Blog

We’re Building an Eco-Friendly new Workshop!

Aug3-Newsletter-workshopWe’ve been working out of the building we’re currently in (at 115 Bow Meadows Crescent in Canmore) for over ten years. About five years ago, we had to acquire some rental space for our administrative offices so that our soap making, storage and shipping area had room to expand. Now we’re bursting at the seams again!

If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know that we’re all about toxin-free and 100% natural ingredients. Our products are as natural as they come. When it comes to our stores, any that we build or renovate are as toxin-free and eco-friendly as we can possibly make them. Our workshop will be no different. We’re working with our architect, suppliers, and trades to renovate a current building (that is just down the road from us) into the most eco-friendly and productivity-friendly that we can make it.

Here are some of the ways we’re doing that:
We made the decision to purchase and renovate a used building instead of building a new one.

We found reclaimed marble slabs from the exterior of an office tower in Toronto which we will refashion into counter tops.
We’ll be reusing existing furnaces, lighting, doors, bathroom fixtures and kitchen cabinets as much as we can.
We’re using reclaimed wood for all millwork and studs as well as recycled fiber carpeting.
We’re using low VOC paint, adding solar electricity, and re-using insulation.
Any new lighting is LED will be from reclaimed sources.
We’re reusing old pallets to make a decorative ceiling treatment.
We’re refinishing old cabinetry for our lab and offices.
We’re making a boardroom table with fir we’ve salvaged from our old Vancouver store.
Our desk stations will be custom built from birch plywood instead of metals, laminates and plastics.
We’ve found used appliances for our office kitchen.

We’re very excited to have more space to work out of, and most of all to have all of us be working under the same roof again. If you’re in the Canmore area and you’re curious to see our new building, we invite you to give us a call and set up a visit. We’ll be fully moved in by late summer. We’ll make sure to post photos so you can let us know what you think!

We’re Renovating Our WEM Location to be Toxin-Free!

Aug3-Newsletter-WEMKioskOur West Edmonton Mall location is one of our oldest locations and it’s past due for a renovation. We love Edmonton. We love our customers in Edmonton. And we’re very pleased to announce that on August 9th, we’ll be closing the doors to our WEM location in order to give it a toxin-free facelift!

We first renovated our Canmore store into a toxin-free design in 2011. Since then we’ve built or renovated four more (including our Edmonton Southgate location) of our stores with our toxin-free concept.  Every time we go through a build or a renovation, we achieve a new level of sustainability.

As always we will be working closely with manufacturers and trades to make sure our new WEM store is free from any of the items found on our red list and is as environmentally friendly as possible. One of the ways we do this is by salvaging as much wood, marble, furniture and fixtures as we can and re-finishing them for use in our store.

If you’re worried about not having access to your favourite 100% natural and toxin-free product while we’re closed, you can put your fears to rest! We’ll be opening a kiosk on August 10th that will be located right next to the WEM store, so that you’ll be able to get whatever you need.

We’ll be re-opening the doors to our toxin-free WEM location this fall. So stay tuned to our newsletters and social media pages for all the updates, photos, news and events as we go through our toxin-free facelift!

Nature’s Nursemaids: Lavender & Chamomile

July28-BlogSocial-NursemaidsMost people know that both lavender and chamomile have properties that help calm and soothe frayed nerves and anxiety. Chamomile is especially popular as a bed time tea, and lavender as been used literally for centuries as the herb of choice to calm a fussy baby.

But did you also know that both of these oh-so-gentle essential oils have remarkable healing qualities for the skin as well? Lavender can soothe irritated or burned skin like no other oil. The discovery is well documented by a french chemist named Gattefossé. When he burned his hand quite badly, he immediately plunged it into the nearest vat of liquid to cool it. That vat happened to be full of lavender oil. He was amazed at how quickly the burn healed and more surprising still, it healed without any scarring.

Chamomile also has superstar medicinal qualities as well. Inflammation, insomnia and skin abrasions are just a few of the ailments this gentle but powerful herb has been used for. You can even find chamomile in a dissolvable tablet form to help soothe teething pain.

A simple way to introduce the benefits of lavender and chamomile to your baby is to put a drop of each into a 1/4 cup of carrier oil such as almond or apricot. We recommend using so little because essential oils are powerful and you don’t need much to reap all the benefit. You can then use this mild blend as a baby massage oil and moisturizer.

