Carry your own water: OtterBottle giveaway!

Congratulations to Alyjane who  said…”I love that some money goes to teh David Suzuki foundation and they that they look great, but I have to say, the fact that they are dishwasher safe is my favorite feature!!” You’re getting an OtterBottle!

And while we’re talking about water… remember OtterBottle?  Those awesome, uber-useful bottles from a Canadian company that come in most excellent, gorgeous designs? The ones with two lids – a screw cap and a sports top? The BPA-free ones, that are dishwasher safe?  The ones ranging in size from 500 ml to 1 l? The ones where a contribution will be made to the David Suzuki Foundation with every bottle sold? Yeah, I thought you remembered them. Well, I have a brand new OtterBottle right here to give away to a lucky reader.

Just head on over to the OtterBottle website and take a peek around. Then come back here and tell me your favourite thing about OtterBottles in the comments by Wednesday, April 28. The bottle will be given away by random draw and the recipient will be contacted via e-mail, so ensure you leave me a way to contact you. And, good luck!

Filter for Good: A Campaign To Reduce Water Bottle Waste. And a giveaway!

Congratulations to Anonymous who said

“We’re going to get stainless water bottles for each family member…no more plastic!

 And to Sarah who said

Sarah said…I have also been using a Brita forever, in fact, it might be time to replace it :-) I always drink tap water and I like how the Brita seems to minimize the chlorinated taste of Ottawa water.”

You’re each getting Brita pitchers!

It has been estimated that it takes three litres of water to produce one litre of bottled water.

Worldwide, it takes an estimated 2.4 million metric tonnes of plastic to bottle water each year.

The price we pay per litre of bottled water is comparable to the price of gasoline. 

All this, when if we merely turn on our taps, we have abundant, clean water available for pennies. 

It’s time to change our  habits. The popularity of bottled water is, to be blunt, the biggest crock in the world, the most amazing snake oil ever sold, the most enormous triumph of marketing over common sense. There are so many reasons not to use bottled water – the price, the environmental impact, the sheer lunacy.  But many people persist, because of the convenience or perhaps the belief that bottled water “tastes” better (despite the fact that some common bottled water brands are nothing more than municipal tap water).

Learn more about the issue at Filter For Good. Realize that our bottled water habit is killing us. And consider changing your ways – by, for example, bringing your own water.  Don’t like the taste straight from the tap? Easy. Just go pick up a Brita filter, which will filter over 900 litres of water a year – the equivalent of 1,800+ 500 ml plastic bottles. Learn about their filter recycling program.  And, if you’re in Toronto, you can go down to Yonge-Dundas Square on April 22nd from 11am – 7:30 pm to hang out, play games, hydrate, watch David Usher, and take home a free Brita pitcher from Filter For Good while supplies last. Nice!

Not in Toronto? Pity. Then you’ll just have to sign up for the giveaway here on ecochick. I have two of Brita’s Limited Edition Green Pitchers to give away to you, dear readers.   Just head on over to the Filter for Good website and tell me how you plan to change the way you drink water. Leave a comment by Wednesday, April 28 and don’t forget to leave me your email addy as the recipients will be notified by e-mail. Canadian addresses only please. Good luck!

Green Works cleaning products: Giveaway!

Congratulations Lara who said”

Lara said… the wipes sound great. I love cleaning wipes but feel guilty about using them too much! “

You’re getting the wipes!

So, I’ll be honest here. ecochick is very eco-friendly when it comes to cleaning. VERY eco-friendly. Because basically, I don’t do any. They are considering naming the underside of my sofa a preserved habitat for dust bunnies. Ha. So when I received some Clorox Green Works cleaners in the mail – specifically the Natural Biodegradable Cleaning Wipes and the All Purpose Cleaner, I kind of went, great! I’ll try those out! Sometime. Sure. Then time passed. A lot of time, frankly. But the moment eventually came when I had to make the place look presentable. Something about “children” and “crawling” and “floors” and “gah”. So I broke these cleaners out to give them a spin.

