Ecojot

In this world of laptops, BlackBerrys and iPhones, it’s a wonder paper is ever used anymore. Yet it is, and more than ever. Paper is kind of an environmental jerk, given the sheer amount of natural resources needed to create virgin paper, never mind the processing, chemicals and bleach.

Enter Ecojot.

EcoJot at EcoChick

Fun, stylish and funky, in lots of different sizes and attractive designs, these paper products will have you inspired to write. Ah, but their beauty is not just on the outside. This paper has got it going on. 100% recycled, made from post-consumer waste. Made in Canada, at a plant powered by alternative energy. Biodegradeable, including all the glues and the inks. And, as if that wasn’t enough, a portion of the sales will go to an environmental cause. This paper has got it going on.

It’s available at grass roots and other retailers.

Urban Forest

Urban Forest at EcoChickUrban Forest Soap sells incredibly delicious handmade products, all hand made in Wakefield, Quebec – just outside Ottawa. Their creations include soaps, bath salts, lip balms and more. Their assortment of scents ranges from original and unique to standard and beloved – Anise and Espresso, Cinnamon and Patchouli, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus, plain old lovely Lemon, and more. The lip balms are equally as enticing – imagine soothing your pooched puckerer with smooth Spearmint, Tangerine, Vanilla Latte, or Chai Tea!

What’s even better is that all the ingredients in every product are spelled out right there on the website. Nearly every one is pronounceable, which is a shocker for beauty products!

Their table at the Ottawa Farmers’ market sells out every week, but don’t worry – you can get their products at several shops around Ottawa. You’re elsewhere? Don’t worry, you can place an order via email and pay with a cheque or money order – full online shopping isn’t available yet, but they’re working on it.

P’lovers

P’lovers has been open in Halifax for many years. With store locations now in Ontario and Nova Scotia, P’lovers has also extended into online shopping, with a wide variety of products including personal care, home office, books, outdoors and more.

Grassroots

Toronto-based Grassroots sells everything from body care products to household goods to air and water filters. But Grassroots doesn’t just sell – you can also find plenty of information on green initiatives such as the various political parties Eco-platforms. Nice!

Druide

Druide, a Quebec company creates natural botanical products for hair, body and face, including shampoos, lotions and baby products. Their website can be a little tempermental, so if you get a dead link, try, try again.

Arbour

Arbour is a bricks-and-mortar store based in Ottawa which also has a great online store. They sell a wide variety of products from natural home cleaners to baby care products to solar and alternative energy products. The website also offers green living tips on every page, and they ship all across Canada as well as to the US and several other countries. Nice!

lilou organics

lilou organics carries over 16 lines of various Organic body care products including Earth Mama Angel Baby, Aubrey Organics, John Masters Organics and more. 100% Canadian, they have free shipping within Canada on all orders over $100. There’s even an area for sales. Check them out at lilou-organics.com.

EcoChirps and EcoTwerps

EcoChirps! Are things that EcoChick is giving a shout out to. Whether it’s an awesome product like EcoJot pads, a fantastic person, resource or initiative such as TreeHugger, or just someone who made EcoChick smile and do little loop-de-loops in the air, EcoChirps! are handed out readily at the EcoChick nest.

Unfortunately, there are also things that make EcoChick grumpy. EcoChick calls these EcoTwerps. They could be ingredients in products, like Sodium Laureth Sulfate or parabens. They could be environmental policies, like Stephen Harper’s refusal to abide by the Kyoto accord. They could be people who set superbad examples of living green, like North Americans and our addiction to bottled water. EcoChick will not go as far as to say she will poop on their head, but you know she’s thinking it.

Bumble and Bumble Alojoba Shampoo

“You need to use this shampoo”, the stylist said. “Your hair is a mess.”

Combining insults with sales pitches is a new strategy to me. But I rolled with it.

“It’s really great stuff, really moisturizing. And it’s organic! Just know that because it’s natural, it won’t lather like you’re used to with other shampoos.”

Oooh, thought I. I like the sound of that. I’m going to try this stuff out. Clutching my sample in my hand, I dash out the door.

Soon after, I eagerly tore the slippery package open in the shower and squeezed out the shampoo. It smelled fresh and light; very clean. I rubbed it in my hands then on to my hair. Unfortunately, the combination of my amount of hair (lots), the Bumble and Bumble sample size (tiny) and the lack of lather (none), I had a problem with coverage across my whole head. I did my best. It rinsed out easily. Then I applied the (again too little) conditioner. Then I towel dried and let it go on its own.

Results? My strawlike hair does seem softer and smoother. It’s nice stuff.

However, the organic and natural claims are pretty much just that: Claims.
Out of 37 ingredients listed, four are certified organic (Jojoba Seed Oil, Aloe leaf extract, Cucumber extract and Chamomile extract.) The rest are the same chemical concoctions we all know and love, including Sodium Laureth Sulfate (that nice cheap lathering agent that also unfortunately dries the living daylights out of whatever it washes) and yummy parabens (see the full product breakdown here.

Verdict: It’s a really nice product, and it’s really not eco-friendly whatsoever.

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