Acorn Cafe NOW OPEN!

This post is from 2018!

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We are soooo excited to announce that our cafe is finally ready to open tomorrow morning, Monday , January 15th bright & early at 7:30 AM!  Our cafe hours will be weekdays, 7:30am-6:00pm and weekends 9:30am-6:00pm.

We have expanded our team with some awesome folks that just so happen to be fabulous barista’s!  Our new cafe team will be led by our cafe manager Lily, who has done an amazing job getting everything set up!

We will be starting off with beverages, offering Deluca’s organic, fair trade coffee, espresso, latte’s and local teas from Hollow Reed Holistic and Amsterdam Tea Room.  You can also grab a Morning Glory muffin from Tallgrass Bakery to pair with your morning beverage! We will have some feature beverages that will change monthly and our menu will expand as we settle in, to include adaptogens, smoothies,

Meet our new staff!

smoothie bowls, soups, salads, summer rolls, chia seed puddings and lots of Happy Dance Hummus!  Our menu so far is all vegan even though we stated we were a vegetarian cafe.  We hope everyone is open to trying some new things, including dairy free options and sugar alternatives.

Watch for updates as we announce new additions, including food items and in-store sampling! We have so many exciting things planned and can’t wait to be able to share them with you!

September Staff Product Picks

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Of course that’s Coconut Oil on my face!

Dallas’s Pick – Coconut Oil

There’s nothing I’d rather be using as my makeup remover, face moisturizer, toothpaste, body butter AND cooking oil. Coconut oil truly rocks my world. Many (like myself way back when) think that coconut oil will have negative impacts on their health due to it’s high level of saturated fats. This however could not be further from the truth! The saturated fats in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) and are metabolized differently than the saturated Long Chain Triglycerides you would find in meats or cheeses. MCTs are digested by saliva and gastric juices and are then absorbed directly from the intestines into the portal vein. After this they head over to the liver where they are used as a quick source of energy. Very little, if any MCTs are stored as fat.

So not to worry! You no longer have to think coconut oil is the enemy!! But asides from being loaded with essential fatty acids coconut oil has literally hundreds of uses all of which have fabulous results for your hair, skin and health! Use it as a hair mask, sunscreen, lotion, makeup remover (this is my favourite use… it seems like absolute magic), lubricant, cooking olevel-ground-coconut-oilil, mouthwash (great for oil pulling), diaper cream, lip balm, coffee creamer, shoe shiner, deodorant and more!

If you haven’t discovered coconut oil… well I’m very excited for you to unearth all of it’s glory. If you are thinking of purchasing coconut oil ensure that you pick up a cold-pressed, unrefined, organic one. If you’re into supporting sustainable business practices or just want to look out for your fellow human being, find a fair trade one (we carry Level Ground’s Direct Trade coconut oil!!).

I hope you all can find happiness in this wonderful product of coconuts!

Seriously…I know coffee!
Still obsessed!

Ana’s Pick – Coffee Sock

A couple months ago my pick for the month was coffee! And I rambled on about how much I loved it (and maybe came off as a bit obsessed with it). Anyways, this month I pick the Coffee Sock- another product that I use almost daily in order to brew that always satisfying cup of Kicking Horse.

There are quite a few reasons why I love the Coffee Sock. They are made in Austin, Texas from organically grown and untreated coffee sockcotton. In addition to that, they are sewn by people who are making a fair and living wage (awesome!). The company is family owned and has been operating since 2011. They have a variety of products for hot brew and cold brew (although I have yet to venture into the wonderful world of cold brew).

By using the coffee sock instead of conventional, disposable filters, I have cut down my kitchen waste… a lot. You also don’t have to worry about that terrible moment when you open to pantry to an empty bag of coffee filters… The filters come in packs of two and they are also super easy to care for, just rinse with water and toss in your drying rack. You can even save your coffee grinds to make face or body scrubs! Come check out our stock at Generation Green so you can brew an ethical, environmentally friendly, and totally delicious cup of joe!

 

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Brusha, Brusha, Brusha!

