Saturday, April 21, 2012

To Do List & Earth Day Giveaway

Happy Earth Day! Happy Saturday! Happy Day! 
boygirlparty on Etsy
I've been doing some list making... trying to be productive and all. I thought you might be interested in seeing what I have to do on this fine day.
-be awesome 
-take a hike 
-eat locally grown grub
-plant something 
-finally start my compost pile 
-dance in the rain
-give away reusable produce bags on blog 
-print produce bag tags 
-package and ship tees
-do dishes
.... okay so the rest of the list isn't as much fun.  

Oh? Did you notice that one there... GIVE AWAY reusable produce bags on the blog!? Hooray for you, its my little way of celebrate Earth Day with all of my awesome followers! #virtualhifive Win yourself a (Set of 2) TrashN2Tees Reusable Produce Bags! Be sure to find out all you ever wanted to know about reusable produce bags here. Several ways to win, pick one or do them all- its completely up to you! The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter next Saturday 4/28 & contacted via email. I firmly believe spam belongs in a can.

TrashN2Tees Reusable Produce Bags Etsy

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 Olympic Debut- But I need your help!

It was just announced yesterday that TrashN2Tees reusable produce bags have made the short list for rikrak studios Handmade Olympics!

Hooray! Voting is open now though April 27th, and I need your help! Take one moment to head over here: vote (you can only vote once) & then share it with your friends! There are even some wonderfully awesome handmade goodies & ad space prizes for the top 3 places, and if TNT picks up any of those honors I will be sharing the bounty (freebies for you!)  with my followers on facebook & twitter!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My April Blaze & SOS for Buttons

Just when I thought things were cooling down around here, April has sprung me into a whirlwind of awesomeness on my plate. There are a ton of cool things going on behind the scenes here, and I promise I'm not trying to keep secrets! Do you ever wish for a clone? That's me, right now. Time to dish up & dig in.

 Last month I submitted my Human Sparkler Inside a Box video to be considered for the Spark Retreat Scholarship, on April 2nd they announced the winner... and it was ME! I literally ran around my house like a lunatic, my heart was beating so fast I couldn't even speak a full sentence without having to stop & catching my breath. Just typing about it gives me goosebumps. The scholarship was funded by donations, words spoken nor typed could ever express my gratitude. I'm prepared to make up some new words though- so look out Webster.

I'll be flying to New Mexico in a little more than 2 weeks, I'm totally excited to get my spark on with the amazing woman who will be there. Do you need me to drop names? I will. I'm also trying hard to fight off any flight fears & kidlet separation anxiety. The person who Googles the best places to sit on an airplane in case of crash- yep, I did that. Lucky for me, my pal Ranon (maker of Rocky the Zombie awesomeness) is full of airplane flight safety/crash knowledge and I need to be sure to give her props for helping ease my fears. (psst. thanks!!)

No trip planning is complete without shopping! I need more shoes... so I snagged this lovely tutorial from Shoeology on Etsy and made these --->
They're awaiting some buttons, would you mind helping me find a rad pair? Preference: must be rad & 1" or bigger. I've also discovered sparkly Sanuks and I need them in every color. My undying love for the Sanuk brand must wait for another post though.

I've also been planning & crafting for Tristens 3rd Birthday... Jake & The Neverland Pirates Birthday Party! Maybe you've noticed all of the scallywag loot I've been tweeting. After thought: The handmade wooden swords were probably not the BEST idea Nick & I've had. But they look great & the boys love them... no ones lost an eye yet.
April, where did you go? I was really hoping to spend more time this month creating new items & stocking up for some local festivals- maybe in May? Time just slips away, I swear it does.

April happenings the cliff note version:
-check off 2012 goal, integrate video into shoppers buying experience  (reusable produce bags)
-pitched to awesome magazine & received email back earlier this week about possibly getting some press (love you HARO)
-hanging out @ local elementary school for Earth Day spreading some craftyness & recycling love
-I was interviewed & featured for Etsy Monday @ Ever wonder how I came up with the name TrashN2Tees? Where do I find inspiration? What is the coolest thing I've upcycled?

I'm sure that I've missed something but you can always keep up with my shananagins in real time by following TrashN2Tees on facebook, twitter, and instagram (my newest favorite toy!) If you have any traveling mom tips, flight anxiety remedies, or figured out how to clone yourself- comment below, because frankly, I need your wisdom.

:Edit: 5 minutes after posting this- I just found out that my TrashN2Tees Reusable Produce Bags have made the shortlist in the Rikrak Studio Handmade Olympics Favorite Eco Friendly Goodie Event! Be sure to head over vote!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Indie Handmade Business: Marketing Green by Going Green

This month on the TrashN2Tees blog I challenged my readers to make 1 green resolution today then tell me about it. In honor of Earth Day (the whole month long!) I've dedicated the blog to inspiring & encouraging the changes you share & together we'll go green one baby step at a time! Today, let's discover some ways that you can color your indie handmade biz GREEN!

 Going green can boost your customer base. Believe it. I'm sure you've noticed the growing trend with eco-friendly marketing- but it's not just a trend. I hope these innovative & earth friendly biz concepts are going to set the pace for future generations. Like any other aspect of successful marketing, your reputation as an eco-concious business is only as good as your credibility. You can talk the talk, but customers want to see you walk the walk. The first step to marketing yourself as an eco-friendly biz is actually becoming one! You can do it- and I want to help.

