Greener (and Affordable) Alternatives for Your Home

Greener alternatives for your home

They say change starts at home, and that’s especially true when you consider all the things that go in you, on you, and around you every day. Being a little greener in our consumption habits — whether that involves eliminating toxins, facilitating recycling, or reducing our ecological footprint — means making informed choices about the products we use daily.

Fortunately, there are lots of great, green choices available these days. Here are some of our favourites, and they’re all readily available at your local London Drugs!

Organic Snacks

There may be different perspectives on the health benefits of organic foods, but there’s no question that their production is easier on the planet. Here are some alternatives that make going organic as easy as snacking.

Que Pasa chipsQue Pasa Tortilla Chips and Salsa – Made in Delta, BC, in a certified zero-waste production facility, these chips are hand-cut from organic stone-ground corn tortillas. And the Que Pasa salsa is the perfect organic dip. Que Pasa is currently working toward being carbon neutral by 2020.




Nature's Path Love CrunchNature’s Path Love Crunch Premium Organic Granola Bars – These are good for kids’ lunches, but save a few for yourself… the dark chocolate makes them a well-loved parents’ snack too! They are 100% organic and non-GMO, their facilities are zero-waste, and they are working toward being carbon neutral by 2020.




Newman's Own Popcorn

Newman’s Own Organics Pop’s Corn – USDA organic corn, natural butter flavour, and all profits go to charity. Eat the whole bowl.

Greener Cleaners

These alternatives use natural or plant-based ingredients.

Attitude CleanerAttitude Cleaners – Worry-free ingredients, EcoLogo Certified, CO2 neutral, and Canadian made products ranging from personal care to household cleaners.





Method Cleaner

Method Cleaners – Method is a certified B Corp offering a full range of cleaning products made with the precautionary principle: if there’s a chance the ingredient is unsafe, they won’t use it.




Nellie's Laundry SoapNellie’s All Natural Laundry Products – 100% biodegradable and and free of toxins and phosphates, Nellie’s products are made in BC.

Greener for Your Body

Your skin is basically one giant sponge. So be careful what you put on it!

Live CleanLive Clean – This Canadian company offers nature personal care products that are free of SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate), parabens, and phthalates.




Green Beaver

Green Beaver – From mineral-based sunscreen to shampoo, deodorant, and even toothpaste, this Canadian company makes it a priority to use organic and local ingredients wherever possible.




Mineral FusionMineral Fusion Cosmetics – These beauty products are free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates, and are never tested on animals. Packaging contains recycled materials and is recyclable.


Greener Tech

The production and use of technology has a definite ecological footprint. Here are a few alternatives that can help lighten the load.

Certified Data – All computer and accessory products under this London Drugs brand are made to higher RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) standards. This standard is not required in North America, but we think it’s worth it. You can also bring back your gently used Certified Data computer box for a credit, so it can get used again. Learn more

HP Printer CartdrigesHP Printers and Cartridges – HP is a global brand committed to sustainability. (They were our Sustainable Vendor of the Year for 2017.) They design their printers for recycling, and have the best ink cartridge recycling and remanufacturing program out there.





Philips LED LightbulbsPhilips LED Lights – These high-tech beauties will pay for themselves in electricity savings — over 80% more efficient than old incandescent bulbs. And they are available in warm, bright, and dimmable options for almost every kind of fixture.




Sugar Sheet Copy PaperSugar Sheet Paper – Okay, not tech per se, but everyone needs to print sometimes. And this paper lets you do it without harming a single tree in the process. It’s made with bagasse, the waste product from sugar cane processing.



Greener Around the Kitchen

Seventh Generation Paper TowelsSeventh Generation Paper Towels – Clean up spills with a lighter touch on the planet. This paper town has a minimum of 80% post-consumer-waste recycled content and is unbleached.





London Drugs Scours

London Drugs Recycled Scours – Scour your home with scours made from recycled pop bottles.





The Green Bin Starter PackGreen Lid Compost Bucket – A Canadian-made solution for easy food scrap collection. No more stinky bucket – you just compost the whole thing!





Greenpan FrypanGreen Pan Frypans – Unlike traditional non-stick frypans made with Teflon, Green Pans are made with ceramic so the coating will not blister or peel. They also use upcycled stainless steel for the handles and upcycled aluminium for the cookware bodies.



There are a lot more green products for you and your home, available every day at London Drugs that are well worth the extra effort and care for your family and the planetary home we all share.

