Giving Back for Random Acts of Kindness Week

At Organic Grocer we’re so pleased to be blessed enough to be giving back often and generously!  During Random Acts of Kindness Week we’re reminded why we do what we do – and we hope we can inspire you to give back kindness wherever and however you can too!

 

When you shop at Organic Grocer you’re doing more than supporting a 25 year old local business owned and operated by Surrey residents – you’re supporting LOCAL & INTERNATIONAL charities that make a real impact.

Every year the owners of Organic Grocer, located in the Newton neighbourhood of Surrey BC, donate generously to several local charities that directly impact their community’s most vulnerable residents.  Without these charities the owners believe that Surrey would be a much poorer and meaner place to live.  We hope that you’ll consider supporting them too during Random Acts of Kindness Week – and all throughout the year!

The owners also support international charities that are inspiring significant change around the world and moving industry forward ethically.  Finally, Garth & Deb also encourage their staff to find forward thinking companies that are making a difference through their products and services so that we can feature them in our store!  We hope that you find this article inspiring and that you will feel even better about shopping with Organic Grocer knowing that your hard earned dollars are doing good all around the world.

 

SOME AMAZING LOCAL COMMUNITY CHARITIES:

 

Surrey Women’s Centre 

The Surrey Women’s Centre protects and empowers women and girls.  It is a crisis centre for women and girls escaping domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence.  The Surrey Women’s Centre is the only women’s Centre in Surrey, BC. They are often the first and sometimes the only place women and girls in need call for help.

It is only because of generous daily donations that these women and girls have a safe place to turn.

The Centre is open 24 hours per day. 7 days per week. 365 days per year.

 

Surrey Food Bank 

Hunger affects us all; it knows no age, it knows no race and it knows no season. At the Surrey Food Bank they have created specialised programs to ensure they are providing food assistance to everyone who needs a hand up in our community.  

Hungry clients may visit the Surrey Food Bank and receive a nutritious supply of food every 14 days. The Food Bank’s goal is to provide sufficient food for 3 to 4 days, offering vegetarian and non-vegetarian options based on Canada’s Food Guide for Healthy Eating.   However, the Food Bank is limited in what they can offer as they can only supply what has been donated.

 

 SOURCES BC (at Peace Arch Hospital)

In 1978, Peace Arch Community Services (PACS) was formed to serve the Surrey and White Rock community. Only a few thousand people sought its services and referral information; but as family and social challenges intensified, so did the need for PACS volunteers and professionals to help others overcome adversity and build a better life. In 2008 the organization provided direct service to approximately 12,300 individuals. SOURCES was born in 2010 as other agencies consolidated their services with PACS; these included Gateway Autism Society and Gateway Autism Foundation (2010), Newton Advocacy Group Society (2011), South Fraser Women’s Services Society (2012) and Cornerstone Care Society (2015).

SOURCES now strives to create more vibrant and resilient communities by offering support to children, youth, families, persons with disabilities, seniors, and others who are coping with isolation, addiction, poverty, disability and conflict. We also support our communities through leadership, education and volunteerism.

 

Covenant House 

Covenant House provides love and hope to Vancouver’s street youth. Covenant House helps youth aged 16 to 24 who have fled physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse; those who have been forced from their homes; and those who have aged out of foster care.  Covenant House is a premier provider of shelter as well as other services for homeless youth thanks to the hard work and dedication of their staff and volunteers and generous donor’s support.

 

We at the Organic Grocer believe that once a person’s basic needs for food, shelter, and safety are taken care of a beautiful and healthy environment will enrich their lives.

A healthy and vibrant environment doesn’t just create a better place for our animal friends to live, but also creates a healthy and supportive environment for us humans to thrive in as well.  Keeping that in mind, we support several environmental and agrarian charities across the country every year:

 

SOME AMAZING ENVIRONMENTAL CHARITIES: 

 

Burns Bog Conservation Society

The Burns Bog Conservation Society networks with leading scientists to give and distribute accurate and up-to-date information on peatlands. In 1995 Dr David Bellemy discovered that Burns Bog was regenerating after the peat harvesting. He told the Society “you have proved by accident in Burns Bog the theory that the bog will regenerate within 40 years!”

