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???? I LIVE ECO: 2020’s Best Eco-Friendly Box

We are so proud to share with you that we won the 2020 Canadian A Year of Boxes Awards for the Best Eco-Friendly Box!

 

We could not have done this without you and your full support! For everyone who voted for us, we will send you something special in your next subscription box, as a token of our deepest gratitude and appreciation.

Also, we’d like to announce that Lisa S. is the lucky Giveaway Winner from the last newsletter contest!  And we thank everyone who participated in this Giveaway. More to come soon!

As a Canadian Small Business, this award means so much to us and we hope to continue providing you excellent customer experience and the best quality products.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing  spoiler alerts of what’s to come in the Fall Box… here are some hints: some things to keep you warm, some things to keep you clean and some novel things that’ll help you save the environment, one product at a time. ????

It’s not too late to grab the Summer Box, there are literally only 5 left… get yours before we run out forever!

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☀ Vote to Win the Summer Box

 

 

Vote for a chance to Win our Most Acclaimed box in 5 Easy Steps!

Here’s how to enter:

STEP 1: Go to A Year of Boxes 2020 Awards and click Vote.

STEP 2: Scroll to Section 11 and Select I Live Eco

Bonus entries when you enter a special message in the Comments section
email us this screenshot too!

STEP 3: Scroll to the bottom and make a selection to subscribe to AYB

STEP 4: Click Submit


STEP 5: Take a screenshot of the Confirmation page and email your entry to us at hello@iliveeco.co


Voting is open until July 31.

I LIVE ECO is a Canada Proud small business!

Shop Local. Shop Canadian.

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Happy Canada Day, Fellow Canadians!

 

Hey, Canada! Did you know that I LIVE ECO is 100% Canadian owned? 

Supporting and promoting other small Canadian businesses matters to us, especially those whose work is in service for a better planet. That’s why at least 95% of the curated items in our subscription boxes are from Canadian businesses. 

I LIVE ECO aren’t the only Canadians making a positive impact on our planet. Canada is full of concerned citizens from all walks of life who are taking a stand for our environment. We’d like to take the opportunity to highlight three of them here: 

1) Autumn Peltier

15-year-old Autumn has already spent several years of her young life on a quest to solve the crisis of the lack of safe drinking water in Indigenous communities across the country. Autumn has spoken in front of the United Nations, led protests and was nominated for the Children’s International Peace Prize. Her ability to speak with poise and vulnerability have made her an inspiring leader, galvanizing support from people across the country. 

2) Mackie Greene

One of the founders of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team in New Brunswick, Mackie and his team risk their lives each year to rescue whales that get caught in fishing gear in and around the Bay of Fundy. The Atlantic Canada waters are home to many species of whale each summer, including the North Atlantic right whale, of which there are a mere 500 left in existence. 

3) Asha Srinivasan

Asha is the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Boost Environmental Systems, a company that designs and builds a system called IMPACT to eliminate farm waste. The system uses microwave heating technology to shrink the volume and composition of farm waste by 40-60%, so it can then be broken down by our existing sewage system. The result is less contamination entering the ground and drinking water sources and puts Asha at the forefront of cleaner agriculture across Canada. 

Maybe you’re not developing animal waste-management systems or marching in environmental protests, but each consumer choice you make can be a step towards a greener Canada. That’s why I LIVE ECO is offering Canadians 10% off any product storewide using the code CANADA10. This offer is available until July 15th, so get it while it lasts! Free shipping on orders over $25! And I LIVE ECO will plant a tree for every new subscription.

Wishing all our fellow Canadians a Happy – and Green! – Canada Day!

 

Photo: Ali Tawfiq

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I LIVE ECO & Loblaws Inc: Partners in Celebrating Love and Sustainability with Pride Toronto

 

Each year during the month of June, LGBTQ people around the world honour the 1969 Stonewall riots that began the pushback against oppressive LGBTQ laws, and this month has become a time for LGBTQ people to celebrate the energy and diversity they contribute to their communities. I LIVE ECO has always been a proud supporter of Pride, participating as a vendor at Pride Toronto since 2018.

