Eco-Lover's Take on Greeting Cards 1
While you might feel like you can get away with just posting a cute family photo on Facebook rather than send a card to all your family and friends for Christmas, Valentine's Day still requires at least a few little notes, especially if you still have school aged children.
However, if you are striving towards the zero waste lifestyle, is buying a greeting card against your eco-morals?
Everyone has their own view on this topic, ranging from a strict ban and transition to digital e-cards, while others are willing to bend the rules to make a meaningful and timeless gesture.
I mean, all in all, it's just paper and totally recyclable, right?
Yes and no.
Many greeting card/envelope combos come wrapped in a plastic sleeve that is to protect them from getting dirty or separated. While practical, it's not a recyclable type of plastic, and it's better to stay away from this kind of card wrapping. Some companies offer a compostable sleeve, so look for that or nothing at all.
BLINGWhile some cards might capture your attention with cute addition of glitter, confetti, foil, or metallic writing, do your best to resist. These additions render your card non-recyclable and it will inevitably end up in the landfill.
All papers are not created equal. Look for stamps certifying that your card is made from sustainably farmed and harvested wood. This can put your mind at ease that you are not directly contributing to deforestation and biodiversity loss.
POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED PAPER
One step up is paper that is at least in part made of recycled paper. This uses fewer new resources and creates a market for recycled goods, giving them more value.
Some companies even go the extra mile and encourage people to compost the paper in their own gardens by using "seed paper", that you can bury and get plants out of. Or give something other than paper like with Gift-A-Green where you gift a package of microgreen seeds that can be directly sown in the pouch and then eaten!
Research your greeting card companies. Some of them have a pledge to plant a tree for every x number of cards they sell or do something else to offset the effect of their business on the environment. For example, Wilder, which we carry in stores, makes their cards using 100% renewable energy in addition to putting strict restraints on themselves in terms of sustainable paper, ink, and packaging.
Over the years you have surely collected enough cards and craft supplies that you can give a new life to items in your home and transform them into unique signature cards. This way, you avoid the plastic sleeves, you can control the "recyclability" of your creation, and you're already extending the time something stays out of the landfill.
So what are you doing this Valentine's Day and the sweet words you want to share with your love? Will you pen them down in a greeting card?
Happy Valentine's Day to all!
Checking All the Christmas List Boxes with Sustainable Gifts 0
It's that time of the year again, but this time you want to do it differently. Instead of giving gifts that may or may not be useful or valuable to the recipient, let's be more intentional with our holiday gifting generosity.
And while we think about the person receiving the gift, also consider those who make the gift, sell it, and of course, the earth which gave us the natural resources and to which it will return.
This all sounds very serious, but holiday gift giving in a sustainable manner is actually a very fun and fulfilling process. Here are a few gifts that we especially like for our loved ones which also happen to check all the "green boxes".
ZUM Christmas Collection Spa Bag
ZUM's Christmas collection seems to have a cult following, as many wait impatiently for its release. This year we're making an easy-to-gift spa bag with a selection of goat milk soaps, a room spray, and lip balm, all packaged in an organic cotton reusable spa bag from ECOBAG. Perfect for teacher's gifts or a lovely "thank you" to a deserving host.
A candle is a wonderful hostess gift to give, but also one to keep for evenings when you're entertaining. This Christmas we recommend our fundraising candle called "Hope" which was made in memory of Stan Miszuk, who passed away this year from cancer. All funds collected will be going to Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, while the owner of the candle benefits from the uplifting scent of this all-natural candle.
All-Natural Spa Gift Box
Bring the spa to your loved ones with a spa box that will transform more than one evening into pure bliss. BONUS: This year we have cut out the plastic cellophane and replaced it with reusable tulle to repurpose in your holiday decor. It includes lotion, oil, mist, two bath bombs, ZUM rub, lip balm, and a bar of soap. There's a choice of three scents: Frankincense & Myrrh, Sea Salt, or Lavender.
