We were lucky to get Watershed Botanicals owner Yolanda Grave de Peralta to present at our final chapter meeting of 2019. As a dedicated mother, teacher, outdoor enthusiast, and trained environmental professional, she started Watershed Botanicals in response to the amount of plastic waste and toxic chemicals involved in body care products.

Named after our very own Watershed Park, the company donates 10% of its profits to environmental causes, such as the Plastic Pollution Coalition and Oly Surfrider. Her account of how she transitioned into a plastic free business was inspiring to listen to – through persistent experimentation and research, she has created effective and healthy products using only locally sourced or fair trade ingredients sold in biodegradable or reusable containers and free of toxic additives like fragrances and synthetic coloring. When she says all natural, she means it!

Yolanda is a wealth of knowledge about where her ingredients come from, and is dedicated to only using socially and environmentally responsible ones. For example, palm oil is a ubiquitous ingredient in beauty products and food items. While the oil itself is healthy, versatile, and makes great products, the way it is currently grown involves severe deforestation of rainforests in southeast Asia. Palm oil plantations are the leading threat to the survival of orangutans, which could be extinct in 25 years if we don’t change the system. In addition, these large corporate-owned mono-cultures conflict with traditional land rights, often displacing and impoverishing local communities. So Watershed Botanicals reformulated their products to avoid using any palm oil! You can, too, by checking ingredient labels and avoiding those items with palm oil.

If you’re looking for great gift ideas, consider supporting an amazing local business and purchase sustainable and socially responsible products from Watershed Botanicals! Check out her website for details on where to find her products.

Honor the energy that was used to make this bottle”

Watershed Botanicals sells their products in reusable containers and encourages you to bring those containers back to get them refilled instead of buying a new one.

If you’d like to know more about the chemicals in your products, or about items that are certified toxin-free, check out the following resources:

Made Safe is nonprofit that certifies products ranging from baby food to bedding as free of toxic chemicals and includes sustainable packaging in their process.

The Environmental Working Group is another non-profit that assigns a wide range of products a score based on the known toxicity of its ingredients. They even have an app you can use to scan products before you buy.

Yolanda speaking to our chapter about the journey of Watershed Botanicals