Creating a Zero Waste Bathroom Routine 0We've addressed the zero-waste kitchen and talked about zero-waste generally, but what about our zero-waste bathroom swaps? Let's dive into some easy swaps we can make in our personal routines in morning and at night that can make them less wasteful!
- Get a Bamboo Toothbrush
Did you know that your typical plastic toothbrush will virtually never biodegrade and is very difficult to recycle? Even if you put it in the blue bin, your municipal waste management department will have trouble recycling it and will like pull it out. By getting a bamboo toothbrush, you're choosing a renewable material that is compostable. Just don't forget to pull out the bristles before you compost it!
- Get Zero-Waste Dental Floss
Flossing is a staple in our daily hygiene routine (at least that's what we tell our dental hygienist), but how to avoid the plastic dispenser that it comes in? Answer: go for one in glass! We were so excited to start carrying KMH Touches, where the dispenser looks like a micro mason jar. These can be recycled afterwards and the floss itself is made of silk, so completely biodegradable!
- Use a Soap Bar
- Toothpaste in Glass
Almost all toothpastes come in tubes, even the natural ones. Thankfully, companies are starting to come out with toothpowder that is packaged in little glass jars that you can either reuse or recycle.
- Refill Your Hair Products
While some people like to try to make their own hair care products, most of us don't have the time (or the courage!). Find a shop with a refill station that allows you to bring your own bottles with shampoo, conditioner, and even things like body wash and lotion. We're lucky to have Pure Anada all-natural products available for refill in amazing scents, but as demand grows, we are sure more brands will start making this an option for consumers.
- Use a Manual Exfoliator
Instead of using body scrubs that have microplastics or other pollutants in them, use "manual" buffers like brushes, agave soap "socks", or even abrasive soap with natural exfoliators like coffee or oatmeal. These get rid of dull, dry flakes and give you healthy, soft skin without negatively affecting the environment.
- Use Facial Rounds
How many cotton rounds do you use in your daily routine? These are just thrown in the trash after one use, something that can easily be "greened" by investing in some facial rounds that are washed after use. Buy a set, keep them in a glass jar in your washroom, and just continue washing them as they get dirty. We just got a shipment in from Marley's Monsters and they are key to decreasing the waste that shows up in the bathroom trash bin.
Going green in your bathroom doesn't have to be an overnight thing, but it WOULD be a great goal to set for #plasticfreeJuly, if you are looking for one. What are some of your #zerowaste switches for the bathroom and your personal hygiene routine?
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
Everything You Need to Know About Natural Dental Care 0
We hear a lot about natural soaps, face care, sunscreens, and deodorants. We are getting increasingly weary of products packed with harmful chemicals, preservatives, and fragrances. However, dental care is really the first thing we should be considering when switching over to a more natural lifestyle. Why? Because it goes directly in our mouths and is clearly more easily absorbed and digested than even face cream.
This is especially relevant for kids who like to swallow a lot of their toothpaste, especially before they figure out how to brush properly. So what's the solution to our kids swallowing chemicals that have the potential to land them in the hospital if they ingest too much?
Go safe and natural!
Let's tackle dental healthcare one element at a time:
There are two main parts to every toothbrush: the bristles and the handle. We use the handle to brush our teeth with the bristles and thanks to this action, dislodge food particles, eliminate any buildup, and remove stains. It's literally exfoliating and buffing your teeth to get them to be as clean as possible. Dentists suggest that we replace our toothbrushes every 8-10 weeks when the bristles behind to lose their shape and there could be potential bacteria buildup on the toothbrush itself.
However, most toothbrushes are made from plastic and aren't exactly welcome additions to your blue bins. Apart from disposing of them in a zero-waste manner, there is the issue with the toxicity of the bristles which are literally scouring your teeth, gums, and tongue. Do you want something made with chemicals like BPAs, pthalates, and PVC in your mouth? Didn't think so.
We have a selection of natural toothbrushes in our stores which aim to address both the sustainability and health aspects of the "normal" toothbrush. We are also excited to soon introduce our own "in-house" toothbrush, complete with a 100% biodegradable handle and activated charcoal bristles. Follow us on social media for updates on availability in store and online!
If you aren't willing to eat a whole tube of toothpaste because the effects would likely land you in the hospital, why would you use it even in small amounts? Though adults are pretty good at spitting out most of the toothpaste used to clean their teeth and eliminate harmful bacteria, it's logical to think that some of it does remain in our mouths. This is an even greater issue with children who often swallow some if not most of the toothpaste when they start to adopt this personal hygiene habit.
Toothpaste, in our opinion, should be effective while simultaneously harmless to our health, therefore fully natural and, if worst comes to worst, edible. If you can't eat it, it shouldn't be in your mouth. Since the opening of our stores, we have also noticed that many customers have been searching for fluoride free toothpaste that they and their kids can safely use. In addition to sensitivities and allergies that a portion of the population has to this element, there have been studies linking fluoride to a variety of health issues like thyroid disruption, child tooth decay, endocrine system changes, osteoporosis and cancer.
We stock a number of different toothpastes that are certified organic and fluoride-free, including products from Ugly by Nature, Green Beaver, and Jack N Jill. Customers come back again and again to restock their favorites or to try a different flavor.