We love lavender and chamomile for babies so much that we’ve used them in all of our baby products. Check out our Baby Bum Balm, Baby Spray, Baby Powder, Baby Bear Soap and Baby Foaming Wash. You’ll find them wonderfully helpful for common baby ailments from cradle cap to diaper rash. They’re gentle, natural, and of course toxin-free.

DIY Toxin Free Bubbles Recipe

July23-BlogSocial-DIYBubblesBlowing bubbles is should be a mandatory part of childhood, don’t you think? There is nothing quite as delightful as blowing some big fat bubbles and watching them float away on a light breeze (or jumping and chasing them in a mad effort to pop them). It’s the perfect activity to gets kids enjoying the outdoors and perfecting their bubble blowing skills. Luckily, it’s super easy to make up your own toxin-free bubble solution with natural soap.

If you’re feeling industrious and resourceful you can even avoid plastic bubble blowing toys and make your own bubble wands out of soft gauge aluminum or copper wire.  You can find desirable wire at any hardware store. Use a pair of wire cutters and needle nose pliers to mold the wire into small and large loops. Spiral the wire onto itself to make a handle and be sure to bend any cut ends back on themselves and pinch them tightly to make the bubble want skin and clothing friendly.

To mix up your own bubble solution, you’ll only need three ingredients (we said it was easy!):
*1/2 cup castile liquid soap (such as our Unscented Body Wash)
*1/2 cup of glycerin or corn syrup
*2.5 cups of water

Instructions
*Blend the glycerin or syrup into the water first. Stir it well until it has dissolved.
*Add the soap next, stirring it in gently to avoid making a lot of froth.
*Let the mixture sit for at least a couple of hours if not a full day. Allowing it to rest makes for better quality bubbles.
*Send the kiddies out to fill the air and their hair with delightful toxin-free bubbles while you sit back and enjoy the laughter.

Lemongrass & Rosemary Hair Rinse for Oily Hair

July20Do you have the type of hair that needs to be washed every day?
You know it well…after a day out and about it feels limp, heavy, and greasy at the roots.
Well fear no more because lemongrass and rosemary are your new best friends. Both of these wonders of nature can be used to help normalize oil production, and they both have anti-fungal qualities as well.
It’s not difficult to make a refreshing hair rinse that will leave your hair smelling wonderful, feeling soft, and keep your oil production under control. It’ll have the most impact if you use it twice per week.

It’s so simple to make, all you need to do is wash a handful of lemongrass stalks, peel the outer layers off and cut off the bottoms. Rinse a few stalks of fresh rosemary as well, there’s no need to remove the needles from the stalks. Boil them both in 4 cups of filtered water for ten minutes, or longer if you want a stronger aroma. The more stalks you use, the more scented your rinse will be. Remove from heat and allow the infusion to cool. You’ll love the way your kitchen smells. Decant the rinse into a few bottles for easy storage.

To use the hair rinse, simply shampoo with your favourite toxin-free hair care such as our Rosemary Mint Shampoo. Condition as you would normally, and rinse thoroughly with your homemade hair rinse.

Hey Calgary, We’re Still Open In Chinook!

Still_OPEN_Chinook_BlogSocialWe opened a cute pop-up location in Chinook last year with the intention of keeping it for only a little while after Christmas. Turns out you like having us there, Chinook likes having us there and we like being there because we’re now going to remain open until at least the end of January, 2016. So next time you’re out for a ship in the heart of Calgary, make sure you pop by and say hello to Jillian and the team at our boutique.

With the opening of our newest location in Market Mall, we’ve now got four great locations in Calgary to fulfill your craving for 100% natural and toxin-free bath and body goodies. You can also find us at TD Centre (downtown), and Southcentre Mall.

Does Rocky Have a Sunscreen? How About After Sun Care?

July10-newsletter-BLOGThe short answer on Sunscreen is ‘not yet’. 100% natural and toxin-free sunscreen that is non-whitening, spreads beautifully and smells amazing is not an easy task. We are hard at work on a formula and we’re getting pretty excited about it because the prototypes we’ve been testing have shown great promise. We’ll be perfecting our recipes over the winter and will be ready to reveal our best work in the summer of 2016, so thank you for bearing with us.