5 Steps to Reduce Waste at Home

Tips to Reduce Waste at Home

Canadians generate an astonishing amount of waste. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians generated 10.2 million tonnes of disposable waste in 2016, roughly 3.5 tonnes per person, which is about the weight of an elephant. Greenpeace Canada reports that 3.25 million tonnes of that is plastic waste.

We can make a vital ecological contribution by reducing waste, recycling as much as possible, and supporting sustainable brands.

Here are five simple steps for reducing waste at home that will help you shrink your carbon footprint.

1. Level up Your Recycling

We’re all pretty used to recycling old standards like paper and bottles, but did you know there are so many other items you can recycle — everything from electronics to printer cartridges, headphones, cellphones, water filters, styrofoam, and the list goes on!

Our Bring Back the Pack recycling program makes it easy to recycle many types of product packaging, too. In fact, when you shop at London Drugs, you can leave all of your product packaging with us and we’ll ensure as much of it as possible gets recycled. Check out our website for the complete list of what’s accepted.

Pro tip: A beautiful recycling area in your home will make recycling that much more enjoyable!

2. Reduce Your Energy Usage

Doing an energy audit of your home might sound intimidating, but it can help you to identify areas where easy improvements can be made. 

Look for things like air leaks around windows and door frames, old appliances that aren’t energy efficient or that can be unplugged when not in use, and light bulbs that can be switched with more energy-efficient LED bulbs.

You can also replace old thermostats with programmable thermostats and set timers to warm up the main rooms for a few hours in the morning and bedrooms for a few hours in the evening. This will soften your impact on the grid and also on your wallet!

3. Compost, Compost, Compost

Composting is now widely supported through many municipalities, which makes it easy to participate. But it’s also beneficial to set up a raw compost for your own garden. Put any cooked food, bones, or leftovers in the city bins, as they tend to attract unwanted visitors.

Small countertop bins are great for vegetable peelings, egg shells, and coffee grounds that your veggie garden will love! 

4. Reduce Your Single-use Plastics Consumption

Single-use plastics are one of the biggest contributors to ocean pollution today — think plastic bags, straws, coffee cup lids, zip-style bags, etc. Take a day to observe your daily habits and notice where you might be able to swap out a reusable container for single-use packaging.

For example, head off to school/work with drinks and snacks in a stylish reusable travel mug and handy washable fabric snack bags.

Reusables can also contribute to better health. For example, the SodaStream soda maker with recyclable carbonation cartridges not only saves plastic bottles but also gives you an endless supply of refreshing sugar-free drinks. Pair your healthy drinks with these washable silicone straws.

5. Support Sustainable Brands

There is no shortage of inspiring companies creating great products while taking care of the environment. The circular economy model supports designs that are optimized to be disassembled and reused, essentially designing out waste. From toilet tissue made from recycled paper, to printer paper made from sugar cane byproducts, these companies are doing their utmost to reduce their impact on the biosphere.

Many of these products are also lovely to use: natural makeup, whole grain cereals, healing teas, and healthy granola bars are easy ways to do good not only for the planet but also for your body.

Modern life inevitably produces waste, but with a bit of effort and some conscious choices, we can make steps toward reducing our waste at home. Shifting our habits a little bit every day adds up to greater peace of mind and a cleaner, brighter future.

London Drugs Recycles 1 Million Pounds of Plastic

London Drugs tallies an important metric in 2018: one million pounds of plastic recycled. Plastic bag use by customers also dropped 75 per cent over two-year period.

London Drugs recycles 12 million pounds of wasteThanks to you and to robust recycling processes and partners, together we diverted 12 million pounds of waste from landfills in 2018, including one-million pounds of plastic recycled.

Customers are more mindful now than ever about their plastic bag use, with a 75 per cent reduction in plastic bags being used in our stores compared to bag use totals from 2016.

“Our updated plastic, cardboard, Styrofoam, and additional material recycling statistics is a culmination of several initiatives London Drugs has undertaken in our stores, head office and distribution centre and just as important is a nod to our customers for bringing in these materials for proper recycling instead of throwing them in the garbage and having them end up in our landfills,” says Raman Johal, London Drugs Retail Operations Sustainability Specialist.

We accept recycling in all of our London Drugs locations across Western Canada and we have Recycling Centres in 39 stores, making it convenient for customers to recycle everything from batteries to styrofoam, small appliances, and more.

