Friday, April 21, 2017

Earth Day 2017 - Make A Difference

There's a lot of talk about "Earth Day". On a personal front, I agreed to volunteer with a group of New York University alums to help out at the Festival of Books which will take place at University of Southern California this upcoming weekend. It's been taking place since 1996 and is all about bringing books and people together. What better thing to do on Earth Day than to encourage our planet's people to read just a little more?

On a professional front, I thought I'd marinate on some of the small things Dunitz & Company does to save our planet.  Sometimes it isn't that obvious.  Other times it is.  Perhaps by mentioning a few here, I might influence others to make small changes.  First and mostly, we often try to use recycled components in our jewelry designs. On an ongoing basis we design using old buttons, retired coins and broken watch parts. Recently we design by recycling old traditional cloth and denim. We go to the markets to recover torn jeans. From these we create beautiful bracelets, earrings and necklaces. We're recycling and we're on-trend!
Dunitz has been wholesaling since 1990 and recently launched a retail site.  Whenever possible, our orders are shipped in a recycled box and packaged with recycled packaging materials. We do not purchase Styrofoam peanuts or plastic shipping materials. Often we receive parcels filled with these things. Sometimes we collect packing materials from neighbors before it goes to land-fill. Yes we save money by doing this. We're also saving our planet.

I'm a big thrifter. Flea markets on the weekend not only provide me hours of pleasurable hunting, I find stacks of things useful for day to day operations. One Sunday I found a pile of bins that are perfect for sorting orders and organizing jewelry. They cost me .25/each! The finds never stop. They include lined and computer paper, stickers and notepads. I could write paragraphs describing the goodies I've found and the business has enjoyed. Remember Tippy the mannequin? She was a flea market steal!

Every season we take photos of our newest designs and create posters. These decorate the walls of our trade show booths. I'm sure many of you have seen them. Our jewelry is always tastefully placed on greenery in and around our offices in Hollywood, CA.  We have a hard time tossing these images once their primary function of 'booth decoration' has passed. What do we do? The posters become wrapping paper. The delivery people and others that help us out receive their holiday gifts ---yes, wrapped in old Dunitz & Company posters.

There are always other creative ways to use things that would otherwise be put in the trash.  In our workshop in Guatemala we have what seems like 100s - yes 100s of beads in varying sizes, shapes and colors. We need to easily grab them to create our jewelry. That means we need lots and lots of open containers that will hold a good quantity of any particular color or type of bead. The perfect solution is recycling plastic food containers. Yogurt, butter and sour cream containers have been the perfect solution.

Will you do something special for Earth Day? What changes might you make to help preserve our planet? If you have some ideas for us, we'd love to hear them. -ND