The Basics:
  • purchase recyclable or biodegradable mailing supplies (& reuse packaging when available) I love  
  • streamline your packaging, do you really need to use floral printed cellophane bags? ...if so maybe include a note with suggestions for reusing it? 
  • ship from home/office
  • eco friendly biz cards
  • use recycled paper products & print on both sides of the paper
  • install Eco-Font or use draft printing option to save ink & toner
  • buy second hand: office furniture, tables, machines, cameras etc: it gives new purpose to used items and helps reduce demand for new
  • change incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient lighting
  • support environmental charities - tip: be authentic to your brand and self! spread the goodness but do your research & find out what the organization does and where the donations actually go.
  • source your materials locally if possible 
  • use earth friendly cleaning supplies
 I know, that all seems like a ton of work + additional costs. Your kids (mine, too!) and the planet will thank us later. Pinky swear. Since you're already a creative genius, allow us to get a little more innovative. This is the fun stuff! How will you integrate your greenieness into your buyers shopping experience? Mayi over at Heartmade has a pretty spiffy collection of Eco Tips for Your Indie Business that includes this tutorial for thrifted pattern gift wrap via Creature Comforts. 

Once you've got all this stuff in the bag- tell people about it!  Be sure your eco initiatives get noticed by hanging them in a prominent place on your website (and any marketing materials.) Get involved in a grassroots green community- online & locally. A few great Twitter hash tags include #greentweets #greenmarketing #greenmeetings #ecofriendly. Your transition from “business” to “awesome green business” is big news. Treat it as such by crafting and sending out a press release introducing your eco-friendly biz, perhaps as the first of its kind in your area!  

 I promised baby steps, didn't I? Okay, lets start small. Crafty McCraftersons- I want to know what 2 changes you're willing to make. You've got tell me so I can celebrate them with you and for you! If you have any ideas, sources, or questions please let me know in the comments below. Happy (almost) Earth Day!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

All you ever wanted to know about...

Produce bags from TrashN2Tees
 TrashN2Tees reusable produce bags - videoified! There are a few FAQ's I get about my reusable produce bags, and some of the answers you need to see it to believe it. I filmed this short vid in my laundry room after washing my reusable bag stash (I need to go grocery shopping!) See for yourself how my bags have held up over the past 2.5 years and why you need to get a set!

Hope you enjoyed the video, and would love some vblogging feedback... besides the fact that I say 'um' too much. Did you learn something new about TrashN2Tees and/or reusable produce bags? Do you have a set (or 2) of bags yourself- Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Going Green? Start here.

Market Bag from maytreeark
 Some people are addicted to gambling, sky diving, and Starbucks. Not me, I am addicted to collecting (and creating) awesome reusable bags. What kind of addiction is that? Ha! My eclectic collection seems to catch eyes every time I'm at the grocery. I don't do it for the attention, as if pushing the over-sized race car cart through the store with 2 escaping boys isn't distracting enough! But my bags have offered up multiple opportunities to talk about the benefits and importance of recycling/reusing to fellow grocery getters both young and old.
Reusable Tote from Suzuya

I had to make a quick run into the store just a few days ago, and I went in bag less. I actually cringed at the thought of bringing home a yucky plastic bag when I was checking out. Then came the pang of guilt. I wasn't raised in an eco- concious family, and I admit it... my first 20 something years on this planet I probably wasn't as Earth friendly as I could've been. I think that the real turning point for me came along with a blessing in the shape of a baby boy bundle. There is an old Indian Proverb that I like to share, "We don't inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." My families 'green' transition was a modest one, and we are far from being as efficient and self sustaining as I hope to be some day. Making the decision to cut back on waste, conserve energy, and reduce out impact on the Earth overall and deciding where to start was the hardest part.
One of my first steps, and I think one of the easiest for 'going green' is getting into the habit of BYOB. No not bring your own beer- but Bring Your Own Bags! How many times have you stood at the checkout stand wishing you’d remembered to bring your own bags?   Recent studies show that 50% of Americans want to use their own bags, but only about 25% remember to do it. We are up against our own habits and, let’s face it: at the end of the day, there is often more on our minds than reusable bags. (Ain't that the truth?) As Mark Twain said:  “Habit is habit and not to be flung out the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”  

Reusable Produce Bags from TNTees
Here are 10 ways to help coax reusable bags into your shopping trips where you can use them.

1.  Put your bags in the front seat of your car before you start out for the store.  That way, you will see them and remember when you get there.  You are more likely to forget if you put them in the trunk.

2.  Hang them on the garage doorknob after emptying them so you remember to get them in your car.

3.  Take them right out and put them in your car when you empty them.  Less clutter in the house!

4.  Write “REUSABLE BAGS” at the top of your shopping list as a visual reminder

5.  Get one or two small pocket sized bags like TrashN2Tees Upcycled Tshirt bags to keep in your purse for emergencies and impulse buying. 

6.  Invest in bags that you actually like.  You are more likely to use them if you like them.  

7.  Put bags on your mental list of things you want to take when you go shopping.  For example, ask yourself, do I have my keys, my cell phone, my shopping list, and my bags?

8.  Get bags in different colors so you can make the shopping bag part of your look for the day.   Who says you can’t go green in style? (linked up to some of my favorites)

9.  Have a few extras in your car in case you leave them at home.

10.  Decide that if you forget to bring the bag into the store, you will go out and get them before check out, or put items back in the basket and bag them yourself at the car. It won’t take more than once or twice to train yourself to bring them in the first time!

Whether you are making effort to green your lifestyle (good on ya mate!) or are already crunchy, one of my favorite sites for reference & inspiration is Practically Green. They offer you a personalized road map with actions to take and products recommendations. I've been doing better remembering my bags, but one change I still haven't made is successfully composting. My challenge to you is to make 1 green resolution today then tell me about it. This month I'll dedicate the blog to inspiring & encouraging the changes you share & together we'll go green one baby step at a time.


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