Our selection of wooden toys has grown tremendously over the last year as we stock brands like Hape, Grimm's, Grappat, Goose Grease, PLAN toys, TEGU and more! Wood is a renewable resource and is compostable, unlike plastic which is not biodegradable and can only be recycled a finite number of times. There are toys to choose from for every stage of childhood, from small toys for infants and creative sets for school-aged children.
For the Man in Your Life
For men, we have learned that consumables do best. They're useful, and they don't stick around forever! Our Everyman's Jack Gift Basket comes in two amazing scents, Sandalwood, or Cedar Wood, and includes deodorant, shampoo, body wash, and an unscented shave cream.
LEKKO Life Goods Bento Bag
This locally made linen bento is the perfect zero-waste wrapping! Just tie it close, add some foraged greenery, and you have a beautiful gift to put under the tree. Later, it can be reused as a bread bag or simply for any role in which a bag is needed. No more heaping recycling bins on Boxing Day, and we have also added value to the wrapping, no longer seeing it as disposable, but instead, as reusable.
Avocado Sock + Vejibags
For the foodies in your life, grab some zero waste options to help them indulge in their passion (and taste buds!) The Avocado sock perfectly ripens your avocado for optimum deliciousness, and the vejibag keeps vegetables and greens fresh for longer than in plastic. They will be so grateful for you catering to their interests.
These are all just some of the many options that we carry online and instore. We encourage you all to shop small and local when possible this Christmas season. It makes all the difference to businesses like ours and others that we are proud to work with and next to on a day to day basis.
We hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season, and wishing you all a very happy new year.
Will You Be My Valentine? Show the Earth Some Love 0Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and though everyone might be wearing pink and red, we thought we would share our "green" lens to this holiday! Flowers, chocolates, and jewelry might be seen as traditional gifts to bestow upon your special someone, however, there are many other options to explore that will not just make your Valentine feel loved, they will show some love to the earth as well- win win!
First we would like to share some practical tips that you can use this February 14th to make it the greenest Valentine's Day yet!
Make homemade, wrapper-less treats to share with classmate and colleagues, like cookies or gluten-free dessert balls. Less waste in the form of plastic means better for the earth! Bonus: it's probably better for those eating them too!
Re-purpose Your Valentine's Day Cards from last year by cutting out elements and making a collage on recycled paper. Not only is this a fun craft to make with the kids, it teaches an important lesson on re-purposing and reusing the resources you already have.
Gift Consumables this Valentine's Day instead of knick knacks that will just clutter up their house and will eventually be disposed of. Candles, tea, and lotions are all great alternatives as they do get used up eventually and the packaging can either be reused or easily recycled.
Invest in experiences rather than big-ticket items. Though getting a babysitter or dinner reservations can be difficult this day of the year, consider just giving the gift of an alternative experience, like an afternoon of cross- country skiing on the weekend, or a wine tour in Niagara. These make great memories without having to fuel the consumerist lifestyle.
Make something meaningful if you have skills for it, like knitting a hat for your spouse, or building a bench for the dining room table. In addition to the utility your lucky Valentine will get out of it, there is the added value of your time and thoughtfulness that will not go unnoticed.
The Mrs.Greenway team got together last week and talked about what would make awesome Valentine's Day gifts. We thought we would share them with you to help inspire some great, sustainable ideas that will make for pleased recipients and much loved givers.
You can't always predict when you really NEED that spa day. Sometimes you can't wait until the weekend or until you have saved up enough. Being able to create your own oasis in your home is a gift that everyone deserves. We have put together 3 kinds of gift baskets that should be able to fit every budget and need. All the products are natural, organic, and will do your Valentine a world of good.
Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to gift your gentleman with a grooming set, complete with accessories for taming that facial hair and keeping his skin smooth and free of irritation. Oh, and these solid colognes are awesome for traveling and using on the go!
Vegan Leather Accessories
Preloved Winter Line
OK, maybe a little cliche, but come on, what's more appropriate than hearts on Valentine's Day? These mittens are made in Toronto from recycled sweaters - "green" and super cute!
Lemon Lily Tea
Warm the heart (and the hands, and the belly) with a tin of organic Lemon Lily Tea. There are many different types to choose from and offer an elegant but totally appropriate gift for Valentine's.
