"Happy Earth Day"
to you! I've worked in several environmental-related jobs, as some of you know; in fact, one or more of you were there with me! I take my recycling seriously (as my family is painfully aware of)! But there is always so, so much more that can be done in our daily lives and our businesses to help our Earth stay healthy. In fact, recycling is the last of several options when doing what is right.
You probably know the mantra by now....
Reduce / Reuse / Recycle
I don't plan a long sermon today, and there is no finger-pointing. This is not about creating guilt. It's about encouraging creative thinking for options that result in a positive outcome for our businesses and our planet.
I think I hit it right part of the time, and miss part of the time. And there is no one right solution for all of us, as we sell different products that need to be packed and protected in different ways.
I just take this day to encourage all of us to give a thought about how we live and how we package and ship our products. It's one thing we can control in a big, big world of things we cannot.
1) First, REDUCE...if you can. This begins in making buying choices. One store may sell you a tool, another may offer the same tool in a plastic container way larger than the tool itself. It will require you to get a sharp object and a pair of gloves or several bandaids to pry the tool out. Which will you purchase? You may have choices. Reducing also pertains to selling and shipping. No one wants their items to arrive broken. But if you tend to go way overboard with the bubblewrap, or use a box to send a very small item, maybe you can do with a little less? You will save money and save on unnecessary materials.
2) REUSE... Do you have an envelop, a box, a plastic bag or container you could use again? Either for its original purpose or for some other?
Ex: While I would normally recycle a plastic container lid, I often keep nice flat ones to use for mixing patinas or holding my metal pieces while they dry. I can use them many times for this purpose. It saves me from paying money for something similar at a craft store and allows me to reuse an item I have already. Reusing ranks higher on the list than recycling, so when I have a choice, I reuse first.
I know some of you find opportunities to reuse copper and other metals; vintage buttons and beads; fabrics, ribbons and lace; and many other items, to make lovely jewelry. A discussion on Facebook some time back encouraged me to save some copper pipe that was being removed from my bathroom. (I'm not sure what to do with it yet, but I'll save it until I know and have the skills and tools to work with it!)
Ex One of the first and most talented artists I ran into reusing copper and other objects for jewelry was Tracy Bell from the blog, "Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash." She has a shop on Etsy called "TracyBell." I continue to find her fascinating and full of fresh ideas! She has been mentioned on this blog many times, but not recently, so if you haven't checked her out, you may want to!
3) RECYCLE... We are fortunate to have curbside recycling where I live and have for the 20 years I've been here. We pay extra for it, but I don't mind. I'm the "guardian" of the the recycling bin in the garage where we take things out dozens of times a day. And I'm the "officer in charge" of the large bin it all goes into for pick up once a week. SOMEONE must keep a close eye on it or crazy things end up in there! Anyway, what can go in there, goes. But I know some of you are also very good about recycling precious metals and other scraps of things you use in your business, and I'd love to hear more about that!
In fact, please share in the comment section regarding any ideas you might have that we can do to help with the environment. What you think as a seller and/or a customer about how your packages arrive. What are your priorities in packaging? Would love to hear from you!
In the meantime, hope the planet has a peaceful night and day. Happy Earth Evening! :-)
(Reuse) Treasure Tube Necklaces: Photo is property of Tracy Bell.
Heart-shaped Earth: http://www.wpclipart.com/geography/earth/globes/.cache/earth_heart.png