses per year, but most are not total eclipses, and many fall over unpopulated areas.
  4. It’s impossible to view a total solar eclipse from the North or South Pole.
  5. A total solar eclipse never lasts longer than 7.5 minutes.
  6. Temperatures can fall by up to 20 degrees as darkness falls during totality.
  7. Every 18 years and 11 days, an almost identical eclipse will happen. This is called the Saros Cycle.
  8. The widest possible path of totality is 269 kilometers across, though it is often quite a bit thinner – around 160 kilometers on average. This eclipse’s path of totality will be thinner than usual – about 115 km wide.
  9. The only time that we can view the sun’s corona with the naked eye is during a total solar eclipse.
  10. If you look directly at any part of the sun during an eclipse, no matter how small the visible sliver is, it can cause vision loss or other damage to your eyes due to the extreme intensity of the light. Always use proper protective gear to observe the sun!

How to Use the Solar Shades

EclipSmart Solar Safe Shades block the harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays of the light that comes from the sun and are essential for viewing the partial phases that precede and follow totality. You can follow the moon’s progression across the sun by looking through these glasses every few minutes during the partial phases. EclipSmart Solar Safe Shades are lab tested and meet the new ISO 12312-2 requirements (Filters for Direct Observation of the Sun). It is extremely important to remember that only during complete totality may you look at the sun without EclipSmart Solar Safe Shades. Never look directly at the partial phases of the eclipse without EclipSmart Solar Safe Shades.

Limit continuous use of the EclipSmart Solar Safe Shades to three minutes, and always directly supervise children under the age of 14 during their use.

WARNING: Never look at the sun without special eye protection. When viewing the eclipse, use eclipse glasses at all times when any part of the sun is visible. Direct viewing of the sun can cause permanent damage if the proper precautions are not taken. Adequate eye protection specifically designed for viewing the sun is essential and should be worn so that no harmful rays from the sun can reach the eye.

Now that you are prepared to view the eclipse safely, get ready to make an incredible memory! This rare occurrence won’t come along for another 18 years and 11 days, so make the most of it. Safe and happy viewing!



July 25th, 2017

How to Throw the Best Beach Barbecue Bash

Friends on the Beach - London Drugs Blog

It’s summertime! And while the living may be easy, planning the perfect beach barbecue requires a bit of work. Beach days can be a fun way to bring friends and family together, especially if you don’t have outdoor space at homeㅡyou can make use of public beach facilities and get some swimming in too! We’ve got everything you need to throw the best beach barbecue this summer.

1. Portable Grill

Obviously, the most important part of a beach barbecue is the barbecue! You’ll want a portable grill that is easy to set up. There may be restrictions in your area about the size of the barbecue or what kind of fuel it uses. In Vancouver, for example, any barbecue in a public park needs to be at least 75 cm off the ground. A good tabletop grill will suffice! In Alberta, check the current fire ban situation before you start planning your barbecue, but for most of the summer a gas or propane stove will be allowed.

2. Cooler

Got to keep them drinks cold! We’ve got you covered with a ton of cooler options, including this fashionable Thermos Heritage Cooler in a classic check pattern and this 36 litre Igloo Wheelie Cooler (drinks and ice get heavy!).

Delicious Beach Drinks with Friends - London Drugs Blog

3. Things to Sit On

It’s fun to hang out in the sand, but you at least need something to sit on to keep that sand out of your food. Beach towels offer double duty as a place to sit and tool to dry you off after a dip in the water. This donut printed towel is a fun pick!

If you would rather sit off the ground, there’s a number of camping chair options that will get you up higher. A foldable chair or two is easy to stash in your car trunk.

4. Music

Nothing gets the party started like some tunes! Bring a portable bluetooth speaker and play music directly from your smartphone. You’ll be the coolest person at the beach.

5. Games

For kids and kids at heart, pack some games for your party. Golf toss is easy to play and tons of fun. Bocce is another great option that requires even less equipment. Even just a frisbee can make a beach day better!

Barbecue Beach Bash - London Drugs Blog

6. Food, Drinks, and Dishes

Last but not least, a beach barbecue needs food! Food, drinks, and things to put those on and in. Burgers and hot dogs are the classic barbecue foods, but if you want to up your game and impress your friends, bring some corn on the cob and grill it up elote-style. The Mexican street dish is easier to make than you think!

