Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Going greener--anyone have tips?

With Earth Day coming up, I'm betting a lot of people, like me, are musing about what they do that's green and what could maybe be a bit greener.

For example, the hubster and I have changed all the lightbulbs in our house (with the exception of two bathroom faxtures that simply can't be changed) to compact fluorescents, we recycle, and we drive a car with really good gas mileage (40 to the gallon), but I know we could do more. My next goal is to get a far larger percentage of the produce we eat from local farmers.

In my handmade shop I also try to be green by using all repurposed materials for shipping, but there I'm not as satisfied with my results. I haven't found any eco-friendly ways to make prints, for example, or any of the other stuff I make. I see so much cool eco-art on etsy and it makes me sad to realize that none of my actual materials are terribly green. So I was wondering if any of you all have any pointers on ways to make the kind of art/crafts I make any greener?

And if anyone wants tips on safe, effective, and professional ways to reuse shipping materials I'm happy to share--just say the word! (My biggest tip is to invest in a custom stamp with your logo on it that you can stamp on the outside of all your packages that says why you reuse materials--the stamp makes it clear you are a thoughtful professional and helps offset any thoughts that you're just being careless. For example, I came up with this little rhyme for my stamp:
"My packaging, unlike what's inside
May not look so pleasing to the eyes
But it's because I reuse all I can
To protect both your order and the land")

5 bits of commenty goodness:

storybeader said... 4/9/09, 8:34 AM

your poem is a good idea. My jewelry is not from recycled materials, but my packaging, like you, is... If only I had another vehicle, I'd feel better!

Mishkat said... 4/9/09, 9:21 AM

One thing I learned from work is NOT to was unused pharmaceuticals and personal care products down the drain (my boss said he already knew this, but I sure didn't!) A lot of the constituents go right into the water supply, and can harm aquatic life - and possibly humans and other mammals. You can read more here:
http://www.epa.gov/ppcp/faq.html#sources

CastoCreations said... 4/9/09, 8:36 PM

I won't do a single thing. I refuse. I'm contrary like that. I have been lectured to about the environment since I was a little girl in kindergarten ... it gets old. Nothing we do (no matter how many lightbulbs you change) is going to "save" the planet. So I do what I can for my local environment (pollution sucks) and don't cry if we throw paper or cans away (though I am saving cans to turn in to the recyclers for some cash). :)

Oh, and I do reuse peanuts for packaging ... but only because I'm cheap. lol

Mommy Bee said... 4/14/09, 1:18 AM

You know, I could be called a borderline green freak I guess, but it really stems from being frugal. I've had to live on a pretty small budget my entire life, and I have repeatedly found that green is frugal...reusing packaging is one classic example, as is using minimal packaging (it makes postage cheaper as well as costing less in actual materials). Of course I also do frugal/green things like cloth diapering and breastfeeding my kiddos...and yes, I do believe in doing my little bit to be good to the earth. Sure, I know that one person won't make the much of a difference...but lots of individual people sure can help.
I don't necessarily think that we're going to reverse global warming or save some creature from extinction per se...but I do think we can make the world a more pleasant place in the meantime. :)

ChezChani said... 4/16/09, 1:11 AM

I LOVED your poem. You should have stamps made with that poem and sell it on Etsy. That I would definitely be interested in. I have ALWAYS re-used shipping materials, though I have to say it's primarily because I am obsessively frugal, but I do like to save a tree when I can.