Artterro kits are very intentionally packaged. We use sturdy reusable bags, print all inserts on 100% PCW recycled paper with vegetable based inks at Green Solutions Printing in Eugene, OR. They are a terrific small business committed exclusively to environmentally responsible printing and use renewable energy to power their presses. When packed in shipping boxes, our kits take up a fraction of the space conventionally over-packaged craft kits do, reducing transportation resources. Our kits are assembled in the US at Goodwill Industries in Milwaukee, WI to provide social services and job skills to those in need and to avoid the intense resource suck of overseas production. And best of all, customers are not left with a pile of wasteful boxes and molded plastic inserts that ultimately end up in the trash.
And then, there's the materials... Who could thow these away?
Handmade 100% Post consumer waste recycled decorative papers. We have a terrific paper supplier who works as a husband and wife team. She designs all the patterns!
Handmade 100% wool felt
Glass and wooden beads
We have a lot of goals but one is to teach children and families to value quality materials. In our fast food culture, we have gotten so used to cheap, easy and disposable. We want kids not only growing up exploring their creativity but doing it with art supplies that inspire them. We want them to learn to take care of them, to care about what they're made of, to reuse them when tired of an old project, and to add recycled items from around the house to personalize their artwork.
While at the recent NAMTA art materials trade show we heard a few buyers comment, "I love the concept. The materials and projects are great. I get the idea of the packaging but I just wish it had a box... my customers are used to thinking they get more if they buy a big box." We have heard this before and learned educating our customers is key. It's a huge cultural mind shift to believe you can actually get more value from a smaller package! And it's exciting to see that more and more people get it. In fact, we're thrilled to announce we were just named a "Top Green Toy for Earth Day 2010" on the education.com website!
So we continue on, trying our best to make sustainable choices, not because it's a savvy marketing strategy or even because it's good for the environment. When we focus on the big picture instead of just the bottom line, we become better people, better role models for our children, and lead more balanced lives. To truly make a difference on Earth Day and beyond, striving to create balance within ourselves and our workplaces translates into a healthier environment all around.
So happy Earth Day, and enjoy making lots of sustainable art with the people you love!
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