Unboxing for Earth Day

Buying these cool products—all from local companies—are a great way to give back to the environment

Buying things to celebrate Earth Day may seem counter-intuitive, but there’s a reason local TV personality Pay Chen picked products from these particular local companies—they all give back to eco-friendly causes.

The first is artist Katherine Holland, a Toronto-based fashion and lifestyle photographer whose “Party Animals” photo series is both seriously chic and a way to support Canada’s wildlife. Last September, Holland had her first solo show at Toronto’s Narwhal art gallery, which featured photos from “Party Animals”—mostly rescued exotic pets, including a skunk, fox, several birds, even a kangaroo! But instead of looking scared and lonely, each animal looks as though they’re guests at a house party, complete with props like party hats, red Solo cups and piñatas.

“I wanted the show to be a celebration where you are reminded of everything that you love about these animals. If you don’t help them, they’re not going to be available to you anymore – these guys aren’t going to be around unless we keep the party going,” Holland said in an interview with The Prevail Project.

Luckily, “Party Animals” doesn’t have to stay on gallery walls. Animal lovers can buy anything from a limited-edition giclée print to poster prints to a set of 20 notecards. Even better, Holland donates 30 per cent of each sale to WWF Canada.

The second company Chen is featuring in this month’s video is Solful Organics. Based in Guelph, Ont., this biz started with a single product: a healing balm that co-founder Kyla Holt dubbed Skin Salvation. Holt developed the balm to help soothe her own kids’ skin issues, but that one product soon turned into a whole line devoted to sustainable and natural skin and body products, including lotion, bath bombs and bath salts.

But Solful’s product line isn’t just sustainably made. The company has also partnered with One Tree Planted, an organization that that plants trees in North America, Central America, Asia and Africa. The end result? Solful plants a tree for every purchase. On the company’s “about us” page, Holt explains why she chose this method of giving back.

“Growing up Granola on Vancouver Island… nature was always my medicine, and I developed a strong respect and desire to protect that medicine,” she says. “Being a literal tree hugger it only made sense to partner with an organization that focused on the preservation and reforestation of these beautiful gifts from nature.”