Monday, December 7, 2009

Why local art is a green choice for xmas

Thanks to a series of random but fortuitous events, I ended up at Cyclelogik's 2nd Annual Christmas Art Show on Sat. night. What a great night. The walls were covered with art from 20 local artists (all of which was for sale). Plus there was amazing food by Essence catering and some great beats courtesy of Mr//Greg.

But let's get to the point of this post - because it's not just about what I did on a Saturday night (although woo hoo - I was out on a sat night!). It's about how local art can be part of a green gift giving strategy.

Now don't get me wrong, I think homemade gifts made with re purposed materials, or second hand items make the greenest gifts. But I think local art comes a close third.

Buying local art is a green choice because it eliminates the massive amount of carbon emissions generated from transporting goods around the world, and it's also a green choice from an adapting to a peak oil world point of view. Transitioning to a world where oil is less plentiful means supporting local economies. And the post peak oil corner of the world that I want to live in is one with a thriving art community.

Plus when you buy local art, you might just find art that is made with repurposed materials thus combining options 1 and 3, like this little beauty that come January will be gracing my walls (its currently still on the wall at Cyclelogik):
by abi lyon wicke

Want to buy some local art before Christmas? A lot of the sales have finished for the season(including the giant Tarts and Crafts event). However there is at least one more... on Dec. 12 between 11am - 5pm, check out 'A Crafty Christmas' at 408 Leighton Terrace (613-722-7922) featuring the work of abi lyon wicke and Andrea Stokes. A portion of the sales will be donated to the Ottawa Food Bank.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Glass Dharma straws

I got a lovely surprise in the mail the other day.

For participating in Fake Plastic Fish's Show Your Plastic Challenge (the one where I collect and weigh all the plastic garbage I create), I was entered in a draw to win a set of Glass Dharma straws.

Amazingly, I won! :)

I'm so excited to use them although truth be told I might not use them for a few months. We're expecting snow tonight so I'm more in the mood for tea and hot chocolate than tall cold drinks. But I will start to carry one of them in my handy utensil case for those I NEED a cocktail days.

I wasn't surprised to see that Beth (Fake Plastic Fish) sent the straws to me without using any plastic. But I was certainly intrigued as I'd only seen bubble pack envelopes before (the bubble part being plastic) for this sort of thing. As you can see, not only are there no plastic bubbles but there is also no plastic tape. I dropped Beth a line to thank her for the straws and to ask what products she used to mail them to me. This is what she wrote back:

"I believe the envelope was a Jiffy padded mailer and the tape is just ordinary paper tape. It is water activated, but I don't use a machine to apply. I just run it under the sink. You could also run a wet sponge over it. I like the fact that it's not coated with plastic, as some paper tapes are."

I followed the link for the jiffy mailers and found out that they are made with 90% recycled content and 50% of that is post consumer. Nice. And I can definitely attest that the padding is effective given that I have 4 gorgeous unbroken straws in my dining room right now.

When I run out of the bubble pack envelopes I currently have (none are new - I reuse ones that are sent to me), I'll def. be buying some jiffy mailers. I will of course reuse this one from Beth first. :)

I'd also like to get some of that paper tape. Which has got me thinking about how I might wrap up Christmas presents this year without using plastic tape. Any suggestions?