When you give to the Burns Bog Conservation Society, you become part of a powerful movement to save one of our country’s most fragile and precious ecosystems – Burns Bog. Thank you for protecting “the lungs of the Lower Mainland.”

 

Did you know that you can Adopt an Animal for your Valentine?

 

Young Agrarians

Young Agrarians (YA) is a network for new and young ecological and organic farmers. Since they started January 2012, the network has grown across Canada from coast to coast because of farmers who have organized events (mixers, farm tours & potlucks, apprentice meet-ups, etc.)  The network is made up of a diverse array of food growers and lovers: rural and urban farmers, market gardeners, seed savers, food activists, bee keepers, community gardeners, food/farmer organizations and more.  All of who are working to steward land and soil, and grow our local food systems.

Young Agrarians recognises Indigenous title to all lands in Canada. They feel it is their responsibility to care for and respect the land that we all live on and depend upon for water, food and shelter. In a time of climate change, we must all do our part to nurture resilient food systems (local, ecological and equitably produced) choosing with our dollars, values and hands to consume and produce foods that are healthy for us and future generations.

 

Canadian Organic Growers 

COG’s mission is to lead local and national communities towards sustainable organic stewardship of land, food and fibre while respecting nature, upholding social justice and protecting natural resources.

Not all COG members run certified organic operations, but they share a vision for a sustainable bioregionally-based organic food system. COG members believe that organic food production is the best choice for the health of consumers and producers, for the protection and enhancement of the environment, and for the sustainability of the food production system. In fact we believe that the survival of our country and even of the planet depends on it!

 

FarmFolk CityFolk 

FarmFolk CityFolk is a not for profit society that works to cultivate a local, sustainable food system. Their projects provide access to & protection of foodlands; support local growers and producers; and engage communities in the celebration of local food.

“Something happens to people who plant seeds–it is impossible to watch a plant grow and flourish without getting a sense of the miracle of all life.”

-Herb Barbolet, Co-founder of FarmFolk CityFolk

 

Certified Organic Association of BC  

COABC’s approach to food production is based on care for the earth. They recognize that as human beings, we are one creature among many which are all inter-related and interdependent. The COABC is part of an organic movement that embraces a wide diversity of activities and enterprises related to the organic production of food and encompass all sizes of operations.

One of the tools the COABC uses is a regulatory framework to permit exports.  Their priority is the establishment and maintenance of local food systems. They accept the principles of organic farming and processing identified by the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) and engage in research of appropriate techniques to enable us to put them all into practice.

 

We know that donating directly to charities is meaningful and changes lives daily – but sometimes it’s best to support initiatives that are run by companies and organisations which we trust and which we know will direct funds into the most needy hands and environments.

Because we want our dollars to make a meaningful impact we look for products that we can carry brought to us by companies and organisations doing really meaningful work!  Two such companies come to mind (below), but don’t forget that any of the fair trade products we carry make a difference in the lives of people around the world!  That’s why we strive to carry a fair trade option wherever possible.

 

 

Alaffia Body Care Products

Buy an Alafffia product and contribute to their Empowerment initiatives in Africa with every purchase.  Empowerment Projects are Alaffia’s mission in action, funded by the sales of Alaffia products.  Alaffia invests in their communities because they believe it is their moral responsibility to ensure African resources empower African communities. Their goal is to alleviate poverty and encourage gender equality.  Alaffia’s Empowerment Projects include several Education-Based Projects, Maternal Health, FGM Eradication, Eyeglasses and Reforestation. All of Alaffia’s projects empower Togolese communities to provide their skills and knowledge to the rest of the world and to rise out of poverty.

