Looking for a new approach to healthy living and natural treatments? If you live in the midwest, within 250 miles of Chicago, you have a wonderful alternative source. Inner Ecology™ Botanical Pharmacy and Online Prescription Service aims to facilitate the practice of East Asian botanical medicine in the Chinese tradition and to support a strong community of professional excellence in the greater Chicago area, in ways that consistently promote both human and environmental well-being. As practitioners and patients of East Asian Medicine (EAM), the folks at Inner Ecology have a strong personal and professional interest in preserving the wisdom gathered over centuries and in doing their small part to forge a sustainable path for its continued evolution. They are eager to serve their customers and their patients in this spirit and to boldly ask, together, what a more sustainable medicine could mean. Ever mindful of the connection between human health and environmental context, the staff at Inner Ecology does their utmost to make decisions that are kind to the earth and all its inhabitants. From the careful sourcing of herbs to their bicycle delivery service, from selection of packaging with high PCW recycling percentages to their commitment to staying local, Inner Ecology lives this commitment daily. The Inner Ecology pharmacy carries well over three hundred medicinals of plant, animal and mineral origin in both raw and granular forms, which enables them to carefully select the highest grade medicinals available for your specific formulae and with your well-being in mind. Inner Ecology actively seeks suppliers who cultivate direct relationships with growers and who demonstrate real investment from soil to shelf. As the medicinals arrive at their pharmacy, Inner Ecology staff follows time-honored traditions of organoleptic (“sense-derived”) analysis in order to further confirm their cleanliness, freshness, and accurate identification. Sourcing superior quality medicinals that have been cultivated, tested, processed, packaged, transported, and stored with attention to safety, fair labor practices, and sustainability has been a primary concern of Inner Ecology’s from the start. Beyond the quality of the products, Carbonfund.org believes this is a business worthy of your support because of Inner Ecology’s commitment to environmentally-safe and sustainable practices, which includes:
- Carefully sourcing the medicinals with attention to the sustainability of cultivation methods and certified absence of pesticides;
- Ensuring that any endangered medicinal bears a CITES certificate to guarantee safe sourcing;
- Using Energy-Star rated appliances wherever possible;
- Employing passive solar heat during the winter through large SW-facing windows and shades to block rays in the summer;
- Identifying packaging choices that are biodegradable and have the highest post-consumer waste recycling percentage;
- Transporting themselves to the office by foot, bicycle, or public transportation;
- Offsetting their total estimated carbon footprint via Carbonfund.org.
But as more and more people seek out East Asian Medicine as a mode of healing, the demand for these herbs increases, and so does its collective footprint. One of Inner Ecology’s partner organizations, High Falls Garden, has been working hard to stimulate domestic cultivation of medicinal plants and herbs. By building demand for the use of raw medicinals, networking with farmers interested in cultivating specialty crops, and promoting education, Inner Ecology intends to do their part in the conversation about the sustainability of their medicinal practices.