Compostable paper plates are a great option for the beach, but if you have particularly liquid or greasy foods, plastic may be a better choice. For drinks, you can stick to cans and bottles, or you can class it up with cute enamel camping mugs. Just like dad used to have!

Make the most of the sunny days and breezy nights by spending time outside this summer. No matter what you choose to do, it’s always more fun with friends!



July 21st, 2017

Thank you to our staff and customers for their generous support in the BC Wildfires relief efforts

Today London Drugs sent a cheque for $50,000 to the Red Cross BC office in support of BC wildfire evacuees in thanks to donations from London Drugs customers across Western Canada.

The $50,000 in donations collected at the tills is part of London Drugs’ multi-pronged emergency response in helping those impacted by the fires. In addition to the donation directly made to the Red Cross, since July 7, the London Drugs Community Emergency Response team has worked around the clock to mobilize volunteers, supply trucks, emergency care kits, charging stations, pharmacists on demand and on-the-ground support to evacuation centres and community groups primarily in Kamloops, Prince George and Ashcroft, BC. Offers of support continue to go out to all evacuation centres in the province with more than $50,000 in supplies and support London Drugs has so far contributed to relief agencies and the people they are helping.

“We have made it our mandate for the last several years to be there for our communities in times of need and when disasters strike,” said Clint Mahlman, London Drugs executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Immediately collecting for the Red Cross for much needed cash donations is a top priority for support and also, having staff on the ground working with relief agencies to determine how else we can help, is how we help fire evacuees in a direct way. This is really the London Drugs way. We listen to what the needs are of the community and we do our best to support them.”

Since July 7, the London Drugs Emergency Response has involved 120 staff, helping to support in a variety of ways. Here is a glimpse of the support and continued ways we can help evacuation centres and evacuees:

  • 1300 Community Emergency Comfort kits have been distributed to the evacuation centres. These kits contain basic toiletries and comforts that someone would need immediately if they need to evacuate without notice.
  • A Family Toy Box and Activity Kits have been delivered to six of the evacuation stations for the comfort of those who are waiting at the Children’s lounge at each of the evacuation stations.
  • Three London Drugs / Quick Media charging stations have been deployed at evacuation centres for use by those staying at the centres. This assists with the basic necessity to charge devices in a secure way.
  • Donations of requested supplies of water, diapers, feminine hygiene items, toilet paper, wipes, baby formula, reading glasses, towels, snacks, and stationery is ongoing and the support continues.
  • Pharmacists stationed at evacuation centres providing immediate advice and assistance with prescriptions and health needs is ongoing.

Evacuation centres and relief agencies generally work together with our local store managers to provide health care and comfort support to evacuees. The leader of the London Drugs Emergency Response team is also directly in connection with relief agencies and will continue deploying support as long as the need is there.

Evacuees needing pharmacy support can continue to contact London Drugs’ customer care line: 1-844-782-0051. It’s important to keep in mind amid fire conditions for people to stay hydrated, wear a mask when needed and have all medications up to date. For individuals living in areas with poor air quality, you may want to consider staying indoors when possible, use air purifiers and if asthmatic, keep inhalers handy. Consider use of aero chambers with inhalers to ensure maximum inhalation of doses. The London Drugs pharmacy team in Kamloops and Prince George are available to assist remotely where needed and evacuees are welcome to reach out for help. Individuals do not have to be a current patient of London Drugs to access essential health care services and medications. London Drugs pharmacy contact in Kamloops: 1-250-372-3445. London Drugs pharmacy contact in Prince George: 1-250-561-1118.

“On behalf of all of the staff who have commented on their appreciation of the direct support initiated by the London Drugs Emergency Response team, we wish to send a heartfelt thank you to all of our customers and staff across Western Canada who have been touched by the needs of the thousands of people impacted by the wildfires in BC and for your continued support of the evacuation centres and relief agencies,” said Mahlman. “We will continue collecting and contributing to the Red Cross and continue supporting our communities on the ground with supplies and services for the days to come.”



July 20th, 2017

BC Wildfire Relief Efforts

The wildfires currently burning in BC have caused terrible devastation for families and have created a need for help. We’re so proud of our London Drugs’ staff and customers who have risen to the occasion and have come forward with donations and support for those who have been affected.

