Contributor post by Sheila from BeadyEyedBird
At BeadyEyedBird, as with so many of our awesome colleagues on Etsy, we are committed to the planet and continuously seeking new ways in which we can become more ‘green’.
Now that conscientious people everywhere are considering alternatives to unhealthy chemicals and production systems, unfair trade practices and other byproducts of the un-green greed machine, the appreciation of handcrafting is expanding in a great way. For eons, folks in various industries have expended a lot of human and natural resources – digging up the land, disrupting eco-systems, and polluting the environment. But as most of you likely know already, you can also stay ‘green’ and still make and sell beautiful things.
From the items you choose to sell, to the packaging you use to ship, we hope you strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible. The things you can do in this regard range from using natural/renewable heating sources for your work space, reducing and reusing materials, carpooling to reduce emissions, using recycled and non-toxic packaging and production materials, etc.
Some of our great Teamies on CIJ shared their green practices and products with us — in celebration of Earth Day (April 22). Here’s how they honor our earth.
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With a business, Earth Day is an opportunity for me to promote Earth -friendly practices that so many of us do everyday anyway. So I list that items are shipped using recycled materials, but I also don’t want to turn shoppers off if they feel like they’re going to get their items in a dirty used box or something. So I try to show pictures of my packing as well.I am still trying to find the right papers to use for my prints. The one company that provided papers using recycled products has stopped that line. I do try to make sure that all my papers use at least some post-consumer recycled and/or earth friendly materials though. It’s great for Mother Nature, and it also appeals to an earth friendly niche market so I try to add that to my tags, title and description if I can fit it in.
To be honest, PRINTABLES, instant downloads are earth-friendly products. A much smaller carbon footprint since they aren’t being physically shipped around the world using trucks, planes, ships or cars. And no packing material. And some buyers don’t even print them out, but use them for electronic purposes. Here’s one inspiring printable:
p.s. I will have to say, that I am one of THOSE mothers – you know, the ones that pack their kids lunches with re-used yogurt or deli containers. I would prefer to use glass, but that could be hazardous. I was raised by a single mother of 7 children, so we did what we could to save money – who knew that also turned out to be earth-friendly too?!
I will have to say that there are many nice cloth, re-useable lunch and snack bags sold right here on Etsy!
When it comes to my Etsy shop, I’m really trying to find ways to go lean and green. In this past year, I have been slowly transitioning my shop from selling physical items to digital downloads. This change has saved me from extra packaging, paper and especially, plastic materials. Over 90% of my sales involve virtual goods making my store’s footprint much, much smaller.
Last year, I finally switched over to a paperless system of bookkeeping, which I was reluctant about for way too long. I was constantly printing off receipts for every sale. It was ridiculously wasteful. Now, everything is stored electronically. Since I already have a system to back up my work anyway, all my receipts and work is protected from data loss and crashes (which has happened, btw, so please remember to back up your files).
And finally, I personally recycle and reuse materials at home in other ways. Clean cardboard packaging is repurposed for sending out packages, when needed. We have a great recycling program in our county and I do compost materials for my garden. Roses love egg shells and coffee grounds!
Over this next year, the goal will be to go around my old house and start finding ways to reduce electricity usage by fixing small air leaks and seals around my windows. I’m also looking into a program my dad is using for his electricity in Georgia:
He just switched from traditional electricity to completely renewable energy for his apartment. Just wanted to pass this along in case you all are interested as well.
Here is a sample of my digital listings:
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Many thanks to everyone for their contributions, and for all you do to honor the Earth!
Until Next Time,