The Pine Journal

  • Taking Care: The Third Pillar

    Taking Care: The Third Pillar

    Taking Care: The Third Pillar (of Ethics) 

    Taking care of self/environment. The two are not distinguishable. Being nature, we aren't separate from our environment and whatever happens in our environment will directly impact us. So, our third ethical pillar involves taking care. 

    In the second pillar we touched on how there's an ethical difference in buying products knowing they're harmful and choosing to buy them, and buying products with harmful ingredients unknowingly.

    When you purchase these products (take lysol, for example) you're not only affecting your health when you buy and use it, you're also affecting the health of those around you. There's a chain reaction and we're seeing this play out with plastic in the ocean.

    I believe we are nature, and as intelligent beings we have the ability to be cosmic stewards for the betterment of earth and all life forms. I believe nature has designed us to be her caretakers. And the first step to being a good steward is realizing that everything in nature is connected. So when we pollute the oceans with plastic, we'll end up eating that same plastic. But when we take care of our environments, our environments will take care of us. 

    I think Darwin got it wrong. I don't think nature works on the principle of conflict; it's  not about war and survival of the fittest. I think nature works on the principle of trust and cooperation and beneficial relationships. And when something ceases to be cooperative and beneficial it becomes harmful to the overall ecosystem, and that causes conflict. This is something that Terence McKenna talked about in his book The Archaic Revival, who laid it out with an eloquence I won't attempt to paraphrase:

    "Connectedness and symbiosis. Like plants, we need to maximize the qualities of connectedness and symbiosis. Plant-based approaches to modeling the world include awareness of the fractal and branching nature of community action. A treelike network of symbiotic relationships can now replace the model of evolution that we inherited from the 19th century [...] Later, more sophisticated observers (C. H. Waddington and Erich Jantsch) found not the War in Nature that Darwinists reported but rather a situation in which it was not competitive ability but ability to maximize cooperation with other species that most directly contributed to an organism's being able to function and endure as a member of a biome...

    The matted floor of a tropical rain forest is an environment of great chemical diversity; the topology approaches that of brain tissue in its complexity. Within the network of interconnected roots, complex chemicals are being transmitted and received. Co-adaptive evolution and symbiotic relationships regulate this entire system with a ubiquitousness that argues for the evolutionary primacy of these cooperative strategies. For example, mycorrhizal fungi live in symbiosis on the outside of plant roots and gently balance and buffer the mineral-laden water that is moving through them to the roots of their host." (p. 221-222)

    I believe we can play a beneficial role for our environments. By recognizing the natural importance of symbiosis and connectedness, we can develop real world strategies to help deescalate some of the harm we've caused to our environments, and forge a better path forward.

    McKenna did too:

    "Recycling. Like plants we need to recycle. On a cosmic scale we are no more mobile than plants [...] Plants are fixed. They cannot easily move to richer nutrients or leave an area if they foul or deplete it. They must recycle well. The fostering of a plant-based ethic that emulates the way in which the botanical world uses and replaces resources is sine qua non for planetary survival." (p. 222)

    Refilling is a pragmatic approach to recycling well. It eliminates excess packaging, chemicals, and waste; and I believe it's the emulation of a plant based ethic.


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  • Multipurpose Products

    Multipurpose Products

    Who doesn't love to stretch their money.. especially with the huge price increases on everything right now? A simple way to stretch your money is by purchasing products that are multifunctional. Here's a look at some products we carry that are natural, work well, and perform many functions! 

    Cast Iron Soap/Hand Soap - 100% Natural Cast Iron Cleaning & Seasoning Soap is made using traditional soap making methods and free of sulfates, phosphates, parabens or petrochemicals! Gently cleans and maintains the natural seasoning on cast iron skillets, pans, woks & grills. Gently cleans cast iron without destroying the seasoning! This moisturizing & conditioning soap is gentle enough to be used on your hands!  This lightly scented soap is made with a proprietary blend of lemongrass and rosemary essential oils. Ingredients: water, saponified vegetable oil, glycerin, lemongrass and rosemary essential oils. Refill available

    Yoga Mat Spray/Natural Evaporating CleanserGreen Cricket’s yoga mat spray has tea tree oil and witch hazel to provide natural disinfectant and anti-microbial properties and orange, lavender and ylang ylang to give a refreshing and pleasant scent. Safe to use on all types of yoga mats. Use on changing tables, toys, yoga mats, sports equipment, computers and car interiors; this is also a great deodorizer for shoes and sports bags! Orange, lavender and ylang ylang essential oils give a pleasant, refreshing scent. Made without parabens, SLES, SLS, artificial fragrances or colours. Ingredients: Aqua, witch hazel, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower (Ylangylang) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (sweet Orange) Peel Oil, sodium benzoate (preservative), polysorbate (preservative). Refill available

