Everyday Eco-Friendly Products to Celebrate Earth Day

Hands rolling fresh cut parsley and herb bunches into Abeego beeswax wrap on a wooden counter.

Earth Day 2019 is on Monday, April 22 and at Scout, we’ve been working towards offering more eco-friendly products you can easily integrate into your everyday life. The most recent report on climate change sends a definite message—Canada needs to step up our green game and that begins with cutting down on waste and consumption.

Looking for something to do this Earth Day? Consider taking Mind Body Green’s 5 Days to Eco-Friendly challenge for some ideas on how you can make a difference by changing some of your usual habits. For those in our Toronto communities, you can check out the city guide to Earth Day 2019 events to see what’s happening in your neighbourhood.

However you spend Earth Day, at Scout, we're encouraging everyone to consider making small changes to reduce your environmental impact year-round. One of our top tips is to adapt greener choices for items you regularly use. Get some ideas of how you might incorporate earth-friendly items into your daily routine with our following roundup of eco-friendly products.

Easy Ideas for Greener Living

The non-profit organization Zero Waste Canada estimates that about 35% of coffee sales in Canada are taken in to-go cups, accounting for the approximately five million single-use coffee cups that end up in landfills each year. Designed to encourage reuse of the classic coffee cup, KeepCup offers glass and cork travel mugs in standard barista sizes. Made to last, careful consideration is also placed in the materials used to help to reduce their end-of-life impact on the environment.

Person wearing a gray linen dress with a black tote back holding a clear glass KeepCup travel mug

Photo credit: Instagram, @linahayescreative via @keepcup

Plastic bottles are also a big contributor to waste—reportedly at a rate of one million bottles per minute globally! While some of these bottles are from the packaging of grocery store products, much of this waste can be attributed to plastic water bottles. Drinking tap or filtered water at home can help to reduce this consumption, but bringing an empty bottle through airport security checks or tossing it in your bag can be an easy way to cut convenience purchases by filling up at a public tap instead. Bkr is one perfectly sustainable option for those who prefer drinking water out of glass, available in the 500-millilitre size online and in stores and one-litre options available exclusively in store.

Asobu also offers a range of options for transporting coffee or water without the waste of single-use cups and bottles. Designed in Montreal, Asobu offers double-walled stainless steel bottles and cups with some featuring a copper lining to keep your beverage hotter for longer—perfect for slow sippers.

Of course, single-use plastic bags are an easy item to phase out for a low-waste lifestyle. We have plenty of totes for carrying all the things, as well as an assortment of Montreal-made Credobags products for produce and bulk goods. Based on the philosophy of reducing our reliance on single-use plastic, Credobags provides practical and simple solutions to fulfill the average consumer’s needs.

Reusable material string market bag from the brand Credobags carrying fresh produce and vibrant yellow sunflowers on the front of a bicycle

Photo credit: Instagram, @domraylove via @credobags

Single-use plastic straws are a major concern when it comes to ocean waste. The City of Vancouver estimates that Canadians toss away about 57 million straws daily—or two billion yearly. Straws are both an accessibility object and a preference, so there is certainly a need for them, but there are alternatives to the standard plastic options. We offer stainless steel, acrylic, and silicone straw options galore in store and online to suit your style, sipping preferences, or planned use, from iced coffees to cocktails to smoothies.

As for all of those static cling headaches from sticky saran wrap, skip the clunky plastic wrap boxes and keep food fresher and tastier with Abeego, an eco-friendly beeswax wrap stand-in, instead. Made in British Columbia, Abeego wraps can be washed in cool water, folded or rolled, and neatly stored to be reused over and over again. The wrap also acts more like a peel or skin, allowing food to breathe while keeping it fresher for longer, helping to reduce food waste as well.

Abeego beeswax wrap around a wheel of soft brie cheese atop a wood cutting board and next to a bright wedge of blue cheese

Photo credit: Abeego

Replacing other standard household items you often use just once and dispose of with reusable options can help to limit your environmental impact while reducing the bills. In store, we carry a selection of handmade handkerchiefs by Toronto’s RCBoisjoli, featuring a variety of patterns from horseshoes to hops and more, to help break the habit of using too many tissues while saving trees in the process. You can also find reusable napkins made by Quebec-based Dans le Sac and Beaches mainstay Knotted Nest, which recycles vintage fabrics to create her colourful patterned napkins. Dryer sheets can be swapped out with wool dryer balls, made in Hamilton and available at our Leslieville location, for a chemical-free, waste-free alternative to battle static and quicken drying time.

As a business, one product we find we go through a lot of are pens. There are plenty of plastic pens out there that can’t be refilled, meaning once the ink runs dry, the plastic casing gets tossed. It’s one big reason we’re fans of Seltzer’s seven-year pen. True to its name, the pen comes with a jumbo ink cartridge estimated to last through seven years of notes, stories, doodles, and letters. Not only will it last a long time, but once the ink is empty, the cartridge is refillable, so you don’t have to toss it. We also have a selection of metal refillable pens from Idlewild Co. in stores.

Finally, our latest waste-reducing obsession is the safety razor from Well Kept. Featuring an aesthetically pleasing and minimalist design, Well Kept’s safety razors are made of solid brass and designed to last a lifetime. The single blades can give a closer shave and cause less irritation than multi-blade plastic cartridges and can be responsibly recycled at a sharps depot. To add a little icing on the cake, the blades also cost much less than your average multi-blade cartridge, with Well Kept estimating that in just five years, making the switch to a safety razor could save you at least $143 while helping to reduce plastic waste. 

Well Kept safety razor sitting on the edge of a light-soaked bathtub with a black wire basket containing white, neatly folded washclothes

Photo credit: Instagram @keepwellkept

Really, this is just a taste of some of the products we carry that can help you reduce your carbon footprint. We also carry a variety of brands that make products that are meant to be loved, are built to last, and have sustainability efforts built into their business models. (That’s a topic we’ll touch on down the road!) To discover more options, we invite you to explore online or come visit us in-store.

Don’t Feel Pressured to Buy It All

Making a lot of changes to your routine all at once can be overwhelming. Give yourself a little grace in your journey and take it slow if you need. If something doesn't fit into your budget right now, make a plan to save up and purchase it later. Remember that the first step to a greener lifestyle is to use what you already have. Rather than tossing a full box of dryer sheets, wait until you run out, then replace them with dryer balls and maybe reuse a glass jar to store them in or look for a more creative storage option at your local thrift shop.

It's also important to approach these purchases through a mindful evaluation of what fits your lifestyle. For some, groceries may be delivered in reusable containers, but you love making a stop at the coffeeshop each morning for a cuppa to-go. In this case, you don’t need the reusable produce bags but a KeepCup would be a good addition to your morning routine. It’s certainly clear that as a planet, we need to work together to reduce our environmental impact, so take the steps you need to make it stick and together, all of our little changes can add up to make a significant impact.

What eco-friendly changes have you made lately? Have any favourite products you’d happily recommend? We want to hear about it all! Pop them in the comments below and let’s create a list of tips and picks together.

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