Here is a recap of what our staff has been able to do to help so far.

July 8
London Drugs activated collection for Canadian Red Cross BC Fires in all 80 stores and online at londondrugs.com and the community responded immediately with donations. Emergency pharmacy services and complimentary Charging Stations were set up for evacuees in both Kamloops and Prince George evacuation centres. A 53′ trailer full of emergency supplies was sent to Kamloops so Community Emergency Comfort (CEC) kits can be created and distributed. Staff from our Kamloops store brought some of these kits as well as toys and activity kits to the MacArthur Island Evacuation Centre.

July 9
We were able to distribute 330 CEC kits as well as pet food and baby wipes to the MacArthur Island Evacuation Centre in Kamloops. In Prince George our store staff delivered 150 CEC kits, cases of diapers as well as toy and activity kits to the local evacuation centre. The toy and activity kits include colouring books, crayons, stuffies, matchbox cars, magazines, juice boxes, art paper and board games. These kits have been well received as they provide comfort for the children.

July 10
The Ashcroft First Nations Band expressed a need for support as some homes have been lost so our staff got together and assembled 100 CEC kits which they delivered as well as water, diapers, pet food, hygiene items and Kleenex. Later that night another 130 CEC kits were delivered. In Prince George we received a call that reading glasses and towels were needed at the evacuation centre. Huge thanks to staff who wasted no time delivering these items along with another 40 CEC kits.

July 11
The London Drugs Emergency Response trailer arrived in Prince George to deliver much needed supplies so more Community Emergency Comfort kits could be assembled. The Ponderosa Seniors Centre in Kamloops opened their doors to displaced seniors and were in need of supplies so our staff delivered 100 CEC kits.

July 12
Our Prince George staff delivered more CEC kits and sunscreen to the local evacuation centre. The Ponderosa Seniors Centre in Kamloops was in need of some dental supplies for the evacuees so our staff rounded them up and delivered them right away. Some toys and an activity box was delivered to the Evacuation Centre to give some much needed distraction for the children.

July 13
Staff continues to assemble CEC kits and look for ways to help wherever they can. A toy box and 100 CEC kits were delivered to the MacArthur Island Evacuation Centre today. Seeing how much they are appreciated has been a humbling experience for our staff.

July 14
The fires continue to spread and cause more displacement of people from their homes. A truck was sent out to Princeton today full of water, diapers, paper towels, wipes, snacks, pet food, personal hygiene items, toys and activity kits.

July 15
Today our Kamloops staff went down to the Sandman Centre where evacuees were waiting in line. They handed out water, snack bars and fruit leather to them as they waited. Donations were sent to the Salvation Army in Abbotsford where another evacuation centre has been set up. 200 CEC kits were delivered to the Thompson Nicola Regional District. Donations to the Red Cross continue to come in from our customers.

July 16
Another delivery was made today to the Kamloops Evacuation center of water, baby formula, diapers and other hygiene items. 450 CEC kits were delivered to the Kamloops Sandman Center. Toys and an activity box were delivered to Vernon for displaced families.

July 17
In Prince George another 50 CEC kits were delivered as well as cases of towels to the evacuation centre. Another evacuation centre has been set up in Cloverdale so toys and an activity box were delivered for the kids.

July 18
A cheque was delivered to the Canadian Red Cross in the amount of $50,000. A HUGE thank you to our customers for your generous donations toward BC Fire relief. More CEC kits were delivered to the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.

July 19
Staff continues to deliver CEC kits to the various evacuation centres as well as respond to requests for particular needs. The toy and activity boxes have been a big hit with the families so another was delivered to South Okanagan Events Centre and another in Vernon.

July 23
Staff took our event trailer to the McArthur Island Park pancake breakfast and handed out water to the attendees. We were able to help the BC Horse Council with some cell phones during their efforts to evacuate livestock.

July 27
More diapers and supplies were taken to the Kelowna Evacuation Centre

July 31
Our customers continue to amaze us! Another $16,100 has been raised for the Canadian Red Cross. Thank you to everyone for your continued support.

Aug 3
The staff at our Kelowna store put together 100 CEC kits and delivered them to the Salvation Army for those in need.



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