    Oxygen Brightener/Tile & Grout Cleaner This multi-purpose brightener shines in the laundry room, but also in the bathroom, kitchen and all over the house! Add a scoop to your laundry along with your favourite detergent for whiter whites and brighter brights. Featuring sodium percarbonate (hydrogen peroxide) as a brightening agent, sodium carbonate (washing soda) and the superhero duo of citric acid and lemon essential oil to break down mineral build-up, this powder can be made into a paste to clean grout and ceramics, or a solution to spray on carpet stains. Ingredients: Sodium percarbonate, Sodium carbonate, Citric acid, Citrus limonum (Lemon essential oil). Refill available. 

    All-in-1 Cleaner - Finally a 100% all natural cleaner that replaces the need for multiple products in your home. It's a glass cleaner, kitchen cleaner, wood cleaner, floor cleaner, bathroom cleaner, wall cleaner, and well, a 'just about everything' cleaner. This cleaner is pH balanced, which means it is safe to use on everything from antiques to granite to custom wood floors. Even electronics, toys, car interiors, glass & mirrors, metals and stainless steel, granite, marble and stone can all be safely cleaned with All-in-1 Cleaner. Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Organic Saponaria Officinalis (Soapwort Herb) Extract, Decyl Glucoside, Organic Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Fucus (Seaweed) Extract, Sodium Chloride (Celtic Sea Salt), Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender Flowers) Extract, Organic Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail Herb) Extract, Organic Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark Extract, Organic Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Organic Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil, Trifolium Pratense (Red Clover) Extract. Refill available. 

    Dish Block/Stain Remover - Solid dishwashing soap is a cleaning powerhouse with a rich, sudsy lather, which cuts stubborn grime and grease on dishes, pots and pans. You can use it for cleaning-duty all over your home. It can take stains out of laundry, take labels off of jars, spot clean your carpet, or use it to wipe down ovens... a truly multipurpose product. Ingredients: Sodium ester salts, sodium salts, cocoyl (plant-derived cleaning agent) alkyl sulfonates (cleaning agent) alkyl polyglucosides (plant-derived cleaning agent) sodium carbonate (mineral-derived cleaning agent) potassium cocoate (plant-derived cleaning agent) vegetable glycerol (skin protectant) quillaja saponaria* (plant-derived cleaning agent) aloe vera leaf* (skin protectant) sodium citrate (pH adjuster) sodium gluconate (chelating agent) sodium benzoate (preservative) purified water (solvent) * denotes organic ingredient   Comes in a recyclable paper box.

    Heartwood Body Oil/Bath Oil - Heartwood body oil is a multi-purpose concentrated beauty elixir! Lavish your skin with rich plant oils, hand picked, hand brewed Canadian botanical extracts and light natural fragrance. Every bottle is brimming with pure, potent goodness to nourish your skin and senses. Earthy and natural, this rich fragrance showcases the pleasing notes of balsam fir, juniper, black spruce and cedarwood. A hint of patchouli helps bring everything together, making for a deep, spicy perfume oil that will make you feel like you’ve been embraced by the forest. Uses include the following:

    • Apply immediately after shower to damp skin or mist skin with a toner before massaging into skin.
    • Massage a few drops of oil into your hands, cuticles, toes and elbows to deeply nourish these areas.
    • Massage a small amount of oil to wet hair as a hair masque. Wrap your hair in a towel and relax for 30 minutes, shampoo and rinse.
    • Add Heartwood Oil to the bath for a super moisturizing bath that smells like the forest.
    • Perfume oil, roll on your wrist for an all natural woodsy scent.
    Ingredients: organic sunflower seed oil, hemp seed oil, balsam fir oil, Black Spruce oil, Cedarwood oil, organic castor seed oil, Atlas Cedar bark oil, Juniper fruit oil, Patchouli oil, Red Pine extract, Pepper fruit extract, vitamin E.  Comes in a glass bottle.


    Beyond the double (or more) duty of these products, the above are zero waste and many are available for in-store refill. As an added bonus, the products above are made using ingredients that benefit you and don't harm the environment! 

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