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Posts Tagged ‘etsy’

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Photo: KerryCan/Etsy
Online markets like Etsy and Amazon currently rely on fossil fuels for deliveries, which is why Etsy is leading the way in addressing climate effects.

I’m happy to see that more individuals and organizations are taking action against the climate crisis. In this story it’s Etsy, the site where many people sell handcrafts. (I hope you have checked out blogger KerryCan’s gorgeous vintage linens there.)

As Emily Dreyfuss wrote in February at Wired magazine, the online market favored by “indie makers” is working toward a carbon neutral future.

“Tomorrow, all the carbon emissions spewed into the atmosphere from US ecommerce deliveries — some 55,000 metric tons of CO2, by one estimate, from trucks and planes shipping packages across the country — will be neutralized.

“It’s all thanks to Etsy, the global online market for indie makers, which is picking up the tab on high-quality carbon offsets for itself as well as its competitors on Thursday. Etsy’s largesse ends after tomorrow, but it will continue to offset its own carbon footprint going forward, becoming the first ecommerce company to completely offset all its emissions generated from shipping.

“Etsy estimates that doing so will cost less than a penny per package — less than $1 million for the year. The company made more than $200 million in just the last quarter of 2018. The price of covering the industry’s emissions for one day won’t even reach six figures.

“ ‘It’s a pretty trivial cost,’ says Etsy CEO Josh Silverman, who joined the company in 2017 and has been credited with turning around its fortunes. Before he joined, the company’s sales seemed poised to be gobbled up by Amazon. Though Amazon has only continued to dominate — accounting for almost 50 percent of total online sales last year, by one estimate — Etsy has regained its foothold on the craft market. …

“Silverman sees tackling sustainability as core to his stewardship of the brand. Ecommerce has come under scrutiny for its environmental consequences, but Silverman believes Etsy sellers and customers are eager to minimize their harm to the planet. …

“If every ecommerce company offset its emissions, it would make a difference. Transportation is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency — more than electricity or industry. …

“If Amazon wanted to offset its shipping emissions now, some back-of-the-envelope math using available numbers suggests how much it might cost. The company says it shipped over 5 billion items using Amazon Prime in 2017. Amazon Prime, with its free two-day delivery, has been accused of having a larger environmental impact, since the expedited time frame can make bundling items in the same package or delivery vehicle less practical. If each of those items was shipped separately, and if I borrow from Etsy’s calculation that it costs less than a penny per package to offset emissions, then it would cost Amazon less than $50 million to offset the emissions of Amazon Prime shipments in a year … less than 5 percent of Amazon’s reported $11.2 billion profit from 2018. …

“While experts agree that carbon offsets are the best option for an organization wanting to take immediate action, they caution that it’s a stopgap measure and not a solution to climate change. ‘Offsets are sort of second best because, essentially, what it does is allow you to continue emitting, and what we have to actually do is stop emitting,’ says Phil Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center, the leading climate change think tank in the US. …

“Etsy knows this. According to Mozen and Silverman, the company’s goal is to eventually cut down on actual emissions. … Today it becomes the first ecommerce company to offer its customers the promise that packages delivered from Etsy are not hurting Earth. It’s a pretty good start.”

Until Amazon gets serious about its impact on the climate, maybe you’d rather find what you’re looking for at Etsy. Read more at Wired, here.

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After Brian Bailey started to follow this blog, I took a look at his own WordPress blog. The first thing I saw was the watercolor below. I said, “Oh, wow.” Then I looked through his other drawings and watercolors and liked them just as much. So I want to share the Art of Brian site with you.

I’ve always loved watercolors, the gentle suggestiveness, the uncertainty of how the the paints will run. Although good work takes a lot of skill, there’s an element of the unexpected that to me is about the randomness of experience and the beauty of randomness.

Here are some thoughts from Brian on one of his recent paintings.

“When pulling together the shapes and lines that make up a composition it can be challenging to determine how much information is enough.  Some of my favorite drawings and paintings exhibit a very economical approach to line, saying just enough to let the viewer see what the artist sees.  In recent weeks, I’ve been doing many gesture drawings, as I’ve mentioned before, and I’m trying to let my paintings be, somewhat, more gestural.  I started my painting today outside with lots of light and finished it at home by bumping up the shadows and contrast.  I’m really trying to stop myself from overworking each painting.”

Brian also has an Etsy store. I am liking everything I see there.

