How do we maintain health in the world when take more than we are give? If you know anything about me, then you know Moss Botanicals is more than just an aromatherapy company. Moss Botanicals is the messenger of healing for all things. Aromatherapy is the platform to inspire healing through our most powerful sense...the sense of smell. When we rely on our senses we make better decisions on what is right for our optimal wellness in effecting change.
Today I called some of my essential oils sources, as I have done before, to ask the same questions. What is the sustainability of the essential oils I am buying? I ask about the plants, the people, the animals, the land, and the relationships. I ask if they travel to these places. I am beyond confident in my sources. However, it is my dream to travel to the essential oil farmers and distillers directly and be able to educate on the ways in which we can all create lasting ecologically balanced environments without destroying habitats and culture. I am conscious about my choices in all regards and I do my best but information is power and the more I have delved into the information around palm oil, the more provoked I have become around the issues of sustainability. The inspiration for this blog came from my daughter Corallyn.
My daughter "11" came across a depressing photo on the internet of an adult orangutan who had been badly burned from clear cutting the rainforest to make room for the planting of palms to make palm oil. The painful reaction and assimilation of this realization immediately inspired her required 5th grade science project. She will attempt to educate her class on the devastating effects of palm oil on eco-systems, animal habitat, and indigenous culture. Her hypothesis is that she can get people to make alternative choices based on education and direct experience. Her method is to administer a blind taste test with a "Cheez It" made with palm oil and a homemade "Cheez It" made without palm oil. Most products we use have palm oil in them and are often disguised by different names, therefore rendering the consumer uninformed and mislead. Where am I going with this? The further she and I researched the subject the more bleak I felt. The certifications for organic and sustainable were not really anything more than a way to ensure shareholders more money and a better marketing campaign for "organic" and "sustainable". A rainforest can still be clear cut to grow organic crops. The RSPO isn't the solution to this undeniable catastrophe. It is really in our hands to change things.
"The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), formed in 2004, is the major certification body for palm oil. The RSPO today has about 1000 members, including oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, and NGOs working on environmental, social, and development issues. Though the RSPO provides criteria for “certified sustainable palm oil” (CSPO) and offers that certification, their standards do not yet represent the best science regarding forest conservation and carbon emissions. Certified sustainable palm oil is not guaranteed to be deforestation-free, nor is the destruction of peatlands banned. " quoted in Union of Concerned Scientists: Science for a healthy planet and safer world. If you do the research you will find out what the certifications really mean. The buzz words (organic, sustainable, etc) used to make us believe we are making great choices are often strategic operatives to selling more of the same "unsustainable" product.
What is sustainability?
In ecology, sustainability is the capacity to endure; it is how biological systems remain diverse and productive indefinitely. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. In more general terms, sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes. The organizing principle for sustainability is sustainable development, which includes the four interconnected domains: ecology, economics, politics and culture. Sustainability science is the study of sustainable development and environmental science
With the rise of technology we are able to get on board quicker with new trends in healing foods and products. What is the impact on the environments those products are being cultivated in? The animals, plants, and people do not have this voice and the earth is speaking everyday.
I felt compelled to write this is to bring awareness to the impact our choices have on the planet. Moderation with everything we do is ultimately the way to bring ourselves and the planet back to a ecologically balanced system. Essential oils are powerful (they are plants and they are also used in many consumer products beyond just aromatherapy blends). It only requires a small amount of essential oils to create a powerful shift in the mind, body, and spirit. As a business owner, these are all things at the forefront of my heart and mind as I continue to grow.
Balance is the product for the sustainability vision.
"Everything in nature is about balance"
To support check out The Orangutan Project.
Pictures taken from the Orangutan Project website.