Doing Good with Uncommon Goods

uncommon goods

I’m constantly on the hunt for fun and quirky little things for around the house. This is probably why my home is cluttered and I regularly spend too much money at Marshalls. But it’s just so easy to do! Every time  I stop in I find new kitchen gadgets, decor options, and fun gifts to hold onto for special occasions. So when I realized that Uncommongoods.com is basically a great company with strong do-good values that sells the kind of items I regularly buy, I knew my wallet stood no chance.

uncommon goods giraffe bud vases

Tom from Uncommon Goods sent over some details describing the organization as a “small company focusing on big ideas”. They are a sustainable, privately own business that focuses on helping and supporting people. In fact, the more I read about the company, the more impressed I am. Their mission empowers everyone they work with by promising fair wages (the lowest paid seasonal worker is making 50% more than minimum wage!) and reaching out to work with various artists and designers (50% of their goods are handmade!).

 

I just about fell over when I started searching through their products. I mean, who wouldn’t want to buy something for the men in their life from this list? And when my friend Amy’s birthday came up, I actually got us little giraffe bud vases I found here. Tom was also nice enough to send over a little bit of home for Dean and I through this PA shaped cheese plate, but I also love all of the personal art options I found on this gift page.

uncommon goods

After reading more about the company values, I reached back out to Tom to let him know about how strongly I also feel about doing good  and sustainability and he said that their CEO even rides his bike to work every day! This company truly strives to make the world a better place, and this is something I’m always excited to share. Now just try not to spend all of your money in one sitting.

 

PS- see that picture of Dean and I up on top of the bookcase? That frame is from this post from all the way back in 2012!

5 easy ways to be more eco friendly

5 ways to be more eco friendly- and a link to make this produce bag from a t-shirt!

I feel like most people today are very “all or nothing”. Every day we hear these drastic decisions that we should be making to live a better life: drive a hybrid, go vegan, grow your own veggies, only shop handmade…. we aren’t just doing what we can- we feel like we have to do everything or do nothing.

While it would be wonderful to be able to do everything, these drastic decisions just aren’t always feasible for everyone- at least not for me. I’m totally one of these inbetween-ers. I want to be more socially and economically aware! I want to be waste-free! I want to swear by handmade and locally grown food sources! But I also know that I can’t be everything.

This is why I originally started my Doing Good posts. I wanted to spread the word about companies making good decisions that might fit into your everyday life. Being eco-friendly is something we can also do in small ways: everything makes a difference after all! Here are three easy ways you can make some easy green changes.

 

  • Learn how to recycle – This probably seems obvious, but I watch a ton of people recycle incorrectly every day. For example, did you know that while you should recycle water bottles you should NOT recycle the tops? Or how about the fact that you should recycle cardboard but NOT greasy pizza boxes? And I always think this is weird, but you actually CAN leave staples on that paperwork you’re about to throw in the recycling bin! Things can get a little confusing so make sure you take a minute to educate yourself and recycle correctly.

 

  • Bring your own bags to the grocery store– As you probably already know, plastic is terrible for the environment but we all use it without thinking. While it may seem impossible to swear it off completely a la Trash is for Tossers, a simple change could be giving up on plastic bags. Pick yourself up a few super cute reusable bags and leave them in your car. Time to run to the store? Grab them from your trunk and get on with your environmentally-friendly self!
    (Bonus: Have a ton of plastic bags sitting around? Return them!)

 

  • Give up on plastic containers– So now that we want to lower our plastic usage, we probably want to find some glass containers to use instead of the traditional tupperware we all have. I asked for a Pyrex set for Christmas one year and it has to be one of my most used gifts to date (thanks Dean’s mom!). I love that I can cook in it, throw it in the fridge (or freezer) and then pop it in the microwave if I wanted to. They’re easy to clean, plus it’s so weirdly satisfying to eat my lunch out of glass containers!
    (Bonus- this is a great excuse for a mason jar salad #sopinterest)

 

  • Bike/walk where you can– Take a pledge to  stay out of your car when you’re going a short distance. Bike the half mile to the corner store. Walk to visit a friend a few blocks away. Take a little stroll to the deli for your coffee fix. Heading a little farther away? Hop on the bus or plan a carpool with a co-worker. You’ll be saving on gas and reducing your carbon footprint!

