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A Note on Sustainability, Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.
Aromatic plants and their essential oils are incredible. Yet it takes a considerable amount of plant material and myriad other resources to obtain a small amount of gorgeously concentrated essential oil. As a gardener, distiller and aromatherapy practitioner and educator, Amy recognizes how the global essential oil and herbal markets may impact planet Earth. Driving philosophies of Amy’s practice are accessible aromatherapy, “less is more: small is big” and local focus.
Sustainable aromatherapy in-practice includes working directly with aromatic plants through aromatic gardening, incense, teas and incorporating aromatic herbs into cooking. I believe many people turn to essential oils for their direct impact on emotions, feelings, memory and the unseeable realms such as spirit—yet everyone cannot access essential oils. Recognizing direct contact with aromatic plants in the aforementioned ways can be opening, inclusive and democratic.
Less is More, Small is Big
This aligns with the “less is more: small is big” philosophy, where acknowledging that one drop of essential oil is all that is needed to affect mood, memory and touch a whole person: mind-body-spirit. This means using the least amount of plant needed for the biggest impact. Sharing impactful usage guidelines for all methods of application (e.g., topical, mindful diffusion) support this intention. “Less is more” also encompasses distilling locally grown plants to obtain hydrosols that I incorporate into my practice, as well as seeking artisanal distillers of essential oils and hydrosols when possible.
Think Global, Act Local
Which folds into learning about local aromatic plants. As the saying goes: “think global act local”. Why turn to Cedrus atlantica when Juniperus virginiana grows abundantly around me? Goldenrod and Queen Anne’s Lace are abundant and medicinal. Why turn to Eucalyptus from Australia when Rosemary grows here, even in my garden? Turning to local aromatic plants connects us to where we live and cuts down on immense supply chain issues including transportation and emissions.
Continuing to Learn About Sustainability
“You don’t know what you don’t know.” Thanks to the Airmid Institute, I have greater awareness of sustainability issues and access to information and individuals who appreciate aromatics AND seek ways to reduce environmental, social and cultural harm. This helps me try to be the best practitioner and educator I aim to be. I am pleased to share that I am a business member of the Airmid Institute.