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A Story of Alternative Commute Incentives Propelling Change

Before I moved to Eugene in March of 2010, I drove a car every day, everywhere. Living in the suburbs of Boston, it was necessary. I didn’t know anyone who didn’t drive to work, to the grocery store, or even to the gym. When I arrived, I brought my mindset with me and drove everywhere: to work (ten blocks from home), to the grocery store (twelve blocks), and the gym (just over a mile). In my first three months here, I clocked fewer than a hundred miles and made three car payments—clearly not an economical way to get around! I sold my car that June and bought a used bicycle.

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Posted by Julia

What are Resins and Gums in Plants?

The diversity of natural chemical compounds in plants is remarkable. For many years, scientists thought they could be broken down into simple primary and secondary categories: the primary compounds being those that contribute directly to growth and development, and the secondary ones being byproducts that don’t directly contribute to those primary functions. Most of the aromatic oils, gums, and resins that humans have adored for thousands of years fell into this wide category of secondary natural compounds. Why do plants produce them? Understanding the roles these compounds play in plants helps us understand how to use them most effectively. We went to our friend, fourth-generation botanist and plant physiologist Karen Hall, to get a better understanding of natural gums, resins, and gum-resins in plants.

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Posted by Heidi

DIY Eucalyptus Shower Bombs

Bath Bombs can be a soothing addition to the bathing experience, and I’ve always wondered how left out people without tubs must feel. As the empathetic person I am, I started to ponder ways in which everyone could enjoy the wonders of a fizzy, aromatic bathing experience. That’s when I dreamed up the idea of shower bombs. As it turns out, however, there were many others who’d had this dream before I did. In the past year, I’ve seen “shower bombs” begin to make their way on the shelves of my local grocery and natural food stores. Yet, my passion for DIY was too strong to simply buy one. I was on a quest to create the perfect shower bomb!

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Posted by Jessicka

6 Sustainable Laundry Swaps

Laundry time is supposed to elicit feelings of cleanliness. However, a few years ago as I began to take a closer look at the ingredients found in my conventional laundry care products, it made me feel far from clean. It became apparent that the “laundry list” of unpronounceable ingredients could not be good for my skin or even going down my drain, for that matter. One thing was sure, my laundry room was a chemical-laden nightmare, and I was in desperate need of an overhaul!

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Posted by Jessicka

Natural Sensory Play for Children: Hearing

While some people may be naturally born with heightened senses, most of us must hone and practice these skills throughout our lifetime, and particularly when we are children.

During my years of mentoring in environmental nature immersion, I’ve seen countless children develop “super senses” (hear, see, feel, smell, intuit) that astounds their parents. I love stories like the one when a father was flabbergasted by his seven-year-old daughter. “She could hear the sound of an owl hooting way off in the distance,” he excitedly said, “long before I even could sense it and her observation skills are through the roof – I can’t keep up!”

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Posted by Anna

Sustainable Living at Home: 5 DIY Kitchen Swaps

A few years ago, my friend gave me the oddest gift. As she handed it to me, she sheepishly said, “I’m not sure how you will like this, but I use them at my house, and I hope you’ll have a use for them too!” Inside the neatly wrapped brown paper package was a roll of cloth squares. I admitted that I was confused by the gift and jokingly asked if it was toilet paper. Turns out I wasn’t too far off – it was a roll of Unpaper® Towels! It turned out her “odd” gift inspired me and seeded my passion to look at my home in a new way, to ask myself, “How sustainable are my household habits?” 

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Posted by Anna

DIY Hand Sanitizer Spray with Four Thieves® Essential Oil Blend

Clean hands are the guardians of health. And while washing your hands with warm soapy water is always best, sometimes life doesn’t allow for that luxury. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where right after you touch something, you have this inexplainable urge to wash your hands? Sometimes you can just feel when something is icky. Having found myself with this reaction more in the past few months, it solidified my practice of carrying homemade hand sanitizer everywhere I go.

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Posted by Jessicka

How to Make Homemade Fire Starters with Herbs

Sitting beside a fire is one of my favorite pastimes. The full sensory experience offers so many aspects of comfort: the sensation of being warm and cozy, the abstract performance of the flames dancing, the crackling sound of the wood changing form, the taste of herbal tea or a craft libation I’m likely sipping on, and of course the aroma! Each of these elements brings me closer to a place of peace and contentment.

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Posted by Jessicka

Top 10 Recipes of 2020

2020 has been a year of rediscovery. As we have all been limiting trips to public places, many of us have found more interest in cooking and in creating DIY products to use around the home. It was fascinating to take a look at our top recipes of the year and reflect on just what our herbal community has found to be the most helpful in 2020. The silver lining to this year is that, although it has been difficult, we are more resilient than we were yesterday, and we will continue to learn and grow every day forward. We hope you enjoy this recipe roundup as living proof of our collective vision for a healthy and sustainable tomorrow. Cheers to a hopeful new year!

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Posted by Jessicka

10 Essential Oils for Clarity and Focus

When life gets a bit madhouse, it can significantly impact our ability to process information efficiently. With so much “noise” all around us, it becomes hard to create a space where we can focus and nurture mental and emotional clarity. The folks who are home-schooling or working from home these days know this all too well! Many of us are turning to our favorite herbal allies as we negotiate these challenging days, and here at Mountain Rose Herbs, we’re seeing more questions from people who are exploring aromatherapy as part of the actions they are taking to create a calm in the storm. With that in mind, we put together this list of ten essential oils that have long-established reputations for supporting clarity and focus.

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Posted by Christine

New Essential Oil Kits for the Aromatherapy Explorer

 

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