Sherry’s Pick – Radius Source Recycled Toothbrush

The Source Toothbrush is the best toothbrush I have ever purchased! When we first opened the store a customer recommended them to me,  and have been stocking them ever since! This ergonomically designed brush leaves your mouth feeling amazingly clean and you get this bonus massage for your gums. The wide headed brush is loaded with these soft, fanned out bristles (which are 100% vegetable based nylon for a petroleum free option), and the slim neck allows you to reach into tight spaces.

IMG_1607-3 Now for the really cool part…1) The handles are reversible, so that’s a bonus for lefties like me! 2) They are made from repurposed & recycled materials – like wood, paper and even money! 3) You don’t throw away the whole toothbrush, instead you just replace the head. The brush comes with an extra head and then you can purchase packages of just the heads which means less waste! yeah!

Source brushes are BPA Free, Latex Free, Phthalate Free, Vegan & Made in USA.

ganesha
Ommmmm!

Savannah’s Pick – Ganesha’s Garden Incense

Soooo I just recently moved out into my own place, which excitingly means living by my own rules… and by that I mean burning incense daily!

Burning incense in my apartment provides me great joy and peacefulness. It really sets a lovely mood and environment. It gets even better… ganeshasbulkincenseAt GG we sell natural Ganesha’s Garden incense! Conventional incense is often made with who-knows-what ingredients (sometimes meaning leftover animal by-product shiz) and scented with fragrance oil. This is not only awful for the environment but the fragrance oils are not good for you. Tons of people react to them and they can cause headaches and dizziness. Oh AND the who-knows-what ingredients often burn off black and smoky causing damage to your walls!! The beautiful part about ganesha incense is that none of these factors are relevant. The sticks are made with bamboo and hardwood shed – totally environmentally friendly. Scents used are purely essential oil – totally gentle. And they burn a beautiful light-smoky grey, causing no damage. (And it’s 15 cents a stick so like, why not?!) This is definitely why Ganesha incense qualifies as my favourite product this month.

August Staff Product Picks

Max are you listening?
Max are you listening?

Dallas’s Pick – Chaga!

Just recently I tried out my first cup of certified organic and wildly harvested Canadian chaga tea from Annanda Chaga, and well…. I was more than pleasantly surprised. I’ve never tasted a tea so truly earthy before (I guess I’m pretty bad at describing tastes… but it was wicked).

I never was a huge tea drinker, it had always just tasted like watered down nothingness to me, but after I made a commitment to quit caffeine I needed something other than hot lemon water to keep me lovin life. So I tried various caffeine free, organic and fair trade teas but found nothing I fell in love with. I’m not saying I’m in LOVE with chaga just yet, but I’m certainly on the journey towards falling head over heels for this wonderful super food.

Chaga grows naturally on living birch trees, and slowly harnesses the strength, nutrients and longevity of living trees into a concentrated form. This makes chaga one of the most nutrient dense and powerful superfoods found on our planet! It’s been traditionally used for thousands of years to prevent diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancers while benefiting the organs and immune system. For me, the prevention aspect of drinking chaga is what drew me in.

In our modern world of medicine there is so much talk of promoting awareness for various cancers and solving a wide spectrum of health issues with prescription medication.  Now I’m not saying this aspect of medicine is completely wrong, but I do believe there needs to be a shift to promoting and discussing prevention which in turn, will lead to less talk and need for treatment. I want to protect my future self as much as I possibly can now , and chaga is helping me do just that! So lets protect our future selves, lets  fall in love with chaga. Purchase chaga in our online store through this link.

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I literally drink it out of the bottle on the go!

Sherry’s Pick – GLA Borage Oil from Lorna Vanderhaeghe 

You know how you have those certain products that if you stop taking/using them you immediately notice? Well GLA is one of those for me and that’s why I’ve chosen it as my pick this month!

GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid) is an Omega-6 essential fatty acid that the body doesn’t produce but is essential for optimal health.   Borage is one of the  best sources of GLA and is available in either an oil form or in a softgel capsule. Not only can you take it orally, but you can also use it topically on your skin.

