Thursday, April 30, 2015

Proactively Green

My proactively green journey has been a constant battle. I duel daily with myself lol. More often than not, I am slayed by myself. I have made a more conscious effort though and I am somewhat proud of it. Right now, my home has one huge box with cans, plastic, paper, of course the glass is already being upcycled and other recyclables. The plan is to have more of a setup like this eventually:

I have yet to take them to a recycle center, but I plan to next week. I will definitely upload some pics.

The next thing I did was take advantage of something we have here in Mobile, AL called, "It's Easy to be Ungreasy". I have never been one to pour grease down the drain. I've always put it in some random container that eventually gets thrown away. This way it isn't causing any sewage problems and they use the grease to make some type of fuel, go figure.  

I can honestly say that every time I drink something out of a can or bottle it actually pains me mentally to just throw it away. I am very conscious of my actions and those around me. I wish we had more recycling bins around the city and that more stores/ restaurants had them as well.  Hmm, maybe that's a step further down the line for me in my proactively green journey, to make the city in which I live just a little bit more green. Maybe I can prick the conscious of more haphazardly green minds to make them more proactively green.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Going Green Rant

You know what? 

It is really...really hard to go green! When I opened up my trash service for the first time the very first thing I looked into was recycling options. You know what I found? 


There are no recycling options! At least not in my area. Until recently when a new place opened up in September of last year, there was not a single recycling plant in my area. Not one! It is so frustrating to WANT to care about our environment and the planet and not even having the OPTION of doing the right thing, especially when you're of the mind that something like recycling should be mandatory in the first place...and there isn't even the option. 

I read a post recently by Mike Rowe (yes, that guy from Dirty Jobs, who, by the way, if you are not following on Facebook, you absolutely should be) about recycling, and I am going to share just a small portion of his words here, because really, the man is totally elegant:

"A couple of weeks ago, I was stuck in traffic on Lombard Street, desperate to get across the Golden Gate Bridge for a meeting I was doomed to miss... the guy in front of me threw an empty Big Gulp out the passenger window. I watched the giant cup bounce around the street, roll into the curb, and come to rest on the grate of a storm drain. The guy was driving a Prius, and the irony was just too much to bear.

"I hopped out of my car, retrieved the trash, and approached his vehicle. Squatting on the pavement, I addressed the gentleman from the passenger side. “Hi there!” I said, grinning my best gameshow host grin. “I think the wind blew this giant cup out of your environmentally friendly vehicle. Here you go.”

"I dropped the Big Gulp on his seat and turned to leave, but the man stopped me.
“Hey...wait a minute,” he said. “You’re the dirty jobs guy! Holy crap! Are we on TV right now?” The man craned around, looking for a camera crew, ready for his close-up.

"For a moment, I wished we were on television...

"Here’s a question - How can we expect people to care about their “carbon footprint,” when they don’t even know what they’re walking on? How relevant is global warming to a people who still throw their crap out the window?

"I’m no expert, but it seems to me that most of the “big” environmental challenges in today's headlines are impacted to some degree by our strange tolerance for litter, and our stubborn refusal to punish litterbugs in a way that might actually discourage their decision to treat our country like a landfill. Doesn’t it make sense to do all we can to discourage littering, before we try to argue the merits of windmills and electric cars?"

 Alright, I know that was long, the original post was even longer! But, well worth the read, and I definitely recommend the full read. While Mike is talking primarily about littering, he still makes the best argument: How could people possibly care about the environment on a large scale when most people don't even pay attention to how they personally contribute to garbage problem? How can I care about recycling my plastic so it doesn't end up in the ocean when there isn't even an option to do anything differently!


You know...I haven't been able to bring myself to throw away any plastic bags since I discovered how to make plarn! I haven't made any plarn in several months so they're just piling up...but I can't throw them away!

And you guys know I'm definitely not throwing out anything glass. 

The one thing I have tried to start doing is setting aside my plastic to take to that new recycling place. I filled my bin up...loaded it into my trunk...and it's been sitting in there for about a week...still haven't taken it over to the recycling place. I shake my head at myself just thinking about it...

But that's my point. The most frustrating thing about wanting to care is how easy and convenient society has made not caring. 

Till next time.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Color Me Green (Andrea)

So me being the person that I am, I have never really given a whole lot of thought to being green. I know right, burn me at the stake, rake me over hot coals and all that jazz. Now don’t get me wrong, I do select the paperless billing option on my bills, I carpool when possible and I even recycle every blue moon. It’s not enough.
The truth of the matter is it’s a very important issue. I should be more proactive. Starting our business has opened a door for me to be able to do that. Being green is important to my business partner, she is way more conscientious of these types of things than I am, so that means it is now important to me. We do a lot of upcycling, which is essentially repurposing different things to give them a new or different meaning. We are all about the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. To think that I almost didn’t write this post because I didn’t know what to say. If nothing else I have learned that just haphazardly being green isn’t enough. I need to be proactively green. Hmmm, that sounds like another blog post to me. Stay tuned, I look forward to sharing my proactively green journey with you.

