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Tips for Shopping Green & Clean at the Farmers Market

On Tuesdays in the spring and summer, I step away from my computer and into my own version of paradise. Pulling my car into a bustling central Pennsylvania farmers market, I head directly to the Jade Family Farmstand. These ambassadors of all that is local and delicious fill my bag with bright rhubarb, fragrant sorrel, and oddly delicious kiwi berries—all certified organic and grown by farmers whose growing practices are summed up in four words: First, do no harm.

But farming practices are as broad as pepper varieties, and not all market stands are created equal. Some resell produce bought wholesale: not exactly what we envision when we fill our canvas bags with “local food.”

How does a savvy shopper identify the highest quality farmers market finds while supporting their local food system?

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Homemade Granite and Marble Countertop Cleaner with Essential Oils

A lot of people are discovering the benefits of using natural DIY household cleansers—not only are they crazy-easy to make and dramatically less expensive than over-the-counter cleansers, they also give us the ability to choose ingredients we know are safe for our families and pets, and to customize the scents we’d like to have lingering in our homes. However, not all DIY cleansers are equal. 

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Posted by Jessicka

5 Zero-Waste Recipes for Skin and Body Care

I have been on a big “DIY swap” kick lately. It all started with a growing interest in leading a more sustainable lifestyle, which for me, meant finding ways to eliminate single-use and non-recyclable packaging. The DIY aspect of this project was born out of necessity. I knew the easiest way to avoid purchasing products packaged unsustainably was to just make them myself. There were some growing pains of course. I will be the first to admit that I am not always the best at planning ahead, so adjusting from simply buying an item in a store to carving out the time to make the product did not always go smoothly. However, since I have embraced the process, I’m finding it deeply gratifying to craft my own products, especially my own body-care products.

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Posted by Maia

Did You Know That We Are an Oregon Benefit Company?

You already know that Mountain Rose Herbs is a purveyor of organic herbs, essential oils, teas, and exceptional botanical offerings. And you've probably read that we are serious about putting people, plants, and planet before profit with everything we do: from supporting sustainable agriculture to encouraging employee volunteerism. What you may not have known is that in 2018 these values led us to become an Oregon Benefit Company.

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Posted by Maia

Green Cleaning Recipes for the Bathroom

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how to reduce the presence of plastic in my life. With the recyclability of plastics becoming more and more of a question mark, and a disheartening one at that, the place that I keep arriving at is to just try as hard as I can to remove plastics from the equation altogether. The kitchen was the first place I started with my sustainability makeover. I slowly began to change my shopping habits so that I would wind up with less leftover single-use plastics at the end of the week. It wasn’t easy but it was incredibly liberating; it eased my conscience a bit to know that I was able to take steps toward a greener lifestyle. As my interest in living more sustainably snowballed, I began seeing problems everywhere I looked in my house, particularly with my cleaning products, and especially with my bathroom cleansers.

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Posted by Maia

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

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

EarthShare: Putting Passion to Work through Workplace Giving

Mountain Rose Herbs is proud to be an EarthShare Oregon Business Member. EarthShare is a national network that connects environmental organizations across the United States using businesses as fundraising platforms. In 2011, we launched our very first EarthShare Oregon campaign by organizing an employee giving program that connects our staff with like-minded environmental organizations working to protect and defend the places we hold dear. Through this program, we have successfully connected our employees with over 100 environmental organizations that they are passionate about supporting. That is nearly $100,000 given the past 8 years! Read on to learn more about EarthShare Oregon.

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Posted by Shawn

The Importance of Continuous Blooms Amidst Changing Climate

As days get shorter and temperatures sink, it’s an ideal time to take a look at your home garden and start thinking about ways you can increase bloom times next growing season. Growing a pollinator-friendly garden is easy and planning ahead can give you plenty of time to ponder which plants you want to introduce next year and think up new, creative ways to increase blooms to feed next year’s hungry pollinators. Early winter is a great time to reflect on which blooms you had in your home garden throughout the past year and identify any times when blooms could have been increased to support more bees. 

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