As I have aged it’s been really important to me to pay special attention to my skin, in hopes of delaying the aging skin effects for as long as possible! I believe the best way to combat is from the inside!  Lorna Vanderhaeghe, a women’s health expert, has written many books, but an excellent resource is her book “Beautiful Skin Begins Within” (which I can offer you for free when you purchase any of Lorna’s skincare products).  Lorna talks specifically of GLA in the book noting that GLA is what will help maintain healthy, glowing skin and prevent aging and wrinkles!   I can totally attest to the glow it gives my skin! I also noticed a huge improvement with moisture retention. If you don’t think you can take it by the spoonful, we also have it available in capsule.  I personally just add it into my morning smoothie.

Not only does GLA benefit our aging skin, but it is offers amazing results for those suffering with skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and even acne.  Also great for breast health and will help with period pain.  Stop by Generation Green and we can talk more about healthy, glowing skin! Purchase Lorna Vanderhaege’s GLA Borage Oil here through this link.

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Did I mention how much I love Hemp Hearts!

Ana’s Pick – Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

This product is a staple in my fridge and it’s so easy to incorporate into your diet. I love hemp hearts! The fact that they are also a Manitoba product just has me head over heels!

Packed with omega’s, digestible proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, this product not only tastes awesome, but is super mega good for you!  I absolutely cannot pass up these little, tender, delicious, nutty tasting seeds when it comes to yogurt, smoothies, baking (hello banana bread, cookies, etc, etc), stir fry, salads…lets be honest, pretty much everything gets a little sprinkle. I’ll also admit I often just eat them straight from the bag…that’s how good they are.

This product is vegan, non GMO project verified, made with 100% wind power (so cool), all natural, and raw! …did I mention Manitoba? As a super fan of our awesome province, I love all things local and these are right up there with my faves. Please do yourself a favor and try them! At Generation Green we have other products from Manitoba Harvest as well, such as the new Hemp Heart Bites (a drool worthy quick and easy snack), and Hemp Protein Powder.  Purchase Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts in our online store here through this link.

This is pure Mango Magic!
This is pure Mango Magic!

Savannah’s Pick – Level Ground Trading Mango Dried Fruit

Mmmmango…. Is my August pick! What could be a better summer snack than some fruit? How about some organic, fair trade, totally natural fruit!

Dried Mango is definitely one of my favourite snack foods here at Generation Green!  Brought to us by a fantastic company called Level Ground Trading, a super ethical distributor with only the best food products.

Level Ground Trading is not just offering certified fair-trade products, they participate in direct fair-trade. This is debatably even more beneficial than just having the fair-trade certification. The fair-trade certification itself means that the farm and farmers deal with the fair-trade cooperative which then distributes their product. This is a fabulous program, but the benefit of direct fair-trade is that the farmers deal directly with the company selling their product. Direct fair-trade accounts for even more ethical production, lower costs, and eliminates the need for a large cooperation. Level Ground Trading is very open and honest about their production and company, and produces plenty of literature on the topics.

The other best part is that the ingredient list consists of solely “dried organic mango”. That’s it! No sweeteners, preservatives or sulphites! Just the benefits of eating the most suitable food for your body.

PS. Level Ground Trading also has organic, fair-trade, Dried Pineapple, Tropical Fruit Mix, and Exotic Fruit Mix.

 

Do You Compromise Quality For Price?

Photo by Stuart Miles, courtesy of free digitalphotos.net
Photo by Stuart Miles, courtesy of free digitalphotos.net

At Generation Green we carry tons of wonderful locally-made, environmentally friendly goods. Considering the quality of these products, the prices are usually higher than something you find at your commercial good store like Walmart, Superstore, etc. This is something you should expect shopping here, yet still plenty of customers, time and time again, come in here appalled at how much certain things can be.

So let’s get something straight… You truly get what you pay for in today’s society. Cheap prices mean cheap product. Why CAN you get “meals” for $3, and household items for $10? That is because corporations have made every effort possible to pay very little for that product. This almost always means unfair labour overseas, where people and children are exploited. This also means environmentally destructive practices, such as clear-cutting, polluting water, pesticide spraying, and even manufactured chemicals in paints and dye which directly harms these exploited workers and indirectly harms every one of us, the atmosphere, and the earth.

