21 March 2020

18 June 2019

20 April 2019

Earth Day 2019

Zero Waste Business Operations
at The Stone Store

We’ve always been dedicated to running a green business, 
but we’ve been especially busy in the last year 
searching for solutions to reduce waste in our operations.  
Sometimes it’s not the big flashy changes that make a difference; 
it’s the small every-day choices we make.


Most retail stores create A LOT of garbage.  Our first step 
in streamlining our garbage system was to reuse our large
 blue and clear bin-liners. Each day, our staff would carry the bags out 
to the blue and grey carts, dump the contents 
into the cart, and save the bag to reuse as a bin-liner again.  
As you may imagine, this can be a messy job and requires staff 
to be on board with keeping things tidy. 
It also still required trashing a few plastic bags each week 
because they would get dirty or ripped.

This year we took our efforts a step further 
and stopped using bin liners completely.  
Our dedicated staff work together to keep the bins neat and dry, 
so that they can be emptied straight into the blue or grey carts 
without a mess. This is a step that some people are 
willing to do at home, but you won’t find it in most work places 
because it takes a serious cooperative effort!

v v v

Other initiatives we have introduced to reduce waste in our small business:

  • Recycling ALL used pens, markers, highlighters, ink cartridges & toners through Staples Business Depot
  • Recycling our excess cardboard through a private local service
  • Retrofitting ALL of our lighting to be high efficiency
  • Saving ALL bubble wrap and giving it to another small local business that reuses it for shipping
  • Carrying products that allow bottle returns (milk, juice, yogurt)
  • Printing double-sided in our office (or not printing at all)
  • Switching to toilet paper in our washroom that is 100% recycled & has NO plastic packaging
  • Using all eco-friendly cleaners in our store, with reusable cloths
  • Offering as many products in bulk & package free as we have space & demand for, as they become available to us for our customers (for example: for every 20L bulk container of Oneka Shampoo & Conditioner used, 40 individual plastic bottles are saved from point of sale!)
  • We feed our compost to chickens! ALL food scraps from our produce section get passed on to feed free range laying hens that live in the countryside near Guelph Lake
  • We aim to reuse & properly dispose of any props for window displays and have recently made efforts to not purchase ANY new plastic materials for them
  • We no longer hand out balloons on Customer Appreciation Day
  • We made a commitment to stop using plastic straws in our store & stopped carrying any products that come with plastic straws like juice boxes & single serving soy milk beverages
  • When we order produce, we aim to choose the options that get delivered plastic free whenever available
  • In the warmer months we switch to any organic produce available to us that was grown on LOCAL farms to provide food that supports local food systems & that came with less mileage to decrease the demand for shipped food items during Ontario's growing season
  • We offer paper bags for purchase at 25 cents or reused boxes from shipped orders for FREE to pack customer's purchases in - this choice to have no plastic bags at cash out encourages folks to bring their own bags or not take one at all if only purchasing small items, plus invites a general mindfulness around consumption habits

NEXT UP: We have been talking to the City of Guelph and various biodegradable bag suppliers to try to source a compostable produce bag.  It is important to work closely with the City because many products labelled as “biodegradable” or “compostable” don’t actually break down in municipal composting facilities.  No certified compostable bags are available yet, but we hope to get some as soon as they are available.  In the meantime, we offer several organic & reusable options, which are even better than disposable! Paper bags are also always available for use on our produce stand. 

Lastly we would like to thank the continued support of our customers as we move back closer to our roots. Many people think zero waste is a new thing, but when we originally opened the store in the 70's - our goal was to bring natural foods to our community with as little packaging possible. Throughout the years the natural foods sector has seen many changes and a slight move away from this, however, we are very happy to see a trend bringing demand back to certain core principles from when this movement first began. We would also like to thank our like-minded staff! Without continued communal effort, refinement and accountability - these positive changes could not have happened!

Happy Earth Day!

07 December 2018

Green Holiday Giving

Think Green This Holiday Season!

Looking for the perfect gift that will show your loved ones you care, while staying in line with your values & your budget?  We’ve got you covered!  Best of all, these gifts will help your friends and family to be more mindful & sustainable as they use them!  


