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: 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.

Spring Plant Sale & Farm Festival is Tomorrow!

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Don’t forget: tomorrow, April 28th, is the 2nd Annual Four Elements Farm Spring Plant Sale & Farm Festival. From 11 am to 10 pm, Elemental Herbs, in partnership with Four Elements Organics, will have thousands of organic plant starts for sale, including numerous varieties of fruits, veggies, herbs, flowers, and heirloom grains, all of which have been grown in our beautiful straw-bale greenhouse.

In addition to the sale, the Farm Festival will feature activities for the entire family including:

  • Farm tours
  • Watershed ecology walks
  • Permaculture workshops
  • Information on sustainable living, organic gardening and cooking
  • Yoga
  • Children’s activities

There will also be tons of fabulous food and live music from The Earthtones, Burning Bush and BoomBala!

For more information and directions, visit www.fourelementsorganics.com.

Elemental Herbs: News from the Web

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This is an interesting piece that appeared in the New York Time recently about Wal-Mart’s allegiance with a a major environmental group. What do you think of these two as bedmates? And what, if anything, do you think will come out of such a partnership? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Unexpected Ally Helps Wal-Mart Cut Waste

by Stephanie Clifford

Michelle Harvey, an employee of the Environmental Defense Fund, has a security badge to a site that used to be considered enemy territory: the headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores in Bentonville, Ark.

An environmentalist in Bentonville sounds like the premise for a low-budget reality show, but Wal-Mart has been courting environmental groups and seeking their input on its policies in the seven years since it first announced a sustainability program.

The company, the nation’s biggest retailer, has met some environmental goals and missed others. On Monday, it plans to announce that it now reuses or recycles more than 80 percent of the waste produced in its domestic stores and in its other United States operations. That is up from 64 percent as of 2009, but it is short of the zero-waste goal the company hopes to get to.

Wal-Mart’s environmental push has helped transform public opinion of the company, easing the way for it to open stores in urban areas like Chicago and Los Angeles. About a quarter of Americans now have a favorable impression of Wal-Mart, about double the percentage that did in 2007 (the earliest available figure for Wal-Mart), according to the YouGov BrandIndex, which measures consumers’ impressions of companies and products.

Before Wal-Mart announced the environmental initiative in 2005, H. Lee Scott, the chief executive, reviewed the legal and public relations problems the company was having. It had paid millions of dollars in fines for violating local pollution laws, and was facing a lawsuit claiming that Wal-Mart discriminated against women. Mr. Scott wondered if behaving differently could enhance the company’s reputation, he told Fortune. That year, Mr. Scott announced a wide-ranging plan to lessen the retailer’s environmental impact. Wal-Mart has issued regular updates on its progress since then.

Click here to read the rest of this article on NYTimes.com.

EH Earth Day Contest: We Have a Winner! Plus More Prizes!

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Congratulations to Lorrin Salchli for winning last week’s Elemental Herbs Earth Day Contest! A healthy product will be shipped to you directly!

Just as a reminder, throughout the month of April, we are going to be celebrating Earth Day in a big way. Every Monday, until April 23rd, look for our Earth Day Question of the Week here or on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Answer the question here on the blog in the comments section and you’ll be entered to win an Elemental Herbs goodie. We’ll choose a winner at random and send the lucky person his or her eco swag in the mail.

The question will be posted on the Elemental Herbs Facebook page and on Twitter, but don’t forget to leave your answers here on the blog.

This week’s question: If you had $1 million to donate to an Earth-friendly charity or cause, which one would you choose and why?

Go. go. go! We can’t wait to see your responses!

April Earth Day Contest: We Have Winners!!

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We have not one but two winners of our Earth Day Contest this week! Denise and Stephanie, please email your addresses to caroline@elementalherbs.com.

To win prizes and share your knowledge throughout the month of April, look for our Earth Day Question of the Week every Monday until April 23rd. Answer the question here on the blog in the comments section and you’ll be entered to win a different Elemental Herbs goodie each week. We’ll choose a winner at random and send the lucky person his or her eco swag in the mail.

The question will be posted on the Elemental Herbs Facebook page and on Twitter, but don’t forget to visit the blog to leave your answers.

This week’s question: Which Earth-friendly celebrity do you most admire and why?

Go. go. go! We can’t wait to see your responses!

Enter Our April Earth Day Contest… No Foolin’!

April is a month of rebirth: the beginning of spring, longer periods of sunlight and a pervasive feeling of gratitude that winter is finally over!

April also plays host to Earth Day. This year the 42nd Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22nd but, here at Elemental Herbs, we plan to party starting right now, with prizes all month long.

To participate, look for our Earth Day Question of the Week every Monday until April 23rd. Answer the question here on the blog in the comments section and you’ll be entered to win a different Elemental Herbs goodie each week. We’ll choose a winner at random and send the lucky person his or her eco swag in the mail.