This is all done just so people will be satisfied with a cheap price, the product will sell, and the richest 1% will keep making loads of money.

With globalization it’s so easy for all of us to overlook the harm that buying even just a few of those exploited products causes. But we need to stop, think, and remind ourselves why it’s even possible that those products are so cheap.

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles Freedigitalphotos.net
Photo Credit: Stuart Miles Freedigitalphotos.net

So, I emphasize, you get what you pay for. If you want cheap prices, you are receiving a cheap (or cheated) product.

At Generation Green, we consider ethics when purchasing and selling our items. We refuse to compromise quality for low prices. Prices here are higher, because the products are truly worth more. They have been made locally in individual’s studios, fairly traded overseas, or made conservatively with bamboo or other self-sustaining resources. Keep this in mind next time our price tags make you re-consider.

Purchasing power is the only true way to make any change in this world or fight cooperational greed. Every dollar you spend is a vote towards what you support. If these nasty corporations keep getting profit for what they produce, they won’t stop. Not until we decrease their profits and demand change will they re-consider their habits.

Article written by Savannah Costen

July Staff Product Picks

At Generation Green we want to be able to offer the best selection of products possible, as well as be able to offer our personal opinion, which means we have to try a lot of products! (I know, it’s a tough job!) We definitely all have favorites, and “can’t live without” products! Here are our favorites this month…

I dream of Swell Bottles!
I dream of Swell Bottles!

Dallas’s Pick – Swell Bottle

I think it’s time for us all to acknowledge how wicked Swell Bottles are. Never mind their super stylish shape, colors and textures, they actually hold up to truly keeping your water cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Just this past week I enjoyed five days experiencing the wonderful sun and songs of the 2015 Winnipeg Folk Fest. Being fully aware of the sweatyness and wicked heat July brings to Winnipeg, I brought my Swell Bottle along with me and once again, I was truly amazed at how awesome the Swell Bottle is. On one +28 day of the fest, I filled my beauty of a bottle up with refreshingly cool water at 9 am. Then, because I’m always on top of things, I left my Swell to sit and roast in the sun back at my campground site until 4pm. After returning for a cool down after a long day of folking and to finally grab my Swell, my water was as cold as it was when I had first filled it up at 9 am! My Swell has continuously allowed me to enjoy the luxury of having access to cold water and has yet to let me down. It is without a doubt that I would choose Swell Bottles as my staff pick of the month. Try it out for yourself during Winnipeg’s short summer season to witness how truly awesome this product is!
Bat those baby blues (or greens or browns)
Bat those baby blues (or greens or browns)

Sherry’s Pick – Pure Anada Mascara

I have barely there lashes so seriously need to coat em to feel that I look awake! Plus I wear glasses so mascara helps them not to get lost behind them!
Pure Anada’s Mascara was the first product I tried of their natural mineral makeup products, and I am now a loyal user of the complete line! After trying so many “natural” mascara’s I was continually disappointed.  I wanted something that could perform as well (if not better) as conventional mascara but without all the chemicals! I was one of those people that constantly had itchy, red eyes from wearing mascara.  Discovering that Pure Anada originally had their mascara formulated in Europe, where cosmetic regulations are much stricter than Canadian, and that the mascara was created with a PH level that is perfect for eyes,  made me want to try it.  Not only is it safe for your eyes but it seriously gives you everything you want from a mascara! No clumping or flaking, just great length and fullness! Available in Black, Brown & Blue and so affordable at $14.00 per tube! The mascara is vegan, gluten, paraben and mercury  free.
Not just for babies but this babe too!
Not just for babies but this babe too!

 

Savannah’s Pick – Belly Buttons & Babies Sunscreen

It may be cliché that my July pick be sunscreen… But let’s be real, this past weekend was scorching. And spending it camping at folk fest means minimal shade… I am one to avoid sunscreen and bring on the tan, but by Saturday and full body sunburn I knew it was time to smarten up. I applied my Belly Buttons and Babies sunscreen and survived the 30+ and sunny weather for 2 more days. A natural sunscreen is super important as 60% of what you apply on your skin goes into your bloodstream. Drugstore and conventional sunscreen are filled with plenty of chemicals and who-knows-what that is positioning your body, yuck! Belly Buttons and Babies sunscreen is filled only with basic and natural ingredients (that you can read) to protect you from the sun. And thanks to it, as my sunburn fades, I am happily entering brown town. We carry a couple other brands as well to give everyone options… Made for Skin and Mama Pacha are superb options as well and these guys are even produced in Winnipeg.  So I encourage you to buy locally and naturally!

