I am not going to tell you who sent me this envelope, but I will tell you that it's an environmental group dedicating to protecting forests.
I shared this on my personal Facebook, and it started a pretty interesting conversation! Obviously, sending out stacks of paper to tell us to save trees is pretty ironic, but below the surface, there is this question, which one of my friends put incredibly eloquently:
I'd like to point out that around 20% of all American households are not wired for the Internet. I'd also like to point out that it is entirely debatable as to whether or not the paper produced for this mailing is better or worse for the environment as compared to the electricity/heavy mining/chemicals needed to support the infrastructure of an all digital campaign. It's not entirely clear to me which is better, on balance.
What a great point! Just as recycled paper isn't always the best environmental choice, email blasts might seem greener but come with their own carbon footprint. It's hard to weigh the two and say which is worse.
My instinct is that printing thousands of packets and envelopes and sending them all over the country in mail trucks has a bigger impact than the data center lode from sending thousands of emails. My friend Jo Borras wrote a great piece a couple of years ago on direct mail (and the U.S. Postal Service in general) over at Gas2 that's worth a read. And on the other side, the energy it takes to send an email (or do anything online) is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you're talking thousands of communications. There's a helpful piece at Earth and Industry that looks at data centers and their impact.
And while this doesn't really contribute to the debate, my friend Joe wins quote of the day: "Under no circumstances should you burn that envelope to stay warm."
What do you guys think about direct mailings like this from environmental groups? Do they go against these groups's missions, or are they a necessary fundraising and awareness-raising evil?
You know that we love collecting and crafting with wine corks around here, and these sweet, simple little keychains make lovely DIY keepsakes!
Tracie Stoll at Cleverly Inspired made these wine cork keychains as favors for a South Beach wedding. The keychains were a custom order in her Etsy shop, and she was kind enough to also share the tutorial on her blog. They only require a few simple supplies to make, and you probably have most of what you need on hand right this second!
To make one keychain, you need:
That's it! Ready to get making? Click here for the full tutorial!
Doesn't the right necklace or pair of earrings just make any outfit feel extra special? The trouble with store-bought jewelry is that it's often produced in a sweatshop and shipped all over the world. That means a big dose of cruelty and a side of greenhouse gas emissions. No, thank you!
The good news is that it's simple and fun to make your own DIY jewelry from all kinds of materials, from magazine pages to beans. Yes, beans! Here are a few DIY jewelry ideas to get you started.
The beautiful, bold statement necklace pictured above is made using beans instead of beads! Pretty awesome, right?
Who needs shells when you have used gift cards? You can turn that single-use plastic into a super adorable necklace!
Do you have a key with no lock to open? Instead of tossing it out, grab a bottle of nail polish and transform it into a hip necklace.
Grab an old magazine or some junk mail and use it to make a 1980s-inspired jewelry set.
Is there any end to useful ways to repurpose wine corks? Slice them up, paint them, and create super sweet stud earrings.
Have you guys made any fun, upcycled jewelry lately? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!
Sure, you can pick up a store-bought Father's Day gift, but doesn't something handmade have a lot more heart? Plus, when you make a Father's Day gift yourself, you're able to choose eco-friendly materials! Here are some awesome DIY Father's Day gift ideas that you can make this weekend:
Have you made any cool, DIY Father's Day gifts? Let's share more ideas in the comments!
Crafty superstar Mark Montano shared a super awesome video tutorial on how to make your very own 80s-inspired upcycled jewelry from old magazine or catalog pages. You need a few simple jewelry supplies to make your own, so check the materials list below before you get started!
This tutorial makes a whole set of DIY jewelery. To make the complete set, you'll need:
Ready to get crafting? Here's the video tutorial!
There is something so fun about dressing up your baby in cute clothes, isn't there? I love getting my son, Darrol Henry, dressed for the day. Dressing him up in the cutest onesie or a sweet pair of shorts can just make my day, especially after a tough night with lots of wake-ups!
The trouble with baby clothes is the same problem that you run into with clothing for grown-ups, though. So much of it is made in sweatshops using less-than-sustainable materials. With baby clothes, though, the problem gets amplified, because those little ones grow out of things so fast! Of course, choosing second hand clothes for your kiddo is the greenest option, but if you're going to splurge on something new for your babe, why not choose organic, handmade clothing, right?
Here are a few of my favorite organic pieces in my babe's wardrobe right now!
Erin at IOGoods sent me a pair of her hemp shorts for babies to try out, and I love them! They're well made, durable, and the elastic waist means that they fit him now, but they'll also most likely still fit in six or maybe even nine months. Hurrah for handmade baby clothes that grow with your wee one!
I actually first saw this design on a t-shirt at Moog Fest last year, and when I discovered that the Coup design comes on an organic onesie, I knew that our little babe needed it! I love that it reminds me of the great time my husband and I had at Moog Fest, and of course I love that it is absolutely pun-tastic!
Gerber makes plain white Onesies in organic cotton, and I got a few of those to decorate for Darrol. When my friends over at Handmade Charlotte sent me their new stencils to try out, I knew I had to stencil some onesies for my little man! You can check out some stenciling tips right here.
Do you have any favorite DIY or handmade baby clothes? I'd love to hear how you're dressing up your little one sustainably!
Back in November, I was on the hunt for eco-friendly, handmade maternity clothes and found a bunch of cute options, including a bamboo tunic from a little company called IOGoods. Since then, Darrol Henry has arrived, and of course now I'm constantly looking for eco baby gear.
When Erin at IOGoods offered me a pair of her hemp shorts for babies to try out, of course, I couldn't say no! She sent me a pair of her toddler shorts, and you can see Darrol Henry modeling them right here:
She sent us a pair of shorts that are size 12 months, but as any cloth diapering momma knows, a cloth diap gives babies a big enough booty that they can usually wear some too-big clothes. I tried these shorts on DH when they arrived, and they were cute as can be! As you can tell, they're a little longer than intended, but the elastic fits his waist when he's wearing a cloth diaper. Plus, I kind of like that the legs are hilariously roomy on our little 10-week-old! The best part? The elastic waist means they'll grow with our little guy for months to come.
The shorts are made from organic hemp and feature side pockets and some sweet stitched detailing. The wide legs gave Darrol plenty of room to kick it out, and the elastic made it easy to get these on and off for diaper changes.
Erin's got a wide range of eco-friendly clothes for moms, dads, and babies in her shop. Click here to check out IOGoods!