by guest contributor Jessica Gonacha
This week’s interview is a real treat for me—Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary in Boulder, Colorado is one of the things I miss most about my hometown. Rebecca was kind enough to give us a glimpse into her thriving shop in downtown Boulder, a shop that encompasses both the indie and eco-friendly way of life and is brimming with love and goodness!
1. What fueled your decision to create eco-friendly products?
I wanted to bring botanical medicine to the people. Botanical medicine is really the people’s medicine and I want it to be accessible to everyone, so I decided to create a place where you could go to get everything you need in one shop.
2. What does ‘green’ mean to you, and how do you support green business practices in your shop?
We support local providers and farmers as much as possible in order to reduce the cost and environmental impact of shipping far distances. We also make most of our products right here in the shop, which also helps reduce gas consumption. We recycle all of our packing materials and often return things like packing peanuts to UPS for them to reuse.On a more macro level, our goal is to empower people to get connected with botanical medicine, which directly connects people with the earth and fosters eco-friendly attitudes.
We also encourage people to bring in their used bottles for us to refill rather than buying new bottles of our products. It cuts down on packaging, and we are moving more and more in this direction.
3. Do you have a favorite product that you’ve created?
My favorite product line that is unique to our shop is our infused coconut oils. Our best-selling product is definitely our precious face serum (note from Jess: it is truly fantastic stuff!), and the bulk herbs are the heart and soul of the shop.
4. Who or what are your eco heroes/inspirations?
Tammi Hartung, the author of 101 Herbs That Heal, is one of my biggest heroes. She is a plant warrior! She saw issues with plant populations and helps plants that are at risk She has truly touched my life. Another hero is Rosemary Gladstar. I gush every time I meet her! She is part of the founding of United Plant Savers and her texts are very accessible to the community.
5. Do you have a favorite eco tip for your readers?
Yes, to focus on what is ABUNDANT around you. To learn about dandelion is good for everybody— plants that are the most abundant are the ones that are the most likely to be helpful.
GREEN CHALLENGE: It’s the season for spring cleaning, when we declutter our houses and get rid of unwanted books, furniture, clothes and more. Make sure to take all your unwanted stuff to your local thrift shop, freecycle it, have a yard sale, sell it on half.com or whatever way you can creatively recycle it instead of allowing it all to end up in the landfill. Post any of your own used stuff finds on the Indie is the New Green flickr group!