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Using Materials, not Products

Reducing consumer habits, reprograming our brains, re-thinking what responsible choices are, is not only important, it’s imperative, now more than ever before.

Buying what we need instead of what we “want”.

‘Un-learning’ programmed behaviours that have been fed to us by so many means (media, retail venues, industry, advertising of all sorts). We are constantly being ‘sold’ to with new products for this and better this and improved that….. Everywhere we turn, we are being encouraged to purchase, use and then just throw it away. But where is ‘away’? Where does the trash go? Where do all the disposable wipes, products, broken items, and “waste” go? A landfill, disposal site isn’t really away – it’s just out of plain site. Reducing our consumption and consumer habits is vital.

Re-thinking right from the beginning. Can you reduce what you use? Can you reuse the product over and over again? Can the container it came in be reused or can you purchase a product without a container or that has natural materials or a container that can be composted or at least recycled properly and easily?

Can you consider moving away from Products that serve only one purpose and find Materials to replace them than can serve many purposes? As I have continued to learn, re-learn and refine what my choices and actions are, I’m continuing to adjust to this new learning. As we start to know better, we can then do better.

For many years, aromatherapy has been a love and passion of mine. In both desire and need, because of health & wellbeing concerns, I have eliminated most of my commercial skin care and most of my home care & cleaning products. I have learned you don’t need cleansers for this and cleansers for that and cleaning products for this and cleaning products for that. Your toilet doesn’t require different cleaning products from your sink, your floor, your soft materials or your hard ones. It’s the materials we use to clean them that make the biggest difference. That, and the solvent we need to protect and make us of; water, that helps us to keep ourselves and our environment fresh, clean and healthful.

Materials such as baking soda, vinegar, borax, essential oils, castile soap and other simple ingredients like these can be versatile, useful and very effective when used all over the house. A good scouring brush, steel wool or coconut scrubber work so well on surfaces of all sorts for cleaning. Essential oils or hydrosols added to water, maybe even a small amount of soap can be used to spray/spritz onto hard and soft surfaces and either scrubbed or simply wiped off that frequently does the trick. If scouring is required, a little baking soda just might be the additive needed to give it a little extra scrubbing power.

For personal care, there are even times when baking soda & essentials oils added to the bath to cleanse the body is such a simple & wonderful way to reduce our consumption, support the planet and eliminate waste (from the body) and the planet too.

So, next time you need to refill your cleaning supplies, be it for your home or yourself, consider if you can reduce what you need, refine what you do and reuse what you have. If you’re not sure where to start of what to start with, I may have a few starting suggestions to get you going.

In September, at the South Frontenac Holistic Health Fair in Harrowsmith, this will be the focus of my workshop at the fair. Education and support for natural choices for ourselves and the planet with a highlight on integrating essential oils and other aromatherapy ingredients into our daily lives.

Come visit me, along with several other holistic minded health professionals on Saturday, September 23rd from 10am-3pm.

In health & happiness,


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