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  • Annie Heath

Earth day - How can we do our part?



As we enter into spring surrounded by the gorgeous tweeting of the birds, random showers of rain and heartening blooming of new flowers we should all be thinking about what we do in our lives and our businesses to help preserve the earth as much as possible. I know, we can't do as much being the little people as big corporations can, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try right?


It's Earth Day on the 22nd of April this year and it gave me the urge to tell you about a few of the things I do with MiniMoon Arts to keep my business as low impact as possible by responsibly sourcing my materials, recycling and reusing as much as possible and even keeping my energy usage down to a minimum where I can!


 

Energy usage

 

Yes, you'll often find me sitting in the dark when I'm working rather than turning the lights on, to be fair this is something I've done my whole life, I don't know why, I just find it kind of cosy and comforting. I do a lot of my work on my phone because I know the battery life on there is pretty darn good and won't need recharging very often. I do all my product photography in natural light (Top tip, this gives a much better quality photo) so that I'm not using energy with lighting rigs or lightboxes. I'm very lucky to have my office in a conservatory so when it's a cloudy day with that perfect defused lighting you'll find me there feverishly photographing as much as I can! Any bulbs that I do use (This is throughout our whole house) are low energy LED bulbs that not only reduce energy use but also reduce waste too!


 

Recycling & Reusing

 

It's so important in our everyday life to make sure we're putting everything recyclable into our recycling, to reuse as much as we can, and to switch out our single-use items with reusable ones. It's also so important to make sure that's incorporated into our business practices as well. From packaging to products we as small business owners can do so much!

Here are a few of the things I do!

Packaging - for my packaging I use 100% recyclable, reusable and reused materials. The boxes are made from cardboard, I encourage my customers to reuse them to send something lovely to a friend. It would be fascinating to see how far one of my boxes could go! For padding, I collect any packaging padding that comes through my door with parcels and deliveries! I love the brown paper padding we often get and delight in folding it into a concertina and chopping them down to make fabulous paddy squiggles! Who said packing couldn't be fun too? Badoooing! If I ever have something that needs that extra fragile care, I have lots of rescued bubble wrap from parcels and even inside a jiffy bag that I can't reuse myself. To seal the parcels up I use gummed brown tape which can go straight into the recycling.

Advertising - I don't do a whole lot of advertising other than what's online but for my business cards, thank you notes and anything else I make sure that the card used is 100% recycled! You really wouldn't think it to look at them but trust me they are. It's amazing how far recycled materials like this have come, with no more (or rarely) suspicious-looking splodges lurking about in there.

Materials - The primary material that I use in my jewellery making is copper. The copper...is copper, the silver wire is silver plated copper and the gold is gold coloured copper. While I absolutely see the merit in using the rarer metals I feel more comfortable knowing that the copper I use is much less damaging to the planet. I think this subject could become a whole blog in itself! So look out for that one. But these are some basic facts, copper is 100% recyclable. It's available in abundance and 80% of what's already in circulation is reused. I try to source mine responsibly from a trusted company that I have used exclusively for many years now.

Partner companies - all the companies I use for printing items such as art prints, clothing and stickers I ensure are either responsible small businesses or noted for taking steps for helping the environment. For some art prints such as my BabyWaves wall art is using an amazing company based in London called the CreativeHub I can highly recommend them if you're looking for a print shop for your own artwork! They're a carbon-neutral company that works with several amazing entities such as World Land Trust not only are they insanely eco-conscious they're print quality and materials are incredible!


 

Things I'm working on the get even more eco friendly!

 

Earth day isn't about shaming, at least from my standpoint it isn't, non of use can have zero impact, our very existence means we have an effect! But we should definitely do what we can. So there are a few things I'm going to be making changes to, to further myself and my business into the world of eco friendly!

I definitely want to create more from reclaimed materials! I'm even working on a new jewellery line doing just this! Watch out for the release of my reclaimed and rescued jewellery line showcasing that sometimes something just needs a breath of fresh life put into it!

I have some stickers that perhaps are not so eco. Yes they look great, they're shiny and lovely but could they be printed on recyclable paper? Yes, they can! So once the ones I already have run out, I'll be looking into replacing them with something more environmentally friendly! I'll also be considering whether I need them at all? Because less production means less waste right? Could I send the same message with something my customer could actually utilise rather than just a happy mail sticker? Could I replace it with a rubber stamp & cruelty-free ink? The possibilities are endless, and sometimes it just takes some strategic and outside the box thinking!


Thank you so much for making it to the end of this blog! I'd love to know the kinds of things you do in your life to help the environment! Or if perhaps this may have inspired some changes you could make? Let me know, you can contact me via social media or join my email list and never miss a thing that's going on at MiniMoon Arts!


All the love and warm hugs in the eco world,


Annie XOX



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