Etsy is the online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. Through a very easy-to-navigate website, the folks at Etsy connect consumers with talented artisans who create all kinds of wonderful handmade goods. Etsy provides these artists with the technology they need to showcase their creations and make a living, offering consumers the opportunity to admire and purchase some truly unique, one-of-a-kind treasures.
The Etsy community actively supports one another in the shared goal of offering alternatives to mass-produced objects. As a full-service website, it works to highlight the true value of handmade goods and their creators and encourage awareness of the social and environmental implications of production and consumption.
Etsy was conceived by the 28 year old Rob Kalin in early 2005. As a painter, carpenter, and photographer, Rob found there was no viable marketplace to exhibit and sell his creations online. Ever industrious, he, along with Chris Maguire (25) and Haim Schoppik (28), designed the site, wrote the code, assembled the servers, spliced the cables, and launched Etsy on June 18th, 2005 after only three sleepless months. They created Etsy to reconnect producer and consumer, and swing the pendulum back to a time when we bought our bread from the baker, food from the farmer, and shoes from the cobbler.
With the global economic crisis putting finances in a squeeze, Etsy is a great way to maximize your budget. At Etsy.com you’ll find an endless variety of unique, quality handmadegifts at affordable prices. Not all, but many of the items are created by re-purposing or recycling materials which means less trash for landfills, and more savings for shoppers.
With more than 2.5 million items listed, youare sure to find that perfect, one-of-a-kind item. The website offers great search functionality making it quick andeasy to find what you are looking for. Plus, each purchase on Etsy.com directly supports independent artists and designers—you can even narrow your search down to identify local participating artists.
Be prepared to spend some time browsing on this site because you’ll find such lovely and interesting items….how about the glass tumblers made out of beer bottles? Or pendants made with reclaimed Scrabble tiles? An eco-friendly serving tray made from recycled wine bottles? Earrings made from typewriter keys? Of course you’ll find gorgeous hand-made clothing and fantastic original artwork. Prices, obviously, range depending on the item. We did see some lovely charms for under $5 and we saw some unique Victorian floor lamps for over $2,000. Overall, prices seemed extremely reasonable for items we viewed. www.etsy.com
Nestled in Amish Country in Dalton Ohio is a farm that has been able to blend tradition, culture, and community with entrepreneurial spirit, ingenuity, and respect for the earth. It was back in 2003 when two dairy farmers were overhauling an Oliver Tractor engine and disheartened about the factory-style dairy farms that were starting to surround their community that the conversation turned to building a new business. Both were looking for a way to remain in agriculture but because of the declining dairy market needed an alternative.
One of the farmers, Dante Tropea, took action—getting rid of insecticides and chemical fertilizers, selling his dairy cows to an organic farmer—he became a mint farmer. He sold the farm fuel tanks and operates the entire leaf drying process by corn burning furnaces; the corn ashes go back onto the fields as fertilizer and are also used as an insect repellent on melons for local fruit farmers. Today, Dante Tropea offers his quality herbs and tea blends via Mint Brook Meadow Teas—the only air-dried mint plantation in the United States that markets it's own estate herbs under it's own name.
There are three ways to dry mint: freeze-drying, sun-curing, and air-drying. “Freeze-drying requires chemicals and sun-curing yields too much menthol. We air-dry our mint to harvest all the fragrant and delicious undertones of the mint,” said Tropea.
Today, Mint Brook Meadow Teas grows and packages their own herbs in addition to offering teas of other planters throughout the world. In a market dominated by low end, low price oriented teas, “we aim to provide a tea crop of high quality, giving the consumer the same flavors in their cup of tea as in the cup of tea the growers have, with all the freshness and undertones only high quality tea can offer” said Mr. Tropea.
According to Dante Tropea, “Mint Brook Meadow Teas is dedicated to upholding the standards of quality craftsmanship and respectful land use for which our countryside is known.” Two standards, by the way, that makes a very tasty tea! “Life is about relationships and people, not really about a cup of tea. But a cup of tea between friends can help them get closer. That’s what it is all about.” Tropea added.
Mint Brook Meadow Tea offers several tea and tea blend bags. www.mintbrookmeadows.com
Just as purchasing organic foods and supporting local growers help sustain the planet, now everyday cooks can do their part by using kitchenware made from recycled plastics and paper. Preserve®, one of America’s premier brands for design-oriented, environment-friendly products for the home since 1996, has a durable, stylish, dishwasher-safe line consisting of colanders, cutting boards, mixing bowls, and food storage containers.
The Preserve Kitchen line is driven by thoughtful, sophisticated product design and eco-innovation—a result of an unconventional business partnership with Evo Design, a leading product design firm. “Green products aren’t traditionally known for high design. Preserve products deliver high performance at a competitive price and look great in every kitchen,” says Eric Hudson, founder and President of Recycline.
Whole Foods Market, a retailer widely known as a leader in the organic and natural food marketplace, was the first retailer to carry the line. According to Bruce Silverman, Global Vice President of Private Label at Whole Foods Market, “Our customers look to us as a destination for ‘greener’ offerings and the environmentally-friendly Preserve Kitchen line is a wonderful alternative.”
Just as organic food production is gentler on the environment, reusing and recycling materials uses less energy and leaves a smaller environmental footprint than manufacturing products by conventional means. Additionally, Recycline’s Preserve products are made in the USA so that they can be shipped shorter distances, using less fuel and limiting their carbon footprint. Preserve products offer consumers environmentally friendly choices so that today’s kitchen can be greener than ever—and look great, too.
Made in the USA out of 100% recycled materials, the Preserve Kitchen line includes: colanders, mixing bowls, cutting boards, measuring cups, food storage containers, plus an attractive line of plates, tumblers, and cutlery. Find out more at: www.preserveproducts.com
The Worlds Only Eco-Friendly Coffee Firelog! -
Coffee is the beverage of choice for millions of Americans. Hot, iced, or garnished with steamed milk and frothy foam, we love to drink our coffee. Coffee loyalists make it a regular part of their morning routine and often make it the star of a social outing with friends. The more adventurous coffee lovers will use it to bake a cake or marinate a steak. Still others have found wild and wonderful new uses for this most beloved beverage.
From art to soap…from eye cream to fireplace logs…coffee-infused products offer consumers great innovation as well as environmentally friendly options.
Java-Logs are made from recycled coffee grounds and 100 percent renewable non-petroleum wax. The product produces 80 percent less carbon monoxide and particulate matters (air emissions) compared with wood. "Today’s consumers want quality products that are convenient, efficient and environmentally-friendly," said Karen Bennett, Java-Log Marketing Brand Manager. "Java-Log meets those demands with superior firelogs that burn brighter and cleaner than other firelogs on the market. This new formula allows us to offer our environmentally conscious consumers a new option they will feel even better about using in their home fireplace."
Named one of the Coolest Inventions of 2003 by Time Magazine, Java-Logs ignite more quickly and produce larger, more attractive flames than other fire logs. Java-Logs have a faint sweet scent arising from the mixture of molasses and coffee. Most people don't smell anything while others smell a faint sweet coffee aroma, not a chemical scent. They crackle just like wood, they are easy to light, and they burn for 2-3 hours (the same amount of time as other 5 lb firelogs). Check the company’s website and store locator search to find out where java logs are sold in your area. www.java-log.com