A Port Moody company that’s working to do better by the environment is also trying to make life a little easier for local families in need.
And Brad Liski, one of the founders of Tru Earth that makes eco-friendly laundry strips and household cleaning products like dishwasher detergent tablets, hopes other businesses will follow his company’s lead.
Liski said a recent donation by Tru Earth of $500,000 worth of items like food wraps, shopping bags and reusable wipes to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank will help free up money for the families that receive them to spend on more pressing needs like fresh produce or meat, or even give them a little breathing room to have an enjoyable holiday season.
Liski said the donation is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to make a difference in the world, not only by cutting down on the amount of plastic containers from traditional cleaning products that go into landfills with its suite of dissolving strips but also by attacking poverty at its source.
This year, Tru Earth also donated $1.5 million worth of products to a homeless pre-natal program in San Francisco to give new moms and dads with financial challenges a bit of a boost in their new journey as parents.
"Anything we can do to help them divert some of their disposable income, that’s the best thing," Liski said.
Tru Earth was started in 2019 by Liski — who’s lived in Port Moody for more than 25 years — and two former colleagues in the media industry out of concern for the amount of plastic packaging going into landfills, especially from cleaning products.
Liski, Ryan McKenzie and Kevin Hinton licensed the laundry strip technology from a manufacturer in New Brunswick and began selling them through an online subscription service. A year later they’d moved from the corner of a warehouse in New Westminster to their own 12,000 sq. ft. location on St. Johns Street that now also includes a retail storefront. As well, it now has facilities in Burnaby, Mississauga, Ont., an office in Michigan and another in the Netherlands.
"Consumers don’t want plastics anymore," Liski said of the products the company sells as far afield as Africa, New Zealand and all across Europe, along with an increasing number of retailers locally.
He said when Tru Earth was looking to extend its ethos beyond the environment, it realized a solution was readily available in its warehouse.
"All businesses have the power to give and make a positive impact," Liski said. "The communities where we have customers are our communities."
He said donating products Tru Earth already has on hand allows those items to get to families who could benefit from a little extra help quickly, before the pressures of the holiday season begin to take hold.
"Boxing Day is one day too late," Liski said, adding all companies would do well by being more proactive rather than reactive in addressing need in their communities.
"We can get ahead of other programs when they have needs, not when we’ve got product."