I buy my silver from an online refining company called G & S
You can send them bits and pieces to refine and they will give you money or trade for more products... great organization and great pricing! I use alot of fine gauge silver and argentium silver and it's excellent quality right down to the packaging.
Bead for Life is another great organization, but the Paper to Pearls that I am involved with is the only one in the inner refugee camps... at least that is what I have been told.. they all need help there though, so every bead bought helps them...
In many ways I do, or so I think. I love re-cycling old beads and materials when ever I can. In my ETSY shop I posted that I will be using recyled shipping materials to send out my things... (got them from a fellow "Freecyle" user - look them up great place to get rid of or get items so they do Not end up in a landfill!!)
Sure I can not always get the beads I need this way - but I try and the hunt is half of the fun. I also just purchased a bag of "Fair Trade" Beads from a local shop dedicated to fair trade products... check them out too. www.globallysound.com this group is local to Appleton, WI - but they may be able to direct you to othe 'fair trade' groups...
To me eco-friendly, re-cyled, fair trade ect are all areas in wich we can do our part... Why not try to do so when ever you can. Better than ignoring the problems. At least this is what I TRY 2 do, maybe I have made a (very) small push in the right direction. (??)
Always distinctive & fun,
I try to use Fair Trade products as much as I can. Antelope Beads offers Kazuri Beads and Tagua Nut beads in many shapes and colors. I'm not sure if trying to use products that benefit the local communities counts as eco-friendly but I think it helps.
As a Certified Green Business, it is so sad to see how little it matters to several of the respondents. Being green promotes envrionmentally sound practices from which we all benefit; and it's really quite amazing how much all the "little things" add up to making that difference to our carbon footprint!
Lots of good things are being done by so many folks who replyed, and I thought I'd put my two cents in by hitting on a topic I didn't see previously mentioned: packaging materials. One of my goals is to not introduce new packaging materials into the supply chain, and so I reuse boxes, bubble wrap, plastic bags, internal paper and padding, and newspapers. So when I'm fulfilling on a website order, it is the very rare expection that I can't do it all with reused materials; and I let customers know to expect this in the FAQs on my website.
Not only does this help our environment, but it sure reduces my mailing costs, too!
From Our Heart to Yours,
I don't really go out of my way to "bead" green per se. I do like to re-use or re-purpose materials when possible, and I try to re-use baggies & packaging as much as I can. I figure like other posters that I can do just as well by recycling trash (the Italians recycle almost everything), buying locally, using my own shopping bags, etc. I think ultimately the more small things people do start adding up. I'm certainly no saint, but I don't mind doing what I can. After all, we don't want to live on a planet that looks like it came from Wall-E.
I have to agree to some extent that I get a little tired of hearing from talking heads what SHOULD be done. How about telling me what IS being done and how it's beneficial? That would give me a lot more confidence that we're actually accomplishing anything.
Living on PEI allows me to recycle just about everything I can from both my jewelry business and my home life. There is very little going into our landfills because of the program we have in place here. However, there are still people who aren't doing their part and still throwing everything in the garbage for our landfills.
I decided not to use a larger bag or box to ship my pieces to customers. I have eliminated the need for that by making my own crochet drawstring bags. The yarn I use is made out of bamboo, which is a great natural resource and a great recycler too. The bamboo yarn comes in a some amazing colors and is such a pleaure to work with and hold. The only bags I do use is a smallest one that will fit the piece if it contains silver so that I can keep it sparkling. The packaging I use is a bubble wrap envlope, the smallest that will fit the piece and drawstring bag. That is the only packaging material I use to ship that is bought new. Thankfully it hasn't made a big impact on my bottom line yet. But am always looking for new ways to improve upon that.
Most of my beads are recycled. I had bought a tons of beads and other components from another jewelry artisan on the Island who was getting rid of a lot of stuff. I also have a bunch of vintage pieces that I'm in the midst of taking apart to reuse that my grandmother is getting rid of after having moved here a couple weeks ago. The only time I tend to buy anything new is when I'm looking for something specific for a piece that I'm custom making and I don't have what I need.
Thanks everyone for sharing information on how you are doing your part, gives me (and others) ideas of how to better the things we do.
Mixed Media Designerwww.kcrystina.artfire.com
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Our county has taken it to the next level. It cost a LOT of money to set up, but it's awesome now. Not only do we have 8 recycling centers spread out through the rural county(where pickup is not available), they have a HUGE recycling center at the landfill itself(employees over 150 people) where they bust open all of the bagged trash from the compactors and seperate it. There is only 25% of actual stuff going into the landfill that there was just 10 years ago when the plan was put into motion. It's still not complete but they have all of the money in the budget because our property taxes went back down this year after 10 years. The goal ia 10% total waste. They are making fertilizer/mulch at a plant beside the landfill from garbagetoo. I'm not sure if it is the county or private though.
There is also a privately owned bottle and an alumininum can recyling plant both in the county. Georgetown county was listed as the cleanest county on the east coast last year and we have a steel mill, a paper mill and a steam power plant. The power plant used to run on coal completely, but now it runs on coal as well as a waste by-product from the paper mill that burns hotter with less emmissions. Both the steel and paper mills have installed precipitator units to practically eliminate any airborn emissions.
We realy have it going on, even to those who don't care to recycle at all. The county does it for them. Quite literally. But the product that ehy are reselling(plastic, aluminum, paper, etc) more than cover the cost of the operation of the facility. They are constantly adding something. They also have a swap meet on 2 Tuesdays a month. Very cool stuff going on. The city Mayor is an old hippy ad the County council actually works with the city on this stuff. So it benefits all involved, ya know.
