Monday, March 3, 2008


Kate of Om Shanti makes one-of-a-kind jewelry from unique beads she picks out from thrift stores and estate sales paired with her handmade clasps. Her color choices remind me of hues I would find in New Mexico or Arizona during various times of the day. I'm really into her all natural, earth friendly bath and body products. Under $10 too! I love that she gets her packaging recycled from work and a local shop. I asked Kate a few questions about her process and she sent me back some fabulous and insightful answers.

1. When did you decide to start making eco-friendly stuff and what triggered your going green? I started going green a long while before I started making things,actually. I guess I've always at least thought green, even before I realized I could actually do anything about it. I started out with the easy stuff -- turning off lights and biking to the store.
This winter I got involved in the Riot for Austerity( just as I got serious about starting my Etsy shop, and the two just synergized. I buy glass jars for my bath salts instead of plastic because they're easier to reuse than recycle, all of my tools are secondhand, my packaging is stuff I scrounge up from work...there's a lot I can do, and I'm doing as much as I can of it.2. What recycled, reused, or eco-concious materials do you typically use? What is your favorite?
Favourite? Bubble wrap. I try not to pop too much of it (not really useful afterwards) but sometimes I can't help myself...
Typically I use cardboard boxes and packing supplies from work. I get packing peanuts from a local trophy store that's more than happy to save them for me instead of throwing them away. I store my bath salts in empty plastic popcorn containers, and when I'm making lip balms I use glass salsa and jelly jars to store the herbs while they steep.
I've got two wicker three-drawer chests, purchased at the SalvationArmy, in which I store my beads and herbal supplies. I've picked up alot of old jewelry from local thrift stores, as well, and taken it apart for the beads. My favourite thrift store find, though, was an entire spool of copper wire -- three dollars for more than I'll use in my life, for wound-wire beads and similar ornaments.
3. What non-art or craft related things do you try to do to lead an eco-savvy life?The easy stuff, still: turn off lights I'm not using. Ride my bikewhen I can, carpool when I can't. Keep the fridge and freezer full, keep the heat down. Sweaters are my friend.
The tougher stuff: The garden last summer, and spending days preserving as much as I could. Buying seasonal food only, so it doesn't need to be shipped here from Guatemala or something (tastier that way, too). Growing herbs and onions in pots over the winter (the onions are pretty iffy, alas, but the basil is doing well). Drying my clothes on a rack instead of in the dryer (in the 'tougher' list more because of the volume of cat fur that remains than anything else --alas, I miss the lint trap!).
4. What is the one thing you wish people would do more of to contribute to the green cause? I spent a while thinking about this, and in a way I couldn't come up with a single answer -- everyone's situation, everyone's capabilities are different -- but then I realized: Something. Do something. If every one did something, that would be huge. Not necessarilyanything big, earthshaking, life-changing. Just something.

5. Do you have a green hero? Artist or environmentalist or just uber-eco friend?
That'd have to be Sharon Astyk over at Casaubon's Book( She's one of the two who started the Riotfor Austerity and she's posted a lot of really thoughtful stuff on not only how, but why, it's essential to change the way we live. She talks the talk, and walks the walk. She's the real thing.

Thank you so much, Kate. There are some really helpful tips up there. I've learned so much just from this one post! Please go check out Kate's blog, as well!

I'm going to be posting one Greenie a day. I only have about 13 folks participating so far so keep those eco-friendly projects coming. Here's how!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the opportunity, Emilia! I'm plewased and honoured to be your first Greenie post. And I look forward to reading what other people will say!

Brandywine Design said...

Hi Kate,

I love your answer to #4. Brilliant! :)