Month #1 – Household goods

Have you ever considered how much stuff you regularly consume and replace around your house? Even when you disregard food, there are cupboards full of things that you use up. Here’s my list, organized into the two basic groups of Kitchen and Bathroom.

Kitchen Stuff

  • Dish-washing liquid
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Paper towel
  • Saran wrap
  • Garbage bags
  • Aluminum foil
  • Laundry detergent

Bathroom Stuff

  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair goo (at least, that’s what I call this stuff)
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Shaving cream
  • Disposable razors
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Eye bag remover

I’m just kidding about that last one. I mean, who am I, Patrick Dempsey?

In short, it’s everything under your kitchen sink, and in your bathroom cupboards. I’m calling this stuff “household goods”, though I’m shopping around for a better name. Any suggestions?

The Rules

Household goods are the first category of Canadian stuff I’m consuming. What’s my criteria for this month? Ideally, I’m looking for products that are entirely sourced and produced in Canada, excluding the packaging. Lots of products, of course, are “made in Canada” (more on this later), but few are completely sourced in our country.

There will no doubt be items which, no matter how hard I look, are not sourced in Canada. In that case, I’ll have to settle for manufactured in Canada.

Images courtesy of Don O’Brien.



  1. [...] Month #1 – Household goods [...]

  2. Hilary (Reply) Posted on January 14, 2011

    Check out Sapadilla green cleaning products, based out of North Vancouver. Here’s a review Saul Brown did for our local goods blog, with info on where to buy it locally: http://ht.ly/3E6jW

  3. Christina (Reply) Posted on January 14, 2011

    I’m not sure if they’re sourced or even made in Canada, but just in case they look like a possible alternative, I wanted to warn you against Kelowna-based company’s Black Mountain Pure dishwasher detergent. It is the most useless product I have ever bought in my life!

    Also, I know you’re not at food yet, but when you get there, if you really don’t want to visit the farmers’ markets, check out one of the local produce delivery companies (Green Earth Organics or SPUD). They tell you where their produce comes from, so you could order all-Canadian produce without ever leaving the house.

  4. Val (Reply) Posted on January 17, 2011

    How easily (locally) accessible must your purchases be? For example, sometimes you’ll be able to find things online – “made in Canada” products that are simply not available in your area. Or does that defeat the purpose?

    PS I really appreciate that you post all your findings in spreadsheet form for easy access.

  5. My 2011 Project: One Year, One Canadian

    [...] products and services each month, so the effect is cumulative. Things are pretty easy now–month #1 is ‘household goods’, but they’re going to be weird and uncomfortable in six or eight [...]

  6. Derek K. Miller (Reply) Posted on January 18, 2011

    Val raises an interesting point: it might be fun to try to get some products from, say, PEI or Newfoundland (or Nunavut–diamonds anyone?) just for the sake of it, since you’d rarely do so under normal circumstances. A good excuse to eat some mussels, potatoes, and lobster anyway.

  7. LA (Reply) Posted on January 18, 2011

    I can’t attest to all the details about sourcing, but I can say that I’ve used these products and find them very good (even though I wish there was some alternative to the plastic packaging). They also make dishwasher tabs, not shown in the pic:

    http://www.bebbingtonindustries.com/down_east.html

    Garbage bags: http://www.billyboot.com/

  8. David (Reply) Posted on January 19, 2011

    Nellie’s all natural — Vancouver iirc: http://nelliesallnatural.com/
    Laundry related stuff, namely. Not cheap though :)

  9. Bruce Miller (Reply) Posted on January 23, 2011

    Shaving Cream

    Saw the CTV story on what you are doing. I never thought it would be hard to do but we rely so much to try and walk the rows of our favorite store and look for the brand names or a price point. I would be curious on qualty, price and variaty once your all done. I am going to start looking as I shop now.

    There is a shaving cream called Super Max which is at Dollarama and Zellers. Google it under shaving cream made in Canada.

    Have a great adventure.

    Bruce Miller
    Toronto

  10. Kerry (Reply) Posted on January 23, 2011

    Fantastic idea! Looking forward to following your journey.

    For cleaning products try Nature Clean and for personal hygiene items have a look at Prairie Naturals.

