Earth Day is this coming Saturday. I celebrate Earth Day everyday by doing my best to keep my environmental footprint low. I am a vegetarian, use cloth diapers, walk whenever possible as well as many other small items. The thing is, every little bit counts. Each of my tiny actions add up. We can all do a little better though which is why I am a fan of Earth Day. Every year I get to analyse what I am doing and try to do better. It is also an opportunity to share what we are doing here at Thea-Bel to do our part.
Last year I wrote about some of the things that we are doing behind the scenes, if you didn't see that blog I suggest you check it out. We are still doing all of these things. This year, I want to tell you about some of my suppliers and what they are doing. More and more of the items we are getting on our site have been made from reclaimed materials, using products that are good for you as well as the environment. Now you can not only get some amazing items for yourself or as gifts but you can feel good about them too!
Earth Day Gift Guide
The first thing that I should point out is all of the items in our store are good purchases for the environment. Why you ask? All the items have been created by local people who are being paid a fair wage and working under safe conditions. These are not third world workers making products while being unable to afford the basic necessities. In my opinion these are important factors to consider. The artists that provide for my site are interested in quality handmade items, not mass producing something as cheaply as possible. That said they are going to pick the best ingredients/supplies and as these typically cost more they will not "waste" it. We also embrace flaws. Part of what makes certain handcrafted items unique is that they are not "perfect". It is the knots in the wood or the way the grain goes which is what draws you to the piece in the first place. Supplies that might be discarded by other people are selected by our artists as they will create something different.
Now I would like to introduce you to some of our vendors and tell you what they are doing to keep their environmental impact low.
Consciously Connected Soap Factory
Check out the ingredients used by Deb when she makes her soaps, bath bombs and bath salts. I don't make soap but even I know what they are. Free from harmful chemicals, these soaps are ones that you can really feel good about using. Pictured above is our very own Thea-Bel soap, $5 (sold exclusively through us). Ingredients are: Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Macadamia Nut Oil, Kokum Butter, Coconut Cream, Mica (color), Essential Oils of Wintergreen, Spearmint
Karisma's Homegrown Interior
Marta and Chris make pretty much all their items from upcycled materials. Many of the items are made from reclaimed pallet wood and all screws and nails used in creation of the products are purchased at Habitat for Humanity to support sustainable upcycling of building materials. Talk about eco friendly! Pictured above is Rustic Standing Picture Holder, $30.
Lane's Custom Wood Works
Lane collects most of the wood he uses for his beautiful creations from trees that have reached the end of their life-cycle. Lane never cuts down live trees, unless it will be cut down anyway. He also upcycles old wood into items such as urns and jewellery boxes. If you have some old wood with special meaning, he can give it a second life. For example, take the urn he made for his mother using the old clothes line at the farm (you can see a picture on his profile page). The work he creates with the wood he finds is just stunning! Pictured above is a Wood Lathed Painted Keepsake Box, $45.
Unravelled is zero waste yarn company. They transform laundered corporate t-shirts in yarn. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what the environmental benefits are to this but I will anyway. Not only does Unravelled help eliminate waste by giving clothing a second life but the company is run by students and helps provide jobs for individuals affected by homelessness. What is not to love! Pictured above is Yellow Recycled T-Shirt Yarn, $10.
I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about some of the environmentally friendly products on our site. Below in the comments please let me know what you think, also let us know what upcycled products you want to see on our site...