Frequently Asked Questions
How can I select what I want to search for?
It’s easy! Next time you’re out and looking for a meal, a coffee or something else to buy, just open ethicaltree.com to search. You can check the boxes beside one or multiple ethical criteria that are important to you, and you can also check boxes for which types of businesses you’d like to search for. For example, if you select “Veg-friendly” and “Organic options” as ethical criteria, and “Restaurants” and “Cafés and Bakeries” as business types, the results will show you all restaurants, cafés and bakeries that offer products which are both veg-friendly and Organic.
You can also enter a keyword to search in the left search box, or you can enter a geographic location to search near in the right search box (this can be an address, landmark or postal code).
Pro tip: From a tablet or mobile device, click on the compass symbol next to the right search box and check “Near Me” to share your device’s current location and find businesses that are closest to you.
You have nearly 300 business listings but I only see 30 on the map when I search. Why’s that?
To provide you with high-speed searches and more relevant search results, we only show you the top 30 results for your search. At the bottom of your search results, you can always click to see the “Next” page of search results. The map will always display the same results listed on the page at any time.
You can also see a map with every single publicly listed business in our directory right here. There are more ethical businesses in Ottawa than you expected, aren’t there?!
Why did you choose these ethical criteria?
While we plan to eventually have many ethical criteria, we started with the ones we have now because they are among the most popular categories for ethical consumers, and because they are some of the criteria we are personally most knowledgeable about. We have a long list of ethical criteria to add to our site next, but feel free to send us feedback for what you’d like to see next by emailing us!
Does “veg-friendly” mean vegetarian or vegan?
Both, for now. Eventually we will have options that separate businesses as either vegetarian or vegan. For the moment, our site leans more towards veganism, since vegetarians can eat vegan food but not vice-versa. Every business listed under “veg-friendly” was added to the directory because it had at least one solid vegan food option or alternative – usually you can see what some of the vegan options are in the Profile section of a business listing.
Why is “Woman-Owned-Business” listed as an ethical criteria?
Women-owned-businesses are included because women face increased barriers to entrepreneurship compared to men, so many people try to support female entrepreneurs to help level the playing field. Businesses listed as “woman-owned” are at least 50% owned by a woman.
What is “Fair Trade”?
EthicalTree uses the same definitions for “Fair Trade” as our community partner Fair Trade Ottawa Équitable (FTOÉ), which requires Fair Trade products to be certified and labelled by an acceptable third party. Visit FTOÉ’s online FAQs more information on Fair Trade certification.
While “Direct Trade” can also often be beneficial to producers from developing countries, we do not include it as an ethical criteria on our website because there is no means of certifying or proving that a “Direct Trade” business treats its producers in a fair way – it simply means that they have a direct relationship with the producer.
Who is behind EthicalTree?
Siavash and Frank were both very passionate about ethical consumerism and empowering consumers to vote with their dollars. While studying together at the University of Ottawa, they both were frustrated at how difficult it was to find businesses that were vegetarian or Fair Trade. They decided to launch EthicalTree.com as a free service to make it easier for consumers to find ethical businesses and they quickly realized that many others shared the same frustrations and needed a better platform for ethical consumerism. Kelsea, another passionate ethical consumer and entrepreneur, quickly joined the team on their mission to grow ethical consumerism in Ottawa and beyond.
Today, EthicalTree is operated by Willy, Siavash, and Frank. Willy joined the team in late 2016 as the technology lead and has been hard at work improving the EthicalTree platform and preparing for the development of mobile apps in the near future.
Got a question?
Please email us at info [at] ethicaltree.com – We always respond to your feedback!