If you’ve followed @savvybrownblog on twitter, almost every week you know I am either RT, quoting or talking to @ecokarenlee. She has a great site, blog, Etsy Shop and tips for going green practically. She’s also a master at “upcycling”. (That’s when you make new items out of old objects). I was so honored when she agreed to be my first guest blogger! Read on and learn something new…
Who is Ecokaren?
I am a retired Chiropractor-Turned-Stay-At-Home-Eco-Mom. My education in chiropractic trained me on living healthy, physically and mentally but also connecting the environment to our health. Having said that, although I have always been conscientious about how wasteful we are and how much we abuse our natural resources, I wouldn’t classify myself as an environmentalist, in the traditional sense of the word. But it does really bother me that we live in a disposable and “we-wanted-it-yesterday” society and that quick and convenience takes priority over the environment. I’m guilty of that sometimes too but I am trying to change and want to do it in a fun and simple way, without being too radical or becoming a pack rat by hauling all of the neighbors’ garbage into my house for reusing.
How do you get your family to into green living?
I can’t tell you how you can change your family but I will tell you how I did. I started to look at ways to reduce buying “want’ items and instead, buying only “need” items…call it being frugal or being an environmentally conscientious but I started to really re-evaluate what I buy. In doing so, not only did I start to save money by not buying frivolously and impulsively but it also reduced waste. I also started to reclaim things to renew, which is essentially what upcycling is – reinvent things from old things.
Like these soap dishes I made with un-recyclable plastic bottle caps…
or this journal made of unused notebooks…
After I decided to sell my practice and stay home, I started to knit and crochet with organic yarns while waiting for my kids to finish their after school activities. I gave some of my ecological creations as gifts and some people suggested that I sell my ever-growing selection of handmade goodies. (Frankly, I think they were getting tired of getting scarves and washcloths for every holidays and birthdays) So I started to sell them on Etsy. I stumbled upon a team called EcoEtsy that is made up of eco-minded Etsy sellers. It is a great community of sellers who share the same mission as me. We support each other in our endeavors, we write and contribute to our blog, we hold fundraisers (we recently sent a check for $450 to WWF from our first auction we had for Earth Day), and we educate the community through our shops about the environment. I recently became a co-leader for the team and it’s been an exciting and fun experience.
Getting the word out
The doctor (means to ‘teach’ in Latin) in me, wanted to educate people and send out a message that we can all reduce, renew, and recycle easily. So I started to blog about being green and to talk about my crafts. I try to include tips, tutorials, reviews, and eco-news regularly. I also feature Etsy eco-sellers who create goodies with the environment in mind. In doing so, I hope to help these eco-minded indie artists to get their message out. My philosophy is that you don’t have to get too drastic or radical but try to do one eco-friendly thing each day. Changes don’t happen overnight but you have to understand what would happen if you don’t try.
Here’s where you can find ecoKAren, check her out and the great folks over at ecoEtsy!