Ingredient Spotlight: Buriti Oil

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Buriti Oil is a palm oil that we use in Elemental Herbs’ sunsticks and, which will soon be in our entire line of sunscreens. We purchase buriti oil that has been sustainably harvested and organic to maintain the purity of our products.

Buriti oil is an orange-reddish oil extracted from the fruit of the Moriche palm. The oil contains high concentrations of oleic acid, tocopherols and carotenoids, especially betacarotene. Recently it has been found to filter and absorb cancer-causing UV rays from the sun, making it a perfect ingredient for our sunscreens. Also high in vitamin A, the oil is extracted from the pulp of the tree’s fruit. It is also used to treat burns because of its soothing qualities.

Buriti oil comes from the Moriche Palm, is a palm tree that grows in and near swamps and other wet areas in tropical South America. The trees can reach over 100 feet in height and have large leaves that form a rounded crown, and yellow flowers. The fruit, which grows from December to June, is brown and is covered with shiny scales. Inside, yellow flesh covers a hard, oval, nut. Once they drop from the tree, the nuts float, which is how the palm tree propagates.

The Moriche Palm fruit is edible, has a high vitamin C content, and used to make juice, jam, ice cream, and other items.

News from Around the Web: Plastic Soup

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Living in California, we spend a decent amount of time staring out into the Pacific, pondering its beauty. But this article on CNN.com will make you look at the ocean in a whole new — and not so majestic — way.

Research Ship Finds the World’s Oceans Are ‘Plasticized’

A marine expedition of environmentalists has confirmed the bad news it feared — the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” extends even further than previously known.

Organized by two non-profit groups — the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and the 5 Gyres Institute — the expedition is sailing from the Marshall Islands to Japan through a “synthetic soup” of plastic in the North Pacific Ocean on a 72-feet yacht called the Sea Dragon, provided by Pangaea Exploration.

The area is part of one of the ocean’s five tropical gyres — regions where bodies of water converge, with currents delivering high concentrations of plastic debris. The Sea Dragon is visiting the previously unexplored western half of the North Pacific gyre — situated below the 35th parallel, and home to a massive expanse of plastic particles known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” — to look for plastic pollution and study its effect on marine life.

Leading the expedition is Marcus Eriksen, a former U.S. marine and Ph.D student from University of Southern California.

To read the article in its entirety on CNN.com, click here.

News from Around the Web: Fracking – Friend or Foe?

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While most people concerned with the environment agree that that we should wean ourselves off our dependence on fossil fuels and switch instead to natural gas, which is plentiful and cleaner than coal, there are some concerns with the methods used to collect this resource.

Fracking, or induced hydraulic fracturing, the drilling technique used to collect natural gas has been blamed for polluting water supplies and air quality. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently proposed new rules to govern drilling on more than 700 million acres of federal and Indian lands that his department oversees.

Check out this interesting editorial in the New York Times and let us know what you think? Is fracking the Achilles’ heel of natural gas? How can this problem be solved?

The Full Circle Project

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Athlete Taylor Felton recently shared three videos on the Elemental Herbs Facebook page. We, in turn, wanted to share them with you.

Taylor is participating in The Full Circle Project, a philanthropic group whose goal is to raise enough money to plant 1,000 trees in Peru, install enough irrigation to keep the trees healthy, and offset the group’s room and board.

Last Summer I had the opportunity to travel down to the Bio Bio region of Chile for a community service and ski experience called The Full Circle Project.
Taylor write on the group’s website. “Mainly organized by Matt Philippi, I was very grateful when asked if I would take part in giving back to those displaced and affected by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. It was like no other trip I have ever been on and one that I will never forget. It gave me a new perspective.

“This year Matt has asked me to accompany him and The FullCircle crew down to Peru,” he continued. “We are working to help the locals of the pan-Andean region become more self sufficient and I am very excited to be apart of that. Having been an arborist and landscaper for the past nine summers, I feel I can be a valuable asset to the project and local culture. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and what it was like helping and giving back to you and those within the ski community.”

Click here to watch the videos and to learn how to donate.

News from Around the Web: Letters to the Editor

We love to see people taking a stand for the environment. Whether you are creating an eco-friendly product, spearheading a charity event for an Earth-friendly organization or simply composting your kitchen waste, actions matter. A recent batch of letters to the editor in the New York Times reminded us of another way people can make a difference: through the power of the pen. Next time you read an article that moves you, or see a documentary that makes you think, sitting down and writing a good old-fashioned letter (or email, as the case may be) is a great way to get involved and have your opinions be heard.

When is the last time you were inspired to write a letter? We’d love to hear about it.