Though the usual large-scale Pride parades and events won’t be happening in 2020, we’re still celebrating Pride month in our own way. We are excited to announce that for June 2020, I LIVE ECO will be one of the LGBTQ-owned businesses featured at Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens located at 60 Carlton Street in Toronto. During this partnership, Loblaws will be carrying I LIVE ECO shampoo bars, honouring their commitment to promoting sustainable products and the eco-lifestyle. 

I LIVE ECO will also commemorate Pride month by donating a percentage of the revenues from the sale of its shampoo bars to The 519, a registered Toronto charity and community centre that offers LGBTQ people the support and resources they need to lead happy and fulfilling lives. 

I LIVE ECO is not blind to the realities of the world we live in. We understand that the fight for equal rights for all members of the LGBTQ community is still an uphill climb, and we stand with our brothers and sisters in all marginalized communities, committed to justice and equity for all. At I LIVE ECO, we work to combat climate change. We support green living and sustainable lifestyles. We believe in the goodness of humanity, and that working together, we can create a healthier, happier world. And the foundation for all of our endeavours is LOVE. From all of us at I LIVE ECO, our stance is unequivocal. LOVE IS LOVE. We believe that LOVE WINS, and though formal Pride is only one month long, I LIVE ECO will continue our work for a healthier planet and equity for all people each day, every day.

 

Photo by Steve Johnson

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What Is World Environment Day?

On June 5, 1974, the United Nations celebrated the first World Environment Day, a day for reflection and action to protect our planet from the environmental hazards caused by economic expansion. The theme for World Environment Day 2020 is “Biodiversity — A call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world.”

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Systems (IPBES) notes that one million plant and animal species are currently facing extinction – some within just decades. The good news is that there’s still time to fix it. By changing our own habits and increasing accountability for the protection of the earth, we can remodel our economies with the protection of the planet as a priority.

What Can You Do?

The United Nations offers a few practical tips for how you can affect change in your own community to support our environment:

1. Learn. Take time to reflect on how we humans rely on nature for our own sustainability and learn about how the choices you make can affect positive change.

A) Learn about what your city and country is doing to protect the environment

B) Learn about how you can help fight climate change through the United Nations Act Now Campaign https://www.un.org/en/actnow/

2. Share. Share what you’ve learned about our environment and its degradation, and share what you will do to make a difference in the community around you.

A) Join the Cities4Forests photo contest – they will plant a tree for each post. https://cities4forests.com/forest-challenge/

B) Share companies on your social media platform that are working locally to support environmental causes in your community and beyond

3. Act. Turn what you’ve learned about climate change and biodiversity into action that supports efforts to save our environment from permanent degradation.

A) Change your diet to more locally produced, environmentally-friendly food sources, paying particular attention to protein sources

B) Buy from eco-friendly companies that are invested in working towards a healthier planet

In celebration of World Environment Day, I LIVE ECO will plant one tree for each new subscription beginning on June 5. We are proud to partner with https://onetreeplanted.org/ to support reforestation efforts around the world. 

Share what you’re doing to support biodiversity for World Environment Day on Instagram and Facebook with the #ILIVEECO. Working together, we can be the change we want to see.

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Mother Earth-Friendly Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the women in our lives who love, nurture and care for us as only someone with a mothering spirit can do.  It’s also a perfect time to honour our Mother Earth, who continues to provide for each of us unconditionally. This year, honour all the mothers in your life with conscious gifts that are earth-friendly and mom-approved.

1. Some Quality Time With You

The truth is, what moms love more than anything is quality time with their kids. Physically being with mom might not be possible this year due to current social distancing guidelines, and if that’s the case, schedule a nice long video call with her instead. Grab a cup of tea and give her some time to hear about your life, while you hear about hers. These moments aren’t just precious and cherished, but they’re free, sustainable and safe for the planet. And if you can’t connect with your mom for any reason this Mother’s Day, honour her with a few kind words about her, even if you only speak them to yourself, and even if only for the life she gave you. 

2. Reusable Food Wrap

There’s no comfort food in the world like mom’s home-cooked leftovers, and the fresher the better! Reusable food wraps are great gifts that are mom-friendly and earth-friendly. The breathable wraps aren’t just ideal for keeping food fresher for longer, you can find wraps that are all-natural, zero-waste, and they last for dozens of uses before needing to be replaced. 