As of 2017 Alfaffia’s Empowerment Initiatives have:
•• DISTRIBUTED 7,482 BIKES ••  •• GIVEN 32,842 CHILDREN SCHOOL SUPPLIES ••  •• BUILT 2,261 SCHOOL BENCHES ••  •• CONSTRUCTED 10 SCHOOLS ••  •• FUNDED 4,463 BIRTHS ••  •• PLANTED 57,575 TREES ••  •• DONATED 24,927 EYEGLASSES ••

Learn more here:  https://alaffia.com/empowerment/

 

Natural Calm Magnesium & Calcium Products

Every purchase of Natural Calm Products supports the Organics 4 Orphans Charity which supports organic gardening, nutritional training, natural medicine and income generation in communities across Africa.

 

Natural Factors and the Plant a Seed and See What Grows Foundation

Every purchase of a Whole Earth & Sea Supplement sends $2 directly to the Plant a Seed and See What Grows Foundation – a local charity that creates a lot of buzz around food and the interconnectedness that unites us all.   We are all interconnected with one another, with our food, with our environment and with our communities. And we are what we eat. And we are stewards of our land. And we are what we contribute to our communities.  At Plant a Seed Foundation, they nurture a sense of interconnectivity with one another, with our food, our land and our communities. They are committed to helping others to:

They further support our local communities by:

We hope that knowing the hard earned dollars you spend at Organic Grocer are making a significant difference every day in both local lives and lives across the globe brings warmth to your heart and a smile to your face. 

Now get out there and make a difference in someone’s life!

FEATURED PRODUCT: Marseille’s Remedy Thieves’ Oil & Balm: Ancient Remedy for Modern Times

marseilles-remedy-product-photo-6The Folklore

In 1413, as the bubonic plague decimated France, thieves were arrested for robbing dead and dying plague victims, a crime punishable by burning alive.  The judge offered them leniency for their terrible crimes if they would share the secret which enabled them to expose themselves to the plague without contracting it.  The thieves explained that they were perfume makers and spice merchants who were unemployed due to the closure of France’s sea ports.  They had prepared a special herbal infusion which they applied to their hands, ears, feet, masks, and temples and this protected them from infection.  As promised, the judge did not burn the men alive…He hanged them instead.  Soon after, plague doctors began to wear beak-like masks stuffed with absorbent material soaked in the Thieves’ blend to protect them from disease.

The Thieves’ original blend, containing vinegar and garlic, was known primarily as Vinaigre de Marseille. This formula was marketed by medical suppliers as the first line of defence for hundreds of years, and has been a staple of pestilent prevention in every plague since its formulation. The rise of the modern pharmacopeia saw this staple placed in the pages of forgotten history. Marseille’s Remedy is the most traditional concentrated form of this time- honoured recipe. Its applications are numerous, as a treatment for all of life’s hygienic needs.

A Powerful, Versatile Remedy

Marseille’s Remedy is an all-natural blend of five pure, high-grade, therapeutic essential oils used to improve wellness, health, and vitality. It consists of the organic, steam-distilled oils of Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus and Rosemary, plus the true cold-pressed oil of Lemon. These are sourced from Sri Lanka (the first two), Australia, France and Italy, respectively. This authentic blend naturally balances, safeguards, and synergizes (or strengthens) the healing properties of various essential oil constituents.

It can be mixed with any carrier oil for topical use, vinegar or soap for cleaning, baking soda for teeth, or used directly in a diffuser to purify air.

Its applications and usages are many, and when applied correctly, Marseille’s Remedy is a very effective antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral treatment.

We have received many happy testimonials from customers, including in successfully treating acne, boils, warts, cold sores, and colds/coughs amongst their families, to refreshing indoor air quality, eliminating their pet’s fleas, or wiping out surface molds, among others.