The question will be posted on the Elemental Herbs Facebook page and on Twitter, but don’t forget to visit the blog to leave your answers.

This week’s question: What changes have you made to make your lifestyle more green?

Go. go. go! We can’t wait to see your responses!

Treehugger’s Best of Green 2011

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Have your voice heard in Treehuggers’ annual Best of Green Awards. Vote for your favorite Earth-friendly car, green cookbook, eco home decor and more!

Nominees will be announced daily. Voting is open through March 30th at 11:59 p.m. Awards will be announced the week of April 2 – 6.

Click here to start voting!

News from the Web: The pH and the Sea

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Poor, poor ocean. How we abuse thee.

New research suggests that we are changing the pH of seawater — a measurement of how acid or alkaline it is — at an alarming rate. While history indicates that there have been many episodes of acidification over the history of the Earth, some scientists say that the current changes in the oceans’ pH level is cause for great concern. Please read this recent New York Times
short editorial and tell us what you think.

Changing the Chemistry of Earth’s Oceans

Ingredient Spotlight: Plantago

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Elemental Herbs’ products are full of great stuff picked fresh on organic farms all over the Bay Area. In this series, we take a peek inside our jars and tubes to explore the healing properties of some of our ingredients. This week we investigate the magic of plantago!

Plantago is a genus of about 200 species of small, inconspicuous plants, which is commonly called plantains, even though they are in no way related to the banana of the same name. Plantains are found all over the world, and many species grow wild as weeds.

Different species of Plantago have been used since prehistoric times as herbal remedies, with some ancient folklore even claiming that the plant could pull the venom from a snakebite. It was sometimes also ingested as a tea or tincture to cure coughs and colds. The broad-leafed varieties can also be eaten as a salad.

At Elemental Herbs we use plantain externally in our All Good Goop for its antibacterial, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, when ground, the leaves create a mucilage, which helps stimulate mucous membranes. This is essential for keeping the surface of a scrape, sting or burn soft for healing.

Elemental Herbs: News of the Week

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The San Francisco Bay Area is home to some 7.5 million inhabitants, with many paying an exorbitant price for real estate that offers even a slivered view of those namesake waters — but it turns out that behind the Golden Gate lies much more than meets the eye. According to the results of the first comprehensive assessment of pollution in that famous bay, a mind-boggling 1.36 million gallons of trash are being dumped in it every year. All that waste, say experts, is be enough to fill 100 thousand kitchen-sized garbage bags! Oh, and it’s 100 percent avoidable.

To read the rest of this article on Treehugger.com.

Elemental Herbs: News of the Week

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In this interesting article, Jean-François Mouhot, visiting researcher at Georgetown University, makes a correlation between slavery and the overuse of fossil fuels. Whether you agree or disagree with his points, it is certainly an interesting argument.

Pointing out the similarities (and differences) between slavery and the use of fossil fuels can help us engage with climate change in a new way, says Jean-François Mouhot, visiting researcher at Georgetown University, USA.

In 2005, while teaching history at a French university, I was struck by the general disbelief among students that rational and sensitive human beings could ever hold others in bondage. Slavery was so obviously evil that slave-holders could only have been barbarians. My students could not entertain the idea that some slave-owners could have been genuinely blind to the harm they were doing. At the same time, I was reading a book on climate change which noted how today’s machinery — almost exclusively powered by fossil fuels like coal and oil — does the same work that used to be done by slaves and servants. “Energy slaves” now do our laundry, cook our food, transport us, entertain us, and do most of the hard work needed for our survival. Intriguing similarities between slavery and our current dependence on fossil-fuel-powered machines struck me: both perform roughly the same functions in society (doing the hard and dirty work that no one wants to do), both were considered for a long time to be acceptable by the majority and both came to be increasingly challenged as the harm they caused became more visible.

To read the rest of this article on PopulationMatters.org, click here.

Welcome to the New Elemental Herbs Blog!

Welcome to Elemental Herb’s new blog! We look forward to having you visit us here to learn more about our company, about special offers and information about our partner companies.

But what exactly is Elemental Herbs and why should you purchase our products?

Elemental Herbs is proof that sometimes the best products start with the simplest ideas. Elemental Herbs started with a straightforward vision: to harness the natural powers of the environment’s purest, most elemental ingredients and organic herbs in order to offer natural healing products that are not only good for people but good for the earth.

The mission began with owner Caroline Duell, a massage therapist and outdoor enthusiast who wanted to start a company that would connect nature and healing. She was living and working on an organic farm in Northern California where she began to experiment with the healing power of the plants that grew around her.

Made of five different plants, the ingredients in All Good Goop were chosen for their medicinal properties. Blended together in a healing balm, they proved strong enough to fight the dry skin of cracked carpenter’s hands, and gentle enough to heal a rash on a baby’s bottom. Continue reading “Welcome to the New Elemental Herbs Blog!” »