In 2018, London Drugs achieved an average 93.5 per cent waste diversion in its stores.

Since initiating new plastic bag reduction measures, London Drugs saw plastic bag use by customers decrease by 75.1 per cent since 2016.

Mason recycles at London DrugsThrough this continued commitment to recycling, plastic and waste reduction, a young customer has come forward with similar environmental goals who is going to great lengths to promote plastic reduction.

Mason is an eleven-year-old Lower Mainland boy and the creator of Mason’s Ocean. Mason has been using social media to share important information about the oceans and how everyday recycling actions can significantly reduce our impact on the environment. Mason and his mother regularly use the London Drugs recycling centre to responsibly reduce waste.

“London Drugs is a company that is leading by example by providing easy and accessible recycling bins to help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the landfills and oceans,” says Mason, founder of Mason’s Ocean.

Learn more about London Drugs’ recycling efforts and what we take back.

Meet the 11-year-old Boy Who Will Inspire You to Dive Deeper into Recycling

Mason is only in grade 5, but he is already having a big impact on the planet with his passionate website and social media project called Mason’s Ocean. He (and his mom) are also committed London Drugs recyclers.

Bringing Mason’s Story to the Screen

As a BC-based company, London Drugs is passionate about reducing waste to help benefit our oceans and all the communities we serve. For Earth Month, the London Drugs What’s the Green Deal video team travelled to the Vancouver Aquarium to help Mason share his story.

“When I was eight years old and I watched the film Sharkwater, it was then that I realized I had to start helping the ocean,” Mason says. He posts frequently on his Mason’s Ocean Facebook page and Instagram feed with interesting ocean and animal facts and tips on how people can make a difference with their own actions. We see how Mason puts his heart into saving the world’s oceans, while dealing with a little heart trouble of his own.

Heart Surgery and Healing

In 2018, 11-year-old Mason faced a challenge when he and his family discovered he had a heart condition — a narrowing of the aorta. He underwent heart surgery at BC Children’s Hospital and returned stronger than ever.

“When I started feeling better,” Mason says, “ I decided I should keep on posting and spreading the great news of recycling.”

#BePlasticWise — A Global Recycling Challenge

Lately, Mason has become more focused on the issue of ocean plastic and helping his family to reduce their waste. He visits the Vancouver Aquarium (an Ocean Wise initiative) and stays on top of the issues through its Plastic Wise program. Mason shares the importance of recycling against a backdrop of spectacular marine environments and amazing ocean plastic education exhibits – including Douglas Copeland’s stunning ‘Vortex’ display.

11-year-old Mason recycles at London Drugs

London Drugs is Mason’s Local Recycling Solution

Mason and his mom combine their waste recycling with household shopping trips to London Drugs. From plastic bags to batteries, light bulbs and more, it’s a convenient way to responsibly reduce waste. It also marks a real point of difference in the retail industry. Mason’s mom, Shanna, appreciates the service.

“If I can shop at a local, Canadian-owned company, and know that the company is taking the initiative to recycle their products, then yes!” she says, “I will make the choice to make my purchase dollars count, and I will go to London Drugs.”

11-year-old Mason advocates for clean oceans

When We #RecycleTogether, the Results Add Up

In 2018, London Drugs and its customers diverted over 11,000,000 lbs of materials from landfill. It’s all part of our commitment to a more sustainable retail future.

Mason’s future plans include getting a PhD in marine biology and maybe studying environmental law. “I want to change the laws in favour of the oceans,” he says.

We can’t wait to see what you accomplish, Mason – you are the REAL Green Deal.

Your local London Drugs takes batteries, electronics, small appliances, soft plastics, Styrofoam, and more. For the complete list of what you can recycle, visit

You can follow Mason’s journey on his Facebook and his Instagram channels.

6 Earth-friendly Brands We Love

6 Earth-friendly Brands We Love
It’s not easy being green, but we’re working hard to make it a little easier for you to choose truly green products, by sourcing vendors and products that are going above and beyond to treat the planet — and you — with great care.

These six earth-friendly brands are some of our favourites for the lengths they go to in sustainability.

Nature's PathNatures Path

You may know Nature’s Path for its delicious granolas, but did you know Nature’s Path has been providing organic breakfast and snack foods since 1985? The family-owned company got its start in B.C. with a commitment to organic agriculture. Now North America’s largest organic cereal maker, it has won numerous awards for its achievements in business and sustainability. In 2018 it won London Drugs’ Sustainable Vendor of the Year award.

