Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Trade Tuesday - The Green Haven

Today's trade comes to me via Megan of The Green Haven and continues along with my UnPaper towel obsession.

20 year-old Megan is a student at Frostburg State University in Maryland, yet another state I have a soft spot for because I've spent a significant amount of time in my life in Maryland. This green Etsyian is majoring in early childhood education and minoring in marketing, which I think really shows through with the uncommon distance she goes in the name of customer service. With your order comes something I have yet to experience from any other seller. After placing my order Megan created a Facebook album with my basic order info, sent me the link to the album, and told me that I would be able to track the progress of my towels there. That's service!

Below is the same information you will find on any of Megans listings for her reusable UnPaper towels:

Reusable paper towels, also known as unpaper towels, are ideal for leaving traditional paper towels behind. Reusable Paper Towels are convenient and ready to use right out of the package like paper towels, but unlike paper towels you can use them again and again. Reusable paper towels fit on an old paper towel roll and can be placed on a paper towel holder.

~ This listing is for 1 set of reusable paper towels in
(insert proper name of fabric here) fabric. Each set contains 12 individual towels, that snap together to form a roll of towels. Each towel measures 10" wide by 11" tall, making them about the same size as a paper towel. Towels are backed with 100% cotton terry cloth. Terry cloth is super soft and very absorbent.

~ Each towel is equipped with three sets of snaps, one more than is needed. This extra snap, the middle snap, is to provided extra support for the roll of towels. The middle snap prevents your roll of towels from sagging or drooping by helping support the extra weight of the towels.

~ Each set of towels is made with professional grade equipment, and is sewn with close attention to detail. The edges are surged with a professional surger, and the snaps are professional grade set using an industrial press. The snaps are made to hold up to much snapping and unsnapping as well as the washing machine, yet are gentle enough not to scratch when cleaning.

~ Reusable "paper" towels are machine washable, they may also be put in the dryer. I do not recommend using fabric softener on any of my products. Fabric softener can lessen the towels absorbency over time, making your "paper" towels less effective. Don't feel right not using a softener? Try using vinegar instead, its also a great way to eliminate odors, you can even place it in a downy ball!

Etsy Eco-Tip: Worldwide, 13 billion paper towels are used every day.The average person uses 3-4 paper towels each time you reach for the roll, using about a roll every day to day and a half. Switching your family to reusable "paper" towels can save countless paper towels, eliminating paper towels saves 4-6 rolls a week!

My UnPaper towels showed up much faster than I anticipated given Megans guestimation on how long it could take to get them out to me. Despite the fact that her paper towels are shown in a roll they are shipped flat 

and come with a quick explanation of how to attach your towels to an empty paper towel roll.

Because I drastically cut our use of paper towels I still have some on the roll on my kitchen.

Etsyians come in all shapes, sizes, races, and ages and it just tickles me green to see any of the younger generations making an effort to help reduce waste. In fact, I was so happy about it that I just felt I had to ask her about what influenced her to begin making changes in her own life and what some of them may be.

"Going green is a slow and steady process in our house. My fiance isn't quite hooked on it yet! I use almost all of the items I sell in my shop. I carry a coffee cozy in my purse, have a set of reusable paper towels in my craft room, I have a lunch bag for road trips and a few sandwich and snack bags, and I have a plastic bag holder in the kitchen. We try to recycle everything we can, currently I'm looking into getting a rain barrel!

Over the summer we can't drink the water in our "summer home", the house we have when we aren't at school. So we have to buy water, which means water bottles. I like to re-purpose them here at the house when I can, I have one for water for my paint brushes, the top of another is used as a funnel for the rice in my boo boo bags, and various others around the house. And what I can't re-purpose I recycle.

My newest "green effort" was making my own ribbon spools. I have TONS of ribbon and most of them aren't on spools, so I need to find a way to make them. I had my fiance's mom save paper towel rolls for me, and I had an old poster from a school project. So I used the towel roll for the middle and the poster board for the sides. while they aren't the prettiest they certainly work well!

I never really decided to go green per-say. Back before going green was popular, I thought I would try my hand at making reusable sandwich and snack bags. Most people had no idea what they were! So I started making other products, more recognizable ones, that people didn't even realize were small steps in going green. And I found out the best way to get people to recognize you and see your products was to use them yourself. And that's how it all started."

As she mentioned she doesn't only sell UnPaper towels; she also sells Boo Boo Bags

Drink Cozies

Plastic Bag Holders

Sandwich Bags

Snack Bags

Lunch Bag Sets

At this point I want to point out that her bags are not lined with PUL fabric. Many well-meaning sellers line their "green" products with PUL, and while reusable is good, PUL is not. PUL is not food safe - please check to make sure you know what your products are being made with before purchase. The same efforts we're applying at the grocery stores and farmers markets apply in other areas of our lives.

Paper towel info/links:
Buzzle - paper towel facts
Buzzle - facts about paper towels

Information about going paper towel-less:
Going paper towel-less

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