Green Monday is the second Monday in December. It’s a relatively new unofficial shopping day for last minutes shoppers who realize that it’s crunch time. Much like CyberMonday, it’s the last ditched attempt to sway your credit cards over to the tech items that may have landed on your shopping list in recent weeks. There are some deals so go ahead and find that new smart device for your home (see our interview with Arren Williams in a recent post) or components needed for your teen who’s building a PC. But for some of us, the term “green” serves as a reminder that what we purchase and consume matters especially during this busiest shopping time of the year. These last few days before Christmas has us, gift buyers, grabbing whatever we can find but while we’re searching for the perfect gift, pause and look to the future. Here are some companies and products that we love that are helping to make this world greener and more sustainable…and yes, we’ll include some tech too.

Graydon Skincare: This truly luxurious green beauty line is the best we’ve tried. Formulated with clinically proven plant-based ingredients each product delivers healthy skin results from head to toe and for the entire family.  Graydon herself is amazing. With her energy and patience, she’s grown a loyal following for her and her products. The Full Moon Serum is magical. We also love the Face Glow a lightweight tinted moisturizer that hydrates and evens out the skin tone giving you that fresh radiant look.

Knix Leakproof & Period Underwear: When we step back and think about feminine hygiene products it’s mind-boggling just how much we use and then end up in the landfill not to mention how much money we have to spend. Necessities of life, yes. But what if we can eliminate some, if not all? One of Knix’s mission is to do just that with their Period underwear. There’s even a line for teens. If you have an unpredictable period, or slight continence concerns (yes, it happens to a lot of women after childbirth as well) their Leakproof undies are a game-changer. The high-rise style stays put – no rolling down. No more irritating liners and worries while you’re travelling. Bonus, they look and feel great. Several styles are available.

Preloved: Julie Grieve founded her eco-friendly and fashionable line here in Toronto over 20 years ago. She creates pieces in her collection made from vintage and deadstock (also overruns) materials. She was upcycling before it even became a word taking perfectly good fabrics and materials and saving them from heading to the landfill. Her designs are created and produced right here in the city. You’ll find a sweet heart on each piece she creates. You can also provide her with that much loved old sweater and she can turn it into a special one of a kind piece. 

No Pong: all-natural deodorants have become more mainstream in recent years. One we’ve tried and loved is this Canadian made brand. The original formulation has roots in Australia but when they noticed the North American demand, they decided to open up a manufacturing location in Canada.  This “anti-odourant” is like a balm and is very effective in keeping body odor and sweat under control once your body adjusts to it. A little goes a long way! Made with all-natural ingredients and is 100% paraben-free, aluminum-free, cruelty-free, and plastic-free. Great as a stocking stuffer. The Original and Spicy Chai are also bicarb free.

Bare Market: (1480 Danforth Avenue) Reducing household and beauty waste is Bare Market’s mission. They are Toronto’s first shop for package-free and low-waste goods for home and personal care as well as food. Great quality stuff you can find here include makeup, toothpaste, shampoo bars, bubble bath, unpaper towels, as well as ancient grains, pastas, spices, baking ingredients, teas, and much more. They also have many ingredients for your DIY ideas – making your own soothing bath salts, cosmetics, or candles are just a few ideas. Pre-covid19, shoppers would “bring your own container” (BYOC) to fill however, they’ve temporarily adjusted to accommodate the current health and safety guidelines – read more on their site (and yes, they are still open for pick up and delivery).

Kobo Forma eReader: For the book lover in your life this take-anywhere eReader is a perfect gift. A great alternative to lugging heavy books around –and yes, save the trees! It will hold many books (and more than your bedside table) for your reading pleasure. It can also connect with your local library to borrow titles using OneDrive. Considered the most comfortable in design, you can hold it for hours on end and read it on portrait or landscape mode. Light adjusts automatically (or override manually) to your reading environment that’s much better for your eyes. It’s also waterproof to go ahead and take it into the bath.

Apple: In July this year, Apple announced its commitment to be 100 percent carbon neutral by 2030 across its entire business. Already carbon neutral today for corporate emissions worldwide, the company plans to bring its entire carbon footprint to net zero including every Apple product sold. Within that plan, Apple will continue to increase the use of low carbon and recycled materials in its products, innovate in product recycling, and design products to be as energy efficient as possible.

An example? All iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch devices released in the past year are made with recycled content, including 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in the iPhone Taptic Engine — a first for Apple and for any smartphone. You can read more here.

Nespresso: we may not be able to head out to grab our fancy coffee as easily these days but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our daily ritual (x3 for some of us). Nespresso serves up individual delicious coffee or espresso at a touch of a button at ideal temperatures. The selection of roasts are constantly impressive. Concerned about the pods? Nespresso pods are made of aluminum and are 100 percent recyclable.  The company also goes as far as as providing consumers with postage-paid recycling bags free of charge to make things even easier.