Friday, 16 December 2011

Feets too big?

My footprints are pretty big for a girl. Well, as I've mentioned, I take a UK size 8 (a 7 in more sensibly cut shoes) which I believe equates to a 10 in the USA or a 41 in Europe. It's not like I'm that tall either, coming in at about 5'5". My sister made Harry and the Hendersons jokes when I was a kid (see title of this post)

As you probably know by now (or not, if you're new to this little blog of mine), I'm trying to be more eco friendly. Have you spotted the corny segue? Ah yes, well done. Carbon footprints.

Firstly, since this is a blog about me and my work and should really be the truth, I'm going to lay my cards right on the table and say I'm no eco-angel. I'm not quite as 'green' as Kermit, and as he himself did say, it's not easy being green.

Things I DO do, to help reduce the proverbial carbon footprint I'm making.

* I don't drive. Not 100% for ecological reasons, mind you - my instructor gave up on me when I was 17. He wasn't the best teacher, and certainly not suited to the nervous driver type, but there you go. Maybe I will gain the confidence to drive again one day (and when I do, it will be something as eco friendly as is viable to have where I live) I walk to the shops, I catch public transport. Occasionally, a friend will give me a lift somewhere. If I get my groceries delivered, I try to go for the slots where they say the driver is going to be in my area anyway.
This is a nice place to be walking everywhere.

* I don't travel a lot. Last time I went on a long-haul flight was 2005 (ah, Manhattan, I loved you, and would have more so if it weren't for being ill and on a stressful Uni trip to tote my illustration portfolio around your many marble-foyer-ed publishing houses) I'd like to see more of our lovely planet while it and myself are still going strong, but so far in my nearly 3 decades of life, I've been abroad something like 12 times, which for a European is actually quite little, really. And I might have counted the 2 hours I spent in Calais one very rainy, dull day (we were on the ferry there and back for more time than we spent in the town. I would have liked Calais better if it weren't for being so taken over by British people making the most of the tax-free booze opportunity. Sorry, Calais.)

* I use recycled materials quite a lot. In JumpUp, this is the whole idea of the shop. Scatterbox Originals doesn't have so much eco-friendly materials yet, but I use recycled card for the note cards (I found the loveliest UK supplier for those) and the paper from the writing sets I used to sell was made with pulp from ethically managed forests. For the new ideas for Scatterbox (which sadly I've had to put on hold until after my xmas break) I'm looking at using some nice organic, fairtrade cotton. This is one of the first things I bought to salvage for JumpUp, a luxurious, but sadly boil-washed-and-partially-shrunk-by-accident (by whoever owned it before me) scarf.

This scarf became a couple of purses, Bert the plush doll and more recently, some Mountain brooches.

* I use recycled and eco friendly packaging as much as possible. In Scatterbox, I tend to still use jiffy mailers that I've bought, because I'm a bit tentative about how people will feel about the recycled packaging and because the shop isn't so overtly "I Am Eco Friendly" as JumpUp is, I'm not as confident doing that yet. I think I will shift over to using the same packaging for both though, especially since the lady in the post office yesterday was full of praise for my homemade eco friendly envelopes. I do try to make them pretty - they're pages saved from old books (usually ones with damaged covers that charities find harder to sell), taped at the edges with decorative gum tape and sewn on my sewing machine to form an envelope.

* I use energy saving bulbs at home wherever possible (my living room is fitted with halogen bulbs set into the ceiling, but I can't change that. I tend to use my lamp in the evenings anyway, which does take an energy saving bulb)

I think this is a pretty good start. There are things to build on; using eco friendly washing powder etc more consistently, avoiding those occasional times of 'what the heck, the clothes are filthy so I'll do them on a hot wash just to be sanitary', and reducing my use of the tumble dryer at the laundrette (I don't have a garden here or an airing cupboard, and not a lot of space for airing clothes, so in the cold and wet months it is tricky). I've also got plans to try to reduce my electricity consumption (partly for money reasons) somehow.

Anyway, so that's how I try to make my (metaphorical) footprints smaller. It's not easy being green...but then, in many ways it doesn't take that much effort, really.

Oh by the way...I have decided that instead of going into invisibility mode during my Christmas break, I'm going to keep the shops open and do a special offer to compensate for delayed dispatch times (I'll be back from visiting family a bit after Christmas but I have to work in the day job, so orders after Sunday won't be mailed until 3rd January) That special arrangement will start on Monday, so if you want to browse and shop while this Cat's away, and don't mind receiving your order in January, go ahead and play next week! Up until then I'm still taking orders to send within two working days (today being the last day that I feel orders posted are likely to arrive in time for Christmas) Any orders over the weekend are going to come with me on the train to see my family, and be posted from there on Tuesday (possibly time to arrive for Christmas but it would be pushing it)

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