Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Story of a Junk Habit: My Green State of Mind

For me and my tiny Etsy shop, Green is a state of mind. Even pre-Etsy days I suppose you should say I was shamefully green. Not because of my recycling, but because of my pre-creative and creative processes, where I consciously do as much as I can to reuse everything along the way. This comes pretty easy to me because I am a collector. A junk one. Big time.

I collect and save everything from bits of used fabrics and tissue paper to rusty crap that I find on the street when I walk the dog. Tickets, tags, wrappers, stickers, twine, buttons, string – all of this would go in the trash for a normal person. But for me, it all becomes part of my tackle box. And what I do not re-use goes straight to the recycle bin.

For packaging, I use discarded bedsheets, which I rip into pieces to wrap around the jewelry. I re-use ribbon as much as I can to tie each fabric-wrapped package together, and I hand-stamp my tags to save energy (and a whole lot of moolah). When the time comes to get set for mailing, I use whatever used boxes or bubble mailers I have lying around.

As for business cards, instead of using a pre-made (and very expensive) duplex card stock, I make my own. The top sheet is a leftover French Paper stock that I had used ages ago in college, and the bottom is always recycled — whatever we have lying around the office. Be it sample paper stock, old presentations or just printed emails, it actually gives the card a really cool look. And the card's thickness seems really professional.

The future of Spool hopes to be even more green. I've created hand stamps to promote re-use of packaging products, but these are currently incomplete because of total stubbornness: I have not found the right recycled mount for them yet, which absolutely has to be made of something that is second generation. But I think that found objects could work, too, so we'll see what I come up with. To save an entire sheet of paper per sale, I'm hoping that I am able to get a new system in place soon so that I don't have to print out packing slips. Right now I'm too unorganized!

I'd love to hear what you guys do to think Green. Or any suggestions – I'd love to think Greener.


  1. Excellent post...loved reading it....sounds like we are cut from the same cloth! :)
    I posted similarly on my blog last fall.
    Oct. 2,

    As for second generation material for a stamp...I have contacted a local wine & cheese shop in order to get my hands on the corks from empty wine bottles.

    Maybe you could do something like that?

  2. hiya!

    i just made my way over here from Holly's post on decor8. your shop is so totally cute and she's dead on about your blog, as well.

    great post - i love reading about what other sellers do to be green. i've read several posts and articles on branding vs. being green (and the blending of the two), and it seems like you've created a marvelous harmony between the two. i'd love to hear more!

  3. This is on my list of things to be better at this year. Great post and reminder.

    We do little things throughout our day to keep things green but we could do so much more. I have been looking at second hand shops for books and magazines that I can use in my paper crafts and mini books, cheaper and adds more interest to my projects. I have a lot of paper on hand that I use too.