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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ Category

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

I think one of this things I love most about gardening, is how it challenges me on so many levels. It requires me to use all the parts of myself in a way that is real and deep and lasting.

To fully embrace the act of successfully growing a healthy, thriving and organic garden requires physical work, thoughtful observation, accepting and embracing the fact that there is life beyond ourselves (that even might want to eat the food you are growing), the ability to trouble shoot and solve difficult problems, absolute persistence, gentle patience, love and care, letting go.

And then there are the rewards. The rewards are far greater than the crispy crunch of the best cucumber, or the juicy sweet/tart of the most delicious heirloom tomato. There is a cellular transformation that occurs when we unify ourselves with plants, and challenge ourselves to understand life at a deep level.

When I first started really thinking about this, and trying to express my thoughts, I wondered if I sounded a little bit nutty. But when I tried to share these thoughts with some fellow gardening friends, they understood me completely. They are totally there. They have experienced that cellular connectedness. It seemed profound (and relieving!) yet really it’s the simplest thing ever… In a way, we are no different than the plants or the animals we live amongst. We are all energetically, cellularly connected. This funny, far out, disconnected world that humans have created just makes it seem like we are different.

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The end of my last roll of khaki cotton canvas, marked the switch to my new organic canvas. This material is 100% certified organic, and uses low impact dyeing methods. I received a nice sized roll last week and this is now being used to line the Rucksacks and Day Packs.

I try to keep a balance in the variety of materials I offer in the shop and while my focus has always been on organic, I offer a few conventional fabrics for the purpose of providing more options to my customers. I will keep working to replace these fabrics with organic, more sustainable alternatives. While the cost is a bit higher, I always do my best to keep final costs down for my customers. I feel it’s a really worthy switch.

The organic cotton materials I use are GOTS Certified, Control Union (SKAL) inspected, fall under the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, are dyed with low impact dyes…

 

Here are a few links for those who might be interested.

Oregon Tilth – GOTS

Oeko-Tex Standard 100

Organic Trade Association

Control Union (SKAL)

 

 

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happy earth day

It’s Earth Day today!

I think it’s a wonderful thing that a special day was set aside to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth, but admittedly I usually forget when Earth Day is, and it comes and goes before I realize it even happened. To me, everyday is equal, with relevance to caring for, appreciating, loving and enjoying Earth. This morning I am thinking about how I could celebrate today though. There are so many possibilities. I think of simple things, like laying on a bed of moss and feeling deep into the earth, going for a walk in the woods, having a picnic outside, listening with full attention to the birds and insects around me, feeling the breeze on my skin as I soak up the sunshine, or even playing in the rain if it happens to rain today… What do you do for Earth Day? What does Earth Day mean to you?

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nurturedearth_buttons1

image by NurturedEarth

Today I want to share with you a poem, written by Suzi, of Nurtured Earth. I found Nurtured Earth the other day, when I spotted her wooden buttons in a treasury we were both featured in. Suzi offers a beautiful selection of solid wood buttons (among other beautiful buttons), which she has rescued from the trash. In addition to her efforts to be gentle on the earth, Suzi is also an amazing writer of poetry, artist, freelance graphic designer, gardener, and expectant first-time mum. This poem really touched me and somehow brought a fuller depth and meaning to the purchase I made from Suzi’s shop.

Mother Earth

Our Mother Earth is wounded
At the mercy of mans greed
Raped of her resources
Consumed by careless need

The trail of mans destruction
Leaves nothing in its wake
Species lost forever
It’s no ‘ignorant mistake’

Direct mail through our doors
Allure promise to lower cost
Irony steeps this lavish waste
Hectares of forests lost

Our sea levels are rising
The threat is very near
Seasons bring diversities
Do these warnings seem unclear?!

The beauty of this life on earth
Now wears an ugly shroud
Lifestyles built on idleness
Beneath this carbon cloud

The sand of time is running low
The time to act is NOW
Responsibility lies with you
So ask not ‘When?’ but ‘How?’

Our Mother Earth needs healing
If life we’re to preserve
Small changes make big impacts
Recycle, care, conserve!

NurturedEarth © SN 2007 – 2009

I also invited Suzi to share a bit about herself, which you can read below.

“If I was asked to name one of my weaknesses, writing about myself would be in the top few! Its not something I find very easy to do. I guess I should start with the basics… My real name is Suzi, I’m 35, I live with my partner in Nottinghamshire, and we’re expecting our first baby in August.

I’ve always been an empathic and creative person or as in the words of my father ‘in a world of my own’… I love to draw and write poetry (my work can be seen/read on deviantART http://inspiredinstinct.deviantart.com/gallery/ ) but rarely find the time to do either. I also do a small amount of freelance graphic design along with my two Etsy stores.

I work as a design administrator for a small team of designers at a company that designs & manufactures clothing for a major high street department store. Its not my calling… but it helps pay the relentless torrent of bills.

It was here where I rescued the buttons… I have to say that my workplace is usually pretty good when it comes to recycling and reducing waste and donates a lot of unwanted fabrics to schools and colleges.

I don’t claim to be perfect with my own efforts when it comes to green living, but I do try and it does influence my decisions when making purchases. The dream of one day being self sufficient in an eco home seems a long way off… but nevertheless… achievable and encouraging when the changes seem too disruptive to an otherwise ‘easier’ more selfish lifestyle.

It is after all the small changes that make a difference… Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

Explore:

Suzi’s work on DeviantART

Suzi’s blog

Her buttons -  NurturedEarth

Her graphic design services – InspiredInstinct

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There is a new green shopping site and I am excited to be one of the founding members.

