In celebration of Earth, Month Escents has decided to do something a little different this year. We are calling upon our customers to roll up their sleeves, get into their gardens and ďPlant a Seed of ChangeĒ. For a limited time, we will be offering a variety of gardening goodies which bloom into beautiful wildflowers after they are plantedóSeed Bombs, Matchstick Gardens and Plantable Postcards. 100% of the profit from these products will be donated to the Mtito Andei Community Project which aims to educate orphans and provides access to clean reliable water for the community of Mtito Andei, Kenya.
These cute little bombs are jam packed with seeds which when planted, sprout into a gorgeous wildflowers! You can plant them in a pot or garden or join the Gorilla Gardening revolution and use them to spruce up the not-so-pretty urban areas in your neighborhood.
Mail your friends and family an extra special note on these plantable cardsósimply write, stamp and send. Plant the whole thing in a pot or garden or break a piece off to make smaller gardens. Makes a great addition to any gift.
These products are available at all Escents Aromatherapy retail stores while supplies last. They make great little gifts that not only support the green movement but also give back to a community in need. To learn more about the Mtito Andei Community Project, watch this video.
Posted by Shay Sinclair on 3/26/2013
In the middle of a bleak Vancouver winter, when itís been raining steadily for two weeks with no end in sight, it can be hard to find any joy in the cityís soggy climate. Even though the evergreens Ė beneficiaries of all the rain Ė are beautiful, theyíre only flashes of green in a flat grey landscape. When the seasons start to turn and flowers begin to appear (a cluster of bright purple crocuses, or budding daffodils waiting for a sunny day to bloom) thereís an old sense of relief; weíve made it through another winter after all. Spring is on its way, and there will be flowers and sunlight.
With a little work, itís easy to create a blooming, bustling flower garden of your own. Whether in planters on a windowsill or balcony, or spread out through your front yard, everybody can take part in adding some colour to the city.
The first step is to decide on a location. An ideal spot receives at least a few hours of direct sunlight daily, in order to make the most of Vancouverís sometimes sporadic sunny days. If you donít have a spot like this on your property, consider shade-loving plants or using planters that can be moved into sunnier areas as needed. For apartment dwellers with small balconies, hanging baskets donít take up any space and can avoid the shade thrown by railings.
Different plants require different amounts of space, but a good rule is one plant per 3-4 inches in a container (giving you 3 or 4 plants in a 12 inch pot). If you only have a little space to work with, try trailing flowers (like the fuchsia) which will spill over the sides of the pot. Spacing in open gardens can be more complicated, but itís always wise to give your plants plenty of room to grow.
If youíre new to gardening, starting with developed plants rather than bulbs is the easiest route. Avoid over-grown, straggly plants, particularly ones which seem too large for their container, as these may be root-bound and hard to transplant. Instead, look for evenly coloured leaves (yellow and black spots can indicate an unhealthy plant), soil that hasnít drawn away from the sides of the container, and unopened flower buds.
Although most plants come with plastic markers outlining the plantís needs, talking to staff at the garden center can help you decide which flowers will thrive in your chosen location, and what plants will need space to grow. They will also be able to help you in finding the right soil or fertilizer to give your new garden a head start.
Try to transplant your flowers on a mild day, as heat and rain can both make the task more difficult. Water the containers lightly, and leave them to drain for an hour or two before getting down to work. To plant pots, fill them approximately half-way with soil, then remove your plants from their containers and arrange them in their new home. Carefully fill the remaining spaces with soil; the goal is a flat finished surface. For an open garden, dig a wider hole than you think you need, and avoid Ďburyingí your plant by packing soil around its stem.
If your new plants look root-bound (a thick web of roots holding the shape of the container it was in), gently slash an X into the roots with a sharp knife before transplanting them.
Congratulations! You now have a flower garden of your own. Most flowers are forgiving to grow in such a mild climate, requiring only occasional fertilizing and watering once or twice a week during dry, hot spells. Watch out for over-watering, as well as pests such as aphids and slugs, and pinch off wilting flowers to encourage new growth.
Let us know some of your tips and tricks! We want to hear from you.
