The magic of essential oils has gained more attention throughout the years. You can use essential oils to replace beauty, cleaning and fragrances. While essential oils are thought to be sustainable because they are derived from plants, often times they are overused or misused. This can actually cause some major environmental issues! Through this post, I hope to shed light on how we can sustainably use essential oils to aid our green lifestyles.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are extracted from plants and are valued for their natural healing properties. That being said, it takes an enormous quantity to make a small batch of oil. An EcoWatch article estimates that it takes 250 lbs of lavender to make 1 lb of essential oil! If you are interested in using essential oils, keep in mind that essential oils can be harmful to pets. Please be sure to do your research prior to use!
How can we use essential oils?
Beauty: Many natural home beauty remedies use essential oils since plants have a variety of healing properties. For example, tea tree oils is often used to treat acne because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cleaning: Many DIY cleaning solution recipes swap out harsh, synthetic chemicals with essential oils. For instance, eucalyptus oil serves as a great disinfectant!
Aromatherapy: After I was gifted an amazing essential oil diffuser for my birthday, I’ve been transitioning away from candles. Essential oil diffuser are a great way to freshen up your home or car while also enjoying the benefits of essential oils through aromatherapy.
How can essential oil production harm the environment?
Since it takes such a large quantity of a plant to produce a small vial of oil, it is really important that companies ethically harvest their plants. When companies over-harvest plants, the plants are at greater risk of becoming endangered and environmental degradation is increased.
How can we use essential oils more sustainably?
These oils are very concentrated and always need to be diluted with use. However, we often overuse essential oils because we forgot how concentrated they are. When you begin using essential oils, it’s important to spend some time doing research to ensure that you are using the oils safely and sustainably.
It’s also important to buy essential oils from companies that partake in sustainable business practices, such as Mountain Rose Herbs. This company uses organic, sustainable agricultural practices to grow their crops!