What Are You Doing For Earth Day?

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.

Lisa Neal Behrens from sparkklejar said:

 I repurpose used tin cans and make wedding table vases or home decor pieces, using water base non aerosol paints and sealers. Over the years, on and off Etsy, I have kept thousands of tin cans in all sizes out of the landfill. (not everyone recycles cans).
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3 fat short recycled tin cans shabby pastel aqua cottage blue with pink roses glitter upcycled repurposed salvaged home decor wedding shower

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I always make a point to plant something on Earth Day, no matter where I am or what type of yard (or lack of) I have.
In the past I have also done neighborhood and city clean ups.

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:

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Success Quote Printable, Abraham Lincoln Art, Digital 8×10 inspiring friendship art, classroom dorm diy teacher gift for teen

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!

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Heather  from ArrabellaBlossoms said:
I grew up in country New Zealand with a love and appreciation of all aspects of nature and the need to nurture the environment. These priorities still dominate my design and sew projects. I delve into my large stash of gathered and gifted fabrics, buttons and trims whenever possible. I made this glasses case as part of my design and sew project to re-purpose beautiful designer silk ties that had experienced a brief but exciting life before they were carefully stored away in a drawer.
glasses

Glasses Case, Spectacle Cover, Glasses Sleeve, Eyewear Holder, Velcro Tab Closure, Handmade Blue Silk Fabric Case, Women’s Gift, Men’s Gift

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 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:
www.arcadiapower.com

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:

Art Deco Digital Scrapbook Paper Black & Gold Geometric Vintage Style Scrapbooking Paper Variety 24 Pack Patterns - Commercial Use OK

Art Deco Digital Scrapbook Paper Black & Gold Geometric Vintage Style Scrapbooking Paper Variety 24 Pack Patterns

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This month we are giving free organic sprouting seeds with every purchase and encouraging our customers to recycle our packaging to plant the seeds! All of our pet products are earth friendly and non-toxic.
PITTA Paw-Paddums (Pumpkin) Dog Treats - Organic Vegan

PITTA Paw-Paddums (Pumpkin) Dog Treats – Organic Vegan

 

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I reuse boxes that I receive items in to ship any of my items requiring boxes. I also reuse tissue paper from gifts that have been give to me to wrap my crochet items in before shipping. My crochet Soap Saver Pouches are great to use with handmade soaps to keep them longer and can be machine washed/dried. They made using cotton yarn and last a long time. No need to replace like you have to with the soap puffs found at the stores. I have them available in many different colors and welcome custom orders.
Soap Holder, Massaging Soap Pouch, Soap Sack, Crochet Soap Saver, Spa Soap Cozy, Spa Bath Scrubbie, Shower Accessory, blue green and white

Soap Holder, Massaging Soap Pouch, Soap Sack, Crochet Soap Saver, Spa Soap Cozy, Spa Bath Scrubbie, Shower Accessory, blue green and white

Many thanks to everyone for their contributions, and for all you do to honor the Earth!

Until Next Time,

Sheila

 

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National Love Your Pet Day

Contributor post by Catherine from DesignsbyCnC

February 20th has been designated as Love Your Pet Day.  This “unofficial” national holiday is a day set aside to honor our pets that show us love and devotion each and every day.  This is a great day to focus on your relationship with your pet by spending extra time with them or pampering them with a new toy or special treat.

Our Christmas In July Team shared some of their favorite pet stories along with some wonderful pet items from their shops:

Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says:

We have a little fluffball, Shelly, who we got from the RSPCA when she was only 4 months old. We’ve had her 12 years now, and she loves nothing more than to nap her day away. Occasionally we’re treated to a smooch from her.

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You Are The Cats Meow Typography Print

 

Anastasia and Catherine from CutesyPieBoutique shared this:

The best part of working from home is all of the time you get to spend with your pets. Our dog is truly a member of the family and insists on accompanying us whenever the door is open.

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/174460481/personalized-pink-heart-shaped-dog-tag?ref=teams_post

Personalized pink heart shaped dog tag

 

currynpepper from CurrynPepper said:

We adopted our two little pups about three years ago, and it’s the best decision we’ve made in our lives. They bring so much joy, happiness and health too in our lives! One loves to indulge in good food and the other loves to go running. They are quite a duo. Who rescued who?