3. Organic Produce Delivery

Since Mom’s probably cooking anyway, why not give her a head start with a month of organic produce home delivery. Many local farms offer delivery boxes with an assortment of fresh, organic produce that will arrive at mom’s door weekly or bi-monthly. Buying local supports your community, buying organic supports the planet, and buying your mom groceries demonstrates how much you love and appreciate how she feeds you. 

4. An Eco-Friendly Subscription Box

A subscription box is a gift that keeps giving month after month — a delight and surprise for Mom each time one appears on her doorstep. The I Live Eco Subscription Box is a great way to say I love you to your own mother while showing a little love to Mother Earth. Each item in the box is carefully curated to support a greener lifestyle with eco-friendly products like a bamboo toothbrush and shampoo bars and that will quickly become staples in mom’s home. 

5. Gift Mom An Experience

Offering your mom an experience she’ll love this Mother’s Day is a wonderful way to show her how much you adore her, and giving her an experience instead of a physical thing will ultimately help create less waste for our planet. If Mom likes to be pampered, give her a spa gift certificate. If she enjoys the theatre, give her tickets to a show she’d like to see. No one knows your mom like you do – show her some love by sending her to do something she’ll love. 

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4 Ways To Honour Earth Day While Social Distancing

 

This year, on April 22nd, marks the 50th anniversary of the original Earth Day celebrations, which was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson in the United States in 1970. Traditionally, Earth Day has been honoured with public gatherings and community events, where people come together to celebrate the Earth and commit to treating the planet with care and respect.

Current social distancing practices means that we’ll all be honouring Earth Day privately from our homes this year. But because our celebrations aren’t public, doesn’t diminish our commitment to a healthy planet. Here are a few ways you can honour the Earth from home.

1. Turn the lights off

Electricity generation emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Turning off the lights – even just for one hour – stops these emissions, and at the same time can lower your electric bill. Switching to candlelight for a few hours on Earth Day is a gentle reminder that electricity is a resource to be grateful for, and using it mindfully is better for our planet and your wallet.

2. Plant food

Growing your own food gets you back to nature, gives you an appreciation for where your food comes from and can increase your feelings of independence and food security. While you’re home, try planting a small vegetable patch or even herbs in pots. Having a few of your own simple food sources will heighten your awareness of what you eat, and how food gets to your table.

3. Start to compost

Food scraps and yard waste currently makes up 28 percent of what we throw away. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane gas. And the fertile soil you’ll develop from composting will be a great addition to your new vegetable patch! If you don’t have outdoor space, a small compost bin can be kept in a cupboard in your kitchen.

4. Buy Eco

When buying things for yourself or your home, be mindful of what you’re buying and where it’s coming from. Choose items that don’t contain excess packaging like shampoo bars, reusable items like bamboo water bottles, and common household items made from sustainable materials. Look up the companies you’re buying from, and when you can, choose local companies that are trying to keep it green.

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Beauty trends that will green your beauty routine

Beauty brands are always looking for ways to stay fresh and current, and in these changing times, that means making their products greener and producing them more sustainably. The past couple of years have seen an explosion in green beauty, and we’re super excited about a few trends that are making a big splash.

Less packaging

Refillable, reusable and biodegradable packaging are on everyone’s mind for 2020, and many beauty brands are leading the way. TerraCycle’s loop program allows customers in a few major cities to order products from participating brands including Josie Maran and Paula’s Choice, which arrive in eco-friendly packaging like glass bottles. When the product is finished, customers simply send the empty bottles back, where they are cleaned, re-filled and re-used.

Other brands like Pure Anada are offering refills for their products, reducing their packaging waste. And many companies like Dove are committing to fully recycled plastic for their packaging. 

Clean beauty transparency

Not long ago, so many items in the beauty aisle became “clean”, “green” or “natural”, with consumers having very little idea what these words actually meant. Recent years have brought a new fight against misleading information, and a push for transparency from brands, with clear definitions of “green”, “clean” and “natural”. This transparency can include Environmental Working Group’s ratings directly on the packaging, with symbols that customers can easily decipher, or simply listing ingredients in plain language, large and up front, so consumers understand exactly what is in the products they’re using. 