Most North Americans know us as the West Coast aromatherapy company in Vancouver. Did you know that Escents is one of the leading natural wellness and home fragrance brands in Taiwan, with a whopping 34 stores? And because of Taiwanís close ties with China, it is customary for them to celebrate Chinese New Year!
This Chinese New Year is the year of the Snake, which is symbolic of progress, focus, discipline and attention to detail. The snake is the 6th sign on the Chinese Zodiac, which contains 12 animal signs. Interestingly, the Chinese believe that finding/keeping a snake in your house is a good omen that will keep your family protected from hunger. This year, celebrate Chinese New Year, with a FREE Red Rose Hand Repair when you spend $50 from within the Passionate line instore (offer varies online).
We took the time to chat with our My Canada Contest Winner, Dawn Walker, to find out why the Prairies are her favourite region and what inspired her to take such a fantastic photo! We also wanted to know where she's thinking of going with her flight across Canada!
Where is your favourite region in Canada, is it the Prairies?
The prairies will always be my favorite, It's where i was born and raised. It's home. I will always have a special spot in my heart for for the prairies.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town called Melfort, Saskatchewan.
What inspired you to take this wonderful photo?
I absolutely love sunsets and landscapes. I'm always trying to capture that perfect moment!
Were you surprised that you won? You had so many supporters:)
I was so surprised when I got the notification email, saying my picture was 1 of 6 chosen out of all of the submitted pictures. There were so many unbelievably gorgeous pictures! I couldn't believe it! And I was even more ecstatic when i found out i won the entire contest! I couldn't have done it without all the wonderful people who took the time to vote for my picture.
Where are you going to go with your winning ticket?
I'm thinking somewhere on the East Coast! As to a specific location, I haven't quite decided yet.
Thanks to Dawn for being such a great participant and capturing such a great piece of Canada's natural beauty!
Escents Aromatherapy will be at the Vancouver Home & Design Show this weekend (Oct. 11th to Oct. 14th). We will be featuring our home scenting products as well as discussing the benefits of Air Therapy. To enter to win a set of tickets to the Home & Design Show, let us know what your favorite Escents Aroma Blend is below. We look forward to seeing you at the show!
We are proud to announce that we've now opened our new Robson Street store! Come by for some custom blended samples and meet our fantastic, knowledgeble staff! Free gifts will be given out with a $40 purchase (while supplies last).
Just a reminder that our Park Royal location has changed locations in the Park Royal Mall and our Richmond location will be moving within Richmond Centre soon. Stay tuned for more details.
This October, Escents Aromatherapy is opening in three new locations! We'll be opening a brand new store on Robson St. as well as moving within the malls of our Richmond and Park Royal locations! Stay tuned for more information.
Melissa, from Newfoundland, posted a blog about how much loves our Organic Handmade Soaps. It was such a nice compliment, we though we'd share. We love how she describes, "the soapy goodness":)
"I decided to try out the Escents Organics Handmade Soap that we carry here in the shop. I most typically buy my soap from our local soap shop Tval Skincare but, change is always good. This soap is still made in Canada. Theyíre based out of Vancouver. They have a whole history of the line on the website in the about us section but Iíll try and summarize in brief.
Escents has based itís line on plant-based eco-friendly production that strives for the healthy promotion of symmetry between body and soul. The company uses the principles of aromatherapy to create unique blends that make for great suds time in the shower.
Now that youíve got an idea about the company Iím going to review the Matcha Tea Soap!
As you can see in the picture to the left, the packaging is minimal. I loved that. Itís nice not to have a whole pile of wrapping in the trash when all I want to do is use the soap to scrub clean. It also allows you to smell the forest for the trees. When you pick this soap up the first thing you want to do is to put it to your nose.
You can really see someone hand cutting the soap into these nice square cakes for us here in Newfoundland. The packaging tells you a little about the scent, the company, and other important information like where it comes from (Vancouver) and that itís biodegradable, not tested on animals, paraben free, mineral oil free, SLS, and phosphate free. Most soaps are full of this harsh stuff!