1. Brush Naked Bamboo Toothbrushes

These biodegradable toothbrushes are made in China from moso bamboo and their environmentally conscious paper packaging is made & printed in British Columbia. For more sensitive gums we recommend the nylon bristle option.  We also have plant-based bristles and charcoal coated bristles available. When you're finished using just your toothbrush, just remove the bristles and put it in the compost! These make a fantastic stocking stuffer and also come in packs of 4!  


2. KMH Touches Biodegradable Dental Floss

This product was born out of compassion and activism. Made of silk, this floss is 100% biodegradable. Also, how can you not love the little glass jar it comes in? Great for throwing in your bag on the go and easily fits into a medicine cabinet. You can't tell the difference between this and conventional dental floss! 2-pack flosspot refills are also available in paper packaging, making this the ultimate waste reduction strategy for those who floss!  All parts of the packaging is biodegradable, including the stickers.  Help protect our oceans! Give the gift of guilt-free flossing.  (Ps. we also carry biodegradable vegan floss!)

3. Klean Kanteen Reusable Water Bottles 

Durable, thoughtfully made & keeps iced things cold for 30 hours as well as hot things hot for 10 hours. It's the best stainless steel coffee mug solution for hot coffee, hot tea or your favorite iced drinks! It can fit into a stocking or it makes a great gift on its own. Versatile for all your needs: whatever size you end up getting, we recommend the wide mouth insulated option (shown below) with the cafe cap. This allows your bottle to double as a water bottle, but also works wonderfully for hot drinks - with a tight twist-sip-or-seal that allows you to throw it in a bag or backpack leak-free!  Definitely a staff favourite around here - this product will not disappoint!

4. Onyx Stainless Steel Straws

" 'It's only one straw' said 8 billion people." - Anonymous

Recently a lot more consciousness has sprung up around the use of plastic straws as they have been discovered undigested in birds, aquatic life, and mammals - often being linked to the cause of death. Millions of single-use plastics are used and thrown away each day and many of these items never make it to a recycling facility - straws in particular, because of the kind of plastic they're made from. So, if you have the ability to bring your own straw when you go out for a drink, why not? We carry many glass & metal straw options but the favourite is definitely the Onyx Stainless Steel Straw with an ergonomic bend in the metal for easy drinking. Straw cleaners are also available. Super affordable!

 5. Credo Bulk & Produce Bags

 Plastic bags and packaging have been under environmental scrutiny for decades - another common single-use item that often cannot be recycled. A lot of great companies have come up with beautiful solutions to this ugly problem: reusable produce & bulk bags! First of all, buying bulk is a great way to reduce packaging - but you can eliminate it by also bringing your own containers or bags! Although we carry many options, our store pick is Credo Bags - made with organic cotton! Not only are the bags biodegradable after their life-cycle, but they're easily washable, repairable, breathable and they're durable. Just keep them in your grocery bag or backpack and then they're always ready to use for impulse buys!

6. Beeswax Candles

Beeswax candles have been used for centuries to bring warmth and light to cold and dark days. What could make a better gift for the season? At the store we carry many artisan & handcrafted candles, but our staples are candles from Your Time Boutique of Kitchener, ON & Honey Candles Ltd. of Kaslo, BC. Everything from birthday candles, votives, tapers, tealights, trees, pinecones & more! Decorate & celebrate with beeswax candles that support local beekeepers - and give a gift that glows! 
(Vegan soy-based candles are also available from Wednesday & Rose of Guelph, ON)

7. Onyx Containers

Finding an alternative to lightweight Tupperware can be difficult - glass is a great option but it can be heavy and is easily subject to breaking! A great solution is stainless steel lunch & take-out containers. They are very light and can withstand drops & dings! Onyx Containers has a lot of options that include multi-tiered and removable divider variants that let you choose exactly what you want. Plus they come in all shapes and sizes. We love their strong leak-proof seal products with clasps. These products are easy to wash and can be used to transport a multitude of meals! Great for taking homemade meals to work, a variety of snacks for day trips, even zero waste shopping! 