 

Kicking Horse or Kissin Horse?
Kicking Horse or Kissin Horse?

Ana’s Pick – Kicking Horse Coffee

I have become quite the coffee fanatic in the last year or so and I must confess.. I am picky. I may even go as far as saying that I am the most picky java consumer out there. When I discovered Kicking Horse coffee, I was first hooked after just reading the bag.The descriptions make your mouth water before you’ve even thought about brewing it. Seriously. I am a sucker for a good dark roast and I couldn’t pass up Grizzly Claw after reading these 4 words: Rich. Dark. Chocolate. Decadent. Hello!! Yes please! And the rest is history. I’m in love! At Generation Green, Kicking Horse coffee is sold in 1lb whole bean bags, which allows you to grind your coffee just before use, at just the right grind for the most satisfying cup of joe. But wait, the best part- the beans are certified organic AND fair trade (not to mention roasted in Canada)! What could be better? Whether you’re pulling an all nighter before an exam, coming back to life on a Monday morning, or camping in the Whiteshell, Kicking Horse is sure to make you do your happy coffee dance…that’s a thing, right?

Brikhouse Teething Necklace
Yeah, I know I’m cute!

Nolan’s Pick (our staff Jennifer’s son) – brikHOUSE Teething Necklaces

These new silicone teething necklaces in at Generation Green are the bomb! I can’t tell you enough about the struggles I’ve had with this teething business! These are seriously awesome to just grab onto with my little hands and gnaw on! Surprising that my mom let’s me do this to her beautiful new necklace, but that’s my mom, always thinking of me!

brikhouse teething necklaces are non-toxic, 100% food grade silicone, with breakaway clasps.  Available in several styles and colors.

 

Be fair, buy fair!

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fair-trade-logo

 

 

 

 

 

Be fair, buy fair!

Fair trade, something a little foreign to most, as it was to me when I had first heard about it. For a large majority of my youth I never once thought about where my toys, clothes and food were coming from. It wasn’t until my seventh year in the public education system when I was first introduced to the idea of fair trade.

So what is it?

Fair trade changes what we put in our stores, it allows us to purchase items that were picked, made or processed, by an individual receiving a fair wage, in a safe working condition. Fairly traded products can ultimately change the rules of trade, ensuring better deals for those who grow, make or process the items we consume daily. It is a way for all of us to purchase products to generate positive changes in the world we live in today.

How does it work?fair-trade

Fairtrade Canada and Fairtrade International are non-profit organizations, both work with various partners across the globe to help change the standards of the flower, food, coffee and other industries. Fairtrade certified producers must pay their employees a decent wage (at or over the minimum wage in the region in which they are located), hire no individual below the age of 15, guarantee the right for the formation and participation in trade unions, provide safe and suitable housing when relevant, and follow all health and safety standards set by Fairtrade international/ Fairtrade Canada. These producers, farmers and individual artisans who are partnered with Fairtrade Canada or Fairtrade International develop meaningful and lasting trading relationships, they also receive an additional sum to invest in the growth and development of their communities.

Not only products with a Fairtrade international or Fairtrade Canada certification are in fact fairly traded. Products which are direct trade have very similar benefits of those with Fairtrade certifications; there is even some debate as to which is more beneficial to producers. Companies that label their products direct trade most often work directly with the farmers who harvest and process their product. All standards are determined by the company themselves, who frequently visit the farms in which their products are from to ensure the quality of their goods. These companies often state right on their product packaging that they pay equal to or higher than Fairtrade prices for their products. Producers and farmers working with direct trade companies create strong and lasting trading relationships, much like those who work with Fairtrade.