I’ll be honest: I’m naturally skeptical about a lot of “natural” cleaning products. There’s so much greenwashing out there, and many product claims are vague. What does “natural” even mean?  So the first thing I did was check out the label. These products did have some questionable contents – they said they contained things like “preservative” (which preservative?) and “silicon antifoaming agent” (oh dear.)  But, a couple of significant things jumped out at me.

First, the Natural Biodegradable Cleaning Wipes are just that: biodegradable. They are made from 100% wood based fibers, and can be chucked in the composter instead of the landfill. Right there, these wipes have a huge advantage over many others that are made from polyester or other petroleum based products and cannot be composted. So while a throwaway wipe is not the best choice, for those times when it’s necessary, a compostable one is the best option.

Another bonus is the container for the wipes is made from at least 25% post-consumer recycled plastic, which is a really excellent start.

Meanwhile, the All-Purpose Cleaner carries a really significant badge:  The United States Environmental Protection Agency Design For The Environment badge, recognized for Safer Chemistry.  From the website:

When you see the DfE logo on a product it means that the DfE scientific review team has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that—based on currently available information, EPA predictive models, and expert judgment—the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.

There’s another upside to these products: the smell. Many “regular” cleaning products basically leave me with a headache, with their hectically overscented smells. These don’t. They smell real, natural and light.

And in my experience, they work. They work well. Surprisingly well, especially around this place which generally needs a fair amount of effort to get it cleaned up.

Interested in trying them out?  Well, you’re in luck. First, if you go to the Green Works website, you can get a coupon for $1 off the compostable cleaning wipes by signing up for their newsletter (not sure how long that promotion’s going to be on). Or, if you care to try your luck, ecochick’s giving away a containter of natural biodegradable cleaning wipes and a bottle of all-purpose cleaner, whoop!  Just leave me a comment stating which of the cleaners you’d like to try out by Tuesday, April 27. Don’t forget to leave me a way to contact you! Giveaway will be done at random and recipients of the giveaway will be contacted by email. Canadian addresses only please. Good luck!

T Bag & Company – Gorgeous Bag Giveaway

And the recipient of the bags is stsammy who said..

Ooooo…. Shiraz. It would coordinate so nicely with my stroller as I’m out on my mat leave shopping excursions!

Thanks all!

Have you been to a grocery store lately?  Let’s assume “yes”. Did you notice how prevalent reusable bags have become? I would say that on average, less than half of the people in the checkout line are still using plastic (and for the dirt on plastic bags – and why we shouldn’t use them – check out my earlier post.) And every day, I notice the neat, practical, and innovative bags people are using.  Like these gorgeous bags.  They’re from T Bag and Company.  They’re handmade in Canada from 100% cotton, out of gorgeous fabrics.  They’re stylish. Chic. Uber-useful. They’re smart, with a flat bottom and an interior elastic band to hold bottles upright (brilliant!) Just imagine how delicious your food would taste after you take it home in these bags.  Well, maybe that’s a stretch – but you sure will feel good about using them, because they’re just so pretty. You can buy all sorts of products from T Bag and Company at Eco-Handbags.ca.

WANT IT? I have two bags from T Bag and Company to give away – a market tote and a lunch sized bag, both in gorgeous black and white patterns. Just leave a note in the comments telling me your favourite pattern from the T Bag & Company website – and make sure you leave me a way to contact you – by Tuesday, April 27. Giveaway recipients will be selected at random and notified by e-mail. Good luck!

Flip and Tumble is having a giveaway!

You may remember Flip and Tumble, the creators of fantastic reusable bags. Out of all the bags I own, these are my favourites, because of the easy way they stuff in to the little bag to get tossed back in to my purse – meaning these are the bags that get used the most around here because they’re the ones I’m least likely to forget. In a rainbow of colours and even some gorgeous prints like the one at left, these bags are sturdy, stylish and super fun to use.  They’re also reasonably priced and have good shipping rates to Canada. Nice!

But it’s always better to get things in a giveaway, and so to that end you should check out their earth day giveaway. All you need to do is drop them a quick email along with your address information to contest@flipandtumble.com before April 22nd. The winners will be notified on Earth Day – and I did confirm that Canadians are eligible. So get emailing and good luck!

Green Living Show – Tickets giveaway!

It’s baaaack!