Suggested Uses:

  • Clears phlegm and congested airways
  • Relieves inflammation due to sprain/strain/rheumatoid arthritis
  • Antispasmodic for symptomatic relief of digestive discomfort
  • Eliminates airborne pathogens and foul odours
  • Antifungal: Feet, hands, scalp, and mold remediation
  • Use as hand sanitizer or all-purpose cleaner
  • Can aid in the treatment and prevention of topical infectious ailments
  • Deters mites, lice, worms, fleas, and mosquitoes

Applications:

  • Topical: Combine 2 drops of Marseilles Remedy with 40 drops of carrier oil, and massage into skin, muscles, or joints.
  • Direct Inhalation: For cough and cold, apply 2 to 6 drops undiluted product to a handkerchief/tissue and inhale. Alternatively, diffuse in boiling water or in an essential oil diffuser.
  • Household: Mix with soapy water, or diluted vinegar, to clean, and sanitize. Use undiluted to remediate mold around the house, or deter pests.

 

Thieves’ Balm:

The Balm is like having a popular muscle rub product combined with the favorite leading chest rub, merged into one effective and all-natural ointment. It contains over 50% of the Marseille’s Thieves’ Oil blend, plus some grapeseed oil and beeswax for pleasant texture, plus a warming natural camphor, and a soothing, deeply penetrating natural menthol (peppermint oil compound).

The balm is effective for many of the aforementioned uses, but also can “stick” longer to the skin, so is better suited for continual topical treatments, such as in respiratory disorders, or for joint or muscle aches or injury areas.

Some parents have reported how quickly it acted as an expectorant to help expel their child’s chest cold, and many clients have had success treating symptoms of back or other body pain. Recurrent daily use can help the body modulate the inflammatory response, and resolve conditions more easily.

Since Marseille’s Remedy is a concentrated, undiluted pure blend, use responsibly. Avoid contact with eyes, membranes, or other sensitive body areas. Read label before using.

 

Have a Cheerful and Healthy Autumn and Winter!

6 Tips for Choosing Natural Sunscreen

Here’s something that should be top of mind this summer: stocking up on natural sunscreen. Here are a few foolproof tips to ensure you’re getting the best product for you and your family.

Opt for cream

Keep it simple: the best sunscreen formulations, as recommended by the Environmental Working Group, are the plain liquid cream forms that we grew up using. Other forms, such as sprays, powders, or towelettes don’t guarantee that we get proper coverage. Plus, spray formulations pose inhalation safety risks.

Oh, and you can forget about the sunscreen/bug repellent duos: these products are better on their own, since they usually have separate usage times in the day and different usage directions. 

Don’t be fooled by high SPFs

Trick question: does SPF 60 filter out twice the amount of UVB radiation SPF 30 does? Nope, even though many people think so. In fact, SPF 30 filters out 97 percent of rays, while SPF 50 only filters out an additional 1 percent. That’s why experts worry that people are led astray by high SPFs. Plus, high SPFs are often filled with higher doses of chemicals than lower SPFs.

Generally, higher SPFs are no better than mid-range SPFs. Choose an SPF 30, and reapply often. 

Be wary of moisturizers with SPF

Just as people tend to fall back on believing that higher SPFs will protect them, we also have tendency to believe that the small amount of sunscreen in facial moisturizer or makeup is enough. Generally, it’s not. And remember: sunscreen should be applied more than once a day. 

Avoid vitamin A and oxybenzone

These are two sneaky ingredients that seem to find their way into many mainstream products. Oxybenzone is suspected to play a role in allergic reactions and hormonal disruptions, while vitamin A (or retinyl palmitate) is thought by the EWG to play a role in the development of skin tumours, and it increases skin sensitivity to sunlight. 

Choose mineral sunscreens

What’s the best active ingredient? Mineral sunscreens made from zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are generally believed to be safe. 

Check out your natural health retailer

While you’ll still likely need to do some product label reading, the best place to start your sunscreen shopping is at your natural health retailer. They’ll have the biggest range of natural products and knowledgeable staff to help you choose. Like any skin care product, you may want to try a couple brands to find one that you really love. Thankfully, there’s lots of selection on the market!

Gleaned From Alive Magazine Online

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