In the meantime, we do stock Green Beaver’s SPF 27 Spray and SPF 30 Lotion which is a 100% natural, non-whitening, fragrance free product that we hope will suit your needs.

How About After Sun Care?
If you’ve been a fan of our products for a while, you’ll recall a lovely little butter called After Sun that contains lavender and arnica and a host of other helpful oils to soothe skin that’s gotten a little too much love from the sun. After Sun has a pretty big following, and we love this product too.

Unfortunately, as can sometimes happen with products that are made without synthetic stabilizers and preservatives, natural formulas can react to excess heat or moisture in unpredictable ways. This is what’s happened with After Sun. We want to present nothing but the best we can make. So we’re hard at work improving the stability and efficacy of the formula so that we can re-launch it next summer to great hurrah and fanfare. Thanks so much for your patience, we so appreciate it!

Make Your Own Healthy Root Beer

July7-BlogSocial-DIYRootBeerDid you know that root beer the way your grand-parents made it is actually a delicious fermented beverage that is high in probiotics and friendly gut bacteria? The ingredients aren’t necessarily easy to find but if you can pull them together the recipe is easy to make and the results are absolutely delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sassafras root bark
  • 1/4 cup winter green leaf
  • 2 tablespoons sarsaparilla root
  • 1 tablespoon liquorice root
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon birch bark
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (optional)
  • 1 packet kefir starter culture (or ginger bug)
  • 10 cups of filtered water

Directions

  1. Bring the water to a boil and stir in the sassafras, sarsaparilla, wintergreen, liquorice, ginger, juniper, and birch bark. Reduce heat and let simmer for twenty minutes.
  2. Then strain it through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a pitcher. Stir in the unrefined cane sugar, molasses and lime juice until it dissolves and allow it to cool enough to match body temperature. Then stir in the kefir starter. Pour the blend into individual bottles leaving at least one inch of room in the top. Bottles with a flip-top stopper are recommended.
  3. Allow the root beer to ferment for three to four days at room temperature, then put it in the fridge for another 2 days. When you’re ready to open just remember that it will be pressurized because it has been fermenting (it’ll have a delightful fizzy soda-pop taste) so be careful and open it over the sink or outside.
  4. Serve with ice on a hot day and enjoy the taste of root beer the way it was meant to be enjoyed. And isn’t it great to know that its good for you too!

Hey Kids! Colour Our Root Bear and Submit to Win!

2015July-Kids1-ColouringHey Kiddos, this one is just for you!

Download & print the picture of our Root Bear, tell us what adventures he will be getting into this summer and colour him in!

Snap a photo of your entry and post it to our Facebook page with the hashtag #RockyRootBear and you’ll automatically be entered to WIN! Contest expires on Monday July 28, 2015 at midnight MST.

We will be giving away four prizes by random draw. One prize will be awarded for each age category: 0-3 — 4-6 — 7-9 — 10-12 

RootBeer_ColouringDOWNLOAD THE
ROOT BEAR
COLOURING SHEET
HERE

 

 

 

 

ROOT BEER PRIZE SET
The prize includes 1 Root Beer Lip butter, 1 Root Beer Foaming Wash and 1 Root Beer Bubble Bath.

2015July-Kids1-LivingWall

DIY Hydrating Cucumber Face Masks

July3rd-blogsocial-DIYCucWhether you’ve got oily or dry skin, cucumber will benefit your pretty mug. Try one of these easy mask recipes and reap all the benefits of the uber-hydrating and anti-inflammatory cuke. Your skin will feel soft and refreshed.

Cucumber & Mint Face Mask for Oily Skin
1/2 cucumber
a few crushed mint leaves
the white of 1 egg
2 tsp of lemon juice
optional – a drop of lemongrass or juniper essential oil, both great for toning oily skin.

Remove the seeds from the cucumber. Blend everything up until its nice and frothy. Leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool. Apply to the face (make sure you tie your hair back) and relax for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

Cucumber & Aloe Face Mask for Dry Skin
​1/2 cucumber
​2 tbsp aloe vera
optional – a drop of rose, geranium, or lavender essential oil. All wonderful for dry skin.

Remove the seeds from the cucumber before blending everything into a paste. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool. Apply to the face and relax for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.