I yam wut I yam and dats all wut I yam. ~Popeye~
Dragonfly Jewelry Designs - ArtFire Artisan Studio
I guess I am one of those that are in the middle. Yes I have an SUV but it gets 22 MPG in town which is as good as most cars and better than some. I have to have an SUV so that I can get in and out due to bad knees. Too much pain to get in and out of a car anymore.
I wouldn't mind recycling if I did not have to drive 30 miles one way to do it. In a town nearby you could sign up to curbside recycle but you had to pay extra each month for your trash pick up. Finally they discontinued it because it had become such a hassel.
Yes, I run my air but it is set at 76 degrees which is comfortable in my bedford stone home. In the winter we can keep it set at 67 and be comfortable unless it is really bitter outside, then we will have to run it up another degree or two.
I don't throw trash out on the roadside etc. Do I specifically buy a product because it has less packaging? No. Sorry! I buy what I want/need because I want/need it. So if that company decides to use less packaging, that is great. Same product, I will continue to buy it.
I think that it is smart to take care of what we have but I also think that it is taken to extremes in some cases. I know that hubby has watched enough programs on global warming to know that some of what is being told/preached is not completely accurate. I am not meaning to open a can of worms. I just think that everyone should be respectful of everyones opinions and agree to disagree.
Have a great day!
In our area, recycle pickup is free. We do not pay for it, the city does not pay for it, nor does the county. They are quite fussy as to what they will take, so they must be making a profit, using the big gargage trucks to pick up recyclables. And it does make a BIG reduction in the garbage -- maybe they are spending less at the landfill then !!! They also do garbage and recycle pickups in the country -- same price as in town.
Ignorance is curable; Stupidity has neither cure nor excuse.
I'm an old hippy, so I try to do my part but I'm not an Eco-Nutjob either. I mean, I drive a full sized Chevy truck, but it does have a V-6, so it's pretty efficient for what it is. Around 18-20 mpg, but it's geared real low for pulling stuff. Every family NEEDS something to haul stuff, ya know. The wife has a honda Civic wagon that gets 40 mpg. We do put the plastic bottle and cans inseperate bins at the center, but everything else goes into the compactor.
I don't litter and have been known to pick up trash here and there just to be doing it too. I even gnaw people a 'new' one when I see them litter as well. Littering is just plain stupid and there is no point, rhyme, or reason for anyone to do it. The lowest fine for littering in SC is $200.00. I have a friend that had to pay that for throwing a ciggarette butt out of a car window. Serves him right too. *laughz*
I don't really go out of my way to buy eco-friendly beading materials because I mainly work with natural materials anyway. Hemp, cotton, leather, stones, wood, and glass/crystals and the like. The little bit of stringing wire and stuff that I use is neglible in the big picture. I get what I need when it comes to that.
We have a page up on our site showing our commitment to being a green company. We have also created the world's first eco-friendly beading wire - Extreme Flex Wire.
I am a beader with a desire to be more eco-friendly and so am taking advantage of the current trend. We live in Kichener, Ontario, Canada. During craft shows people are amazed to see our work and very surprised to learn that the beads are made of paper.
We have created a line of jewellery called ' Junk Mail Jewellery'. This consists of using beads that we have made from paper - junk mail, newspaper, wall paper samples. These are rolled or pulped. We cover the tube beads with serviettes, tissue paper and wrapping paper ('gently used'). We are also incorporating reclaimed buttons, as well as beads from previous necklaces, etc.
We also cut up reclaimed greetings cards to use as our earring cards, price tags and gift boxes.
(We don't yet have a website. I am thinking about getting something on Facebook...)
Ann Seri (Douglas)email@example.com
Its great to hear the word upcycled on this forum. I choose to use upcycled materials to eliminate the need to purchase expensive materials or to push manufactuers into more production, when your right, many things lying around your space will make beautiful beads and amulets for jewelry.
Im also sorry your tired of hearing GREEN, RECYCLE, REDUCE, and REUSE. but there are still people in this country WHO DONT. WHO ARENT ABLE, or DONT CARE to recycle. We need to keep mentioning it, blasting it, and demanding this way of life. Its unacceptable to NOT BE GREEN.
We need to make people concious of the idea that using products that are harmful for our environment just ISNT acceptable anymore. and with research we can find out what those products are and tell our friends, family, community, fellow consumers, groups, and the media. We have now more than ever the power to change our ways on this planet. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD....
Somehow I missed this post. LOL
I do recyle/upcycle a lot that at times DH thinks I'm a horder. I give old/vintage/used buttons a new life by making them focals of my pendants or bead embroidered pieces. I don't throw away glass jars (that's something we always do back home too) - big or small - I know I'll gonna find a use for them one way or the other. I use small jars as bead containers.
I wish i can find a way to reuse tin cans too - this will drive DH nuts for sure! LOL Oh, and I save egg cartons for (veggy) seed planting.
Lody:I wish i can find a way to reuse tin cans too - this will drive DH nuts for sure! LOL Oh, and I save egg cartons for (veggy) seed planting.
Here is a way to drive you hubby nuts with the tin cans. If you are using your egg cartons for seedlings, you must have a garden. Take the paper off your tin cans, drill a hole in the one remaining lid, will get back to that in a minute. Paint the outsides of the cans with spay paint intended for metal, you don't need to paint the insides they are plastic coated in most cases. They really work better as bright colors. Now string a twine of some type through the hole you drilled, tie a knot to keep the can from sliding off. Hang several cans closes together like a wind chime (being green you can use a small branch from a tree) now hang it in your garden to keep those winged and 4 legged critters out of your harvest. Sure way to drive the critters and hubby nuts and be green as well.