Earth Day (April 22) is the annual celebration of the environment, created to honor one of the most noteworthy “women” of all times: Mother Earth. This month, we’re showcasing wellness businesses owned by spectacular Central New York women who show adoration to our planet through their personal and professional environmentally conscious practices.
Rachel McClean, owner of Terra Organic Spa in Fayetteville, walks the walk and talks the talk when it comes to honoring the earth. So much so, in fact, that she named her spa after it. “I was completely obsessed with the human language for months. Terra is a Goddess in the mythical world, but it also means Earth. It’s a name that came to me in a dream.” The clients at Terra Organic Spa are split evenly among genders, so the unisex name appeals to both men and women.
When you name a business after the earth, there is a mighty expectation to live up to. Terra is a gleaming example of a local business going the extra mile using Earth-friendly practices that include the use of organic products, holistic concepts, energy efficiency, and green cleaning methods. A spa generates a great deal of laundry and that can be rough on the environment. At Terra, the laundry soap is organic, biodegradable and free of chemicals – better for the environment and better for the client. The cleaning products are chemical free and yet still effective against dirt and germs. Old sheets and towels are repurposed and donated to local animal shelters.
High quality products used during spa treatments include critically therapeutic pure essential oils from Aromatics International, a company dedicated to supporting organic farmers and essential oil distillers in countries around the world. Clovertree Apothecary products have been chosen for their effectiveness, organic properties, strict purity standards and because they’re made in the USA. And all that goodness only adds to the appeal of the treatments: The organic facial is wildly popular. McClean says “It’s a delight to hear people talk about the service after the fact. It smells so good and fills the spa with wonderful aromas. The products can be purchased and used at home to take the experience with you.”
Debra Lee Gertz has practiced acupuncture at 510 Jamesville Avenue in Syracuse for twenty years. She recently bought the building, welcomed some independent practitioners and christened the space ‘Syracuse Chi Spot’. Along with Donna Heitzman (Chiropractor) and Madelaine Greacen (Ayurvedic practitioner), the three ladies have created a complementary wellness facility that treats mind, body and spirit in earth-friendly ways. For starters, clients are encouraged to eat locally and seasonally for balance and health and as a way to lessen our carbon footprint.
Food scraps and used tea bags generated at the office are composted and added to the practitioners home gardens to enrich the soil and to grow their own food in the summer months.
All herbs that are provided to Syracuse Chi Spot’s clients are wild crafted, organic and most are fairly and directly traded. They are free of pharmaceuticals, preservatives, dyes, yeasts or sugars and are safe and independently tested for heavy metals, pesticides and microbes. They are also sustainably harvested and grown.
Gertz says “The organic oils used by our Ayurvedic practitioner, Madelaine Greacen, are recycled by a local business and often reused for heating oil. All laundry is cleaned in a high efficiency machine and if possible, hung out to dry. The detergents we use are eco-friendly and free of dyes and perfumes. “
Here are some simple and effective steps to reduce ones impact on the planet at home:
- Buy only what you need to help reduce food waste in your home
- Compost yard and organic household waste
- Buy organic products whenever your budget allows
- Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose.
- Use energy mindfully
- Eat locally and seasonally
- Practice sustainability
- Plant a garden; grow your own fruits, veggies and herbs