Just in time for Earth Day, here are Toronto shopkeepers’ favourite zero-waste and sustainable products
Earth Day is April 22, so we asked six Toronto shopkeepers to recommend their favourite sustainable living product. From biodegradable sponges to package-less household essentials, these tried-and-tested picks are worth buying to green up your everyday routine.
Pretty Clean Shop
A sustainably minded health and beauty store in the Junction
Pretty Clean Shop dishwashing set ($35): “This bestselling set comes with a bar soap, bamboo soap dish, dish sponge and a pot scrubber or dish-washing scrub. It replaces plastic brushes and sponges, as well as dish soap packaged in disposable plastic containers,” says founder Miriam Juarez Alcaraz.
LeafShave razor ($120): “The Leaf razor is a great alternative for people who are wary of double-edge razors. It’s a plastic-free and multi-blade metal razor, and it can be loaded with up to three pure steel blades,” Alcaraz says.
A zero-waste grocery store on Dundas West
Capabunga cheese vault ($45): “When you buy cheese at Unboxed Market, it comes wrapped in compostable paper. In the fridge, you keep them in food-grade silicone cheese vaults, which help lock the humidity and funk in your cheese without single-use baggies and cling-wrap rolls” says co-owner Michelle Genttner.
Raw Elements face and body SPF 30-plus sunscreen ($29.50): “It is incredibly difficult to source plastic-free sunscreen. Raw Elements’ SPF 30-plus offers broad spectrum protection, is reef-safe and biodegradable, and it contains antioxidants and vitamins,” Genttner says.
Logan and Finley
An eco-friendly general store in West Queen West
Filo natural cleaning tablets ($3 each): “These non-toxic tablets provide a low waste alternative to window, all-purpose and bathroom cleaning bottles. The tablets are about the size of a quarter, dissolve in water and can be used like a traditional cleaner in a reusable spray bottle,” says owner Julie Skirving.
Hinza eco-friendly tote bag ($65): “This eco-friendly tote, made from sugar cane, is a durable, stable and an easy-to-clean handbag for the park, beach or cottage. It’s also ideal for the home, to store things like magazines, firewood or toys,” Skirving says.
A plastic-free goods and grocery store on the Danforth
Reusable overnight pad ($14 for two): “These reusable polyester menstrual pads, handmade in Quebec, are an affordable alternative to traditional single-use pads, and they’re beautiful to boot. They can last years—just wash and wear again. They have four layers of charcoal bamboo lining for extra absorption and odour reduction and silicone snaps to hold them in place,” says assistant store manager Stephanie Martin.
Nut Mylk bag ($16): “This sturdy bag is handmade in Canada with hemp and organic cotton and can be used as a strainer for nut milks and cold-pressed juices, or even as a cold-brew coffee filter,” Martin says.
The Green Jar
A package-free store and refillery on St. Clair West
Green Jar ready-to-go kit ($60.50): “This kit has all the essentials for a day out: insulated wine bottle, a stainless steel lunch box, a stainless steel straw, a straw brush, mesh produce bags and a large lunch bag. The insulated bottle can keep beverages hot for 12 hours or cold for 24 hours, the lunch bag is machine-washable and the straw is dishwasher-safe,” says co-owner Tannis Bundi.
Biodegradable compressed sponge ($10.50): “Our new compressed dish sponges, made of cotton and cellulose, are durable, dishwasher-safe and 100 per cent biodegradable after two months,” Bundi says.
Eco and Amour
A general store and beauty refillery in Scarborough
Eco and Amour soap curls ($15): “Soap shavings are are a cool way to create a sudsy solution for quick cleanups. A couple curls paired with our sisal soap pouch, and you’re good to scrub laundry stains, clean countertops, or tackle those one-off dishes,” says co-founder Sarah Marcus.