These days it is not only cool to be green, but it’s important. Helping future generations and sparing little bits of energy here and there all add up if we all do our part. I try to do my part where and how I can when it comes to running my business. I not only do it for my own peace of mind, but for yours too. Knowing that you are buying from a business that does their part, in turn, means you are doing your part too! Here is how I try my best to be green.
Jewelry Materials – All the silver and gold used in my products come from one of two suppliers. Both of these suppliers use only reclaimed and recycled metals. I also save and recycle every small bit of wasted metal when making my jewelry.If I wire wrap a piece of jewelry and have an eighth of an inch left over, it is saved to be melted and used at a later date. I have done this since I first started making my jewelry in silver and now have pounds of teeny tiny pieces all ready to be melted one day when I start casting jewelry. I also save every small bit of gold left over from bezel settings or wire. Sea glass is as green of a material as you can get. It is the epitome of upcycling.
Equipment and Chemicals – Most of my jewelry tools and equipment are second-hand, I am a big fan of craigslist. Knowing that a pair of pliers is extending its life to make more beautiful things just makes it even more special. Jewelry making requires some harsh chemicals at times for processes and cleaning. I use the most safe and green products available by keeping acids and dangerous chemicals to a minimum whenever possible.
Packaging and Shipping – I use the smallest bubble mailers possible for the size pieces to ship. I protect each jewelry piece by using Kraft recycled paper crush proof boxes. I gift wrap using recycled elements too. I do not print packing slips to save paper. I figure if the customer needs to reference what they ordered they can always see their transaction in their email, in their user profile, or they can contact me. This saves hundreds of printed pages a year. I do include a business card in each package just in case it does not go to its intended location, I can be contacted. My description of what sea glass is, is included on the back of each of every business card. This also saves on printing and paper waste. Almost all of my orders are shipped through USPS so they are picked up directly from my mail box from the mail carrier, instead of me driving there.
Paper and Plastic – Almost all of my records are kept in an electronic format to avoid paper waste. 100% of my correspondence with customers is done over email, does anyone correspond by snail mail anymore? When sketching or drawing designs, I have one sketch book which I use both sides of each page and fill each page to the max. I also draw small, almost lifesize to save on wasted drawing space. My earring and pendant cards that I display my jewelry on at shows are used over and over. I also encourage my carriers that use them to save and return them so I can reuse them. I will often use cardboard boxes from received shipping for a garbage can or for organizing my display items or studio materials. I have hundreds of plastic bags that I use over and over again for storing things like earring matches and chains. Can’t tell you how many times I have opened and closed some of those bags.
Energy – My studio is within my home. We already heat and cool our home so no extra energy is used in heating and cooling a separate location or building. Having my studio directly in my home avoids me having to drive to a second location as well. Most of my large display items and packaging items are in the eve of our attic space. This storage area is not heated or cooled, who needs bubble mailers to be climate controlled, right?
Looking out for the environment is our social responsibility making sure there is something worth it left for all of man/womankind is important to me. Our earth is fragile, I like to try and do my part each day to help it along for the future.
Happy Earth Day!!