Let's Talk Sustainability!

One of our founding commitments as a business in the health and beauty space is prioritizing sustainability. In our early days, despite the shoestring budget, sustainability practices were implemented right out of the gate. While towing the fine line between fiscal responsibility and our steadfast determination not to contribute to the growing environmental impact of the cosmetic industry, The Green Kiss is very proud of these 10 sustainability efforts currently in place in our business. We hope you find inspiration within these practices. 

1. Zero Emissions Shipping (Geazone) 

The Green Kiss offers zero-emissions deliveries to locations in Greater Victoria through Geazone Eco-Courier, a BC-based zero-emission courier company that provides sustainable delivery services. Geazone operates an entirely emission-free fleet comprised of hydrogen and electric-powered vehicles. We're always happy to see their smiling faces and love keeping money in our local economy. 

Geazone Eco-Courier is a BC-based zero-emission courier company that provides sustainable delivery services.

2. Biodegradable Packing Peanuts 

Traditionally, packing peanuts have been made from expanded polystyrene foam, but due to the environmental hazards and health risks of this foam, there has been an industry shift to use biodegradable packing peanuts. We were early adopters of this trend, and can proudly say that since our start in 2011, no Green Kiss packages have ever been sent out with styrofoam packing peanuts. The packing peanuts we use to ship and protect your little glass bottles (of the best natural skincare imaginable) are made of starch. They fully decompose in water, leaving no toxic waste behind, they are biodegradable, should you choose to toss them in your compost, and they're nontoxic. (While we don't recommend eating them as they aren't produced with food-grade starch, they are made from non-harmful plant-based material and well… there may be a Team GK kid or two who ate some...) They also make for fabulous science experiments! Our tiny stock room is generally hidden under a mountain of these packing peanuts, and we wouldn't have it any other way!  

3. Compostable Boxes, Tissue, and Stickers

We can't let our squishy packing peanuts get all the attention—the rest of our packaging is sustainable, too! We use unlined, uncoated and unbleached paper-based compostable boxes and acid-free, sulphur-free, and lignin-free packing tissue—meaning they have no elements that harm the environment or are difficult to break down. Ever see bubble wrap or air pockets in your orders? Rest assured, any plastic like this has been reused from our suppliers to reduce consumption and waste. And here's something we're really excited about. Our durable little sage-green GK sticker that seals the tissue closed is fully compostable! These custom stickers from NoIssue are printed on FSC-certified paper with toxin-free dyes. Neat, hey? 

Compostable and sustainable shopping at The Green Kiss

4. Our Return and Exchange Policy 

The beauty industry produces a ginormous amount of rigid plastic annually (see what we're doing to reduce this), and due to the personal nature of these products, they can't be resold if returned or exchanged for something else. You can imagine the scope of environmental challenges this presents. A repeat offender of skincare packaging waste is the loosey-goosey return policies from cosmetic box stores. Because we can't resell anything that is brought back to us and because we want to ensure the product inside is always fully used, The Green Kiss proudly holds a no-return, no-exchange policy. How do we know you'll be happy with your Green Kiss purchase before you buy it? We ask lots of questions. We talk about your skin type, we listen to your skin goals, we take a look at your purchase history, we ask for any known ingredient sensitivities and read the ingredient list together, and we happily dole out free in-store samples in small reusable containersso we can make sure your skin is happy with a product before you invest. 

5. Biodegradable Cleaning Products

When tidying up around the shop, we use eco-friendly cleaning products to reduce chemical pollution (and headaches). We love the goodies found at Mint Cleaning. Their small-batch products are handmade in beautiful Ucluelet BC, with the highest-quality ingredients that optimize results while being eco-friendly, all-natural, and nontoxic. They also have refill pouches (who doesn't love a refill?) to reduce waste and save money. Pssst. We love their age-appropriate kid's chore guide. 

