April 23, 2012

Earth Day Reflecting

Happy day-after-Earth Day!

Two weeks ago, I had promised photos and a recap of the Etsy craft event on making terrariums, but I didn't make it. I had to rush home to dog walk. Yep. I was dog sitting that week and had to make sure the rascal was okay.

Needless to say, I missed the event, but heard many, many great things about it. I've even seen a few of the terrariums made that evening and am full of envy that I don't have my own to share with you.

Alas, Etsy's events section of the website offers two video tutorials to make your own:
http://www.etsy.com/community/online-labs, make sure to watch the "Hands On Dirt With Red Rose and Lavender" under the Etsy How To section.

Both videos are great and I intend to use them when I make my own terrarium, if I ever find the time!

Terrarium by Red Rose and Lavender

Earth Day for me has always been a day of reflection. I recently became environmentally aware- I'd say in the last 8 years. When I lived in Virginia, I used to frequent the farmers market and the artisanal cheese monger in my neighborhood. It was an amazing world and yet I didn't appreciate my then roommate trying to make me use non-chemical based detergents and soaps to wash our dishes. In fact, I had my own stash of chemical laden products to use when she wasn't looking.

Six years later, I've completely changed. Now, I'm the roommate that requests we use chemical-free dish washing liquid (I even pay for it) and I use vinegar, baking soda, and water as my main cleaning agents. I've become sensitive to chemical based smells. And my goal is to help educate as many people as possible on the ways in which they can also live greener lifestyles. Of course, it is up to the person to enact these changes, but if we share what we know with each other, we now have a choice and that's the key to most life style changes after all. 

Yesterday, I didn't do very much. I didn't volunteer and I did end up buying a pair of leggings from Sears. That one purchase threw me into a spiral of thought about packaging and products and my own company. It made me think about my responsibility as a crafter, maker, seller, and business owner to make responsible choices not just for myself, but for my customers.

My rational has always been that if I can't figure out how to recycle or reuse a piece of the item I purchased, than I shouldn't expect my customers. It is the main reason why I don't wrap cards in plastic. Do you know how to recycle the plastic sleeve most cards come in? 

A hint- Whole Foods recycles plastic bags, sleeves and cling wrap. Next time you visit one, check and see if they do. The one by me does and it has helped make my life a bit easier.

This month, I already reached out to a printer who uses eco-friendly paper sources and inks for orders. I've been stuffing my boxes to ship with old magazine pages instead of using bubble wrap or any other non-recyclable stuffing product. I even found out that Uline sells biodegradable bags and burlap that biodegrades as well. Amazing!

We have so many more choices these days on how live green lives. A part of me thought, yesterday, that I do enough-I compost, recycle, volunteer with my local CSA and therefore could take an Earth Day off, but the reality is I can do more. I don't feel guilty about not celebrating Earth Day in the rain, in fact, I did a ton of things I needed to do, like finish knitting a blanket that's been on my to do list for some time now, but it means I can integrate more ways of greener living in my life and it's why I am writing this extremely personal blog post today.

If you've made it this far into my posting. Hooray! Thank you for reading.  If you didn't, I promise the next posting won't be so long and drawn out about my thoughts on Earth Day and green living.

In the mean time, I want to share another creative project off of the Etsy website. I'm completely excited about this. It is part of the How-Tuesday series on the website and it's a tutorial on how to make a cardboard chandelier. Talk about recycling packaging!

Cardboard Chandelier by Kayte Terry

I can't wait to be able to make this for my own home one day. This project is definitely going into the "Future To Do" folder.  Also something for YOU to add to your own to do folder is saving the date of May 7th, for a hands-on evening with Kayte, the woman who shared the cardboard chandelier and wrote the book that it is featured in Paper Made! More details will be shared soon on the Etsy website.    

On that note, I'm off to do some more green discovery. Stay inventive and creative!


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