Today is Earth Day, a good day to think about our impact on the environment. I’ve written before about some of the things I do in my business to be “green,” including my packaging choices, recycling and reusing shipping materials, and using digital banking and accounting to minimize paper waste. Two years ago we also committed to a 100% renewable electricity supply for our home and office.
These things haven’t changed, and since that time we’ve added more recyclable and recycled packaging, such as gift bags, reusable fabric cosmetic bags, tissue paper, and compostable cello bags. As we plan our new office space, we’re also thinking about our energy consumption; of course this new space will also have electricity from renewable sources, but we’re also adding water-saving fixtures, fluorescent lighting, propane heating, an on-demand hot water system, and low VOC paint!
I’m also starting to do more business locally. Up to now most of my business has come from my web site, with lots of customers in the U.S. and a few in Canada, Europe, and even Australia. While I love working with people from all over, I’m excited by the possibility of providing my products to more local customers, too. The more we can buy and sell locally, the less fuel we consume through transportation, which is better for the environment. I’m hoping to make my products available at more local craft fairs this fall, so if you’re in our area, make sure you’re on our local mailing list (or subscribed here at the blog) to get updates about where we’ll be!
I try to be “green” in my personal life, too. I am a vegetarian, but what’s more important (in my opinion) is that I’m trying to eat fewer processed foods and more local food. I have found that even as an avid gardener I couldn’t grow as many fresh veggies and fruits as I wanted (and needed), so my family recently bought a share at a local CSA. This summer we’ll pick up a box of fresh vegetables and fruits every week. Check out this link if you are interested in Community Supported Agriculture. We also purchase fresh eggs from a local “farmer” who keeps hens in his back yard, and now we’re also fortunate to have our own local organic milk (MOO–Maine’s Own Organic–Milk), which supports organic dairy farmers throughout the state. (Did you know that becoming a lacto-ovo vegetarian, a diet which still includes milk and eggs, can reduce your carbon footprint by about a ton every year?)
There are so many environmental issues that concern me, and I’ve only mentioned a few of them here. What are YOU interested in? How did you celebrate Earth Day? Would you like to read more here about ways to “go green” with your diet or shopping choices? Please let me know what you think!