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Why I Went Green

When we hear words like sustainable, eco-friendly — skincare and beauty don’t automatically come to our minds. Many of us are not even aware of the number of chemicals we expose ourselves to, by using chemically laden skincare and makeup products. To celebrate Earth Month, we chatted with some of Canada’s leading ladies in the green beauty and health space. They share with us their inspiration, actions and obviously, favourite beauty products and tips to inspire you on your own green beauty path.


Michelle Bilodeau




Website: the-eco-edit

Instagram: @mbilodeau


1) Tell us about yourself:

 I am a beauty, fashion and lifestyle journalist based in Toronto. I have a young daughter, who is amazing — obviously! And I have been preaching the green beauty movement for years, including as a green beauty expert on The Social. 

 

2) What made you decide you wanted to take action to help our environment?

 My father, who was very environmentally aware, passed away in 2013 due to complications from leukemia, a purely environmental cancer. Before he passed away, he told me to be a disruptor in journalism and to do things a little bit differently. He was right. The minute I finally focussed on what I was passionate about, being a journalist started to mean so much more to me. I have always been concerned about what we put on and in our body, but that really became my mission after my dad got sick. 

 

3) How are you making a positive environmental impact on the planet?

 I hope that I am helping people make informed choices about their purchases, whether that be through beauty or fashion, through the stories that I write and the segments that I co-host on The Social. I am also teaching my husband about how to recycle properly. Which in turn, we'll both pass onto our daughter. 

 

4) Share your favourite green beauty secret with us. 

Bar soap is my best friend. Any time I can buy a natural bar of soap, I will. Less plastic and good ingredients, how can you go wrong? 

 

5) What is your favourite Pure + Simple service? 

Any of the facials! I am a sucker for a really good facial, and Pure + Simple does them really well.


Joy McCarthy


Website: joyoushealth.com

Instagram: @joyoushealth


1) Tell us about yourself:

I'm a holistic nutritionist, cookbook author (Joyous Health and Joyous Detox -- book 3 comes out later this year!) and most importantly, a mama! I started my blog Joyoushealth.com 10 years ago as a way to share my passion, my recipes and my knowledge of a healthy lifestyle with others.


2) What made you decide you wanted to take action to help our environment?

Our everyday choices from choosing whether to buy organic apples to what beauty products we slather on our face to what products we use to clean our toilet bow all impact the environment. Even though I'm only one person, I know that my choices have an impact on our planet. I believe I have a responsibility to educate and inform my community as well.

3) How are you making a positive environmental impact on the planet?

I walk my daughter to school instead of drive most days (even on freezing cold days). I shop at my local and independent health food stores and support local farms by shopping at farmer's markets, I use only green beauty products and green household cleaners. I avoid plastic when I can, from storage containers to food in plastic packaging which can be a tough one because a lot of really great products in plastic but having awareness of this means I use LESS plastic. It's all about the little things. All of these things I do, I share on social media and my blog to educate others.


4) Share your favourite green beauty secret with us.

I only wash my face once per day. I guess I'm saving a little water! :) And it's better for my skin. Also, I only use green beauty products.


5) What is your favourite Pure + Simple service?

Definitely the Super Hydrating facial!


Michelle Siman


Podcast: Lemon water

Instagram: @simansays


1) Tell us about yourself:

My names Michelle and I'm the founder and host of the Lemon Water podcast.


2) What made you decide you wanted to take action to help our environment?

The earth and our bodies are very similar, we are only given one of them and we spend our entire lives living in them! The environment plays a huge part in our quality of life, so not taken action would actually be selfish.


3) How are you making a positive environmental impact on the planet?

Making sure I'm actively supporting brands that are doing their part for the planet and of course limiting my plastic usage and walking everywhere!


4) Share your favourite green beauty secret with us.

  • I rinse my hair with Apple Cider Vinegar, to remove product buildup

  • 3L of water of day for clear skin


5) What is your favourite Pure + Simple service?

Super hydrating facial with LED Light therapy!


Emma Rohmann


Website: greenathome.ca

Instagram: @emma_greenathome


1) Tell us about yourself:

I'm a mom of 2, wife of 1, environmental engineer, and the founder of Green at Home. My idea of the perfect vacation is backcountry canoe camping, I lift weights and play ultimate frisbee, and I love Ontario wine and beer. How's that for balance ;).