6. Compostable Single-Use Makeup Wands 

Around 95% of cosmetic packaging is thrown away after it is used. Yikes. Adding to this stat are single-use applicators. While "disposable" and "single-use" products aren't ideal, these products are still needed to help avoid the risk of cross-contamination when testing and sampling cosmetic and skincare products (and when you get to test and try products out in-store, informed buying decisions mean you will then use and love the mascara you chose, rather than look to return it or toss it - therefore adding to the waste problems mentioned above). Because of this, we feel that single-use applicators do have a place in the beauty industry. And they can actually play a part in reducing waste. To help lessen the negative environmental impacts caused by single-use applicators, when guiding our clients through a personalized natural skincare or makeup routine (on the house, btw!), we use disposable eco-friendly doe foot lip gloss applicators and mascara wands with bamboo handles. These naturally elegant applicators perform just as well as plastic alternatives, proving there's no need to sacrifice quality for sustainability.

we use disposable eco-friendly doe foot lip gloss applicators and mascara wands with bamboo handles.

7. Recyclable Paper Shopping Bags

"Would you like a bag today?We've asked it so many times we hear it in our sleep. Most often, our clients bring their own reusable shopping bags (the best packaging is no packaging!), or their product is so itty-bitty it can just scooch in their purse, but on the rare occasion you're in a pinch and need a bag, you'll be glad to know it's an unbleached, 100% recyclable and compostable handled shopping bag you're taking home. Earth-friendly bags for our eco-conscious shoppers!

8. Paperless Itemized Receipts

While we now use EcoChit for our payment processing machine (see below), we proudly offer paperless itemized receipts to clients who've signed up for Green Kiss shopping profiles. Since making this change in 2017, we have saved over 20,000 slips of printed paper! Digital receipts from The Green Kiss simplify reducing paper while also keeping track of skincare and makeup preferences. 

9. Eco-Friendly Receipt Paper 

The only thing printed during an in-store transaction is the credit/debit machine receipt paper. We've recently switched to EcoChit, an eco-friendly receipt paper that is 100% free of all phenols, including BPA and BPS - making it safe to handle and 100% recyclable. When evidence emerged around the adverse health effects of conventional thermal receipt technology, this female-led brand concentrated on developing a better way of marketing healthier, more sustainable, and regenerative receipt alternatives. At the time of this writing, EcoChit hit its first tree-planting goal of planting over 100,000 verified trees through its partnership with Veritree! 🌲 🌲 Go girls, go!!! 

EcoChit eco-friendly receipt paper is designed to help create awareness about climate solutions while giving businesses a simple way to support them.EcoChit co-founder, Lauren

10. Sustainable Waste Disposal 

We are fortunate to be located at Uptown Boulevard, a LEED-certified shopping centre. From chemical-free weed control to energy-efficient installations, Uptown makes its day-to-day operations an example of sustainable responsibility in retail. They have an extensive recycling program for rigid plastics, Styrofoam, metals, and CFL and fluorescent lighting products. Most of the waste generated in-store is tissues used for makeup removal, so we've implemented a green garbage system for our composting, which is then processed by Uptown. 

Can The Consumer Drive Change in the Cosmetics Industry? 

The Green Kiss customer values ethical practices that are committed to preserving the environment, and they know everyone has a role to play in achieving a sustainable beauty future. How can you drive change? Think critically as a consumer. Ask questions that ensure transparency in the industry. Question blanket one-size-fits-all skincare marketing. Don't be afraid to challenge sustainability claims to hold your skincare provider accountable. Educate yourself by reading up on potentially harmful practices and ingredients being produced by the beauty industry. You have the power to shape change in the beauty industry by supporting companies that are leading the way! 

What's Next? 

Not mentioned in this article is the growing selection of natural, low-waste personal care products we carry. Our sustainability efforts extend to earth-friendly cosmetic packaging (refillable, compostable, plastic-free or biodegradable containers). To reduce waste, we sell "perfectly imperfect" GK soaps and hold bi-monthly inventory checks to ensure we catch any short-dated (less than 6 months before expiry) products before they become waste. You can shop our sale collection to find short-dated natural skincare that has been reduced in price. We strongly consider wildlife well-being when onboarding new vendors. We have one of the strictest ingredient-specific buying guidelines in the country. We frequently analyze our existing practices to see where we can make improvements. We are committed to transparency, listen to feedback, and share our progress along the way. Thanks for being on this journey with us!  

Questions? Reach us here.