The Green Living Show is on again from April 23-25 at Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. This show is fantastic. It’s Canada’s largest green consumer show, with 400+ exhibits, a wonderful sustainable food court, excellent new vendors, green seminars and more. Last year I found an amazing number of new eco-products that have made it into rotation for everyday use around here. If you’re in the GTA or can make it there that weekend, this is an excellent, informative and entertaining way to spend an afternoon – and you’ll also get fabulous deals on some of your favourite eco-brands.  In addition, the Green Toronto Awards are taking place on Friday.  The City of Toronto’s environmental awards of excellence honour and celebrate the individuals, organizations and companies leading the way to a cleaner, greener and more liveable Toronto.

And hey, guess what? As part of the Green Living Network, I’ve scored some tickets to give away – whooohoooo!  Just reply in the comments and let me know which of the attractions you’ll be looking forward to the most. Leave your comment – and a way for me to contact you – by Wednesday April 14 to ensure I can get the tickets to you on time.

But even if you don’t get a ticket here, don’t worry. Just bring some electronic waste for recycling, and Samsung will pick up your admission ticket. Not a bad deal.

See you at the show!

Ottawa Folk: Oleander for Home Caldrea Giveaway!

ecochick has a special giveaway for only Ottawa folk!

Oleander for Home, Ottawa’s premier Bed and Bath Boutique, is owned and operated by the lovely Kristin, a friend of ecochick’s. And when Kristin was sent a gorgeous Signature Bucket from Caldrea, she emailed and said, I wanna give it away! And I said, I know a great blog…

First, a little about Oleander for Home. Located in Ottawa’s Byward Market, the store’s aim appears to be to basically pamper you to death. From gorgeous, luxurious bed linens including organic brands like Coyuchi and Damai Organics, to towels hand loomed in Turkey of certified organic Bergama Cotton by Forza & Home, to cozy sleepwear like Take Comfort Organics, this store is by far the most wonderful sensory experience this side of the Ottawa river. Just walking in and looking at the luxuriously fluffy beds… well, just be aware that getting in to them and falling asleep is discouraged. Found that out the hard way. You can either buy to your heart’s desire off their bounteous shelves, or custom order to create your most perfect surroundings.

One of the excellent earth friendly lines carried at Oleander for Home is Caldrea – which ecochick’s been using for several months now. Caldrea creates earth-friendly home cleaning products using essential oils and plant-derived cleaning surfactants.While, as ecochick’s rapidly learning, no product is perfect, I do like Caldrea’s whole-being approach to environmental friendliness and their commitment to ensuring they provide a high-quality product while being as ecofriendly as possible.

Caldrea makes several lines of products in their signature scents including Household Products, Cleaning Tools, Laundry Care, Hand Care and Gifts and Baby.  We’ve been using Lavender Pine laundry detergent for a while now (when we’re not using Nellie’s – each has its purpose around here), and there’s a bottle of Sea Salt Neroli hand soap in the bathroom. The scents are original and delicate, and the products – well, they just work.

So, the best part: Oleander for Home has a beautiful Ginger Pomelo Classic Set in a signature Caldrea Bucket to give away!  Due to the size of the bucket, it’s not available to be shipped, so this giveaway would be “pickup only” in the local Ottawa area. In this gorgeous bucket, you will find full size bottles of Countertop Cleanser, All Purpose Cleanser, Dish Soap Liquid, Hand Soap Liquid, and Hand Lotion, all in lovely Ginger Pomelo scent.

So how do you enter this giveaway? Just go sign up for Oleander for Home’s Mailing list (don’t worry, the list is never spammed or re-sold) by April 9. All members of the mailing list are eligible for the giveaway – just remember, this is pick-up only so you’ll have to make it to downtown Ottawa to pick up the bucket and the goodies.  Good luck!

ECO Canada: Give them your best shot!

Are you a photographer? Do you take wonderful photos (or at least you think so?) And do you take them of the gorgeous beauty of Canada? Then submit them to the ECO Canada photo contest, and you might win a $400 Best Buy gift card (whooo hoo!) From their website:

ECO Canada invites you to participate in its inaugural photo contest to celebrate the natural beauty of Canada’s environmental landscape and the dynamic people in the environmental workforce.