2) What made you decide you wanted to take action to help our environment?

I have always loved being in nature and developed a respect for the environment early on. My dad was an environmentalist and I think it rubbed off on me. In my engineering undergrad, I study water treatment plants and learned about the damage we were doing to our water from all the chemicals we put down our drains. I ended up quitting conventional cleaners cold turkey as a result. That lead me to look more into the impact our daily lives have on the environment and my interest in green living continued to grow from there.


3) How are you making a positive environmental impact on the planet?

I enjoyed a 10-year career in the green building field, working to reduce the environmental footprint of large office buildings and community developments. It was very rewarding work and I felt like I was making a difference. But after having my kids and doing some serious research into ingredients once again, I developed a passion for educating and supporting other families around toxins, in a balanced and thoughtful way.


My interest in toxins back in university started out of concern for the environment, but I've realized the profound effect everyday products have on our health as well. When I became aware of the links between common ingredients in our homes and chronic disease, I knew I had to take action. After all, people can't care about the environment if they're too sick! So, I started my business Green at Home to provide science-based, practical resources and tools to help families reduce toxic chemicals at home.

4) Share your favourite green beauty secret with us.

I am what you would call a minimalist when it comes to my beauty routine. I like to keep it simple, focusing on products that are multi-purpose, where possible to reduce waste and save money, and of course, they have to have healthy ingredients. The ThinkDirty App is one of my favourite resources when checking out ingredient lists.  


5) What is your favourite Pure + Simple service?

The Urban Renewal Facial! It's the perfect combination of relaxation and skin treatments that are perfect for my sensitive skin.


Sarah + Christine


Website: wellnesstravelled.com

Instagram: @wellnesstravelled


1) Tell us about yourself:

We are sisters, best friends, business partners, and the ultimate travel buddies. We share a passion not just for traveling but using our precious time away from the city "grind" to enrich our lives in a positive way. From learning to scuba dive – to practicing yoga by the oceanside – to giving back to local communities, we are on a mission not just to be well travelled, but to travel well.


Wellness Travelled has become a passion project to share our travel philosophy with others. Our mission is to empower travellers to make informed and thoughtful travel decisions that are kind to themselves, the locals (humans and animals), and the planet. Whether it’s promoting ethical animal tourism, eco-friendly hotels, plant-based restaurants, or zero waste travel products, Wellness Travelled can give you the tools you need to be a more environmentally and health conscious traveller.

When we're not travelling, Christine works for SickKids Foundation as a creative marketer and Sarah has her own travel agency business.


2) What made you decide you wanted to take action to help our environment?

We both grew up like many typical Canadian kids - camping, cottaging, and playing outdoors. Over the years, it's been hard to see these incredible places we cherish get ruined by trash, over-development, or just a simple lack of respect. We noticed it, even more, when we would travel, from spraying toxic sunscreens around bio-reserves to ashing out cigarettes in the sand to witnessing cruel animal attractions. Besides seeing it firsthand, we are being exposed to environmental devastation through social media and documentaries. As influencers who promote travel, we knew that it would become our mission to help people travel for their own well-being and the wellbeing of the earth. Because we are indeed connected and we can only be as healthy as our planet.


3) How are you making a positive environmental impact on the planet?

Sarah and I quickly realized that the best way to make a big impact is to build an audience on Instagram and our blog to spread awareness about environmental issues, mainly centred around travelling. We love that with social media you can reach thousands, if not millions of people. Our focus is on how we can all become better travellers - an industry that has so many positives but also can be detrimental if not done properly. We like to create practical and attainable advice and tips for our readers - anything from zero waste travel tips to promoting eco hotels, to showcasing skincare products that won't harm our ocean. We even started doing beach and hiking trail cleanups while we travel and so many people have joined in - we've picked up over 15 bags of litter on just 2 vacations! Sometimes we doubt that we make any difference until someone reaches out over DM or a text to tell us about how we inspired them to do a beach clean up or switch to reusable straws. It's messages like these that keep us going every single day.


4) Share your favourite green beauty secret with us.

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