Crowdsourcing: Sustainable Sandalwood?

While I was hibernating between Samhain and Yule, one of the things I did manage to work on was my herbal studies. I’ll be writing more about that in the future; it’s a lot more complex and interesting than I had anticipated. But for now, I’d like to appeal to my readership to help me navigate an ethical dilemma that I have just become aware of.

According to online sources, both true sandalwood (also called white sandalwood) and red sandalwood are endangered because of over harvesting for the incense market. I’m willing to stop using sandalwood entirely if I have to, but I’ve seen some stories that there may be sustainable sandalwood production based out of Australia. The problem is that I haven’t, yet, been able to find out whether my favorite incense maker, Morning Star, uses sustainable sources, or to find any supplier who deals in only sustainably-sourced sandalwood.

So I thought I’d turn to the wisdom of the crowd: can anyone give me advice about sustainably-sourced sandalwood?

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About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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One Response to Crowdsourcing: Sustainable Sandalwood?

  1. Grafton says:

    Haven’t been able to find anything on your current supplier, yet, but here’s some more info on the problem and what’s being done about it:

    http://www.cropwatch.org/sandalcrit.pdf

    as well as some alternative sources advertising sustainably produced products:

    http://mtromanceusa.com/
    http://www.auracacia.com/auracacia/aclearn/eo_sandalwood.html
    http://www.sandalwood.vu/

    and specifically an incense source:
    http://www.oneworld-alc.org/products/demeter-incenses.html

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