No more water

Water (or aqua, as you may find it on cosmetics containers) is the most commonly used ingredient in the beauty industry. But fresh water is a limited resource, and companies with a commitment to sustainability are looking for new ways to use less of this precious commodity. Korean cosmetics companies started the water-free trend a few years ago, and it didn’t take long for other companies to jump on board. Now, water-free products like powdered cleansers and dry sheet masks are readily available, and even L’oreal has committed to a 60% reduction in water used in each product over the next 15 years. 

Limiting water in cosmetics isn’t just better for the environment. Water-free cosmetics are easier to travel with and tend to have a longer shelf life. And when water is removed as a base and replaced with oils and botanicals, formulations are more potent, giving you more bang for your buck.

Reusable and biodegradable products

Shampoo and conditioner bars such as this one from I LIVE ECO are an exciting beauty innovation – minimal packaging and nothing to throw out when they’re done. Reusable cotton rounds are another – removing the need for disposable cotton pads or pre-soaked face wipes for removing your makeup or nail polish. When the rounds are dirty, just throw them in the laundry and they come out fresh and ready to use again. The konjac sponge in our spring eco box is one of our favourites. Made from vitamin-infused konjac root, these sponges provide a gentle exfoliation and are compostable when you’re done with them. 

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4 reasons to go green with bamboo

 

In the tropical climates where bamboo naturally grows, this super-plant has been used for centuries for everything from food to construction and more.  I LIVE ECO has been a fan of bamboo since its inception (bamboo straws are where we began!) and we are thrilled that bamboo is quickly becoming a green alternative to not-so-easily-renewable resources. Here are a few of the amazing benefits bamboo offers:

1. Bamboo is sustainable

Growing bamboo takes very little water and no pesticides. In contrast, it can take up to 22,000 litres of water to make just one kilo of cotton. While trees take decades to grow until they can be used, bamboo regenerates itself quickly, growing eight times faster than trees. In fact, some types of bamboo can grow up to three feet in one day! 

2. Bamboo is strong

You may think bamboo is flimsy because of how it bends with the wind, but the key is that bamboo bends in the wind, and because of this it doesn’t break. Compared to traditional building materials, bamboo withstands compression better than concrete, is three times stronger than wood and can withstand greater pressure and tension than steel. And bamboo maintains all this strength while being more flexible and malleable than wood, steel or concrete.

3. Bamboo is versatile

Bamboo isn’t just for drinking straws. We’ve seen how its strength makes it ideal for construction projects, but bamboo can also be used to make bicycles, instruments, clothing, paper, charcoal, and household items such as furniture, flooring and even toothbrushes and tumblers. And what’s more, bamboo can be eaten! Bamboo shoots are a good source of dietary fibre and potassium, and they contain phytochemicals, which can have antibacterial and antiviral effects.

4. Bamboo is green

Between 1990-2016, the world lost 1.3 million square kilometers of forest. As a viable and sustainable alternative to wood, switching to bamboo could be a solution to the clear-cutting of our forests. And compared to similar trees, bamboo produces 35% more oxygen and absorbs 5x more carbon dioxide, making it a valuable resource in fighting climate change. Being able to replace wood, steel, plastic, cotton with sustainably grown and quickly renewable bamboo makes more than good sense – it makes green sense.

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6 Women Who Are Making the World a Greener Place

In honour of International Women’s Day, we’re profiling six women who are pulling the world in a greener, more sustainable direction. As a woman-owned brand, I LIVE ECO is proud to support all women who are working hard and creating something of their own. 

Brandi Leifso, CEO of Evio Beauty 

A tumultuous childhood led Brandi Leifso to drop out of school when she was just 14. At 21, Brandi found herself living in a women’s shelter, unsure of where she’d go next. But none of the obstacles in her way stopped Brandi from pursuing her dream of starting a beauty and makeup line. 

Today, Evio has grown to become a leading line of conscious skincare, and in 2018, it became the first Canadian company to be accepted into Sephora’s 2018 Accelerate Program, which supports women founders of cosmetic companies. In an interview with Hempster, Brandi said, “I wanted to build an army of empowered women who were creating change through small, intentional, conscious actions every single day.” There’s still time to sign up for our Spring Box, which includes an Evio face mask. 

