Wednesday, August 5, 2009

NAHA E-News Going Green Article June 2009

Essential News Going Green
E-tips for Aromatherapy Awareness

Contributed by Shellie Enteen BA LMT
from the free monthly Astralessence Newsletter
(sign up via website at the end of article)

To Green Clean with essential oils, all you need is some distilled white vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, water, a measuring cup and some recycled spray bottles or jam jars.

Essential oils to have on hand are Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), which are known to have strong antibacterial properties, especially when mixed together. More of the effective essences used for cleaning are Lemon (Citus limon), Orange (Citrus sinensis), Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Eucalyptus (E. globulus), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) and others can be added for their fragrance and other properties.

In the near future, I will be announcing a free tele-seminar about making products. (October 8, 2009 see for more details). Click on this link to purchase a CD Recording of Shellie's tele-conference presentation.

For now, I will tell you one of my favorites: creating a healthy, "green" laundry experience that will also diffuse a fabulous fragrance into your home. It is important to find an all plant derived laundry liquid or powder. Many will be surprised to learn that Borax was banned in the UK 40 years ago because of toxicity to the human body. The phosphates that we abhor in the US don't affect us, but do create algae that harm fish populations. Not all brands in the health food store are Borax free. Ecover is a Borax free brand in health food stores and one in the main stream, is Purex. (You may well find others by reading labels.)

It's also important to stop using fragranced products which contain synthetic chemicals. Many holistic practitioners know that lots of 'symptoms' and environmental sensitivities are exacerbated or created by exposure to chemical fragrances.

So, begin by adding a Borax and fragrance free laundry product. Then measure out a cup of white vinegar and add at least 15 drops of a blend of Lavender and Tea Tree - with Eucalyptus if you want to rid laundry of dust mites, too. You can add other favorite essences, but not any that have a strong Chamomile or Cedar. Then, just pour the vinegar and essential oils into the washing machine as it is filling with water and add clothes or linens.

A wonderful feature of using vinegar is the softening effect. And vinegar plus antibacterial essential oils will get your laundry cleaner in cold water washes than just using laundry soap. Create your own blend or purchase my favorite laundry blend that comes with a dropper top for easy dispensing.

If you try green cleaning with essential oils in your home, I'd love to hear your experiences!

Please contact Shellie directly at

Shellie is also a regular contributor to MASSAGE TODAY Publication sharing her professional views on True Aromatherapy within the Massage Community.

Want to contribute to the NAHA Essential E-News column? We'd love for you to share your helpful aromatherapy recipes and green-awareness tips. We are also looking for information on the following: Marketing your aromatherapy business tips, diffusion blends, what do you do to be green etc.

Please fill out the Online Feedback Form and submit your writings in a WORD Document to Kelly at If your e-news is accepted for publication in a future NAHA e-newsletter you will be notified via email.


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Marge said...

Some things Nature's Gift has been doing as a business to "go green" from a business, not personal, point of view. Some ideas that might help you with the "greening" of your office.

Some of them are fairly major, and some are probably fairly minor, but they all add up.

1. Recycling. We have had big "recycling" barrels for years. All plastics, all aluminum, and most paper get recycled. Especially broken down cardboard cartons, and it's amazing how many of those come in in a week.

2. Additional recycling: Christi is a bird owner - she takes used printouts home to line her bird cages. (has been doing that as long as she's been with us. Said she saw special paper for that in a shop recently...$9.00 a small package!)

3. Temperature control. We keep our workroom and office past cool - it'd downright cold there this winter. And on Friday afternoon we turn all thermostats down lower, to conserve electricity.

4. Lighting. The workroom is kept fairly dim. Rather than brightly lighting the whole area, every work station has a small "task light"...only in use when someone is working there. In the office we never use the overhead lights. A lot of light comes in through the picture window and windowed doors; on dark, gloomy days I'll turn on a spotlight lamp on my desk. Oh, and both at the office and at home we use the compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

5. Packing materials - the packing peanuts we use are cellulose based, totally biodegradable. Whenever possible we reuse packing materials. (Which is why your order may have plastic peanuts. Someone shipped them to us, and we'd rather recycle them than have them go in a land fill!)

The colored tissue with which we "top off" your order is made from recycled materials. In fact, whenever the option is available (printer paper, for example) we purchase "stuff" made from recycled material.

6. We include a reminder to please recycle our packaging with every order.

7. We post suggestions for recycling our packaging, etc. either on the blog or in our newsletter.

8. We do NOT mail out paper catalogues or other promotional materials. No trees die to produce our newsletter.

9. When we remodeled and moved into our new building a year and a half ago we put in new breakroom and work kitchens. All sinks have aerators, as suggested, and we have a "low flush" toilet. (We do draw the line at "flushing whenever necessary." After every use IS necessary!)

We shut all the computers off when we leave for the day; in total honesty I hadn't thought about shutting off all of their surge protectors. That's one we will start doing this coming week.

On the whole, I am proud of us. The only thing we don't do is carpool, but everyone lives in different directions and works different hours, so that is not practicable. (I love to telecommute, would work from home almost all the time, but I'm told my physical presence in necessary. so much for that!)

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