Things are going to get messy...

We don't mind getting a little messy, especially renovation messy.  Amaranth is expanding!  Due to be open this November, Amaranth 4th Street Market will be centrally located at 1407 4th St SW.   We are excited to meet our new neighbours and share in all that this vibrant community has to offer.  Watch for updates as construction progresses! photo-28

A bit of history and then on to the good stuff…Amaranth’s flagship store, located in the Northwest community of Arbour Lake, started it all in 1995.  Originally a small space in the Crowfoot area, the store you see on Arbour Lake Drive today was built in 2001.  In 2011, Amaranth Health & Wellness opened on 130th Ave SE and a few short months later, Amaranth at the Enjoy Centre continued the expansion at the new Holes Greenhouse site in St Albert.  Thank you to you, our Amaranth community, for making it possible for Amaranth to sprout!  For store photos and more information about each unique location, visit our website,

Here we go.

Getting messy is great.  It means you built something new, got lost in the process or maybe you made something delicious.  But then it is time to clean up.  Seeing as this blog is taking on a DIY feel, what if there was an easy, inexpensive, enviro positive solution to clean up?  Well there are lots of options out there, but here is a great idea if we do say so ourselves:


1 spray bottle

2 cups water

1 oz Dr Bronner's Castile Soap

Put this all in the bottle and swirl.  Done.  This is a great disinfecting and degreasing multi-purpose solution that is useful for many, many things.


Castile soap used to be what people had available to them.  They did laundry with it and loads of other things.  While traditionally made in Castile, Spain from olive oil and animal fat, pure, natural castile soap is now made from oils such as palm, coconut, hemp, jojoba, and olive.  This biodegradable substance is truly green and gentle on you due to being free of artificial foaming agents, harsh cleansers, petrochemicals and chemical anti-bacterial agents (like Triclosan). It is the versatility of this soap that is truly amazing.  Here are some favourite uses using the above solution:

-Refill your self foaming hand pumps at the bathroom sink.  It will cost you nickels and it lathers beautifully!

-Keep the spray bottle at your kitchen sink.  It is great for spraying a dish or two when you don't need to run a whole sink of water, washing fruits and vegetables, washing your hands before you prepare food, cleaning the sink, stove, counters or disinfecting cutting boards (spray liberally, let sit for 10 seconds and wipe with a wet cloth).

-Stains in your coffee or tea mugs, pots or pans?  Smells in your travel mug or lunch thermos?  Give a quick spray, let sit for 10 seconds and wipe clean.

These are literally only a few uses.  A 472mL bottle of Dr Bronners is approximately $10 and using the solution at the dilution above will yield you about 30 spray bottles of cleaning solution. That is about $0.33 per spray bottle.  Can't beat that.  Come into Amaranth on Customer Appreciation Day (1st Wednesday of every month) when all supplements and body care are 20% off and now you are really talking savings!  Larger containers can be ordered for businesses that want to make a healthier work environment and the liquids come in both unscented and scented (with only pure essential oils).

There are a huge variety of cleaning solutions you can make on your own from baking soda, lemon, vinegar, etc.   Check out the informative recipe guide from Green Calgary that is well worth the read.  Green Calgary also has a program called 'Healthy Homes' where an inspector will actually come to your home and work with you on how to make your home more sustainable.


If DIY cleaning products aren't your thing, there are a variety of choices out there for products that are safe for you, children, pets, and the environment.  There are also products fighting for your dollars that may not be as natural as they suggest.  Here are a couple of tips to help you with your decision making:

1. Does the product list the ingredients?  This is not required by law but shows transparency.  Avoid petroleum-based ingredients and any kind of perfume or fragrance unless it is just pure essential oils (the word "fragrance" can actually be another 300 things on that ingredient list!) 2. Companies that began with sustainability and health at the forefront.  When a chemical line of cleaning products introduces a "natural product" it is up to you to decide how green the product really is and whether it is being manufactured in a sustainable way.


Posted by Amy Buckman