Candice Grenier, Founder of Pure Anada Inc.

When Candice Grenier noticed she had become sensitive to some of the products and chemicals she used in her hairstyling work, she really began looking at the health costs of her beauty habits. On the Pure Anada website, Candice says, “I was surprised to learn that the cosmetic industry is not well regulated and that many ingredients are not tested for their long-term safety.”

This wake-up call led Candice to start “greening” her own cosmetics stash by eliminating chemical-filled products and making her own natural makeup. In 2005 she turned her passion into her business when she founded Pure Anada, a Manitoba-based cosmetics company with a full range of cruelty-free, allergen-free, all Canadian-made beauty company.

 And it’s not just the final products that are good for the world. All along the supply chain, the ingredients are ethically sourced. Pure Anada works with a women’s co-op in West Africa for shea butter, and her supplier of Mica from India funds housing, schools and daycares, ensuring that the ethically mined ingredient isn’t being produced with child labour.

Joy Yap, Founder & CEO Wyld Skincare

Wyld Skincare is more than a passion project for Joy Yap, it’s personal. Joy, who started Wyld only four short years ago, suffered from a skin condition called Ichthyosis as a child, and she spent years trying to manage her own excessively dry skin. Because of her condition, Joy grew up with an interest in natural, healthy skincare. Now Joy’s business sells all-natural cleansers, bath soaks, and their signature item, an exfoliating sponge made 100% from the Konjac plant.

Wyld (which stands for “What You Love Doing”) has one simple philosophy: Kindness first, always. And they don’t just say it, they live it. Wyld donates a percentage of each sale from their products to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. And Wyld never uses single-use plastic or styrofoam. There’s still time to sign up for our Spring Box, which includes a Konjac sponge from Wyld! 

Toni Desrosiers, Founder & CEO Abeego

Entrepreneurship has been Toni Desrosiers’ path since childhood, and her entrepreneurial spirit only continued to grow. In 2008, the Victoria-based nutritional consultant was considering her next business venture when she learned that 40% of food consumers bring home is wasted, often because it has been stored improperly. Toni looked at foods in their natural state, such as onions, avocados and oranges, and realized that their natural storage system — their skins — were breathable, while traditional plastic food storage systems were not. This research led Toni to develop Abeego — a natural beeswax food wrap that protects food from air and moisture while allowing the food to breathe naturally.  

Toni won the 2018 RBC Women Entrepreneur Trailblazer award and noted at the time that for an entrepreneur to succeed, “you need to know why you’re doing business. Not just what or how you’re doing what you’re doing.” 

Kirsten Dickerson, Founder Raven + Lily 

Ethical fashion is en vogue these days, but for Kirsten Dickerson, fair-trade fashion has been a years-long passion that she translated into a successful business over 10 years ago. 

In 2008, after 15 years of working in social justice and as an art director for the film and fashion industries, Kirsten founded Raven + Lily, an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand, with a goal of creating and sustaining employment opportunities for women around the world. And it’s not just the artisans around the world that benefit from her business, but also people close to home. Raven + Lily works to sustain local employees and office infrastructure in Austin, when so many fast fashion brands have outsourced these functions to low-cost areas overseas. 

If you want to keep your eco-footprint small and your fashion evergreen, Kristen offers some sage advice: “Slow down, buy less, and be willing to ask yourself questions like: Do I love this? Will I wear it for at least two years? Will it last for 30 wears? Do I know the story about who and how it was made?” Because being intentional about our fashion can help us be greener in our world.

Gen Atangan, Founder & CEO I LIVE ECO

 

A traveler, businesswoman and philanthropist, Gen came by her inspiration for I LIVE ECO honestly. After years of climbing the corporate ladder, it was a trip to her homeland that made Philippines-born Gen take a step back. During her trip, Gen was given a bamboo straw for her drink, and the idea for I LIVE ECO was born.

She wanted to bring this green idea back to Toronto, while fulfilling a deep desire to help the children of her homeland. That’s why 1% of I LIVE ECO’s monthly revenue goes back to children’s charities in the Philippines. The green subscription box allows Gen to give her subscribers the tools they need to start living more eco every season. Each subscriber is a partner to Gen, working towards loving, honoring, and healing our planet together.