Art: Brian Bailey
The Orange Van, Watercolor, 4″ x 4″, © 2015

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KerryCan is a frequent commenter on Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog and, as I keep learning, a woman of varied talents. She has been a college English professor, she blogs regularly, and she pursues numerous traditional crafts in a deep way

But what you need to know now is that she make chocolates and sells them at Etsy in time for Valentine’s Day.

Here’s what KerryCan says on her blog about a day in the life of a chocolatier, “I don’t make candy to make a living. I make candy because I like to make candy, just as I like to quilt and I like to weave. But, unlike quilting and weaving, candy piles up fast and that can cause its own dilemmas. I sell candy so I can justify making more, to experiment and try new things, without having to eat it all myself. …

“Almost every candy I make is a multi-stage process so, when I’m making a lot of candies, my days will be organized around the steps. Some days will be focused on making the ‘innards,’ as I think of them, and other days will focus on enrobing, or dipping, the candy innards in chocolate. When I make the innards, I work in small batches, and usually produce 50 to 200 candies at a time. …

“Making any of the innards depends on paying careful attention to temperature, so using a candy thermometer is essential. And, since I’ve never met a candy thermometer that I felt I could really, really trust, I also use the old tried-and-true cold-water test. …

“Once the candy is cooked and has cooled, I have to cut it. … The next step is the critical one that makes me a chocolatier—tempering chocolate. … Anyone who wants to make really good candy learns to temper chocolate. … Tempering chocolate means melting quality, real chocolate and then cooling it in a controlled way to bring about a transformation of the chocolate. …

“I spend a lot of time tempering chocolate by hand. I may temper 3 pounds at a time. I melt the chocolate to specific temperatures, depending on whether it’s dark, milk, or white chocolate, and then bring those temperatures down again. It takes about 30 minutes of constant stirring to temper chocolate, and it can’t be rushed.” More here.

I think you could learn to make chocolate yourself just from KerryCan’s one post. She concludes, “I weigh out the candies, then I put them in little candy paper cups. I arrange them in the glossy white box and make sure they look pretty. I label the box. I seal the box with my little ‘KerryCan’ sticker. I move on to the next box. The boxes pile up in a most satisfying way.”

The chocolates and other candies may be found at Etsy, here.

Photo: KerryCan

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Years ago, there was a nose-warmer knitting fad at Bryn Mawr College (even before my time, so you can imagine). Students knitted nose warmers for themselves, their relatives, their friends. They put nose warmers on statues of goddesses around the campus.

The one my mother bought me at a fund-raiser looked silly, and the fad died out.

Now medical science could bring the nose warmer back.

Adam Wernick writes at Public Radio International, “As it turns out, your immune system turns sluggish in the cold, and the cold virus grows better in the slightly chillier environment of your nose than at the body’s normal core temperature. That’s the conclusion of a mouse study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“ ‘The optimal temperature for the cold virus to replicate is around 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit), which is found in the nose of most people living in normal conditions,’ says Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunology at Yale University and one of the authors on the paper.

“As temperatures drop outside, humans breathe in colder air that chills their upper airways just enough to allow cold viruses to flourish, says Ellen Foxman, Iwasaki’s colleague. The recent study suggests that if you can keep your nose warmer, the virus won’t replicate as easily.”

Ah-HA!

Read all about it here,. The story was based on a PRI Science Friday interview with Ira Flatow.

Photo: Aunty Marty Made It (on Etsy)

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I have blogged before about the Little Free Library movement (for example, here), and I have sometimes wondered if everyone uses the libraries as intended, taking a book and returning it or contributing another.

Today John sent this link from BookRiot.com. A woman who sponsors a Little Free Library, Swapna Krishna, is stamping all her books with a message that folks should play by the rules.

She writes, “One thing I started doing a month ago (and I’m very glad of now) is that I ordered a custom stamp for my library and started stamping the books I put out. It doesn’t require that the person return the book (and honestly, I don’t care whether they do or not), but it does tell a used bookstore or library that they really shouldn’t be buying that book or accepting it for donation. And I hope that if something like this happens, they’ll make their way back to me eventually.

“I purchased the stamp off Etsy from TailorMadeStamps. They were easy to work with and did a pretty awesome job in not much time!” The stamp is below, with her address blotted out for the Internet.

I love the idea of TailorMadeStamps and can think of a number of stamp messages that might come in handy. How about this variation on an old friend’s rejection to rejection slips: “Thank you for your recent scam letter about reducing my debts. I’m obliged to inform you that it does not meet my needs at the current time. However, I have forwarded it the attorney general, who may have a use for it.”

On second thought, that might be a little too long for a stamp — and expensive. How about “Just returning your unsolicited credit card account offer in this unstamped envelope”?

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