Itís nice to see right on the label that itís safe for people of all ages (kids too) so you donít have worry about different soaps for different folks (unless you want to). This vegan soap is great for awakening your senses. It has both mind focusing and inner peace instilling essential oils to get you feeling great. Itís also got some cornmeal to help the exfoliation process of your skinís natural rejuvenation.
When I brought it in my shower I was pleased that it fit perfectly on those tiny, slippery ledges that the shower fitting wizards created for maximum soap-dropping. It was quick to suds up in the shower with my washcloth, the scent exploded into my shower with a clean refreshing scent that was great for first thing in the morning. Though I didnít find it too strong for the small sized bathroom. The scent is comparable to any of your usual bubble bath smells, not overpowering.
With all the soapy goodness created by the combination of soap and washcloth I was able to clean up every inch in a lickety-split fashion. Lots of soap, little sticky after soap left on the body. I tend to dry out using commercial soaps like Dove or Ivory, serious alligator skin! So, thatís why I initially switched to handmade soaps. This particular brand definitely did not disappoint. I even went without moisturizing with coconut oil to give it the true test. Iím proud to say Iíve been itch free!
So, my conclusion as to whether you should try out this line of soaps is that you should! If it was ranked out of 5 stars this product would get a definite 4 out of 5!"
One of our wonderful customers, Melissa, posted this on her blog back in February. It's so nice, we thought we'd re-post here. Thanks Melissa!
"In the last few years, Iíve developed allergies to perfumes and eau
de toilettes. They make me sneeze like crazy. It must be all the
chemicals they put in them. But because I like smelling nice, I wanted
an alternative. When I was in high school, I wore patchouli essential
oil (!!) I remembered this just when I was discovering Vancouver-based Escents AromatherapyĎs made
in Canada products last year. Theyíve been aromatherapy essential oil
experts since 1992. What Iíve worn almost every day this month is their Essential Oil Blend called Love.
Itís really a breathtaking blend. I canít even begin to describe how
deep and passionately intoxicating this scent is. I love it even more
when I smell it on my scarf or on my coat days after I havenít put any
onÖ. You have to try it. According to their description (which I totally
agree with) this blend combines the passion and romance inspired by
rose otto essential oil, and the sensual qualities of jasmine essential
oil, this blend is truly one to fall in love with.
A little goes a long way so just a few drops on your pulse points will do. What Iíve discovered in wearing an Escentsí essential oil blend
as a perfume is that it costs a fraction of what regular designer
fragrances do and lasts twice as long. Equally cool is that you wonít
smell like everyone else (finally, some individuality!) and all their
blends contain pure ingredients, zero chemicals or dyesÖ Completely
natural. If not this blend, choose one. You wonít regret it."
Save the date! Come celebrate at our Grand Opening Celebration for our new West 4th location in Vancouver at 2202 West 4th (at Yew). Saturday March 10th from 2 to 6pm.
Jacqui, nibble on great goodies and refreshments. We'll be offering
complimentary aromatherapy consultations, prizes, giveaways and....20%
off storewide (in the West 4th store only - not available online).
Wow...20 years in business...we couldn't have done it without you!
When the time comes to say goodbye to a beloved diffuser, customers usually wonder about the best way to dispose of this old friend. At Escents Aromatherapy, we are committed to environmental sustainable practices and invite our customers to join the ride!
On October 20, 2011, all eight of our stores introduced a new recycling program, the Unplugged Small Appliances Recycling Program. This is a non-profit program to ensure that your old diffusers will not end up in landfills but go through a proper process that ensures the recyclable materials of the machine will be recycled in the most practical way possible.
This program is not only new to the province, but to the country. It is the only small appliances recycling program that is recognized by British Columbia.
The next time you visit Escents and purchase an electronic diffuser, you will notice a ďdiffuser feeĒ ranging from $0.25 to $2.25 (depending on the diffuser model) added to the purchase price of your machine. This fee is to fund the program and keep it running so it can serve its purpose of making sure we, as consumers, do our part in preserving the environment.
There are over 100 recycling drop-off locations across the province for your convenience. Please visit Unplugged Small Appliances Recycling Program for more information about this new initiative and where you can dispose your old diffuser.
