When I started looking into how to live a zero- or low-waste lifestyle, I kept coming across a few things.
- Essential oils
I noticed that in order to live low waste, you’ve gotta be savvy with your homemade concoctions or wealthy enough to invest in quality products.
Right off the bat, I was overwhelmed
I’m neither diy-savvy nor am I rollin’ in the dough financially. I was a bit panicky.
I wanted to do my part for the planet, and once I realized the impact my plastic use and waste had on the environment, ethically, I couldn’t brush it off and turn my back.
I knew I had to commit in some respect to lowering my waste, but doing it in a way that didn’t leave me broke or pulling my hair out in frustration.
So I decided to take it slow.
I did research. A whole LOT of research.
I started realizing that diys aren’t actually that difficult when you find the right ingredients for your skin type. And I also started seeing how limiting my waste on a budget wasn’t as terribly difficult as I had first imagined.
I started investing my money in items that would last me a long time and that were super versatile, such as…
- To-go thermos and water bottle
- Dr. Bronner’s castile soap
- Top-notch essential oils
- Glass spray bottles and containers
- and a few low-waste make up brands
Those things have continued to help me say “no, thanks!” to plastic.
Especially, essential oils.
here’s the deal with essential oils
I use Young Living essential oils. They’re one of the purest on the market, and they’re one of the OG companies. They do a lot for the communities in which they have their essential oil farms, including education, good wages, etc.
I decided to invest in essential oils (and yes, it is an investment) because I wanted to see if I really could use them in everything. And after I got my starter kit, I soon realized that I seriously can use these guys in EVERYTHING.
Here’s how I use mine….
- Cleaning every part of my house
- On my body and hair
- In my skincare
- As aromatherapy instead of toxic candles
- At night to help me sleep
- Throughout the day for emotional support
- As perfume
- To support aches and pains, and even nausea
- As a bug repellent
- In my toothpaste concoction
- To use instead of dryer sheets
- To cook with and add to my water and tea
- As an air freshener
- To make chapstick
- For immune system support…. the list goes on.
I’ve found using essential oils are the single easiest way for me to ditch toxic and environmentally un-friendly items in my house and switch to something pure and versatile.
Essential oils aren’t cheap. And they shouldn’t be. If you find cheap oils at Walmart, chances are, they’re probably not the best quality. But a small bottle of tea tree or lemon oil can last you months. Lavender can be used all over your body and in all sorts of skincare regimes. Peppermint is natures pain reliever.
I started out with a starter kit by Young Living. It’s $165 and comes with 12 of the most versatile oils on the market, and a diffuser. And those oils last you months if you use them right!
There are endless oils out there, but honestly, the starter kit is really all you technically need to get started ditching and switching products.
Here’s a break down of what you get:
Here’s the zero waste caveat…..
The starter kit has a few samples that come in plastic (thieves all-purpose cleaner, ningxia red and a travel hand sanitizer). Also, the shipment comes wrapped in plastic tape and with a few plastic package fillers.
So obviously that’s a big bummer.
HOWEVER. The reason I continue using Young Living essential oils is because they’ve committed to being entirely zero waste in the next five years. They’re looking for ways to limit their plastic as well as come up with a recycling program.
(I already reuse my glass bottles and give them as gifts to friends and family. I’ll pop on a roller ball on the top of an essential oil bottle and fill it with an oil concoction of my choice ;])
Also! Essential oils are not necessarily sustainable. I will eventually write a bigger blog post on this, but essential oils are very resource intensive. It takes pounds of lemons to make lemon essential oil.
That’s something really important to keep in mind when using essential oils — they should be used sparingly. Essential oils are packed with concentrated goodness. Concentrated…meaning a little goes a long way! Where two or three drops of essential oil would do the trick in a diy, don’t use 10. Be mindful and grateful that we have such an incredible gift in essential oils — so let’s not exploit that gift. It’s important to always keep any company you support accountable, too.
Although I think Young Living is a great company and they are proving to be more and more sustainable… it’s my job as a consumer to keep them accountable to that! They said they’re going zero waste in the next few years. That’s GREAT! But let’s hold them to that 🙂
Committing to be zero waste… that’s HUGE — especially for a big company like Young Living. So instead of not supporting YL and opting for a something else, I’m sticking with them, and encouraging them along the way in their fight for sustainability.
Is Young Living a perfect corporation? Not at all. In fact, there are plenty of issues I have with YL. I wish they were certified fair trade and I also wish they were a certified B-Corporation. But, the fact that they are looking to be more sustainable is big for me, and the fact that anyone is allowed to check out their essential oil farms at any time is cool — I dig the transparency for sure.
There is no perfect system and there is no perfect corporation. All we can do is support folks that are doing good things and encourage them to do even better things.
If you are interested in becoming a member with Young Living or getting a starter kit, feel free to reach out to me! Or, click this link and you’ll be transferred to the Young Living website with my code.
Essential oils have been a huge blessing in my life. They’ve made my transition to a low-waste lifestyle so much easier and they’ve helped me become more creative with my diys!
I’m a big fan :]