All contest entries must be submitted by February 12th, 2010. It doesn’t need to be a new photo – dig through your piles of digital images and pull up that gorgeous shot you took last winter, or during that perfect summer on the lake. But if you want to go shoot Canada in Winter – that’s awesome too. Prizes will be awarded in four categories – Working in the Environment, Environmental Industry/Sites, Abstract Nature and Landscapes.

So get shooting – and good luck!

WWF Canada Adoption Kits – Do some good and warm a heart.

ecochick almost dropped the ball on this one. Blame the non-sleeping ecobaby. She’s lucky she’s so cute.
You know the World Wildlife Fund. They are the dedicated conservation organization whose noble goals are To stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:

* conserving the world’s biological diversity,
* ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable,
* promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

During these days of Copenhagen and climate change discussion, the role of the WWF in raising awareness and promoting great ecological programs are more important than ever. One of the many ways in which the WWF promotes their programs is to sell items in their store that bring their customers closer to nature themselves – such as their awesome (and adorable) Adoption Kits. I just love these. From their press release:

The WWF-Canada Adoption Program offers the chance to symbolically adopt a threatened species and support critical work to protect nature at the same time. More Canadian animals are available for adoption than ever before, including the caribou, polar bear, grizzly bear, Arctic fox, monarch butterfly, Atlantic cod (I had to laugh at this – adopt a cuddly Cod for Christmas!), northern leopard frog, common loon, meerkat, blue shark and the black-footed ferret. Alternatively, you can select from popular international species such as the emperor penguin, Asian elephant, giant panda, orangutan, tiger and snow leopard.

Each adoption package costs $40 and contains a 12.5 cm stuffed animal of your choice, a personalized adoption certificate, a letter identifying you as the gift giver, a brochure about the species you are protecting and the work you will be supporting, as well as a $30 tax receipt – all wrapped up in a great reusable WWFCanada tote bag. Gift givers looking to make a greater contribution to wildlife can also adopt a family of polar bears, orangutans, Arctic fox or pandas.

What an awesome initiative, and what a great gift idea for the animal- or planet-lover in your life. But here is the caveat. If you want to give a kit for Christmas you need to order it by midnight December 17. Missed the holiday delivery deadlines? NEW this year: Email an adoption certificate right away to tell your loved ones their adoption kit is on its way. The link is here, and orders from the WWF store that include adoptions qualify for free shipping – just enter Special Offer Code: shopwwf during checkout. (This offer ended December 17th, 2009 at 11:59pm EST). So if you think there’s someone in your life who’ll love one of these under the tree – go check it out right now. They also have plenty of other great gifts for the ecologically-minded giver, so make sure you browse around.

And. AND. The lovely Sara at WWF Canada has given me three WWF Adoption Kits to give away to you, my amazing, wonderful readers. We have a Polar Bear, Penguin and a Caribou kit ready to go. Here’s all you need to do to enter the giveaway: Go to the WWF Store and tell me which animal you’re ready to adopt. It doesn’t have to be one of the ones we’re giving away, pick your favourite (I’m partial to the Leopard Frog myself!) Put your animal in the comments by 5 pm Monday, December 21 (This means the animals will not reach you by Christmas, but will be a great way to start the New Year!) Please ensure you leave a way for me to contact you in your comment.

Until then, happy ecoshopping!

Aveda Stylists Must-Have Offers: Free samples!

Interested in trying out new Aveda products? Today only, you can moisturize and strengthen hair with two free treatment samples: Dry Remedy and Damage Remedy Treatment, plus Free Shipping with all orders over $25. Simply enter offer code REMEDY9 at checkout.

Why Aveda? Many of their lines contain organic and naturally derived ingredients. Packaging is recycled and recyclable. And several of their products have been granted the coveted Cradle to Cradle sustainability endorsement (including some Dry Remedy products!):

Cradle to Cradle product certifications… recognize Aveda’s recent extraordinary efforts to develop products and processes that conform to the world’s most advanced standards for intelligent design, sustainable stewardship and reuse of materials.

And free samples don’t hurt.

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