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Let's Talk Trash: Fall blues remedies

Nature has a cabinet full of nourishment for mind and body
Tincture of St. John's wort in a glass jar.

With rainy days ahead and options for sunny escapes dwindling, it can be tempting to indulge in all kinds of things to keep our spirits up that aren’t always the healthiest for our bodies or the earth. The occasional movie binge probably won’t hurt the planet, but there are other low waste ways to boost our mood that may even boost our wellness.

This is a great time to stock up on healthy snacks for the cooler months. Even if gardening and canning isn’t your thing, you’ll likely find the bins of bulk food stores abundant right now.

Going in on bulk orders with friends or family can make larger quantities less intimidating, but the price point still very appealing. Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative qualifies for free shipping on bulk orders of nuts, seeds and dried fruit through Rancho Vignola this time of year, so it’s a great opportunity to get a membership to let the savings begin.

Mushroom season is upon us and folks are already bragging about their hauls of mycelial gold. Rambling up mountain trails is a fantastic way to get our blood pumping. Add to that the bonus of bringing home edible mushrooms for dinner, and we’ve definitely found something to smile about.

If supporting your immune system is on your mind, consulting a mushroom guidebook for turkey tail mushrooms is a great start as they are rich in antioxidants and polysaccharopeptides, among other beneficial nutrients.

Now may also be a good time to tap into the bottled sunshine of St. John’s wort tinctures – sometimes called the sunshine herb for its mood lifting abilities. Local wildcrafter friends who concoct this usually have an abundance stored in glass bottles on their shelves.

Perhaps the most well-known supplement many of us can’t go without in the fall and winter months is Vitamin D. In the darker months, our bodies can’t get enough sunlight to produce the levels of Vitamin D we need to best maintain many of our body’s key functions. Rather than snagging a plastic bottle of capsules, you can opt for glass bottle tinctures that are good for you and the planet.

Vitamin C may also be your go-to for any sniffles or hints at the flu. A great way to keep our plastic consumption down with this supplement is to choose crystals rather than capsules. Possibly a little messy at first, we can easily adapt to this new way of spiking our water with wellness.

A nice hot bath cures many ills. Sprinkling in fresh herbs from the garden can make it that much more nourishing for the mind and body. Lavender, mint, sage and rosemary are all readily available and add soothing aromas to a low waste soak after a long day.

It’s not too late to preserve abundance from the garden. What better way to capture summer’s harvest than in a pickle jar or roll of pear fruit leather? Drying, freezing and pickling are healthy, low waste and simple ways to keep the bounty of summer going throughout the year.

Nature has a cabinet full of nourishment for mind and body. We can show our appreciation for it by choosing local food and low waste packaging for its bounty.

Let’s Talk Trash is qathet Regional District’s waste-reduction education program. For more information, email or go to