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The people from Hardbite Potato Chips were unbelievably generous, piling up mounds of their finest - Creamy Coconut & Curry Oriental, yum (is that a hint of kefir lime?); Cheddar & Onion, with blue cheese yet; and their crazy Honey Dijon.
I remember seeing these guys on Dragons' Den and thinking, boy, there's a winner, and they are. Be warned - these chips are addicting. Get started at Nesters, IGA Marketplace, Choices, London Drugs and more.
Thick, crunchy, flavourful, plus they come from right down the road in Maple Ridge, from potatoes grown in Ladner, from seed potatoes from Pemberton. And you thought it was hard to buy local?
Another great product - one not so local but so sustainable I have to point it out - came right at the right time, when my legs were sagging and my energy flagging. Guayakí yerba maté teas come ready-to-drink in bottles or in loose leaf form. (See Moguls, Nesters, IGA, Choices, Urban Fare, Solstice Organics in Pemberton, or www.northernites.ca/).
If you need a lift, maté is POWerful. Plus Guayakí takes certified organic and Fair Trade one step beyond to market driven restoration, building viable communities and restoring hardwood rainforests in Argentina, Paraguay and southern Brazil. Buying one pound of loose Guayakí yerba maté actually reduces atmospheric CO2 by 573 grams.
As for that cool "green" slip dress or shirt, it's by former actress-turned-designer Wendy Van Riesen, who takes what would be cast-offs headed for the landfill and uses all kinds of berry stains and natural processes - like burying that shirt with a rusty gate - to imprint her designs. (See Starfire Studio in Horseshoe Bay, Vancouver Art Gallery Gift Shop and Tutta Mia in Vancouver, or www.dahliadrive.com.)
And those green shoes? They're by El Naturalista, hand-made - really, even the delicately stitched designs - with soles from latex that hasn't had the crap chemically processed out of it, and leather that's been treated with tree bark or maybe sunflower oil. (See Zig Zag Boutique in North Van; A Step Ahead in Park Royal; and Twigg & Hottie on Main and Spank Shoes in Vancouver).
And when it comes to that beautiful green kitchen counter, here's where I get really excited. It's an ECO counter from Cosentino.