Green Beaver

August 25, 2020

If there’s anyone who deeply understands the concerns over chemicals in cleaners and personal care products, it’s a microbiologist and his wife, a biochemist.

Alain Menard and his wife Karen Clark spent years in the pharmaceutical industry, and learned firsthand how chemicals in things like shampoos, soaps and deodorants can affect families—especially children. They founded Green Beaver over 20 years ago, back when natural alternative cleaning and beauty products were virtually non-existent. 

“We started a family and I thought, are we going to put a baby on the ground where we’ve just used a harsh cleaner?” Menard recalls. “They always put their fingers in their mouth they always taste everything, so whatever we use to clean the floor or clean his clothes is gonna get into that little body. We started thinking there had to be a better way.” 

Menard and Clark started using their scientific knowledge to craft more natural products. 

“We converted the kitchen into a lab so just bought some heating plates, mixers, and multipliers and basically started experimenting. We were making creams and toothpaste kind of just for fun, just for us. Then we realized we had something.”   

The spring of 2011 brought a big first for Canadians and Green Beaver when the company launched the first Canadian organic mineral sunscreen with the help of the National Research Council. In the years to follow, Green Beaver continued to launch products like Organic Honey Lip Balm to combat the decline of bees and developed soaps, aluminum-free deodorants, and toothpastes to better serve the growing community of natural skin care lovers. Green Beaver products are available in Calgary at Co-op.

When it comes to traditional chemical-based cleansers, sunscreens and products, Menard’s philosophy about why natural is better is simple: “Shouldn’t we be worried if a chemical kills things? You’re being exposed to chemicals that are used in larger concentrations to kill insects—do you want to be using even smaller concentrations on your skin, or on your children’s skin?” 

Menard says Green Beaver was founded on the belief that humans can live happily from the goodness that Mother Nature provides. The company, a family business, makes it a priority to use organic ingredients that are locally grown whenever available. Synthetic substitutes aren’t used in products; where some companies will use a chemically engineered vitamin E substitute, Green Beaver sources natural ingredients. All products are vegan-friendly, except for lip balms that contain organic beeswax from a local apiary. 

“We were one of the first companies in Canada to ever have a natural organic certification for personal care products. That was a big achievement.”

Find Green Beaver products at your local Calgary Co-op store.

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