Earth Day 2021
As Earth Day approaches every year, we always take a moment to look around us and see how we can do better. Since day one in the shop (almost 8 years ago now!), we have carried items that we wanted to have and could never find in shops. Some things have changed over the years, for example 8 years back we would hear "Why would anyone want to buy a stainless steel straw?" or "What the heck is Bee's Wrap?" and now we hear that much less as those items have become more commonplace now. This is great change as we all work to better the health of our environment and every little thing counts. As we come upon this year's Earth Day celebrations, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite eco-items (and why) below.
1. Baggu Grocery Bags Yes, we know, everyone's got grocery bags-they're not nearly as unique as they were many years ago, but I will say that of all of the bags accumulated over the years, these are always our go-to still. Of course we love the fun designs, but most importantly these bags are a buy-it-once item. You'll probably get sick of hearing that term if you read through all of these, but it's something important to us. We have never worn out a Baggu grocery bag. Never torn one, never ripped one and we work our Baggus. I've never put so moany grocery in a bag and not had to worry about it ripping. They are strong, durable and fun to look at. We also us them for travel (remember traveling?) to sort out dirty laundry or lug a few things with us when walking around. Shop Baggu Grocery Bags here.
2. Bee's Wrap We've sold and used at home, this brand of eco-friendly, reusable food wraps for 7 years. There are many other brands now that are out there on the market, but just like Baggu above, we have found that these are the best at keeping our food fresh, the easiest to use and come from an all-around great small business in Vermont. We have seen Sarah and her crew at Bee's Wrap grow tremendously over the last 7 years, but they remain committed to their core values of being a sustainable, green company and combatting plastic waste. Bee's Wrap is made from 3 simple ingredients coating organic cotton and creating a pliable, tight covering for anything from cheese to loaves of bread to half of an avocado-anything you would use plastic wrap for. With proper use and care, this product can last for a year or longer effectively replacing throw--away plastic wrap and removing it from our landfills. It's easy to try out at an affordable starting price of $6.25! Shop Bee's Wrap here.
3. Enamelware Many people think of enamelware as "camp dishes" which is entirely accurate but they have so many more great uses! They are great for kids and great for the clumsier among us as they are shatterproof-and on that note great for patio and poolside that tend to have stone bases that don't take well to dropping breakable dishes. Ok so as great as those attributes are-why are they on our Earth Day list? Well quite frankly, many people use these as patio plates in place of disposable plastic and paper plates. We have a stack of these that we use only for backyard picnics and barbecues. They stack well and don't take up much for space, they are dishwasher safe and again, using them as replacements for disposable will also save you money over time. Save money and the environment? Win-win. Shop enamelware here.
4. Swedish Dish Cloths If you've ever used one, you already know the benefits right off the bat. We use these as sponge and paper towel replacements. They are almost impossible to destroy, they are machine washable and work great for dishes, countertops and glass. Also, compostable when you're done with them! These will save many paper towels from the landfill and with a low cost they will also save you money over time. Other benefits include the beautiful designs, they make great inexpensive gifts and ship easily -just toss them in an envelope! Shop Swedish Dish Cloths here.
5. STRW Bamboo Utensil Set These handy sets have everything you need-fork, knife, spoon, straw, chopsticks and a cleaner brush for your straw. Washable canvas pouch and dishwasher safe utensils can replace your throw-away plastic utensils and straws. It's lightweight and easy to carry and clean making it, in our opinions, the best travel companion for the eco-minded! Stash one in your desk at work, keep them with your picnic basket or supply your kids with one for their lunches. Shop STRW sets here.
6. Kobo Seed Candles Packaging can be one of the biggest environmental issues-all if that throw away cardboard, plastic, styrofoam. One of our first ever product lines-so again, 8 years strong- is the Kobo Seed candle. Each amazing scent is made with soy wax and eco-cotton wicks (no lead! no petroleum!) and poured in a reusable/recyclable glass container. But the best part is the box it comes in is made of post-consumer recycled paper embedded with seeds of whichever scent you choose! Soak the box in water-plant it and watch them grow! Tomatoes to Lavender to Sunflowers and more. It's the gift that keeps on giving-literally. Don't forget, Mother's Day is around the corner! Shop Seed Candles here.
7. Vejibags I can tell you how these work, but maybe not why they do the amazing things they do. If you're not familiar, these are simple organic cotton bags, US made that are built to keep your leafy greens fresh and crisp for up to 2 weeks. We often hear "Do these really work?" and we can say from about 5 years experience with them that yes they do! Not only do they keep your leafy greens fresh, they will also refresh them if they wilt before you get them home or you leave them on the counter too long. That's the part I just don't understand, but I have seen it work many times! Great for CSAs as they are usually a week or two's worth of veggies and once. Less food waste and also less trips to the store when you can keep veggies fresh longer! And zero waste of course! Shop Vejibags here.
8. Indoor/Outdoor Rugs Odd to think of how a rug could be eco-friendly, but our line of indoor/outdoor rugs are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Our patio line feels almost like cushy plastic straws and works great on patios and porches and our P.E.T. line feels like cotton or wool by using very fine fibers made from old bottles. From 20 to hundreds of years for plastic to break down, as a society we need to not only cut plastic waste, but figure out what to do with the plastic we already have and are undoubtedly going to have going forward. Making long-lasting, durable housewares that will last for years is one way to use it! Shop recycled rugs here.
9. Weck Jars Our favorite jars for storing homemade foods, canning garden bounty and bringing along to the market for bulk buys! A very stylish way to store your foods as well! Bonus points for stacking ability as well (cabinet or countertop space saver!) Ditch the one-use flimsy plastic bags and fill up your Weck jars! Shop Weck here.
10. Produce Bags On that same note, if you prefer to use bags instead of jars for your bulk goods, the 3-pack of our handmade Dot & Army mesh bags are the perfect solution. My favorite part of these is that the tare weight is stitched onto the side of each bag so no need to hassle with weighing first. US made by a small business in Georgia. Another way to ditch the plastic bags! Shop produce bags here.
There's more ways in-store to make your home and lives a little more green-come by and see us for more! ~Andy & Abby