• Futurpreneur(s) and partners
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Celebrating Earth Day with Futurpreneur Canada’s Eco-Friendly Entrepreneurs

Lauren Marinigh | April 22, 2016

It’s Earth Day and what better way to celebrate this beautiful planet we live on then to celebrate some of the Canadian businesses that are doing their part to be especially kind to our planet. So we caught up with some of our Futurpreneur Canada businesses that have made it part of their business objectives to be environmentally friendly and socially responsible. Check out what they’re doing to give back and their tips on how you and your business can be friendlier to our planet and our people.

Megan Johns of The Green Kiss

The Green Kiss is an online beauty boutique offering a curated selection of safe and effective natural beauty products. Before stocking any item, every ingredient of every product is researched to ensure that the product is truly natural and safe. From there the products are tested by the team of green beauty experts and makeup artists at The Green Kiss to ensure its quality.

The Impact:
With extremely strict buying guidelines, The Green Kiss ensures that each product they purchase fits their ethics, so they are only supporting businesses they feel are helping make a positive change in the beauty industry. Some of the things they look for in products is that the product is truly natural, not tested on animals and/or are biodegradable. What goes into the products isn’t the only important thing; The Green Kiss also only supports companies who practice ethical manufacturing and/or fair trade business practices.

By offering the best natural products, The Green Kiss is eliminating the amount of harmful chemicals being washed down our drains, and the amount of non-degradable products having negative effects on the ecosystem by choosing to work with suppliers who package their products with the environment in mind. In the physical location of The Green Kiss in Victoria, BC, they make sure to use natural and biodegradable cleaning products and biodegradable and/or compostable packaging for all shipments.

Tips from Megan:

  • Work place composting. We are pretty used to this idea out here on Vancouver Island with curb side residential compost pick up programs. However, I know that this is not the norm yet across Canada.
  • Choosing to support businesses to work with that use eco-friendly business practices.
  • A green audit. From everything from electricity use, to cleaning supplies, to waste management. Even if your business has already implemented environmentally friendly practices, there is always room for improvement. We are actually going to be doing a green audit this year at The Green Kiss to figure out how we can reduce our waste even more.

Meg McElroy of Bambuddha

Bambuddha is a lifestyle brand that not only sells stylish, bamboo sunglasses, but incorporates the teachings of the Buddha to inspire people to be mindful, live life with intention, and to make a difference in the world. Their goal is to style their friends with some cool, bamboo shades, but more importantly, to give back to our planet and our people.

The Impact:
Bambuddha is making a positive impact on the environment by promoting sustainability with one of the most renewable resources on the planet, bamboo. Asides from just using sustainable materials, $10 for every pair of sunglasses purchased goes back to our planet to support organizations like Wildtracks Wildlife Rehab Centre in Belize, which Meg has personally spent time at rehabilitating manatees and monkeys. Bambuddha is also in the process of involving a group of indigenous women in Nicaragua to provide customers with hand-weaved sunglass cases.

Tips from Meg:
Start looking for alternative ways to do what you are already doing. Whether that is using different (more sustainable) resources, or altering production to have minimal negative impacts on the environment. A small change is still a change. If businesses could begin to become more socially responsible, like giving back to our planet and our people, the world would be a better place! Even if it is a small contribution, it is something. If we all do our part to help a greater whole, we ourselves inevitably become whole again.

Gwen Richards & Chris Nicol of Fable Naturals

Fable Naturals is a line of skincare products that are not only good for you, but good for the environment and the communities where the ingredients come from. They source fair trade ingredients like argan oil from a women’s cooperative in Morocco to ensure that producers are paid a fair wage for their work. Fable Naturals also donates a portion of each product they sell to education programs for young women in developing countries.

Fable Naturals always sources organic, fair trade ingredients for their products and local ingredients whenever they are available. They also use biodegradable and compostable packaging when possible such as their vegan lip balm which is packaged in recycled paper tubes that can be composted in a green bin or compost when you’re done with it. Fable Naturals also offers products like lotions and scrubs in bulk packaging to local stores so that bottles and jars can be refilled. They are also starting to offer refills with some products in their online store to reduce packaging.

To minimize waste, Fable Naturals uses packing materials from a neighbouring business, asks for paperless bills from suppliers, and keeps compost and recycling bins within easy reach in their manufacturing spaces. Which ultimately means that they product very little garbage.

Tips from Gwen & Chris:

  • You can replace your chemical cleaning supplies with greener alternatives that work just as well, or even better. Look for biodegradable, plant derived ingredients and products scented with natural essential oils (they smell better too!)
  • Shut off the lights. It’s so easy, but we often forget when we’re sharing a space with other people. You can even install motion sensors in hallways and lesser used areas.
  • Walk, bike or transit to work. If it’s a challenge, start with one day a week and go from there. And hey, if you biked to work, you probably deserve that ice cream on the way home, right?

Barry Hartman of 505-Junk

505-Junk is a locally owned and operated junk removal and recycling company specializing in commercial, construction, and residential pickups through Greater Vancouver. Pickups are simple. They send a truck team that does all the loading and lifting for our clients, which means they just point to what you want gone.

505-Junk up-cycles products as oppose to recycling them. They have partnered with local charities and non-for-profits throughout Greater Vancouver to drop off reusable goods at no cost. Not only does this keep items out of the landfill, but it is giving them a new life in a home that may not have been able to afford the full price of new goods.

Tips from Barry:
Think back to when you were a child growing up. Let’s say between 6 and 12. Your parents constantly nagged you about any of the following:

  • Don’t leave the water running
  • Turn off the lights
  • Recycle your plastics; recycle your cardboard, recycle your paper
  • Don’t litter
  • Eat your dinner; don’t be wasteful
  • You don’t need it so I’m not buying it for you

These may seem obvious, but it’s not always. In less you as a leader create a culture of being environmentally friendly, those that look up to you will probably not take the lead. Once you have this in place, take that one step further. Don’t just turn the lights out, turn off all of your electronics at the end of the day. Go the extra mile to create recycling opportunities in your office. Do you really need to purchase a new product and throw our your old one? Probably not. But if you really do, make sure you recycle it or phone someone that will do that for you.

Happy Earth Day!