Monday, July 21, 2008

CEM talk about making your Etsy Experience "GREEN"

There is a lot of talk as of late, about the environment and ways to make your etsy shops "Greener".

Here are a few ways members of Cafemom Etsy Moms (CEM) have found to make the world a better place, one craft at a time!


rockerchic, aka Kristie has started using recycled blank newsprint (available at Staples and other stores that sale packaging and moving supplies) to fold into a bag instead of tissue or plastic bags when packing up purchases.

You can also find items in rockerchic's etsy shop made from thrifted second hand clothing. For example, Dad's Shirt Dresses made from old mens dress shirts, and even purses made from old Blue Jeans and Old Sweaters.

Over at BatikBags there are all kinds of wonderful "Earth Friendly" Goodies!

She sells wetbags. Why would somebody want a wet bag? Wetbags are called wetbags because you can put something wet in there without it leaking out.

The main purpose is to store used cloth diapers or used cloth pads in there so you can get them home safely and wash them. But she's also sold them to people who just wanted a nice bag for their swimsuit and pool stuff.

A lot of wetbags are made with kiddie motives but she does hers with hand-dyed cotton batiks or batik inspired prints.

She also sells Organic Hemp Fleece Wipes. When she started offering these she mainly thought of them as baby wipes for cloth diapering moms. Hemp is naturally anti-bacterial and the fleece is super soft so perfect for that use.

She now sends them out to be included as 'baby washcloths' in our gift baskets because it's the item closest to mainstream I have... ;)

She recently learned more about 'Family Cloth' and has sold the hemp fleece wipes in different sizes for that purpose as well.

I think family cloth is probably about as green as you can get: family cloth means people are using reusable cloth wipes instead of toilet paper (although a lot of people still use paper for #2 and just go cloth for #1... )!

And my favorite: Cloth Pads! I love my pads. :)
My cloth pads are made with Organic Bamboo Velour which is really supersoft and also naturally antibacterial. cloth pads are used in place of disposable menstrual pads and pantyliners.

Ali Bug Bows got tired of having buckets and buckets of broken unusable crayons!
She found a way to melt the crayons down and make HUGE rainbow crayon discs!

She has even found a way to let her children help her in making them! So this is an item she sells, but it's also something her and her children enjoy doing together!

Donna Pool over at ddpool.etsy makes these incredibly adorable puzzle balls and sympathy bears completely by hand! She makes every single one with scraps of fabric from other projects!

Even some of her pocket mirrors and buttons are made from old magazines.

Amanda at Kaytiebugs Boutique, finds way to be Earth Conscious in her packaging procedures!

When she needs to ship things in boxes, I try to use boxes that she already has. It may not be as pretty, and it might have the previous address marked out, but 1) It's reusing something versus buying another one; 2) It keeps the item cost down because I don't have to buy another box; 3) It's just a box! Who said it had to be in pristine condition?

For packaging things that aren't fragile.... I keep tissue from gifts (Christmas, Birthday, etc) and use it for stuffing.

When she sells apple butter, she uses industrial strength bubble wrap she gets for free from her neighbor... he works for an auto repair shop and the bubble wrap comes wrapped around car parts and such. She has a giant sheet of it. It's not the prettiest thing but 1) It's reusing instead of buying new; 2) It's stronger than normal bubble wrap! 3) Keeps costs down!

She usually ships in USPS Priority envelopes (the ones that are free, the floppy ones not the cardboard-ish ones). Those are made of a 'Green' material.

It's all good to repurpose, recycle, etc. but I'd only go to measures that would not compromise the quality, smell, and safety of my item. I'd never ship in a box that had a mildew smell, never use stuffing that could potentially rub off onto the fabric, never use a box that was dinged up, etc.

And finally, over at Childish Thoughts, Jonie has cut back on her shipping methods by reusing packaging materials her husband brings home from his work!

As mothers, it is extremely important to us that we do all we can to keep our Earth clean and inhabitable. Also, keeping down our personal costs by reusing materials, puts more money in our families bank accounts in these hard financial times.

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