Cosa Verde is a place to shop all things organic, recycled, sustainable or otherwise ecologically friendly and with planet loving intentions. The innovative and artistic team of Liz and Jeff, have been working on the site for 8 months and have just brought it to the air waves within the last week or so. The goal was to create a place where shoppers in search of eco friendly items, can find everything in one place. I think they have a done a beautiful job on the design of the site. It is attractive, easy to navigate and does a beautiful job of appealing to their audience. As a new site, they are seeking input on positive changes (some are already on the way), so if you have any great ideas, I am sure they would be thrilled to hear about them.

If you are a person who makes things that would fit in at Cosa Verde, CLICK HERE to sign up and I will receive a referral credit and you may receive $$ credit toward your account.

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One of the most exciting Christmas gifts I received this year was quite intangible and lasts a whole year (and beyond!).

My sweet, thoughtful, wonderful and amazing boyfriend set me up with web hosting for infusionfibers.com : )

I purchased my domain name back in June, but have simply had it forward to my etsy store as I wasn’t quite ready to buy hosting and set up a site. I would probably have waited forever. Infusion Fibers is now hosted by DreamHost, a super awesome company that provides super user friendly hosting (believe me, we have definitely worked with the not-so-user-friendly) AND they are 100% carbon neutral! I can’t help but add that they also offer a kickback if I refer any new users, so if you decide to sign up with them, CLICK HERE to get there, and I will receive a monetary reward. You can then refer others and receive your own monetary rewards. It’s really great. I have never worked with a business that makes so many efforts for both their customers AND the planet.

Within the super easy to navigate panel I can pay my bill, manage my domain, manage my email (and more). They also have “one-click installers” meaning in one click you can install blog software, a forum, a poll, an online store, or even a wiki. You also get unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk usage. It really is dreamy.

I set up my one page site in one evening (with a lot of help from my web developer boyfriend) and for now, I am quite happy to have at least my own independent online presentation.

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I don’t usually post this kind of thing, but my sister came over today and had on a pair of these super cute boots by Simple. She said she got them at a sidewalk sale in Old Town and she wears them all the time… they are “made of recycled stuff.” I, being way into natural fibers and one who recycles everything, inspected them closely. I swore the uppers were made from hemp and the tread was clearly recycled tires. The loops around the buttons seemed obviously to be inner tubes, and the buttons up the sides looked like coconut. While my sister wasn’t completely tuned in to the details, she did find them worthy of buying and like she said, she “wears them all the time” (and where was I during this sidewalk sale??).

I think I want a pair myself!     My sister has the Hemp ones..

Needless to say, I was intrigued. So after she left, I did a quick Google search for Simple Shoes and was launched right into a whole lotta info about their Eco Sneaks and Planet Walkers. Simple has gone “green.” While my idea of green may be a bit different, and possibly a bit more extreme (green does not always equal non-toxic or healthy to either us nor the planet), I am really inspired to see such efforts. This video gives the Simple story, and how they came to their current, greener state. Check it out… you might want a pair too : )

P.S. ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

We are in for an exciting year. REMEMBER to keep it together, and stay close to what is real. The more of us there are that can hold a space of peace and continuity, the better off we will all be, as a whole. I am excited to be alive and happy to be healthy and full of life, everyday.

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I just received my Eco Ull from AYarnOutlet (who was very nice to work with and has a huge selection of yarns). I purchased 2 skeins of Natural and 2 skeins of Charcoal. It is even more beautiful than hoped! Amazingly soft, buoyant and substantial and I love the natural colors. They have a depth and texture unlike yarn that has been highly processed and dyed. Eco Ull is an eco friendly organic wool with no additives; like carbonization agents, chlorides, softeners, super-wash treatment or other chemicals. The sheep are raised and the wool is harvested in Germany, within the guidelines for ecological agriculture under the EU Regulation. It is certified by Skal International. The yarn is made only in the natural colors of the wool itself.

I also could not resist purchasing this skein of Ultra Alpaca. It is a blend of Alpaca and Peruvian Highland wool, in a beautiful shade of tuquoisey teal, which I love.

Can’t wait to get my hands into this!

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What is it:

The EcoEtsy team (of which I am happily a part of!) is putting on a non-profit, benefit auction in support of The Nature Conservancy. There will be 60 individual items, each of which are handmade and are eco friendly in some way – whether they be made from recycled, upcycled, repurposed, organic or otherwise eco friendly materials.

When is it:

Auction Start Date: October 20th, 2008
Auction End Date: October 30th, 2008

How to participate: Bids can be placed by sending an email to promo@ecoetsy.com with your bid amount. Regular updates will be posted here as well as here.

Get the full details of this event here.

Learn more about The Nature Conservancy and what this incredible organization is up to.

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We have a new co-op in town, which is an exciting addition after our longtime local healthfood store went out of business. I had a request recently for reusable produce and bulk bags, as a friend of mine who works there knows I like to sew. She saw a customer using a cloth bag for her produce and felt like something similar would be a nice addition to the store. This is what I have made up so far. The image above is my display.

The sizes range from about 4″ x 5″ for little things like spices and herbs, up to as large as a full size produce bag. They are made of natural cotton muslin, which is unbleached and undyed (with one made of recycled red calico cotton thrown in for fun). The muslin is a sturdy yet lightweight fabric. There is a cotton twill tape tie stitched into the seaming, so there is no need for those wasteful twisty ties either.

I look forward to washing a set for myself and putting them to use next shopping trip. No more digging around in the piles of used baggies and twisties! And when needed, I can simply throw them in the washer.

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