Attitude CleanersAttitude Cleaners

This made-in-Canada, cruelty-free, vegan, hypoallergenic, and EWG-verified and Ecologo-certified family of products ticks all the boxes when it comes to keeping your loved ones — and the planet — safe from toxins. Its offerings range from skin, hair and sun care to household cleaners and even pet care products. Learn more about its EWG-verified products.

HP computerHP

This maker of PCs and printers is a global leader when it comes to waste reduction. In 2017, the company achieved a waste diversion rate of 90.9% globally. It also achieved its goal to reduce the GHG emissions intensity of first-tier manufacturing and product transportation suppliers by 20% by 2020 — six years early! HP designs its printers and cartridges to be recycled and 48% of its new commercial desktop products contain greater than 10% post-consumer recycled plastic content. Learn more about its sustainable impact.

Philips Philips Light Bulbs

Philips offers great choices for energy-saving lighting products including LED lighting technology, which is an easy way for most people to reduce energy usage. The company is a leading player in the circular economy with lighting that can be reused and remanufactured. It is also working on a zero waste to landfill commitment. Philips has a target of being carbon neutral globally by 2020, with all of its power coming from renewable sources. Learn more about Philips’ sustainability initiatives.

Green Beaver Products Green Beaver Sunscreen

Green Beaver offers sunscreen with non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide mineral protection, an alternative to chemical sun blockers, that is 100% natural, biodegradable, and reef friendly. Its hair care and deodorant products are ECOCERT Certified with natural source and organic ingredients, and proudly made in Canada.


Salt Spring Coffee Salt Spring Coffee

Committed to providing fair-trade, organic coffee since 1996, Salt Spring Coffee was Canada’s first Fair Trade Coffee company. It is also a Certified B Corporation, has carbon-neutral production facilities, and uses 100% certified organic beans. Since 2001, it has supported coffee producers and their communities through its Fair to Farmer Program. Learn more about its sustainability initiatives.

We’re proud to carry these products and more. Learn more about our green initiatives at What’s the Green Deal?

Sugar Sheet: Paper that Saves Trees

Imagine a world in which trees are not cut down to make paper. That’s the ambitious vision for Social Print Paper, a New Westminster, B.C.-based paper supplier whose goal is to minimize the dependency on global forests for single-use products like paper.

Consider the statistics:

3 million trees are cut down every day in North America

only 15-20% of the Earth’s original forests remain

Social Print Paper has found a way to improve those statistics. It’s been making high-quality, cost-efficient paper out of sugar cane waste by-products, and the results are virtually indiscernible.

“Our commitment is to make an environmentally friendly product that looks and feels the same as regular paper, and that is cost competitive,” says founding partner Minto Roy. “For most green products now, you pay more and sacrifice quality, and we saw no real appetite for that. If we’re going to cause positive change, we knew we had to make it easy for consumers, and make sure they didn’t have to sacrifice quality and price.”

The Birth of Sugar Sheet

Social Print Paper was started by Lee Gieschen, president of Royal Printers, and Minto Roy, a serial entrepreneur with a background in publishing, recruiting, and coaching. After selling his successful start-up publication to the Toronto Star, Roy had a life-changing realization:

“I thought, ‘we’ve been given these talents and skills; what a waste it would be if all we do with them is chase money! What can we do to cause positive change?”

So Roy and Gieschen partnered up to see if they could positively disrupt the paper industry. “We discovered high-quality paper could be made with 100 percent agriculture fiber waste,” Roy says.

They started with wheat waste-based paper, then moved on to sugar cane. “After sugar cane has been harvested and the juice extracted, we take the residual waste by-product called bagasse to make paper. And it is truly indiscernible from traditional paper used by most consumers today.”

The paper is produced in South America, in an ISO-certified production plant that maintains the highest standards of production, labour, and environmental best practices. “We’ve gone to immense lengths so if anyone asks a questions related to paper quality, performance, or environmental benefits, we can answer with facts.”

And as it turns out, Sugar Sheet is actually cheaper than many copy papers available, and is comparable in quality to traditional paper. You’d never know it’s not made from trees!

A Sweet Disruption

Interest has been growing in Sugar Sheet since the company launched in 2011, and requests for speaking engagements and industry education have also been pouring in.