Happy Reading,

*We welcome all green ideas, especially the cost efficient ones J

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Color Me Green (Alana)

One of the biggest things I am doing now is upcycling glassware and ceramic dinnerware into beautiful pieces of art. I paint my henna designs on almost everything right now, and while I love that, there are more things I’d like to do in continuation of the upcycling theme. There are a lot of pieces out there that can’t be painted because of previously existing designs or the shape wouldn’t allow it, and I’d like to keep upcycling with those pieces. I have tons of projects saved on my Pinterest account for upcycling projects! Lawn ornaments, bird feeders, wind chimes, fairy houses…these are just a few of the ideas I'm cooking up for the future. 

I also really love the idea of recycling plastic bags and plastic bottles into art or useful things. Plastic is only biodegradable under very specific conditions. Bacteria doesn’t really touch the stuff, and since bacteria is how most organic material biodegrades, that’s kind of a problem. Quite a lot of our plastic ends up in the ocean, where it gets lots of light and water churning it around, and under those conditions plastic will eventually biodegrade. So, that’s cool that it will eventually break down, the only problem is that when plastic breaks down it becomes toxic and it ends up in the guts of sea creatures we eat and washes up on shorelines. But anyway, all that is to say, I recognize that plastic is a big problem and hope that one day there will be better alternatives, but until then! There are a lot of projects I’d like to do to recycle what plastic I can. 

As we grow as a business I hope to do more green things, and I hope we can support green movements and other really important causes in the future. 

I found my information about plastic HERE if you want to know more, and you can see their sources on the second page of the article.  Also, SciShow, DFTBA!

Till next time!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Social Media: Do you use proper etiquette?

Social media, in my personal opinion, is essential to a business in this day and time. People are always asking are you on Facebook, Instagram, what about Twitter and many others. While everyone wants to know if you are on these social media networks, keeping them up to date can be a pain. I am however so very grateful to the person/persons that came up with the idea of linking accounts so that one post can go across multiple networks. Linking accounts makes keeping social media up to date slightly less daunting. Some critics don’t like this feature but I love it. All of that is a moot point though if first you don’t know proper social media etiquette. Seeing as this is our first post on social media, I feel it not remiss if we discuss etiquette first.
       If you Google social media etiquette for business, tons of hits will come up. I will only post 5 key points. Feel free to post some etiquette rules (for business or personal) you feel are important in the comments below.

#1 Which is kind of a pet peeve of mine. Don’t write on someone’s business page wall and tell them to like your page or follow you. Don’t even do the, I liked your page so go like mine thing.

#2 Don’t flood news feeds with constant posts. If you post multiple times a day, make sure they are spaced out accordingly to avoid the flood.

#3 Mistakes happen but please, please, please check for typos and grammatical errors before posting.

#4 Be respectful, nice, courteous, you know the saying…do unto others….A thank you goes a long way and makes supporters/followers feel appreciated.

#5 #Don’t #over #use #the #hashtag. Just about all social media networks use hashtags. On some sites its ok to use multiple hash tags others it’s not. If you don’t know don’t over use, stick to just #one or #two.

This is one of many sites I came across about social media etiquette. It has a guideline that breaks it down for each network. Check it out, it has some pretty good info on it.

Happy Reading,


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Did You Do The RESEARCH???

Feels like college again….research, research, research. Starting and owning a small business is not an easy job. I’m writing the article knowing that a lot of the things I will mention we ourselves have not done. We are totally not hypocrites, how dare you even think it. Oh, what’s that you say, you weren't thinking it? Oh well, must be my guilty conscious, lol.  According to the U.S. Small Business Administration to run a successful business, you need to learn about your customers, your competitors and your industry.
Learn Your Customers
Who is your target audience for sales and services? Is it men, women, adults, teens, children? Learning about your customers helps improve sales. Believe it or not, just knowing the form of payment your customer type prefers can improve your sales. Say you have an elderly couple wanting to buy from you, they may only pay by check but you don’t accept checks so that could be a loss in sales.  Maybe there is a younger couple who wants to purchase something and they don’t carry cash, only debit or credit. There are lots of possible scenarios, for each you should be prepared for. You should know your target audience and make any necessary changes needed to accommodate them. What forms of payment they prefer to use, what they like to buy, when they like to buy it are all things you should know. Knowing your target audience should also have an impact on your marketing as well. Whether it’s by flyers, brochures, email, text or an app, you should know the best method and use it to your advantage.
Know Your Competition
        Google is a great tool….use it or whatever search engine you prefer. I have searched using keywords that describe our products to see what comes up. This is good because it shows you who has similar products. It also shows if your products are showing up in these searches and if so, how far at the top of the search results are you. This is just my FREE method for checking out the competition. I know there are many more feel free to share in the comments below. Seeing where you show up and how many others offer the same or similar products is a way to improve your business. Maybe you need a new advertising strategy or you may even need to change or switch up your product ideas.
Know Your Industry
If, like us, you corner the market in your area, that can be a good and a bad thing. Good because no one else in your area does or offers what you do, so you have the opportunity to get all of the local business. Bad because being so unique comes with a different set of battles like just getting your name and what you do out there. Our business is constantly growing but not always in monetary form, sometimes it just in awareness or recognition. If by chance you are in a well-known industry your challenges are slightly different. Yes, you have to get your name out there but you have to be even more innovative in the products you offer and how you present them. All that being said, know you industry, the ins and outs of online sales and in person sales.

        This is one of my longer post but it’s packed with useful information that only touches the tip of the iceberg on business research. Know your customers, know your competition, and know your industry. Did YOU do the research?