Another way to ensure that your product was fairly traded is to buy local! Companies or individuals who grow, make or process their products within Canada are required to follow health and safety standards set by each province and to pay their workers the minimum wage of wherever they may be located.

What to be careful of

Clothing
In the garment industry, sweatshops are unfortunately alarmingly normal.Employees work at the W & D Cambodia Co. Limited garment factory in Phnom Penh

Companies have used CSR programs (Corporate social responsibility) to claim responsible treatment of workers in the supply chain, while rejecting legal responsibility for workers’ safety or welfare”

This has allowed the garment industry to become one where poverty wages, unsafe and often abusive working conditions, exhausting hours and child labour are standard. However, as more and more light is shed on companies who use such tactics to produce their products, advancements of both human and labour rights are occurring.

Speaking as a shop-o-holic, buying anything to everything, this was the industry which gave me the most trouble. After learning about the frightening realities of global sweatshops I took a pledge to only purchase clothing which was made by an individual working in safe and comfortable conditions while receiving a fair wage. This I admit was quite difficult, after looking in my closet to find that almost all of my clothes were made by a company who produce their clothes in sweatshops I had to do some serious research. Luckily I found a few larger companies who fell under my criteria. This allowed me to continue my shopping addiction while supporting companies who produce their clothing responsibly. If you’re unsure of how your favourite brand of clothing produces their clothes, do some research or send an email to settle your suspicions.

Many other products such as dishes, toys, shoes and area mats, to name a few can be made irresponsibly. Do some digging on a company’s website to determine how their products are produced, I find it rather suspicious when they provide little or no information whatsoever regarding production. Send an email or search the companies name on the International Labour Organization’s website to see what’s actually going on.

What to buyshop_local.indd

It’s slightly overwhelming, but what’s not? It’s unrealistic to purchase absolutely everything fairly traded, but changing a few things that you buy is most definitely doable!

Switch out your regular morning cup of coffee or tea with a fairly traded one! I find that these are the easiest of products to find fair trade. Use direct trade cane sugar or fair trade cinnamon to make your cup a little more exciting. Trust me; it’ll make your day a whole lot better knowing that your entire cup of coffee is a fair one! Global Connections (at the forks) and Ten Thousand Villages are just some of the places in Winnipeg which offer an awesome selection of fairly traded items, including delicious coffees and teas! Not feeling the whole make your own cup of coffeetea, not to worry, try the Italian roast at Starbucks (certified fair trade by Fairtrade Canada) instead of your regular roast to ensure that your cup of goodness does well for all. Think local! Many local coffee shops and restaurants throughout Winnipeg offer at least one roast of fair trade coffee, if not tea as well. Check out Boon Burger Cafe and Black Pearl for some awesome Fairtrade certified coffees and teas.

Chocolate, another little something easy to find fair trade, you can now indulge into your weakness without feeling too bad about it. Taza and Camino have some seriously delicious fairly traded chocolate.

sew dandee magnetClothing, somewhat tricky, but also very doable. American Apparel is probably one of the most well known “sweatshop free” clothing companies out there, look there for basics and vintage inspired clothing. Up cycle! Thrift, make new shirts from old ones, cut pants into shorts or simply look in the back of your parents’ closet. This is a way to not only reduce our consumption but a way to wear original clothes without directly supporting companies who exploit manufactures who produce clothes irresponsibly. Look for local designers like Jill Zurzolo for Sew Dandee who design and produce their own clothes right here in Manitoba. Like I said, it may be difficult, but by supporting some of Manitoba’s very own designers, making a monthly trip to the thrift store, and up cycling those ratty old jeans into some sweet shorts it’s quite possible to make your wardrobe a fair one.

Part of why I love my job here at Generation Green is because of all the awesome local and fairly traded products that we carry! From direct trade cane sugar, vanilla beans, mouth-watering chocolate, dried fruit, spices, aprons and so much more, Generation Green has certainly become my happy place!

As consumers, we can create positive changes throughout the world just by altering 3 or 4 items on our grocery lists, they may be small changes, but it’s something. So start small, try a fair trade coffee and tea and see where that takes you. Even if it’s only one thing you buy, I know from experience that that item can truly get you thinking about what you consume.

~Dallas Gillingham