A new trend has appeared on the natural dental care horizon that many have been raving about - activated charcoal. It's incredible how something that is so black in and of itself can naturally brighten your smile while eliminating bacteria so effectively. Activated charcoal is highly absorbent and successfully removes toxins that come in contact with it. The additional perk is that if you do swallow it, it isn't absorbed by the body, rather going through the GI tract without alteration. Therefore, no harm done and lots of benefits to gain! Warning though, this product can be messy, so as Nelson Naturals puts it, "use with common sense". We have been stocking this product in our stores for a few months now due to interest and popular demand.
Though we don't carry a natural mouthwash in our stores, it's a popular addition to people's dental hygiene routines. If you are looking for something that's not alcohol based or leaves a burning sensation in your mouth, try making your own using ingredients you might already have at home. We stumbled onto a simple mouthwash recipe on DIY Natural using simple household ingredients plus staple essential oils.
Oil Pulling or Swishing
Those who wish to supplement their oral health and have healthier teeth and gums should consider "oil pulling" on a daily basis in addition to their brushing and flossing regimen. Put a tablespoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around in your mouth for as long as possible, even up to 20 minutes if you can handle it. Some like to do this as they shower in the morning or as they are preparing for bed. The oil softens the plaque and bacteria that coat your teeth, leaving them cleaner and whiter. Spit out the oil when you're done and rinse your mouth with warm water.
Switching over to natural dental products is something that those looking to lead a healthy lifestyle should start with. It's possible to achieve stellar dental health while still looking out for the overall health of our bodies, meaning without harmful chemicals and ingredients we should be avoiding.
Why Natural Deodorant Should be the Only Kind 0
Most of us have experienced some of the limitations that traditional natural deodorants tend to have, from strange textures, having inconvenient application methods, crumbling in our sinks, or limited effectiveness. However, the risks that come with using regular drugstore deodorants and antiperspirants have been inching closer and closer to the spotlight, exposing the effects that regular use can have on our bodies.
So what exactly is the big deal, you ask?
Deodorants were historically used to minimize and neutralize the smell that can develop under the armpits due to bacteria developing in this moist area. Years later, companies started selling a wonder product- one that would keep you from sweating under the arms at all, now known as antiperspirant. And though now most companies sell a two-in-one, the name deodorant is what we commonly use to describe this hygiene product that we liberally slather daily in an area which comes in close contact with lots of major blood vessels as well as immunological facilities like lymph nodes.
And since it is a personal staple which a huge portion of the population uses regularly, it might be worth delving deeper into which ingredients make antiperspirants so spectacular and whether it's worth a little sweat to avoid the multitude of health problems they expose you to. Here are just several that you would find on the label of a conventional deodorant which you might want to avoid:
We aren't just starting with this ingredient because A is first letter in the alphabet. It's commonly known as the most dangerous antiperspirant ingredient used in conventional deodorants. It has been linked to Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and skin irritation. Aluminum is the active ingredient which keeps us from feeling moisture under our arms. The aluminum salts, and there are several versions which companies use like aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium, or aluminum carbohydrate, chemically react with sweat ducts to make them close and effectively keep us dry. However, these neurotoxins can be absorbed as well, and we aren't comfortable with the "coincidence" in which breast cancer often starts in further areas around the armpit and Alzheimer patients tend to have high levels of aluminum in their brains.
The "smell" that we try to avoid by using antiperspirants is not actually directly the result of sweating. It's what happens when bacteria develops, and a moist armpit with minimum air circulation is an environment in which they thrive. However, instead of using ingredients with natural antibacterial properties, conventional antiperspirant and deodorant brands end up using triclosan, a harmful chemical. Some countries are ahead of others and have already banned it (unfortunately Canada is not one of them), however, when used in skin products, it has been linked to hormone disruption, skin and eye irritation, breathing problems, and muscle weakness.
Though you might not see the word "parabens" on an ingredient list in your drugstore hygiene products, chances are that they are there. Anything that includes a methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl in it is realistically a paraben. The main role of parabens is to preserve a product and prolong its shelf life to even several years. Unfortunately it also alters the chemical balances in our bodies, often impacting hormone levels which could lead to a myriad of issues including cancer, fertility issues, and problems revolving around puberty.
In contrast, producers of natural deodorants try to find alternatives that aren't just effective, but also healthy for your skin and your body in general. If you are browsing natural deodorants and comparing ingredients lists, you will probably see a lot of baking soda, witch hazel, essential oils, mineral salts, coconut oil, and even charcoal. These have for years been used to battle odour-causing bacteria in addition to provide dry comfort as much as possible.
We are aware that they might be bothersome to apply or uncomfortable to store, however we firmly believe that there's no better product to keep you body odour free than natural deodorant.
Luckily for you (and for us), we have been looking for the best natural and healthy alternatives on the market and stock quite a few types for you to try and incorporate into your everyday routine. Visit our online shop or one of our physical stores to see the full range available to our customers. Don't hesitate to send us an email or ask one of our team members about the specific qualities of each deodorant so that you get exactly what you are looking for.
We carry natural deodorants from:
-Penny Lane *
-Au Natural *
*=Available only in stores