We’re in the business of being better.
As herbalists, our first love is the plants--but within that comes a fierce and protective love for the health of our planet. Without it, we’d lose these precious herbal plants we love and work with. Our efforts to do better is at the top of our list, but this doesn't apply for just plant lovers; this is something we all should be encouraging others to think about and make positive changes.
Living a life with less waste doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a change in your daily habits and even thought processes; to go from tossing our waste straight into a trash can without a second thought, to choose who you buy your food and herbs from, to carefully composting, recycling, and opting out of using certain wasteful items and non-sustainably made goods.
It’s a process, but one we think is vitally important, which means we are up for the challenge.
Here are some creative ways to step up your sustainable lifestyle:
Buy from your local herb and vegetable farmers
Buy your veggies and herbs from farms who are committed to sustainable land practices by organic and regenerative certification, pollinator rehabilitation, and social, economic development. In supporting these local farmers, you not only promote the health of a community but the health of the planet through regenerative agriculture, which aims to capture carbon in soil and aboveground biomass, reversing current global trends of atmospheric accumulation.
If you are into harvesting your own herbs- read up on our guide to sustainable harvesting, and learn to protect these essential plant species around us: A Wild Foodies Guide to Sustainable Harvesting
Compost tea, food, the herbal byproduct from tincture/oil making, and when cleaning out the fridge, don't throw your food in the trash! Composting is also good for single use items, like paper towels, used tissues, compostable to-go containers (as long as they are made without harsh chemicals). Make use of the miracle that is composting and if possible- use in your garden! Even living in a city, there are creative ways to compost through curbside pick-up business, many which operate on a bike, making that an added benefit.
Reuse your medicine bottles!
Ever wonder what to do with the empty glass bottles once your tinctures are gone? Or even just the bottles from other goods you buy.
We made a conscious choice to use glass in our packaging, to eliminate plastic waste, but still love to find ways to reuse the bottles instead of recycling them seeing how recycling efforts are uncertain at this point.
Here are some ways we do it:
- Our Bitters sprays are refillable--buy the big bottles and refill the small!
- These bottles make a perfect, charming vessel for flowers–especially the small tiny ones that we don’t often think of turning into bouquets.
- Keep them on hand for home DIY herbal projects you have- if you are into making your own syrups, tinctures or infused oils, you will surely need vessels to store them in. Save yourself money and keep the bottles for later use!
- Use the 8 oz bottles for homemade syrups, salad dressing, or juice.
- Use the 8oz bottles to fill up on bulk items at the store (like ACV, maple syrup, etc.).
- Root plant babies in them
- Order flat caps for them and use them for spice jars. The neck size of the 2oz BR is 20-400 so most flat caps with that size would work.
- The spray bottles are great for misters--like room aroma sprays or rosewater spritz on your face!
The best way to transform old Urban Moonshine bottles is to soak them in hot, soapy water to make the labels easy to peel/scrub off.
Say no to single use plastic
Skip the little plastic bags at the bulk aisle, the plastic straw, the coffee cup that's made from plastic and bring your own spoon + fork and cup! Keep it simple by throwing a reusable to-go set of utensils in your daily bag, also consider keeping extra metal utensils in places like your car or work desk.
And if unavoidable- find ways to reuse the containers: for art projects, storage vessels, or home organization.
As a customer, the most powerful way you can have an impact is by where you spend your money. Choose to buy and support companies who are doing good for the planet!
One way to do this is by support B-Corporations ! When a business is a certified B-Corp, it means they have implemented rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
A few resources we love about sustainable herbalism if you are curious about learning more:
- United Plant Savers
- The Fim Numen: The healing power of plants
- Ann Armbrecht’s Sustainable Herbs Project
- Fair Wild Certification
- About B Corps
We hope you spend a little time this Earth Day thinking about how you can change your lifestyle for the health of the planet, and a healthier future. There are many ways in which you can contribute, and an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle doesn't need to be expensive. It requires being a little bit more mindful, and creative, and a deep love for the natural world around us. These small things DO make a difference.