Whatever you decide to do with or get for your Valentine this year, try to spread the love a little broader than just your special person. Remember that the holidays are a good time to reflect on how you can also give back to your community and preserve the environment!
Shop Valentine's Day at Mrs. Greenway
10 Eco-Friendly Gifts for Everyone On Your Christmas List 0
Whether you have decided to do your part to make the holidays a little "greener", or if you are having a hard time finding something that you eco-conscious friends or family members will appreciate, we are here for you.
As purveyors of an ecostore, every year we get people coming through our doors, explaining that they are looking for something for their colleague, friend, parent, child, or sibling. They want to get something useful, unique, sustainable, and most importantly, valued by the recipient.
"What would you recommend"?
Well we thought you would never ask!
Actually we did.
And that's why we have this handy dandy list ready for you to peruse and help with your holiday shopping needs. Consider it a map to the "greenest Christmas list" you have ever had.
1. Wooden Toys
Let's start with the easy ones: kids. Yes, it is true, kids love toys. However, a lot of today's toys are made with various toxic chemicals and out of unsustainable materials. We love the natural beauty of wood. It's durable, non-toxic, and the companies that we stock produce their toys from ecologically harvested trees and often with a social initiatives to boot! Though they might seem simple compared to modern, battery-powered toys, they stimulate kids and their imaginations in a healthy way. Wooden toys also grow with the little owners, starting off as a healthy chew toy and eventually become the enabler of a wildly adventurous game. We suggest companies like Holztiger Wooden Toys, Plan Toys, Hape Toys, Grimm's Toys, and Tegu Blocks.
2. Soy Candle
Candles make wonderfully versatile gifts. They are consumable, don't expire, and add some "magic" to even the most mundane days. Soy based candles are much healthier than paraffin wax ones, and better for the environment as well. Choose ones that are naturally scented and give off an aroma that you think your gift recipient will like. It's a lovely gift for coworkers, teachers, mother-in-laws, and more.
3. Holiday Gift Basket
Sometimes you just need some of the guesswork taken out of the gifting equation. In that case, you can't go wrong with a Holiday Gift Basket. Pre-assembled gift packages full of wonderful goodies like soaps, lip balms, candles, salts, and more are perfect for your special someone. We carry a variety with different themes and price points so that you can find one for almost everyone on your list!
4. Salts & West Sweater
Does your Secret Santa love Canadian fashion? Salts & West is a West Coast brand that makes comfortable but stylish staples from organic bamboo. Our top pick is the super soft wrap sweater.It's a cozy look that you can wear to the office or over your pajamas during Christmas Day breakfast.
5. Lemon Lily Tea
Tea is always the answer. It's what you want to drink on a cold day, a hard day, a relaxing day- basically everyday. Lemon Lily tea is a very high quality, all- natural, organic tea mixed in Toronto that comes in beautiful tins, perfect for gift giving. Get an assortment of holiday flavours and your kind thoughtfulness will live on for as long as the tea lasts.
6. WWF Swell Bottle
Have an animal lover on your Christmas list? Get them one of these limited edition WWF S'well bottles. Every bottle purchased helps to reduce the amount of plastic in our landfills and waterways, while also supporting urgently needed programs to protect our oceans. And if you don't know firsthand, we are sure that you have heard of the great quality and longevity of S'well bottles. It's a gift they will use for years and years, hopefully on a daily basis.
7. NEOB Lavender Products
We are lucky to have some local lavender farms, one of which supplies their all-natural fare to our store. From soaps, hand creams, mists and more, all the products are based on the natural oils that the farm extracts from their harvested lavender. If you have a lavender lover in the family (I certainly do!), you could really score some points with them by giving something so local and natural.
8. Vegan Leather Accessories
Real leather might not align with your eco-values, but there are many vegan leather alternatives out there. We love getting new accessories in from Pixie Mood and Mat & Nat. Their purses and wallets have been a hit with our customers every year, as they are super stylish, durable, and are a safe bet with everyone, whether they like leather or not. Oh, have a mom-to-be on the list? We just got Matt & Nat's diaper bags in and don't think that anyone would every suspect that there could be diapers in there. So chic and sophisticated.
