Hip Hip HurRoar (grrrr)

Alright folks, as you know, I now seem to only post once a month or less and there are many reasons for this.
-I have the best ideas for posts when I am laying in bed and too tired to get up and type them.
-I am a huge procrastinator and I waste A LOT of time on Face Book
-I sometimes make such poor consumer decisions now that I am ashamed (like individually wrapped soy cheese because the wee one wants it or the Styrofoam we ended up with yesterday because I forgot the say off the bat at the restaurant that we don’t do Styrofoam)
-I am really busy with raising our daughter, baking and cooking for ourselves and for barter AND launching my home-made natural body products (and crafts) line Hip Hip Horrah.
I’m going to say the biggest reason is Hip Hip Horrah (and the procrastination of it, if we are going to be frank here)
At some point in our no garbage project, I decided to make our own beauty products so we wouldn’t have single use packaging and so I could know and trust exactly what we were putting on and in our bodies. I made toothpaste, deodorant and baby bum salve, which we soon discovered was also good for body butter and lip balm for people of all ages. Then I gave some to family and friends, and people loved it, so I started to sell it.
Really, the whole purpose of making my own products was to avoid packaging. Now that I am selling it, it is all about packaging! When I break down the cost, my customer is paying for the jar, the label and in some cases, shipping. My time and the organic, natural ingredients cost nothing compared to all that. This is partially because I use the most environmentally and health friendly option for packaging(in my opinion ), glass. Glass can be washed out (boiled) and used again for the same purpose without downcycling. In fact, I offer people a discount if they bring the jar back (a return system) But it is expensive and when it comes to me from the supplier, it comes with bubble wrap (which I just discover I can give back to the shipping company to use again), and little wee bits of a Styrofoam like plastic thingies in the lids.
At first I was selling at a Grassroots level, but now that it’s getting beyond that, I decided I should look up rules and licenses etc. The system is not set up for small, garbage-free businesses. So much information is required on the Canadian labels, that I need to move to 2 labels on each jar so it is readable. Also now that I’m selling more, printing on one side of used paper,cutting out and gluing on each label isn’t viable, so I have moved to a sticker (with a backing that is garbage! Sigh…) I mentioned before that I had been reading Cradle to Cradle and William McDonough and Micheal Braungart suggest that we have to tally invention our consumerism, and instead of buying objects that we later have to dispose of, we lease or do terms of service and then the manufacturer reuses or upcycles the product. I see that something like that needs to happen here. For example, everyone could come to my studio (home) every Friday when I have made a batch of salve or whatever and I pour it in their jars. BUT then I am limiting my costumer base AND probably breaking a whole whack of health laws! So instead, I am doing what I really didn’t want to (and what McDonough and Braungart warn against), and I’m being less bad. I am choosing glass for my home-made natural products because it is not as bad as plastics or aluminum. I am doing a paper sticker and looking into soy based inks because it is not as bad as Vinyl etc. I will continue researching my options and improve as new options become available. In the meantime I guess I have to push companies and public officials to change the rules and create the products I want to buy (as well as a market for them).


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