2020 Green Business Of The Year Nominee Information

Green Business Of The Year

Business Name: Twig

When did you decide to make your business more environmentally friendly? TWIG (thetwig.ca) was created in 2018 with the goal of offering plastic-free alternatives to the commonly used products that people use every day. There are some great products on the market that are organic, natural, etc but our goal is to ensure that the products we carry come in plastic-free packaging on top of being green. More than 40% of plastic is used just once and then tossed. Plastic waste is not only and environmental problem but a health issue as well. Microplastics, and other toxic chemicals found in plastic, have found there way into our bodies and the impacts are detrimental. TWIG was created to offer consumers plastic free products that are healthier for people and the planet while also offering our community of followers education and information on how to live a low waste life. In 2019, we launched a small wholesale line of products which included organic cotton produce bags, bulk bags, grocery bags, stainless steel straw sets, and bamboo cutlery sets that some grocery stores and health food stores have stocked.

TWIG stands for Time Waste Is Gone. We encourage our community & customers to get as close to zero waste as they can. We realize that not everyone is committed to living completely zero waste, but we believe everyone can start somewhere. We offer bamboo tootbrushes which are compostable as an alternative to plastic, we offer beeswax food wraps as an alternative to plastic, we carry plastic free laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, dish soap, shampoo bars, toothpaste tablets, lip balms in compostable packaging, organic skin care, deodorants in compostable packaging, bamboo hairbrushes, safety razors, reusable organic cotton produce bags, bulk bags, compostable bamboo cotton swabs, reusable baggies, reusable water bottles, organic cotton lunch bags, stainless steel products and MORE!

A twig is a small thin branch of a tree or a shoot; it signifies growth. To us this image reflects the idea that we can all make changes in our lifestyle that will have a larger impact. There is no denying that our lifestyle habits, which are often wasteful, are negatively impacting our planet. We all have to be part of the solution when it comes to protecting and preserving our earth and its systems.

More and more zero-waste products are becoming available for every aspect of life!

What steps are you currently taking to make your business more environmentally friendly? Our mission is to offer as many earth friendly, natural, plastic free products as possible and our product line is always growing. Most of the products we carry are from local makers and made in Canada. When that hasn’t been possible, then we have sourced from Canadian companies and distributors.

Our TWIG line of organic cotton produce, bulk, and grocery bags were ethically made in partnership with a World Fair Trade Organization in India that provides opportunities for people with disabilities, and people affected by leprosy, achieve social and economic integration by fair trading.

We reuse boxes and packing paper and never ship products with any kind of plastic packaging. If customers are local we often drop them off at the door/or they pick them up rather than ship. Every product we carry is meant to be environmentally friendly. When makers, suppliers and distributors are shipping to us, we also always ask that they do not ship with any plastic packaging as well.

TWIG is also powered by Bullfrog Power Company which means that we reduce our carbon footprint by more than 1.6 tonnes/year! All of the energy going onto the grid to power us is coming from clean, renewable sources. We are also supporting the development of new, community-based green energy projects across Canada.

We are also a Green Act Business Member through Random Acts of Green which is a community of individuals and businesses who are dedicated to encouraging and motivating people to choose greener choices. TWIG helps support this movement and the RAOG mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through simple changes – either big or small!

We are also monthly supporters of Greenpeace Canada.

Lastly, everything from the paper we use to print receipts to the hand written post cards in each order, is printed on FSC certified 100% recycled (post consumer) paper products.

Why is being a more green business important to you? Being a green business is important to us because we realize that the planet is suffering because of our dependency on plastic and single use products. It doesn’t make sense to us that a single use item, designed to be used for only a matter of minutes, is made out of a material that will last for hundreds of years, polluting the planet.

We also believe that people are looking for cleaner, healthier product options for themselves and their families and we want to provide that for them. I am also a mother of 3 and want to be a good steward of the earth and it’s resources for my children and grand-children. This is more than just a business for me, it is a lifestyle and goal that I am pursuing. I am always challenging myself to find new ways to reduce our household waste. It’s not just about sales, it’s about raising awareness and inspiring others to make changes in their own lives that are better for them and the planet.

Do you have plans to make your business more environmentally sustainable? We are always looking at ways that we can make TWIG more sustainable! I am always looking for new, sustainable, plastic free products that we can add to the e-store. I regularly attend webinars and training sessions on plastic pollution, on understanding Canada’s electricity system and renewable sources, and our goal in the next year is to become a member of 1% for the planet.

We also have an online community of TWIGGYS, who receive weekly emails from us on Wasteless Wednesdays with featured products, sales and tips on how they can be reducing waste.

What challenges have you encountered while trying to green your business? One of the challenges to operating a green business is that the retail price on many of the products we sell is higher than the commercial alternatives. Most people, who are committed to living a cleaner and low waste life, are willing to spend more on these products because overall they are probably buying less and are intentional about their purchases.

Another challenge is the reality that not everyone wants to make changes to their lifestyle habits. It’s easy to get take away coffees in a disposable cup rather than make coffee at home or use a reusable tumbler. It’s easier to buy disposable plastic baggies and toss them out at the end of the day instead of washing and drying reusable baggies. I believe that we have become a disposable culture. For businesses like TWIG, there is an important educational component to increase awareness and help consumers understand why it is important to shop local, to choose green products, and products that come plastic-free and low waste.