How This Eco-Friendly 'Clean Products' Company Helps the Planet


Earth Day is coming soon (April 22) and it’s an occasion to think about how each of us can make a difference to help the environment. Small businesses are finding creative ways to help people fight climate change and live a greener and more sustainable life. The Ascent is spotlighting a few unique eco-friendly startups and small businesses that are doing good things for the planet — while making great products!

Canary Clean Products (www.canarycleanco.com) is an eco-friendly personal care products company that makes toothpaste, hand soap, mouthwash, skincare products, and other “clean” products. But unlike many companies, Canary Clean Products does not use plastic packaging. Its unique product designs can help reduce packaging waste, carbon emissions, and chemical pollution in the environment.

Let’s look at the story of Canary Clean Products and why you might want to try this special eco-friendly company’s goods for your own home.

Sustainable entrepreneurship

Canary Clean Products was founded by Luke Wilson, a former marketing executive for The Gap Inc’s Old Navy and Banana Republic brands. Luke grew up on a small family farm in Texas. He earned an MBA in sustainable entrepreneurship, and he always had an interest in the natural environment and how companies can reduce plastic waste, chemicals, and toxins.

Only about 5% of all plastic used in America gets recycled. The rest goes into landfills or ends up as litter and pollution in the environment. Personal care products can be a big part of this plastic problem — think of all those empty plastic toothpaste tubes and shampoo bottles. Luke Wilson and the Canary Clean Products team decided to develop new ways of packaging toothpaste, soap, and other personal care products — while also formulating the products in ways that did not include chemicals and toxins.

Wouldn’t you prefer to use products for cleansing (i.e. hand soaps, toothpastes, mouth wash, laundry detergent, etc.) that are actually “clean” and not full of potentially harmful chemicals? That’s the mission of Canary Clean Products Company.

Elevating everyday hygiene

Instead of just buying a plastic tube of toothpaste or a plastic dispenser of liquid hand soap, Canary Clean Products is giving people a new, sleek way to handle their hygiene products.

Tube-free toothpaste “tablets”

Canary’s line of toothpastes come in solid “tablet” form — you chew the tablets and then mix the toothpaste to create foam in your mouth, just like “regular” toothpaste, but without the plastic tube package. The toothpaste tablets are stored in a refillable glass jar, and the refill tablets come in flat (plastic-free) packaging.

Plastic-free hand soap

So much typical hand soap gets packaged and shipped in liquid form, in bottles. (Think of all the plastic soap dispensers you see on the shelf at the store.) But too often, as soon as the liquid soap inside gets used up, those plastic bottles get thrown away.

Canary Clean Products is doing something interesting with hand soap: Instead of a plastic disposable bottle, Canary gives you a glass reusable bottle as part of its hand soap starter kit. Then you can fill that bottle (and keep refilling it) with Canary’s soap concentrate — a small bar of solid soap, mixed with water in the bottle.

Peppermint mouthwash concentrate

Another concentrate product from Canary is its peppermint mouthwash concentrate. Instead of a big plastic bottle of unnaturally colored mouthwash, Canary Clean Products sends you a small glass bottle of (clear) mouthwash that you then mix with water at home. You can then keep your everyday mouthwash in Canary’s (larger) refillable glass bottle, and use the smaller concentrate-sized bottles for travel.

How to reduce carbon emissions: Stop shipping water

Using concentrated hand soaps and toothpaste like Canary Clean Products can be good for the planet in a surprising way: It reduces shipping costs and carbon emissions that come from shipping water. By sending “dry” solid toothpaste tablets and concentrated soap bars (instead of liquid paste or liquid soaps), or by shipping you a smaller bottle of highly concentrated mouthwash, Canary Clean Products is helping to eliminate carbon emissions.

Water is heavy. Bottles of water (and tubes of toothpaste) take up more space on trucks than small packets of soap or toothpaste tablets. By adding the water at home, you can reduce the carbon emissions of these simple everyday household products. Canary Clean Products does not offer specific data on the carbon-reducing impact of its products. But there are lots of ways that reducing “water weight” from your everyday packaging purchases can help fight climate change.

The University of Wisconsin has research that shows the carbon footprint of a plastic bottle of drinking water is about 1,000 times the carbon footprint of using a refillable water bottle. By refilling bottles and using water at home — instead of paying a trucking company to ship water across the country — people can reduce carbon emissions.

Bottom line

Americans are becoming more interested in the ingredients and packaging designs of their everyday food, drink, and hygiene products. If you want to eliminate possibly harmful chemicals from your everyday life; if you’re concerned about reducing packaging waste and cutting carbon emissions from your everyday purchases; or if you just want to try some fun, sleekly designed new hand soap, toothpaste, or mouthwash, check out Canary Clean Products.

This small business is a great example of how companies can launch innovative products that help people and the environment. “Going green” can be a great strategy to “get more green” (dollars) in your business bank account.

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