9. Blanket Scarf
An oversized scarf is like a hug on a cold day. It can be worn inside with a sweater, outside on a coat, double up as a blanket, shawl, or anything you want, really. To keep our options "green", we stock Canadian made brands like Buttercream as well as fair-trade alpaca ones from Highland Trading Co. It's a wonderful winter-themed gift that will certainly get a lot of use right away.
10. Gift Card
And of course, the humble gift card. How could we go this far without mentioning the reusable plastic card that requires little if any wrapping and essentially ensures that your recipient likes and uses their gift? Show that you know them a little more intimately by aligning the card of your choice with their values, taste, and style. But since we are talking about Eco conscious people here, we can't help but mention our own ecostore, but no matter which gift card you choose, the chances are that you will minimize waste and improve your gift-giving ranking.
Christmas is about sharing the love. Don't forget to show the earth a little love as well ;)
5 Eco-Friendly Crafts to Try this Easter 0
Easter is such a lovely spring holiday when everything seems to be coming back to life. It's also a chance for us to teach our kids about giving new life to some basic items around the house through re-purposing.
"Reuse" is one of the pillars of sustainability and we love using it in our stores and households. From using re-purposed wood on our floors to giving customers a chance to refill their cleaners, we are all about finding value in what we already have and creating less waste in our society.
Kids learn a lot from the lifestyle of their parents, so instilling these values in your children early is a great way to lead them down the "green" path. Kids also love crafting, so there's definitely an opportunity to bring the two together and Easter fun is too good to pass up.
Here are so Eco-Easter crafts that we really like and are looking to try will the grand kids this year:
Pretty Napkin Holders
Most families take the opportunity to meet and celebrate over the Easter break, often around a nice, home-cooked meal. Brighten up the table with some pretty napkin holders made from egg cartons, paper tube, and just a little paint. The kids will definitely want to help with making these and setting the table for your festive meal!
Cut the cups from the egg carton and trim them to give them a floral shape. Then paint them with craft paint and hot glue them to rings cut from a paper towel roll. Add a couple of pretty leaves for a more "complete" look and enjoy them over and over again.
Image: Dane Tashima
Bird Seed Eggs
It's time for the kids to be the organizers of an Easter event: A Birdy's Easter Egg Hunt. First, make some bird seed eggs using bird seed, gelatin, and plastic Eco-Eggs. The exact measurements are listed below:
- 8 1/3- 8 1/2 cups bird seed
- 1/3 cup gelatin
- 1.5 cups water
- 36-38 Plastic Eco Eggs (available in-store)
Lightly grease the plastic eggs with vegetable spray and fill with the packed bird seed mixture- a teaspoon will be helpful. Once all the eggs are filled, snap them closed, chill them in the freezer for 2 hours and then remove the shaped eggs carefully from their shells. Put them into paper egg cartons to dry for a day or two. Then it's time to set up a little hunt for the spring birds, laying these eggs on tree stumps, hanging them up in trees, even patiently holding them in your hand and seeing if some friendly chickadees will come and nibble from your palm.
Egg Shell Garden
Literally make your eggs a source of "green" inspiration by using shells as planters for some fresh sprouts. Carefully let each child draw a face on their own egg shell, fill it partially with soil, add some small, quick growing seeds like catnip or watercress, water them and watch it grow! The kids will love checking in everyday on the status of their egg's "hair" growth. Later if you'd like, you can directly plant the egg shells with their sprouts in the garden or a bigger pot since it's biodegradable and actually adds important nutrients to the soil.
Egg Carton Chicks
These cute chicks can be a cute way to store painted eggs, little treats, or even an alternative to a plastic egg in an egg hunt! They are very easy to make and really don't require more than an egg carton, paint, a little card stock paper, and glue.
For more detailed instructions, visit Paper Plate and Plane.
