For as long as I remember, nature has always been my sanctuary, the place where I feel most alive, most connected, and most myself. My parents nurtured this from an early age, as soon as I could walk, I had cross-country skis strapped to my feet to glide through Maine, and then Ohio, winters. My mom took my sister and I creek walking, wearing old sneakers in the cool water and carrying pails to collect minnows and then set them free. A little older, I found a small waterfall emptying into Lake Erie where I loved to reclaim my inner peace by climbing up the mossy shale to the stream above. I’ve always loved collecting rocks, shells, feathers, fallen nests, and empty eggshells that I find by the trail or sidewalk.
I enjoyed studying science in school and in college, I completed a degree in Environmental Studies during which I worked in the Geology Department, sampling lake sediment cores from the Arctic to examine climate history. I also worked on small organic farms in Western Colorado, Southern France, and the North Carolina Piedmont to get my hands dirty and understand how real food is grown when the Earth is tended with love. I had dreams of influencing the Farm Bill so organic food was the status quo and accessible to everyone. I volunteered with the botanical garden’s discovery program that brought educational activities for children into their beautiful exhibits. I had dreams of starting a non-profit to connect children to nature and make a dent in Nature-Deficit Disorder.
However, my path took unexpected turns and instead of being the Lorax and speaking for the trees, I searched to heal my trauma and pain. Again, I found the gifts of nature to hold the answers. Then, it became my dream to support others to overcome difficulties in their lives with these gifts of nature. I wanted to create a truly healing and loving business that also showed gratitude to the Earth. EarthWise Wellness is not just a name, but it is a promise to offer natural and sustainable products and services that support holistic wellness while honoring and respecting this beautiful planet.
One way I do this is by sourcing my supplies from businesses that also have sustainability initiatives built into their foundation. My essential oils and plant extracts come from small companies that connect directly with distillers and producers and they only sell products that are organic, sustainably wildcrafted, or unsprayed. These products are not sprayed with synthetic pesticides and are grown in ways that do not put extra pressure on natural resources. I use product containers that can be repurposed and I select ones with the greatest recyclable potential. For example, my roller bottles have a glass jar and glass roller ball, instead of plastic or steel. Although the lid and the piece that holds the ball in place are plastic, I found the most sustainable solution I could. These bottles can be recycled or repurposed to hold beads, as a small vase, or whatever else you can imagine!
Sustainability decisions flowed into other aspects of EarthWise Wellness. When I needed to choose business cards, I was excited to find Greenerprinter where all of their options and printing jobs have the environment in mind. I am happy knowing that my business cards are made with 100% post-consumer content, without chlorine, and are printed with soy-based ink, instead of chemical solvents. I also spent many hours researching shipping supplies and learned about the multi-billion dollar packaging industry where there are coalitions, conferences, and the Sustainable Shipping Initiative to improve sustainability. EcoEnclose filled my needs with 100% recycled-content, recyclable, and biodegradable corrugated boxes and cushioning and recyclable tape made with renewable materials. The colorful tissue paper I use to wrap aromatherapy blends is made with 100% recycled and recyclable content and water-based dyes. When I hand out my business card or ship my products, I feel good about the decisions I made to reduce their impact on the environment.
My relationship with the Earth deepened when I began using plant extracts, crystals, and Reiki to support my health and it is important to me that I honor these gifts in my business and personal life. I do my best to tread lightly on this Earth, but I know there is more to do. Our day to day choices can add up to make a difference to the health of this planet. We can choose to support businesses with sustainability initiatives and support local farmers at the farmers market. We can choose the option that has less packaging, like loose leaf tea or an unwrapped bunch of carrots. We can refuse straws and plastic utensils and find reusable options like glass or metal straws or easy-to-carry camping utensils. We can carry a reusable water bottle and use a mug or thermos for coffee and tea. We can bring a small container for restaurant leftovers and cloth bags to the store. We can go to the library or buy used books. For more ideas, you can visit Permacrafters to read their blog or take classes to incorporate more eco-friendly skills into your life. Although it might not be feasible to do all of these things immediately, every little bit helps.
Every day, we are in relationship with the natural world. It is important to care for the Earth as she cares for us and give thanks for all she provides.