  11. Megan (Reply) Posted on January 23, 2011

    JM Fraser is a Canadian made shaving cream, and can be found at

    http://www.fendrihan.com

    Here is a link to a site about the product. I couldn’t locate how Canadian is was, but it was created in Canada at least.
    http://www.shoeboxshaveshop.com/jm-fraser39s-shaving-crea39.html

    Good luck

  12. Ixxy (Reply) Posted on January 23, 2011

    Late on the bandwagon, but there’s this shampoo I’m using, that’s made in Canada.

    http://www.carinaorganics.com/

    It’s by this company. Depending on where you get it, you can go back to the store, and then get the bottle refilled, instead of just tossing out the bottle when you’re done. Hope this helps!

  13. Barbara (Reply) Posted on January 23, 2011

    Read about your little project today on the CTV website and you were asking about shaving cream that was Canadian, so while I was at work I checked some labels. Old Spice is Canadian made. I look forward to see how this turns out for you.

    Good luck

  14. Kevinsky (Reply) Posted on January 23, 2011

    I haven’t used shaving cream in years. I use ivory bar soap lathered on with a good quality shaving brush. You could probably find a good natural Canadian bar soap and do the same.

  15. Cole (Reply) Posted on January 23, 2011

    From what I am told. Lush shaving cream is made in Canada. Either Toronto or Vancouver

    • Natalie B (Reply) Posted on January 25, 2011

      Almost all of LUSH products are made in Canada. At the beginning it was mostly soap, but they have expanded to most bath products and they have a line of fresh products which have to stay in the fridge. I LOVE the waving not drowning bath bombs. It’s the perfect bath after a long stressful day at the office.
      http://Www.lush.ca

  16. Juli (Reply) Posted on January 24, 2011

    We got a book for Christmas called, ‘Your Guide To The MOST environmentally friendly, information, products and services in CANADA’, “ECOHOLIC”, ‘when you’re addicted to the planet’. All Canadian, all environ friendly, all the time! :-) Good luck!

  17. Jamie (Reply) Posted on January 24, 2011

    Juli, I just requested that book from my library.

    You might be able to find a local person who makes and sells personal care products from local products?

    I do most of my cleaning with baking soda and vinegar. I’ve never thought to look and see if either of those is sourced from Canadian products. I buy the baking soda from the bulk bins though, so it would be hard to find out!

  18. Mary Orr (Reply) Posted on January 24, 2011

    Have you found any clothes pegs made in Canada? I know the ones I used to get were made in Quebec and they lasted so long I have forgotten where I bought them. Now all I can find are ones made in China and they break apart in no time . . .

    • Melissa (Reply) Posted on January 25, 2011

      The clothespins are called Megantic, and they are produced by Megantic Manufacturing Co in Lac-Mégantic, Québec. I have several bags of them, but they were purchased at a garage sale, so I don’t know where you can buy them retail. Perhaps Google it to see? Good luck…they are fantastic quality!!!

  19. Lea Smith (Reply) Posted on January 25, 2011

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking on this project. I am so looking forward to reading your results. I am frustrated reading labels to find out that items are not even made on this continent. I’m right there will you – let’s go!!!

  20. Natalie B (Reply) Posted on January 25, 2011

    First I would like to congratulate you and thank you for going public with what you are doing. For my part I’ve been buying Canadian made, or North American made whenever possible for the last 10 years. The way I see it is if you buy Made in Canada someone keeps their job one day longer which ends up costing me less in taxes ( unemployment rates stay lower) but that can be a whole other topic of conversation.
    Here are 2 companies which you might enjoy : Fruits & Passion, they have 2 lines of products bath and kitchen. I don’t know if all the ingredients are Canadian, but the products are made here and are as natural as possible. They smell and work great.
    The second is Enchanted Meadow, also bath products Made in Canada. Website is http://www.enchanted meadow.ca
    Again really nice bath products.
    Hope you enjoy the products.

  21. chris (Reply) Posted on February 2, 2011

    Why are you using paper towels? Totally ungreen and a useless product. I always use old cloths, rags. Save a few Canadian trees and money.

  22. [...] Month #1 – Household goods [...]

  23. Nicole (Reply) Posted on March 9, 2011

    Apologies if this site has already been posted, but I just found your blog. I’m super excited to follow your progress and also follow your lead!!

    Here’s a website of a local Mission, BC company making cleaning products – some are sold at the local Safeway, but I’m not sure if all Safeways are carrying their products.

    http://www.vipsoap.com/

    Good luck!!

  24. Mary Elaine Carty (Reply) Posted on August 9, 2011

    Hi Check out this Canadian Company, products made in Midland Ontario. I’m pleased with the skin care (for men also) and home cleaning products!