Thursday, April 23, 2015

Earth Day 2015

So, it sounds corny, but especially since I am a day late here, EVERY DAY is Earth Day at Barefoot Body!!  The other day, my daughter looked at me, very excited and exclaimed, with raised eyebrows and sudden inspiration, "Mommy!  You should start a business!!"  To which I replied, "Oh, honey.  I did."  But I didn't start a business for the same reason most people do.  To make money.  Get ready for more corny.  Money is nice.  My husband would really like for this to turn a profit, but that's not why I did it.  I started a business to make a difference.  And to start a conversation about how certain aspects of our every day life can be different.  From the deodorant we put on to what we are washing down the drain to the re-usability of materials and recyclability of materials.  So, Earth Day (or, ahem, the day after) seems like a fitting time to highlight that conversation and the difference each of us can make through pretty simple choices.  So, let's begin at the beginning.

People often are interested in my logo and name and what it all means.  I like that it can be read different ways but that also lends it to being misinterpreted.  The name is not Bare Body, though I do like to think we are using the bare minimum on our bodies which is good.  The name is Barefoot Body for a reason.  And it has little to do with feet.  Being barefoot puts you in direct contact with the earth.  You are grounded and connected when you are barefoot.  Think of that feeling of your feet on soft grass, or even better, soft sand.  In those moments, you are one with the earth.  The decisions we make are also connected to the earth, in fact everything is interconnected.  Decisions we make impact other people, plants, the water, the air we breathe.  So, make good decisions.  Decisions you can be proud of and smile about all day long.

When I started this journey (not realizing, of course, that I was on a journey) on Pinterest, I found a homemade deodorant for a cream that you could make in a glass jar.  Glass is good.  I love glass.  I don't really like plastic.  But when it comes to deodorant, I wasn't interested at the time in a cream I would spread with my fingers.  Maybe that's just me, but it's true.  Later, I found a recipe for a deodorant I could pour into a plastic container.  At this point, I had no idea a person could purchase deodorant containers and only thought of the re-usability factor of my current deodorant container.  I looked at this container in a whole new light.  Just as it had never occurred to me that a person could make deodorant, I had definitely never thought to refill a twist up container.  I was now looking at lots of things around my house in a new or renewed light.  Lip balm, pump containers, every empty container that had been recycled in the past.  Why not!

So, I reuse containers for my personal use.  I still haven't used the Barefoot Body containers for deodorant yet, because I've refilled my old Tom's and Kiss My Face containers in rotation for the last year.  Likewise, when I mix my own body butter, I put it into the shea butter container that laid empty after making a recipe.  Lip balm.  Same.  Mouthwash.  Ditto.  Bug Spray and #2 Spray, you betcha!

And, here's the fun part.  You can too!  I do not reuse one person's container for a different person.  So, do know that if you choose to go this route, you will only get your same container back.  If you drop off or send me your container, I will refill it for your next purchase.  This can be a barefoot body container, or your old deodorant, mouthwash, lip balm, or jar.

And, if you're not interested in going the reuse route, do know that containers can be recycled through Terracycle's Beauty Brigade.  Naturalistic in Hatboro, PA participates in this program and as I've been getting products on the shelves of new retail locations, I've been telling them about the Terracycle Beauty Brigade program also.  So, if you can't bring yourself to re-use, save up your stuff and drop it off in the Terracycle Beauty Brigade box at Naturalistic and know that you're reducing the waste stream a little bit by having the plastics crafted into neato products.

Other low impact decisions.  Our handle bags are made of 95% post consumer 5% post industrial kraft on the inside and white on the outside.  The white is inked on post consumer kraft.  Our business cards are made from recycled pulp kraft paper and are recyclable (though I'd prefer you just keep passing them around if you're otherwise planning to throw it out :).  And, I highly encourage that you shop with a re-usable bag when at a farmer's market or event but I'm also happy with my bags to provide you with one.  When you're done with your bag, if you see me again, bring back the bag.  I'll totally re-use those again and again!

Yesterday we got a catalog sent to the Barefoot Body Shipping Department Manager.  My husband about died laughing and asked if he was the shipping manager.  I asked where we should make the "shipping department".  He indicated the hefty stack of boxes in the office would be a good corner for that.  But in all seriousness.  So far, I have been fortunate that I've been able to solely re-use boxes for shipping purposes.  I remove all prior labels and send them away.  My mother works at an eye doctor's office and I've found that eyeglass shipping boxes are the perfect size for single deodorants.  I also re-use packing material and filler when needed.  But when that is done, I plan to utilize shredded paper as any fill.  Did I mention that you can bring packing peanuts that are inadvertently sent your way to UPS?!  Any cardboard that doesn't end up in our "shipping department" gets cut into strips and composted in our backyard.

So, those are just a few of the steps I've taken to try to minimize my footprint.  What are some steps you take every day in this direction?  Share in the comments below if you are so inclined.  Thanks for joining me on this journey!

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