All of us here at Escents are busy preparing for the CIBC Run for the Cure on October 2nd by fundrasing and lacing up our shoes. We would love to have you either join our team for the race or make a donation to help us reach our goals and we are provding some fun incentives to do so!
While we have a lot of enthusiasm for the race amongst our staff, there was some hesitation from some who had perhaps never entered a race before, or even run, period, and many nuggets of advise have been passed around as we encourage our fellow staffers to join in the fun of race day.
Here are just a few of the tips we have compiled to help you along if you're new to running or are joining in the the run on October 2 just for the spirit of community and awareness for a great cause.
Equipment: It's important to wear a comfortable and supportive shoe for any phyiscal activity, and most of us can find something suitable to wear for a 5k run. If you're considering a longer term training schedule (perhaps looking at a 10k or something even longer in your future), it really is best to visit a running store to be properly fit for a good pair of shoes. Running doesn't require a lot of equipment like skiing or rock climbing, so investing in a pair of shoes to train with will be next to the only thing you have to buy. This brings us to sports bras. Ladies, if you're planning to stick with a running program, this is another item you may want to spend some time and money on and get one that really works for you.
Start Slow: You can't expect to go out running for the first time and be able to keep going for any great distance at any great speed - it just doesn't work that way. Having a beginner's training program can be very helpful in easing you into running with a walk/run routine that gradually increases your indurance. We like the Couch to 5K Progam (there's even a phone app to help you) and any of the recommendations by renowned running coach, Hal Higdon. At the very least, these resources can show you that there is no shame in walking and that progress should be gradual and also fun.
Nurture Yourself: Try to eat well and fuel your body with nutritious, fresh choices. Hydrate before, during and after a run. Another part of any training program (and life) is rest. Make sure you get enough sleep and don't overtrain; your muscles need recovery time to get stronger for your next run.
Enlist Help: With the cooler days ahead of us, it's not always going to be all that enticing to leave a warm spot on the sofa to head out for some exercise. If you have your family supporting you and holding you accountable to any changes you'd like to make, it will be that much easier to reach your goals. Consider making a date to walk or run with a friend so you can spend some time together; it's unlikely that you'll wimp out on your training if someone is waiting to do it with you.
Record and Celebrate: As you train, keep track of how you're doing on a calendar or in a training log. When you have a discouraging day, you can easily look back and see just how far you've come, and you'll also have evidence to support a celebration when you reach a milestone (like finishing your first 5K!)
Above all, it's important to Make It Fun! We're encouraging all of our staff to come out for some fresh air, some time away from our roles at Escents, and walk/run/shuffle the 5K and we are going to have a blast. Please consider joining us.
In the spirit of community, what tips do you have for new runners? Please share your thoughts; we'd love to hear what you have to say.
It's that time of year again! This morning my husband and I got up extra early to make sure everything went smoothly for our kids' first day back in school. Back-to-school usually seems like a busy time, but this year, if anything, it didn't seem like much fuss after the super active summer season we've had at Escents this year. This summer we launched 5 new essential oil blends launched (Bright Blossom, Summer, Iris, Osmanthus and Floral Fantasy), as well as our new line of natural deodorants, and the launch of our new Escents retail store on Main Street.
Back-to-school was a quiet process in comparison. I took the time this year to evaluate what we buy and use for school to make sure we're making the best choices for the environment, an eco-audit if you will.
Here are 6 green practices we've committed to for our kids school routine:
1. Only Buy What You Need. Our consumerist culture tries to make everyone feel like buying new things whenever they have a new start on the horizon, and back-to-school is no exception. Take inventory of everything your kids have then make a list of the things your they truly need and stick to that list. Don't just buy new things because they happen to be on sale. Try to get your kids to understand why they don't need a new school bag when their other one is perfectly fine.
2. Make Eco-Friendly Clothing Choices. If you have children of different ages, items can often be handed down from older kids to younger ones. You may also be able to organize a clothing swap amongst your family and friends. You may even find a clothing swap event in your community. When items are needed, keep an eye out for them at second hand stores or garage sales. If you do have to buy new clothes, go for products made from more sustainable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo, rather than more disposable materials that wear out quickly.