Felt Easter Baskets
Does it feel weird buying new Easter baskets every year for your kids to go "hunting" with? This year, make a point of making them together and personalizing them to suit their individual styles. The base of this craft is a food-grade bucket, like what you would get ice cream or margarine in. To make it even more sustainable, instead of using new felt, re-purpose other fabric that you have around the house, like an old receiving blanket or old t-shirt that doesn't fit anymore. Having a personalized basket will make the thrill of the hunt even more appealing.
For more detailed instructions, click here.
Image: Dane Tashima
Tag us in your Eco-Easter creations to be featured in our social media!
We're looking forward to seeing your sustainable crafts and would like to wish everyone a very happy and green Easter Season!
Mrs. Greenway's Holiday Gift Baskets 0
Christmas Holiday Gift Baskets are a great solution to the conundrum of what to get Jimmy's favourite teacher or what to buy for the colleague hosting this year's Christmas party at her house. You can get all different kinds, from ones with sweet treats, to those with a whole pampering session inside, to those that are custom assembled and wrapped to ensure that they have all the person's favourite things.
Every year Mrs. Greenway offers Gift Baskets full of the year's best sellers along with holiday specialty items, so that our dear customers have an easier time helping Santa fill up that space under the tree! In addition to the ones that we preassemble and sell in-store and online, we always offer the option for you to choose the contents of your Mrs. Greenway Gift Basket and we'll wrap it for you!
So here are our six prepackaged baskets, what's inside, and thought process behind creating them:
Hot Chocolate Lover's Gift BasketLater on, let's conspire to have some hot chocolate by the fire. Not the powdered stuff. The holidays are all about comfort food, and Belgian chocolate is most comforting hot chocolate around. Christy's Gourmet hot chocolate spoons only need be stirred into a cup of hot milk for instant holiday magic. Savor the moment with Wicked Shortbread's Toffee Shortbread for soaking and dipping.
Ward off the cold and slow down the speed of the holidays with our Hot Chocolate Lovers Gift Basket. Forget golden rings and partridges, we recommend 12 days of hot chocolate and toffee shortbread.
An ideal choice for people of all ages, especially those with a sweet tooth!
- Mason Jar Mug
- 3 Hot Chocolate Spoons made from Belgian chocolate. Stir into 1 Cup of hot milk and enjoy! - Handmade in Burlington, ON by Christy's Gourmet Gifts
- Box of Wicked Shortbread's Toffee Shortbread, made in Orangeville, ON
Deluxe Frankincense & Myrrh ZUM Basket
You'll feel as good as gold this holiday with our Deluxe Frankincense & Myrrh Basket. Ward off holiday stress with this selection of Zum self-care treats. Once November hits, this seasonal favourite that is available all year around starts flying off the shelves, and it's not just the Three Kings ordering it!
This is a perfect hostess gift, a present for a friend, or even a little something for mom or grandma. We all deserve a little pampering from time to time, and this is just the thing. Just an important detail: all the products are natural, organic, with no artificial additives or detergents.
- Frankincense & Myrrh scented shea butter and meadowfoam seed oil lotion
- Frankincense & Myrrh aroma therapy body mist
- Frankincense & Myrrh scented soy candle
- Frankincense & Myrrh shea butter bath salts
- Two bars of Frankincense & Myrrh Goat's milk Zum soap
- Vanilla Zum Kiss lip balm
Deluxe ZUM Holiday Collection Basket
Leave the red nose to Rudolph and the rosy cheeks to Santa. Winter weather and holiday stress can wreak havoc on all of us, but why let it? Mrs. Greenway has you covered with a deluxe spa care kit that will leave anyone glowing brighter than Rudolph. The perfect soap and scent basket to turn any Snowmeiser into a holly, jolly Frosty.
At the store, we wait impatiently to get ZUM's holiday line in stock, as these items are only available this time of the year. All these natural scents just sing "winter" and don't be surprised if the gift recipient hides a couple of soaps and lip balms away for early December next year in order to get into the holiday spirit!
A great choice for ladies who appreciate natural and organic goat milk soaps, fantastic holiday scents, as well as smooth and healthy skin and lips. Big enough to split between a family or household, this basket will bring a lot of holiday cheer!
- Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Mist
- Vanilla-Pine Zum Soap
- Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Bar
- Almond Zum Body shea butter and meadowfoam seed oil body lotion
- Bah Hum Zum - Peppermint-Almond Zum Bar
- Bah Hum Zum - Peppermint-Almond Aromatherapy Soy Candle
- Zum & Be Merry - Frankincense & Fir Zum Bar x 2
- Zum Peppermint Lip Balm
ZUM Holiday Collection Basket- Small
It's lovely weather for a spa night together with Zum. From holiday shopping to New Year's day recovery, your loved ones will be thankful of your reminder to take a moment for themselves. Or maybe you're treating yourself. Either way, our small Zum Holiday Collection basket is an easy score for the Nice list.
A perfect gift for one, this basket is the perfect solution for your children's teachers, piano instructors, or your business's employees. It's a great extra gift to have in the closet for the unexpected holiday outing, a chance meeting with a relative, or in case someone accidentally slipped your mind.
- Frankincense and Myrrh Zum aromatherapy soy candle
- Frankincense and Myrrh goat's milk soap Zum bar
- Peppermint Bah Hum Zum lip balm
- Peppermint and Almond Bah Hum Zum handmade goat's milk soap
- Frankincense and Fir Zum and Be Merry goat's milk soap Zum bar
- Frankincense and Fir Zum and Be Merry aromatherapy room and body spray
ZUM Supreme Spa Basket
“Bah, humbug!” no, that's too strong
'Cause it is my favorite holiday
But all this year's been a busy blur
Don't think I have the energy
To add to my already mad rush
Just 'cause it's 'tis the season.
The perfect gift for me would be...
A Zum Supreme Spa Basket! When the children are nestled all snug in their beds, grab that moment for yourself and indulge in a luxurious home spa experience that only Zum can provide. It's better to give than receive, so give yourself a moment to receive aromatherapy and an all natural bathing experience.
Gifting this to a loved one or gifting it to yourself is pure holiday magic. It's more than a gift, it's an experience to share with friends, family, or even with one's self.
- Bah Hum Zum - Peppermint-Almond Aromatherapy Room & Body Spray
- Bah Hum Zum - Peppermint-Almond Zum Bar
- Bah Hum Zum - Peppermint-Almond Lip Balm x 2
- Bah Hum Zum - Peppermint-Almond Zum Wash Natural Liquid Soap
- Zum & Be Merry - Frankincense & Fir Zum Bar
- Zum & Be Merry - Frankincense & Fir Aromatherapy Soy Candle
- Zum & Be Merry - Frankincense & Fir Zum Body Lotion
- Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Bar
- Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Mist Aromatherapy Room & Body Spray
- Mistle Zum - Vanilla-Pine Zum Bar
- Mazel Zum - Almond-Orange Aromatherapy Soy Candle
- Mazel Zum - Almond-Orange Zum Bar
Perfect for every man in your life, Mrs. Greenway presents a curated Gentleman's Basket to start the new year off so fresh and so clean.
We have not forgotten about the men, and we know how difficult it can be to find the right gift for the gentleman on your list. Don't worry about the scents being too feminine or flowery, they have been approved and loved by the men of Mrs.Greenway, so your fella is sure to love it too!
- Every Man Jack. fiber cream
- Every Man Jack. 2 in 1 thickening shampoo and conditioner
- Sandalwood-Citrus scented Zum mist
- Sandalwood-Citrus goat's milk soap Zum bar
- Dragon's Blood goat's milk soap Zum bar
- Dragon's Blood Zum Rub moisturizer for scaly skin
Your Custom Basket
Whether you know that your friend is obsessed with lavender or can't take a bath without the right salts, there's nothing wrong with hand-picking your holiday gift basket's contents. You can even come up with your own name for it and who know, maybe it will inspire next year's Mrs.Greenway Holiday Gift Baskets.
And if you still have some Christmas shopping to do, don't forget to track our Advent Calendar of Savings in-store, and on social media! There's a different deal every day and you won't want to miss out on these sales!