5 Simple Tricks to Make Your Spiritual Toolkit More Environmentally Friendly
Many of us maintain a well-rounded spiritual practice that’s enhanced by different tools and supplies like crystals, herbs, candles, and more. But with environmental awareness (and concern) on the rise, we need to be extra vigilant about ensuring our supplies and practices honor, not harm, Mother Earth. Here, a collection of simple tips to help transmute your spiritual toolkit from thoughtless to sustainable.
Keeping your candle collection ethical is a fairly simple undertaking—once you know what to look for. First, opt for a non-paraffin wax, like beeswax or GMO-free soy wax, along with cotton wicks. And, because fire, always employ caution. “Candles are unpredictable,” said Tynia Johnson, owner of Spiritually Bougie, which deals in ritual kits and spiritual supplies. “If you want to leave an unattended candle burning, put it in the tub with a little bit of water—just to be safe.”
If you have candle stubs leftover, consider melting the wax down and pouring a new candle mold. For jar candles, clean them out when they’ve finished burning and repurpose the jar—or smash the jar to release your intention, package it up, and recycle the glass properly.
The most sustainable way to obtain herbs is to grow and dry them yourself. However, if you lack the proverbial green thumb, purchasing sustainably grown herbs from your local farmer’s market and drying them in the oven—or even buying pre-dried herbs—won’t result in too large of an environmental footprint, particularly if you note their origin.
Store herbs in sealed containers in a dry place to ensure they remain usable for as long as possible. And when you’re done? Toss them into the yard or bury them, returning them back to the earth.
These days, filling the air with unnecessary smoke is a non-starter. So, while the occasional smoldering smudge stick has its time and place, making or investing in a liquid smudge is a worthy alternative. Simply mix sage essential oil, with water and alcohol to create a hydrosol, and spritz away! A bonus: Liquid smudge is far more travel-friendly than the traditional herb bundle.
The most important thing with crystals is making sure you know where they’re coming from. If you or the person selling you crystals can’t source what country they’re from enough to know how and where it was mined, it’s likely best to pass. Another (particularly coven-minded) solution is to organize a crystal share with friends, sharing stones as needed.
As far as the crystals you already have, make sure you know how to take care of them. If they crumble in heat, keep them out of the sun. If they dissolve in water, keep them dry. To store them, keep them in a box with selenite, the better to clear and charge their natural energies. “I take a box, put down a slab of selenite, throw all my spiritual accouterment in there, and set it and forget it,” Johnson said. “It does what you need it to do.”
For her part, Johnson uses dissolving paper with her rituals, eliminating unnecessary waste. “It totally breaks down in water,” she said. “I usually dissolve it and water my plants with the water. I consider it watering my intention.” If you don’t use the dissolving paper, try recycled sheets, and always recycle them when you’re done—or bury the ashes.
When it comes to becoming a greener goddess, the avenues are countless. Use these simple steps to begin the ever-evolving process.
Art by The Moon Journal