e3’s Commitment to Essential Oil Sustainability
By Caryn Gehlmann
I really appreciate it when customers ask us what we do at Essential 3 to support essential oil sustainability and the environment. This is an important conversation to have. We take sustainability and the environment very seriously, in every step of offering products, from the raw materials, to the packaging, to the packing and shipping materials used.
First, let me say that e3 has been in the essential oil business for close to twenty years and we have always striven to do business with trusted suppliers in the industry. We do not condone or encourage the use of Non-Fair Trade practices, nor do we work with companies or suppliers who do.
Here are 3 things we do in our efforts to support essential oil sustainability and lighten our footprint on the environment:
1. Limiting (or Eliminating) Supply to High-Demand Essential Oils.
Essential oils are a commodity, affected by climate, conscious planting, harvesting, distillation as well as the political, economical, and environmental issues within the region. Endangered plant species is a huge concern of ours….it is our business!
There are several essential oils that due to increased demand have caused overharvesting. For example, Rosewood cannot legally be imported into the US anymore due to the irresponsibility of an existing essential oil company that imported Rosewood, without the required permits, and exceeded the allotted quantity. Palo Santo is another essential oil that is being over-harvested. For this reason, it is no longer part of our standard product line. When a customer requests it, or another essential oil that is at risk of becoming endangered, we endeavor to educate them about the limited supply. Often, there is another essential oil that can meet their needs.
Frankincense, which exploded in popularity recently due to misinformation about supposed “cures”, is still available as a standard. However, knowing more about which Frankincense and the country of origin allows us to consciously make more sustainable choices
Another way we take a sustainable approach is by offering blends. For example, we offer a Sandalwood Blend. We understand that it does not carry the same rich deep scent throw that Sandalwood Mysore carries, however, we believe that we can and need to make adjustments to support sustainability. Therefore, we recommend Sandalwood Blend to our clients and carry a very limited supply of Mysore.
2. Using Eco-friendly Packaging.
At e3 we pack in recyclable cardboard boxes and package in recycled peanuts; when we purchase peanuts we purchase potato starch peanuts when available. We use a variety of packing material which includes brown paper but try to limit it as we are cognizant that paper products cut down trees. 90% of our products are packaged in glass, but the orifice reducers and caps are plastic. There is no way to avoid that.
3. Educating Customers to Sustainably Use Essential Oils.
Less is more! This is the message we consistently share with customers on how to use essential oils safely and sustainably in their everyday lives. Essential oils are highly concentrated. It takes an abundance of plant material to make that small bottle of your favorite essential oil. But that doesn’t make it an unsustainable practice if you remember to use it in small quantities and to dilute, dilute, dilute!
The good news is that using a carrier actually enhances the effectiveness of the essential oil. The carrier not only dilutes the concentration, but it also minimizes evaporation while binding the molecules to your skin. This allows for coverage of a larger surface area and increases transdermal absorption. Isn’t it nice to know that diluting is good for you, the environment, and your pocketbook? It’s a win-win-win! Find more dilution recommendations here.
Our e3 truth is that by being conscious with each person, source, and company we choose to interact and partner with, our choices are very intentional. That also means that we’re constantly evolving as we learn of new ways we can make a difference. We are honored to maintain long-term, trustworthy relationships with our staff, sourcing partners, and customers. Please reach out to us with any questions or thoughts on making essential oil sustainability your first choice.