Eco-Lover's Take on Greeting Cards 1
While you might feel like you can get away with just posting a cute family photo on Facebook rather than send a card to all your family and friends for Christmas, Valentine's Day still requires at least a few little notes, especially if you still have school aged children.
However, if you are striving towards the zero waste lifestyle, is buying a greeting card against your eco-morals?
Everyone has their own view on this topic, ranging from a strict ban and transition to digital e-cards, while others are willing to bend the rules to make a meaningful and timeless gesture.
I mean, all in all, it's just paper and totally recyclable, right?
Yes and no.
Many greeting card/envelope combos come wrapped in a plastic sleeve that is to protect them from getting dirty or separated. While practical, it's not a recyclable type of plastic, and it's better to stay away from this kind of card wrapping. Some companies offer a compostable sleeve, so look for that or nothing at all.
BLINGWhile some cards might capture your attention with cute addition of glitter, confetti, foil, or metallic writing, do your best to resist. These additions render your card non-recyclable and it will inevitably end up in the landfill.
All papers are not created equal. Look for stamps certifying that your card is made from sustainably farmed and harvested wood. This can put your mind at ease that you are not directly contributing to deforestation and biodiversity loss.
POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED PAPER
One step up is paper that is at least in part made of recycled paper. This uses fewer new resources and creates a market for recycled goods, giving them more value.
Some companies even go the extra mile and encourage people to compost the paper in their own gardens by using "seed paper", that you can bury and get plants out of. Or give something other than paper like with Gift-A-Green where you gift a package of microgreen seeds that can be directly sown in the pouch and then eaten!
Research your greeting card companies. Some of them have a pledge to plant a tree for every x number of cards they sell or do something else to offset the effect of their business on the environment. For example, Wilder, which we carry in stores, makes their cards using 100% renewable energy in addition to putting strict restraints on themselves in terms of sustainable paper, ink, and packaging.
Over the years you have surely collected enough cards and craft supplies that you can give a new life to items in your home and transform them into unique signature cards. This way, you avoid the plastic sleeves, you can control the "recyclability" of your creation, and you're already extending the time something stays out of the landfill.
So what are you doing this Valentine's Day and the sweet words you want to share with your love? Will you pen them down in a greeting card?
Happy Valentine's Day to all!
Why You Should Think Twice Before Lighting that Scented Candle 0
Fall is here and who doesn't love the cozy effect that lighting a nice candle has on a room? The warm, flickering flame and pleasing scent can take any setting and turn it into an inviting and comfortable space. But have you ever thought about the impact that your little candle is having on your health or on the environment?
We did. And that's why we threw out all of our paraffin wax candles.
Paraffin candles produce harmful by-products, some of which are even carcinogenic like formaldahyde, Acrolein, Toulene, and many others. Paraffin wax is a petroleum by-product, meaning that it is oil-based and associated with all the same environmental implications that any oil product has. From habitat destruction, contamination of the environment with toxins, to increasing the level of greenhouse gases, the oil in the average candle is causing the same kind (though not level) of damage that dirty, oil-based manufacturing and transportation causes.
Scented candles are even worse as many of the "scents" are actually chemicals that can become toxic when burned. We literally pollute the air immediately around us while innocently hoping to create a more liveable environment. It's quite backwards, isn't it?
The alternative? Soy and beeswax candles don't give off the same level of toxins during burning as petroleum candles do. They are also more environmentally friendly options as they can be sustainably produced, something that isn't possible with the petroleum based paraffin wax.
Moreover, candles usually come packaged in extra plastic which gives little utility and is difficult to recycle. We choose candles that come in minimalist packaging, or better yet, in tins or glass containers which can be reused or recycled, depending on your needs. Mind you, these are also safer when it comes to the possibility of a fire, but of course that doesn't mean that they can burn unsupervised.
Hopefully now you'll think again before buying and lighting that paraffin wax candle. Here's how you can "green" your candle burning habits and make them healthier for you, your family, and the environment:
Ways to Make Your Candle Burning Habit Greener and Cleaner
Replace Paraffin Wax Candles with Soy or Beeswax Candles
Use candles only scented by essential oils rather than artificial fragrances
Buy Candles with minimal plastic packaging, instead opt for reusable pots or containers
Buy Candles made by local makers which have a small ecological footprint
We stock a number of different candle lines in our stores, including Natuur Candles, Muskoka Candle Co., Au Naturel, and Indigo Wild's ZUM Glow. All of these are soy candles made in North America (most of them in Canada), and come in reusable containers. Drop into our stores to pick up a seasonal candle, or shop online.
Keep Living the Green Life!