3. Choose Green Pens & Pencils. The technology of our writing tools has improved over the years. The days of disposable pens and pencils are over, replaced by biodegradable pencils and refillable pens, and recyclable versions of both. Be sure to encourage your children to use their pencils and pens as long as possible before grabbing new one.
4. Use Reusable, Eco-Friendly Food Storage. Lunch can be a great source of waste, so be sure to opt for washable, reusable containers for all your children's food. Avoid vinyl lunch boxes, many of which carry harmful lead content. Instead, invest in a PVC-free, thermally insulated lunch carrier made from recycled juice boxes or organic cotton. And, of course, avoid any snacks that have disposable packaging. It's pretty easy to buy snacks in bulk then package them in reusable options.
5. Have Your Kids Walk, Bike or Bus to School. Walking or biking to school is the most eco-friendly choice for getting to school. Of course, sometimes it's not practical or safe, depending on where you live. Riding the school bus is the next best choice. Carpooling with other parents in the area comes next. The worst choice is driving them alone. Walk to School Month (http://www.iwalktoschool.org/index.htm) is a great way to encourage green transportation.
6. Do This Stuff All Year. Making green choices for back-to-school is a great start toward a sustainable lifestyle, but it's important to keep up these practices as the year progresses. Apply the lesson you've learned for back-to-school to other areas of your life and keep emphasizing the importance of these practices to your children. For these efforts to work, they need to carry it on throughout their lives too.
What choices have you made to make your back-to-school routine more eco-friendly? Please feel free to share in our comments section. :)
Many women these days are strong values about environmental preservation and want to have their babies with as little a carbon footprint as possible. One of our Escents retail store managers has committed to having a green baby herself. This has become a hot topic here at Escents, so we'd like to share some of the many tips we've learned for having a green baby.
1. Use Only Used or Recycled Items. It is very easy to get used baby goods because they're only useful for a limited time and after that they're given away or sold. If buying items for your baby, take a gander at second hand stores or classied ad websites (like Craigslist or Kijiji). The bonus is that you'll save a ton! If you can't find what you need, there are many stores that are committed to selling items that are made from recycled or organic materials.
2. Have a Green Baby Shower. There are a wide variety of ways you can make your baby shower a green one. Send your invitations by email or online invitation service. Indicate that you would like to receive only used items or organic baby products. Request that guests wrap gifts in re-usable cloth bags or by reusing paper goods like newspaper or brown paper grocery bags. Serve organic food, but don't use disposable plates and cutlery. If you don't have enough, ask guests to bring their own. If decorating, try to find ways to do so by re-using other materials, like old magazines, wrapping paper, etc. You'd be surprised what you can do without buying cheap decorations that'll end up in the trash! More ideas for throwing a green baby shower.
3. Use Organic Cloth Diapers. It is widely accepted that cloth diapers are far better for the environment that disposable diapers. Here's one article that explains why. They do require a certain level of commitment to the process, however. Here's an article that outlines what you can expect. Even if you do go for cloth, you can still use disposables that are more earth-friendly when you're going on outings, ones that are chemical free and/or flushable.
4. Breastfeed. Breast milk is the most eco-friendly way to feed your little one. No additives, no packaging, no energy use for preparation. It's also naturally formulated to protect them against illnesses and allergies while providing the right nutrients.
5. Eat Organic. Eating organic produce is the best way to avoid all the chemicals and pesticides commonly used in farming. When your baby is ready for solid food, try making your own baby food with organic produce, or better yet, organic produce from your own garden! Making your own baby food also has the side benefit reducing packaging.
7. Be a Good Example. As your child grows up, he or she will follow in your footsteps. Teach them how to live green and inspire them by by living that path! Choose reusable, recycled, biodegradable products whenever possible. Don't waste paper. Encourage your child to draw on the back of used paper. Give your child's old clothes to younger children or donate them to charity. Teach your child to value nature by involving them in your gardening, taking them camping, etc. The Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA), once of Escents' partners, is very much committed to this concept.