8. Life Without Plastic Sporks

Do you know folks whose drawers are filled with take-out knives, spoons & forks that they never use, but feel too guilty to throw out? Sometimes it's hard to refuse these items unless you have something that prompts you. Take out doesn't have to be wasteful! And having a multi-use utensil keeps you prepared for unexpected snacking. Very affordable & compact - this item is extremely universal! Great for the wilderness adventurer, student, commuter, or any waste-conscious individual.

9. Cedar Point Soaps

Bar soaps last far longer than their liquid counterparts and often come with minimal packaging! An absolute favourite of staff and customers alike is Cedar Point Soaps. These  high quality soaps are handcrafted by a Metis soapmaker in Waubaushene, ON. who pulls inspiration from Canadian forests and waters around her to design truly Canadian soaps. She even uses local Ontario herbs, flowers & forest offerings in her soap.  The soap is is made in small batches, and takes 2-3 hrs to prepare using the hot process method.  

Many bar soaps can be stripping, but this company's soaps contain nourishing and moisturizing oils that will leave your skin feeling soft.  Affordable, stocking-stuffer sized,  and practical for any recipient!  Seasonal scents like Cranberry, Georgian Bay Forest & Medieval Thieves always make great presents. Or choose the Honey Almond Oatmeal bar for "scent"sitive folks.

10. Soap Nuts & Wool Dryer Balls

Did you know that dryer sheets can aggravate allergies, irritate your skin, and even cause dermatitis or eczema?  To make matters worse, studies have found that dryer sheets release more than 25 volatile are pollutants, including 2 known carcinogens. So why not ditch the dryer sheets?!  

Introducing: Wool dryer balls!  These laundry helpers will last for thousands of loads, soften clothes & wrinkles, reduce static, and cut down on drying time ... A perfect gift for an environmentally conscious family member, pal or sensitive skin individual!  We carry Moss Creek Wool Dryer Balls in sets of three, ready to give. Still like a bit of scent in the dryer? No problem- we carry Nellie's all Natural Lavender Fragrance sticks to scent your dryer balls or you can add a few drops of essential oil on the balls before drying. A great pairing to this is Himalayan Soap Nuts which naturally contain a plant-based soap, can be re-used, and are compostable after their life-cycle. The receiver can enjoy a new more mindful, plastic waste & chemical free laundry routine! 

11. Redecker Brushes

SO much plastic waste is made in the kitchen accessory industry year after year. Here at the store, we have some wonderful biodegradable alternatives for home cleaning and dishwashing.  A great duo for gifting is the Redecker Pot Scrubber and the Redecker Vegetable Brush.  The durable beechwood and natural fibers are not only completely biodegradable, but also add a rustic beauty to any home.  B├╝rstenhaus Redecker has been hand-crafting high quality wooden tools in Germany for more than 75 years, and it shows!
Give the gift of a green clean! 

12. Bulk Organic Toffee Pistachios

Giving edible treats is a great way to ensure gifts will be both used and enjoyed! Our store has a comprehensive bulk section with a multitude of options available for purchase, like: nuts, seeds, granola, snack mixes, dried berries, candies, loose leaf tea, chocolate treats & more! We also sell a variety of sizes and shapes of beautiful glass jars to fill (or, for ultimate waste reduction - why not up-cycle that jar you may already have from that pasta sauce or condiment that you buy?). This kind of gift is the epitome of package free, from retail to end-consumer. Our store pick for the holidays is the Organic Bulk Chocolate Toffee Pistachios.  So decadent & delicious! 

13. Zero Waste Kits

Last but not least, we have done the leg work to create Zero Waste starter kits that are ready to go! These kits come in a re-usable Credo bag to keep the waste-free theme going - you don't even need to wrap them! We have 4 varieties available to help your loved ones make greener choices: A Take-Out Kit (with everything to eat and drink on the go) , a Body Care Kit (including a bamboo toothbrush, soap and biodegradable floss), A Green Clean Kit (including beautiful Wooden brushes and a laundry stain remover bar that really works) & a Stainless Steel Straw Kit (including a carrying case and a cleaner). This is a perfect gift for a student or child living away from home in order to take care of their basic lifestyle needs - or for someone just getting into zero waste living! 


