C Soap – made from recycled cooking oil

C soap made from recycled cooking oil
C soap made from recycled cooking oil

Carol Folhasi grew up in Brazil watching her grandmother and other women making soap for personal use and household cleaning. An Italian immigrant to Brazil, Carol’s grandmother brought the skills of making soap from used cooking oil to her new home and passed that knowledge on to her children and grandchildren. Used cooking oil was saved to have another life as soap.

As an adult moving to Canada, Carol was surprised to find the reuse/ repurposing of cooking oil was not happening in Canadian kitchens and in some cases the fate of used cooking oil was into landfills or poured down drains.

Carol’s partner, Cynthia Gabay started to have allergic reactions to store bought hygiene products which sent her on a quest to learn what exactly was in the products she was buying. Most commercially produced bars contain synthetic lathering agents, artificial colors, and a slew of chemicals we can’t even pronounce. Antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps often contain triclosan. Triclosan is a toxic chemical that is known to cause cancer. The vast majority of the products on the shelf don’t say “soap” on their labels, because these bars are actually detergent.

Using a grandmother’s wisdom and the research about the health and environmental impacts using more natural products, the team decided to start their own business making soap.

C Soap is a new business taking its first steps into the market in Victoria BC.

C Soap collects cooking oil for recycling, there is a pick up order form on the website . There is an online shop for ordering product as well as they are beginning to stock at local shops.

The soap has no packaging and is a hard bar.

We are using the soap.  There is no food residual smells from the bar, it is a creamy ivory colour. We have tested it bathing, and washing hair as well as washing dishes and have had good results. The soap leaves skin and hair soft. There was no need to use a cream rinse to detangle hair. Apparently commercial soap manufacturers make it a practice to remove the glycerine that is produced during the saponification (soap-making) process therefore more natural soaps actually moisturize skin.

A recent report by the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) revealed that synthetic chemicals from soap, body washes, shampoos and other healthcare products were sneaking through the filters at water purification plants. The list of offenders included phthalates, which are linked to reproductive disorders in humans and animals, and parabens, a preservative, which links to cancer.

C Soap is another small Canadian business helping to create a more sustainable home and country. C Soap is proudly made on Vancouver Island.

C Soap 

Cynthia and Carol with C Soap
Cynthia and Carol with C Soap

Zero Waste Shopping

Refil Cleaning and Shampoo Liquids

Stores catering to shoppers wanting to create Zero Waste lifestyles continue to spring up across Canada. We thought we would list some of the shopping choices across Canada.

Bulk Barn

Bulk Barn a Canadian chain of retail stores across Canada offering bulk foods now gives customers the option of bringing their own containers. With more than 250 outlets, stores can be found from Dartmouth Nova Scotia to Grand Prairie Alberta to Courtenay British Columbia. The Bulk Barn website has a handy store locator that helps find the locations across Canada. With over 4000 products, Bulk Barns have a good selection of beans, grains and cereals, nuts and dried fruits. They also offer bulk bins of products that in other stores can come with lots of packaging that may not be recyclable. Instead of buying packaged cookies, tea or coffee, candy or chips these products are also available in the bulk bins. Shoppers can also find bulk cleaning supplies and some dry pet foods.

Salt Spring Island

Green is a low impact Zero Waste grocery store on Salt Spring Island. As Canada’s first Zero Waste grocery  both bulk foods and fresh foods are offered. Many of the fresh vegetables and fruits and bread are local. As a grocery store Green also carries products like dairy and household products with either minimal or recyclable packaging. The grocery has an option for customers to bring their own containers and bags.


 The Soap Dispensary is the first refill store in Vancouver dedicated to soaps, cleaning products and personal care products. Many of the products offered are either locally made or from local suppliers. Customers can bring their own containers or bags to fill. The Soap Dispensary offers products like deodorant and tooth paste in refillable options. As well as refillables, shoppers may purchase non-plastic utensils, containers and straws as well as reusable feminine hygiene products. The store also offers workshops on topics like soap making.

The Zero Waste Market currently is a pop-up market that often takes place at Patagonia. The Zero Waste market uses social media to promote the dates of their regular events. The market allows shoppers to bring their own containers and they also have sanitized containers available for filling. Products include organic bread, bulk dry goods and cleaning products. The Zero Waste Market has plans to have their own permanent location where products will be 100% package-free.

Roberts Creek

Eco-Freako located in Roberts Creek BC started 20 years ago making reusable organic cotton hankerchiefs. They now offer a variety of products including reusable coffee filters, salves, soaps and bedding. Eco-Freako also offers online sales.


Nu Grocery hasn’t opened yet but it is expected to open this summer. Nu Grocery’s goal is to offer almost every daily grocery need except meat or fish. Customers will be able to bring their own containers and bags to fill.


Épicerie Loco is a store with almost no packaging. Shopper can bring their own containers and bags to fill. The organic, environmentally- friendly and local options include baked products, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat substitutes, dry bulk foods, kombucha and beer.

Méga Vrac is the largest Zero waste store in Montreal. The store offers coffee, vinegars, oils, honey, dried fruits,and beans in their selection of bulk foods. Customers may use their own bags and containers to fill. Fresh fruit and vegetables are also available.


Unpacked Halifax will be opening as a pop-up store in May 2017. They will be offering package-free food, home and body products. Social media will be used to promote pop-up dates and locations.

This is definitely not a complete list of Zero Waste shopping opportunities across Canada, Our apologies to those we did not include. Zero Waste Canada will continue to write about and showcase the businesses and individuals that are helping Canadians lead a Zero Waste life. If you have a Zero Waste store you would like us to include, we would love to hear from you.