These are but a few examples of tips for having and raising a green baby. I'm quite sure many of you out there have a few fantastic ideas of your own! Please share these ideas in the comments to help encourage a greener standard of living Jacqui MacNeill
With our strong love of nature, my family and I enjoy maintaining a garden and keep lots of house plants. As such, we are avid composters. We use an outdoor composting system that we keep in the backyard, but I was recently thinking about the many people who dont have the benefit of a yard to do composting. After looking into it though, I found a few excellent options that allow everyone to recycle their organic waste. Most people are aware that compost can be used as a natural fertilizer in place of the non-renewable chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which is great because these tend to destabilize natural ecosystems and contaminate surface and ground water.
Here are 3 easy options for indoor composting you can try:
Vermicomposting using a worm bin is really easy for some folks, and really tricky for others. For the worms to thrive and odour issues to be managed, you need to maintain the proper balance of moisture and food. Too much of either and your worms wont survive. While it can be a balancing act, its probably the most efficient way to compost indoors.
There are plenty of premade options for indoor worm bins for under $100, but you can also youre your own. Worm bins are easy to build yourself. You can even involve your children in the process to help teach them about natures role in the breakdown of waste. Children have a natural fascination with creepy crawlies like worms so it can be a lot of fun for them. Here is an easy guide for making your own worm bin composter.
Indoor Composting Option #2: Bokashi
The term Bokashi is Japanese for fermented organic matter. It is a really cool way of doing intensive composting. Basically, the bokashi, a dry mixture usually made of bran, molasses, water and effective microorganisms (EM), ferments your food scraps and is almost completely odour-free. People say it smells a lot like apple cider vinegar.
All you have to do is place your kitchen waste in the bucket, sprinkle a small amount of bokashi mixture over the waste then slightly compress and seal the container. The beneficial microbes immediately start fermenting the food scraps, releasing valuable nutrients and enzymes, without the issues of odour, heat or insects. The organic material doesnt break down, rather it pickles.
You can buy a full starter system for around $60-$75, or make your own bokashi bin for free (plus the $10 or so cost of the bokashi which lasts a few months).
The best thing about bokashi composting is you can put in things you wouldnt normally put in a composter, meat, dairy, jellies, condiments, food scraps, as well as vegetable waste. With its small footprint, lack of odour, non-electric nature, and seeming ease of use, bokashi composting is a great option. The fermented waste it produces, however, must be transferred either to a worm bin, compost pile or buried into soil in order to finish the process.
Indoor Compost Option #3: Have Someone Do It For You
This can be a great option for strata buildings, restaurants and businesses in general. Many areas have a variety of travelling compost services that offer convenient ways to contain your organic waste, which is then picked up and composted for you. Urban Impact is one such service that operates in the Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Calgary areas, serving both private homes and businesses.
Now back to you. Do you compost in your household? What methods do you use? If you compost you probably grow plants of some sort. If so, keep an eye out for our upcoming 'Way to Grow' contest that we'll be launching soon. The purpose of this contest is to showcase and reward people for their commitment to nature through the growth and nurturing of plant life.
Posted by Jacqui MacNeill on 8/5/2010
Escents President and Founder Jacqui MacNeill in conjunction with EYA (Environmental Youth Alliance) brainstorms ideas on how they can work together to foster understanding of how plants play an integral role in our lives.
Escents Aromatherapy is excited to announce its Escents Earth initiative, a commitment to transform itself through a variety of activities into an even more "green and eco-friendly" company. To launch Escents Earth, Escents is proud to recognize a new partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation, one of the world's leading conservation organizations.
Since 1990, the David Suzuki Foundation has worked to encourage ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us. The Foundation uses science and education to promote solutions that conserve nature, with the goal of helping to achieve sustainability within a generation. For the month of May, 5% of all sales of the Escents Naturals Collection will be donated to the David Suzuki Foundation. Escents is increasing our existing commitment for a greener world for three major reasons:
we believe that being eco-friendly is critical to future generations
we desire to be socially responsible in support of the communities we live in
our customers value and protect the Earth around them
Escents is an earth-friendly, cruelty-free company whose products are:
free from synthetic dyes
safe to use for anyone - babies, children and adults
all products contain essential oils
We will be sharing more information about our green activities as further plans are developed.