We wish you all the best this holiday season and thank you for being a part of the green movement.  We all make a difference with our choices!  Happy Holidays to you and yours!

06 April 2018

Copper H2O

We are really excited to have these beautiful handcrafted copper water bottles from Copper H2O in the store, made by skilled artisans using traditional methods. All of the bottles are made out of 100% pure high quality food-safe copper without any other metals alloys or linings to provide all of the time-tested benefits of using copper! A great minimalist product that can help you ditch the plastic habit & alkalize your drinking water!


Here are their "Top Ten Reasons Why a Copper Water Bottle Can Change Your Life" :

1. Improves the Digestive System

Drinking from a copper water bottle is very beneficial to the digestive system. It flushes out the stomach and digestive tract and helps detox the liver and kidneys. It also increases the absorption of nutrients from food and helps encourage peristalsis, which is the rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the stomach that helps digest food and move it through the digestive system. Drinking from our copper vessels also helps kill harmful bacteria and prevent an upset stomach.

2. Builds a Strong Immune System

Copper is well-known for its incredible anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Copper is especially effective against E. coli and S.aureus, two bacteria that are commonly found in our environment and are known to cause severe illnesses in the human body. In fact, recent studies have shown that storing water in a copper vessel will dramatically decrease the risk of bacterial contamination. Copper water vessels have been used for centuries in countries around the world (like India) that lack a good sanitation system in order to help prevent water-borne diseases.

3. Supports Weight Loss

In addition to improving the functioning of your digestive system and building a strong immune system, drinking from a copper water bottle will help your body break down fat and eliminate it as efficiently as possible. Combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, drinking from a copper vessel can be a safe and all-natural way to maintain a healthy weight.

4. Prevents Aging

Drinking from a copper water bottle can also dramatically decrease the appearance of fine lines and slow the appearance of aging. Water stored in a copper vessel is loaded with anti-oxidants, aids the production of new skin cells, and fights off free radicals which contribute to the appearance of aging.

5. Prevents Cancer

Because water stored in a copper vessel is loaded with anti-oxidants, it is also effective at helping prevent and fight off cancer. In fact, studies conducted by the American Cancer Society have shown that copper has significant anti-cancer effects on the body and prevents the onset of cancer.

6. Maintains Cardiovascular Health

Studies have also shown that copper helps minimize the risk of developing heart disease, helps regulate blood pressure, and lowers cholesterol levels. Copper also helps prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries and dilates blood vessels to allow better flow of blood to the heart.

7. Supports the Thyroid Gland

Copper cannot be produced within the body and needs to be sourced from external sources. Studies have shown that people that experience problems with their thyroid generally suffer from low levels of copper. While copper deficiency is most common with people that suffer from hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid gland), copper deficiency is also common with people that experience hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid gland). Copper is one of the most important minerals and is essential in order for your thyroid gland and body to function properly. Drinking from a copper water bottle helps combat copper deficiency and regulate the proper functioning of your thyroid gland. In addition, copper aids the body’s absorption of iron, which is essential to maintain healthy iron levels and prevent anemia.

8. Stimulates the Brain

Copper is a known brain stimulant and helps your mind work faster and more efficiently. The brain works by transmitting impulses from one neuron to another through an area known as the synapses. These neurons are covered by the myelin sheath that acts like a sort of conductive agent. Copper aids in the synthesis of materials that are essential for the formation of these myelin sheaths.

9. Fights Arthritis and Inflamed Joints

Copper's anti-inflammatory properties help relieve aches and pains caused by arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflamed joints. In addition, copper strengthens the bones and immune system, which makes it an excellent remedy for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

10. Keeps Skin Healthy and Acne Free

Copper is the key component in the production of new cells that help replenish the top layers of your skin and keep it fresh and glowing. The production of new cells promotes smooth, blemish-free and clear skin. Experts say that drinking from a copper water bottle on a regular basis, especially early in the morning, can make a very significant difference to the health of your skin.


For more information check out their website: https://www.copperh2o.com/