“We’re making sure that we speak about sustainability in a new narrative,” Roy says. “It has always been communicated with guilt or social obligation. So we asked ourselves ‘how do we leverage sustainability in a new communication framework that includes shrewd business advantage. Because getting interest from people is easy, but urgency is what we want to convey.”

Urgency is something we’ve heard a lot about in the media lately, since the release of a recent UN Report on the increasing pace — and consequences — of climate change. And Sugar Sheet is doing something about it.

“We regularly engage with provincial and federal climate committees on how to elevate sustainability and leverage it to drive core business functions,” Roy says, adding that Sugar Sheet is “supporting HR initiatives, and helping marketing, compliance, and operations” in companies where leveraging sustainability programs can really boost business advantage. “We can also provide eco savings reports to our clients,” Roy adds. “They can get a report on how much carbon dioxide they’ve reduced and incorporate it into their carbon reporting, effectively reducing their carbon tax payable to the province.”

Who’s Using Sugar Sheet?Sugar Sheet saves trees

Many companies and individuals have already hopped on the Sugar Sheet train, including the University of British Columbia, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian federal government, and London Drugs, of course.

“The company has grown 100% per year in terms of volume,” Roy says. “But we have a lot of work to do. We don’t want to be niche, we want to be a major player. We have incredible partners and support from education sector leaders, government leaders, and retail leaders. We’ve already expanded our product line beyond copy paper to paper in different weights and sizes; every paper required by an organization. We’re expanding into the North American market, and then we’ll hit the global market,” he adds. “It’s no problem in this world to get ideological agreement on doing the right thing. We want execution of the ideology.”

At London Drugs, we’re proud to support this local company creating global change. You can find Sugar Sheet copy paper in store and online.

Why We Recycle These 5 Things (and More)

You can recycle a lot of things at London Drugs, from batteries to small appliances to smoke alarms. But just in case you sometimes ask yourself WHY you bother recycling, here’s a look at five things we take back that really should never be thrown away and the most important reasons for that.


Why you should recycle them: data security

It’s tempting when cleaning out the closets to just chuck that old doorstop of a computer into the alley or dumpster. (Maybe SOMEBODY will want it?) Well, somebody might — and they may have less than noble plans for your data. It’s very hard to completely erase digital memory, so data-carrying devices may have personal information on them that can be retrieved.

That’s why London Drugs’ computer recycling takes extreme care to track data-carrying devices and destroy the hard drives before they leave our stores. Our recycling partners also have security measures and ALL of our electronics are broken down into materials here in Canada before being shipped anywhere else. Got an old computer, PDA, or cellphone? Recycle them with us.


Why you should recycle them: chemical recovery

Besides stored electrons, batteries also contain complex compounds that can be harmful to the environment. Fortunately, many of these materials are also valuable enough to recover for use in remanufacturing.

Lithium, iron, nickel, manganese, copper, and zinc are some of the elements that are recovered from battery recycling. These are not good to have in our landfills or waterways. So drop your batteries off at London Drugs (here’s what will happen to them). We take rechargeables, alkalines, button batteries, and specialty electronics batteries (under 5 lbs).

Light Bulbs

Why you should recycle them: Mercury

According to one study, one gram of mercury can contaminate a 20-acre lake.

Many fluorescent-type light bulbs contain traces of mercury, so it’s a good idea to keep them out of our ecosystems. We take compact fluorescents (CLFs), LEDs, even Christmas lights and fluorescent tubes up to 48”. Just be sure to avoid bulb breakage while recycling. Seal the bulbs in a zip bag and put them in a box.

Soft Plastic Bags and Overwrap

Why you should recycle them: To help keep our rivers and oceans clean

If you can stretch soft plastic or poke your finger through it, you can recycle it at any London Drugs. Plastic bags, overwrap, and stretch film are accepted at all of our stores. This plastic is also easily blown out of garbage containers, trucks, and even landfills, which means it may end up in rivers or oceans. The soft kind of plastic is very recyclable and is made into things like park benches and plastic deck lumber. (Crinklies and other flexible packaging are recyclable at our BC stores.)


Why you should recycle it: To use up less landfill space and avoid plastic ‘crumbs’ in the environment

Styrofoam, or ‘Expanded Polystyrene’, is actually a very recyclable material. Our recycler partners take the air out of it, condensing the foam down until it is virtually solid plastic. Then it is sold on commodities markets to be remanufactured into picture frames, mouldings, and more.

The list goes on and on. See everything you can (and should) recycle at London Drugs. Do the right thing (it feels good!)

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