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VATA Paw-Paddums Blueberry Dog Treats

 

Fun In The Sun From Team CIJ

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Summer is fast approaching.  Kids will be home from school with extra time on their hands.  Why not take some tips from the Christmas in July tips for picnicking and family fun!  This post is full of great ideas for outdoor eating and for entertaining the kiddos this summer.

1) Kelly from ColourscapeStudios

Well, we’re heading into Autumn here, but the thing I found most fun with my daughter over Spring and Summer was baking! At Christmas we make cookies, and I plan on doing it again for Easter to take to our family get together!

Here’s the recipe:

185g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups plain flour (the cake/biscuit/pastry version if you have that available)

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan-forced. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy.
3. Add egg. Beat until combined.
4. Sift flour over butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine.
5. Cut cookies.
6. Place cookies 4cm apart on prepared trays. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden.

I then let her loose with a couple of different coloured icings, and some icing gel pens to decorate with. I think she enjoys that part the best!

2) Becky from LollysCubbyHole says

The calendar says it is SPRING, and I certainly could feel the change; however for the last few days, we have been in the low 40’s here in N. Florida, making for some very chilly nights.

Since you might be peeling potatoes anyway, here is a way to keep little hands busy and out of the way while you cook. I would put a big plastic table cloth down , loads of scrap paper destined for the shredder and some potatoes with paint! Have fun making stamps!  We use them for Easter Eggs, but they are great any time of year!

3) Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

A great way to keep the boys active is to get them involved with the Boy Scouts! Kids learn many ways to survive in the wilderness and they learn about the Native American Indians and their skills. This book is all about the different tribes, with amazing pictures of how to do things such as build a tepee, tie knots and build a fire!

4) Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter says

 How about for the girls (and boys can do this to… just use a PJ pant pattern for the boys) to learn to sew! A great little PJ set pattern for kids!
5) currynpepper from CurrynPepper says
A fun activity with kids – make a doggie treat with your kids for happy kids and happy paws!

Recipe

Ingredients:

3-4 pieces Curry n Pepper Veggie Paw-paddum (any flavor)
2-3 tsp canned organic black/red kidney beans (no salt added)
1-2 organic curly kale leaves finely chopped and lightly steamed
2 tsp organic diced carrots
1-2 pieces organic finely chopped strawberries
1 tsp organic, non fat plain yogurt or cottage cheese
1 tsp Curry n Pepper immunity boosting oil (optional)

Directions:

1. Lay 4-5 pieces of paw-paddums flat on a plate
2. In a bowl mix rinsed beans and immunity boosting oil well
3. Top each paw-paddum with beans
4. Garnish with steamed kale, diced carrots, strawberries and a tiny dollop of yogurt/cheese

Serve and watch your pooch gobble it up!

(Tip: Substitute beans with any meat.)

Remember always serve with a bowl of fresh water.

6) Carolyn Eady from SproutsPressDesigns says

What about Journal Adventure Kits?! As a kid I was always making little books and filling them with my ‘adventures’ over summer break! Great for summer camp, vacations, road trips and time spent at the cottage!

7) Nautico Creations from NauticoCreations says

Well, I’m not quite sure if anyone would actually purchase a new quilt to lay down for a picnic lunch, but this one has a nice dark colored back that would help hide the dirt and would fit nicely in the car.

Picnics almost seem like they have gone by the wayside these days with everyone’s busy schedules and fast food at every corner. Actually taking time to pack up some lunch and go to a park is good for the soul and a great chance to take a break and unwind.

My family used to carry a blanket in the car at all times just in case we made it to the park. This could become a new tradition with your family too.

8) Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio

Keep cutlery protected from your heavy containers and food items with these washable pouches. Great for holding small jars of condiments or even first aid supplies.

Also great for holding a deck of cards and pencil and paper for playing games while you watch the birds.

9) Sally Manke from SallyManke says

 My picnic tip is to be as green as you possibly can. Pick up all your trash and put reusable packaging to use. These sandwich bags can be used over and over without contributing to the landfill!

10) Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls

Your outdoor picnic or sea side clam bake is sure to be a hit with a brightly colored vinyl tablecloth which features a convenient zipper and a round hole in the middle for a round patio table and umbrella!

11) Becky from LollysCubbyHole says

With Independence Day just around the corner, I think my patriotic candles might look good on that picnic table!
Just click on the pic to be taken to this lovely collection shared by CIJ members.

Just click on the pic to be taken to this lovely collection shared by CIJ members.