 

  • Unplug- Literally! – Did you know that every item you have plugged in is still pulling electricity?  When you’re done with an electronic device, switch it to the off position and unplug it. I’m going to be real with you- unplugging everything is a pain. The easiest way to combat this is to plug all of your items into a surge protector and just flip a single switch instead of unplugging a bunch of wires! Done watching that movie? Turn the TV off, flip your switch and walk away as a pro-energy conservationist.
    (Bonus-You’re also saving money on your electric bill

 

PS- Make the produce bag you see above with a t-shirt via Delia Creates!

 

 

Doing Good: The Home T

the home t

So we’ve all seen these shirts before, yes? I feel like they’ve been all over the internet for a while now. I actually forgot about them, but then I saw someone in Costco with one this weekend and became more interested. Maybe it’s because of the move, but I suddenly found myself wanting a T-Shirt repping my relationship with the great state of NY. Well I found The Home T and I’m so glad I did. Did you know that they’re another company doing good?! I didn’t, but I’m very excited to hear about the fact that they donate a percentage of every purchase to MS research. Woohoo!

You can buy tons of different things, T-shirts, hoodies, pillow cases, decals, baby shirts, tote bags and more! I can think of a few holiday gifts that will be coming from this site, what about you?

 

 

Other companies doing good:

Small Can Be Big (connecting you with local donation oportunities), DamFine Designs (knitted scarves & pillow covers), Roma Boots (rainboots),   Falling Whistles (whistle necklaces), Love with Food – (a yummy subscription box- use the clode JENNVIP to get $5 off your first box!), Warby Parker (eyeglasses & sunglasses),  FashionABLE (scarves),  Punjammies  (PJs and tshirts),  147 Million Orphans (jewelry), Better Life Bags  (bags and purses of all kinds!) Freewaters (sandals and flipflops), Unicef Tap Project (clean water for time off of your phone) Figs (one-for-one scrubs), One Million Lights (Donations for light)

 

What to talk about on a Friday

Friday Talking Points

 

 

  • Don’t forget to enter to win a fresh pair of glasses or sunglasses!
  • Interested in trying out the Umba Box? Order your first Discover box for 50% off by using the code NOVHEADSTART

 

PS- don’t forget your new glasses!

Doing Good: The Uniform Project

the uniform project

Looking for a new LBD? How about an LBD to wear for the next 365 days? That’s what Uniform Project founder, Sheena Matheiken, did back in 2009 when she decided to wear “one little black dress for 365 days as an exercise in sustainability and a fundraiser to support the Akanksha Foundationa non-profit organization providing education to underprivileged children living in Indian slums.

What started as a personal project with hopes for donations, has now turned into a global project with an overwhelming amount of donations. You can continue to support awareness and education by donating accessories, buying a LBD or taking the challenge for yourself!

U.P’s LBD grew beyond simply being a dress, becoming more of a symbol of social change for the community of supporters around the world. And the increased demand to share in this movement prompted U.P to produce their own proprietary fabric in an organic cotton and silk blend. Currently, a limited number of Classic LBDs are available at the U.P store with new design features like the detachable button-on collar and cuffable sleeves.
via

http://vimeo.com/7046484

Could you wear one dress for one year to send kids to school? What about for one month through the U.P. Pilot Program?

 

Other companies doing good:  DamFine Designs (knitted scarves & pillow covers), Roma Boots (rainboots),   Falling Whistles (whistle necklaces), Love with Food – (a yummy subscription box- use the clode JENNVIP to get $5 off your first box!), Warby Parker (eyeglasses & sunglasses),  FashionABLE (scarves),  Punjammies  (PJs and tshirts),  147 Million Orphans (jewelry), Better Life Bags  (bags and purses of all kinds!) Freewaters (sandals and flipflops), Unicef Tap Project (clean water for time off of your phone)