Happiness Has a New Address – Tagged "Support Small" – Dulse & Rugosa
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    Survival Tips for This Terrible Horrible No Good Very F&*$ing Bad Year

    Survival Tips for This Terrible Horrible No Good Very F&*$ing Bad Year

    If you're a parent or teacher you know I've stolen the title from Judith Viorst's book and I hope she doesn't get mad at me but it's a perfect description for this year.  It's been a rough one but we are going to get through it just like Alexander got through his no good day.   And no, we aren't moving to Canada!

    Here's a few tips to help you and our world survive-

    • VOTE in every single election.  Have a plan for voting because as this year has shown us- guano happens!  You have to think beyond election day with an absentee or mail in ballot.  Even with the ballot- be prepared. 
    Have a voting plan- don't assume everything will run smoothly.

      Here are a few examples from my city.  Posted recently on social media was an alert that the absentee ballot required additional postage.  When the responsible citizen called city hall and inquired she was given the run around.  While the city had included some instructions the simple statement "Ballot MAY require additional postage" was too difficult to include.

      Another example, one election day was a "wicked pissah" it was pouring cats and dogs.  A couple was before me and it was quite a long walk to the entrance.  However, there was a nearby door but it was locked.  The man decided not to vote while the woman forged ahead.  He didn't want to get wet.  Shortly after the election, I went into city hall and spoke about the experience and how I witnessed a voter decide not to vote.  The city manager argued with me about the location of the door, blamed the closed door on petition signature collectors, "wah, wah, wah".  I pointed out I simply wanted access to voting to be accessible despite the weather.

      This examples are minor compared to what we are witnessing happening in other states.  Be registered to vote and have a plan for your ballot to be counted.

      • Support small businesses and sign up for their emails and newsletters.  The past few days amongst all the chaos has been stories about social media, particularly FaceBook and Instagram and the rise of hate speech and hate groups.  Large companies like Ben & Jerry's, REI, Patagonia and The North Face are participating in an ad boycott.   Hey, we get it and believe in #votewithyourmoney.  Most of FaceBook advertisers are small businesses like Dulse & Rugosa, who use the platform to reach a larger audience.  Especially if you live in a rural, low income area you need access to a wider demographic.  For businesses like us who want to vote with our money we need another way to reach our audience, a way that we can back with 100% confidence.  With the Covid-19 pandemic the other ways we typically reach folks are non existent, including our favorite markets.  So, please please join the mailing lists of small businesses you support.  Join our mailing list (and other's) so that we have an alternative way of reaching people and we can continue to stay in business.  
      Vote with your money

        Honestly working with both FaceBook and Instagram has always been frustrating and now its become downright painful.  Our best product to reach like minded people is our #resist creme.  However, we can't use this in an ad because it's considered "political".  #resistracism, #resistsexism, #resistwrinkles is too political but apparently the same algorithms that reject our hardworking creme introduce folks to hate groups.  It's a bit incomprehensible to us.

        Shop Your Values

        And frustrating.  We want to stay in business.  We want people who value diversity and independence to know about our handcrafted skincare.  Our business is more than simply selling.  We aren't perfect but we try to be ethical and fair.

        That's why we need you to sign up for our email list.  I know some companies flood your inbox with way too many emails.  Not us.  Currently we send about one email a month- almost always offering a discount, sale or give away.  We try to say thank you and not be too "salesy" but the harsh reality is that we need to sell our products to pay our bills and grow our business.

        So in order to survive this Terrible Horrible year- Vote, in every single election and Vote with your money.

        Earth Day Bingo

        Earth Day Bingo

        What a long strange trip it's been lately with the Covid-19 virus, stay at home orders and a whole lot of stress.

        Tips for Earth Day while staying at home

        But somehow life still goes on and it's the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  Our original plan was to do some trash picking up, a recycle drop off, community connections and prizes.  Instead we are offering Earth Day Bingo.

        Earth Day Bingo is fun, creative and you can win prizes while making connections.  Plus you can help out small businesses.  Each square is open ended and allows for creativity.  Everyone's situation is different.  At first, I had "take a walk" but realized not everyone was living the rural life.  If you are in a city taking a walk is so different than my reality.  We share big ideas and common feelings but each of us has our own reality.

        There are nine squares to fill in.  The center- Planet Earth is the free square.

        The most important square is Be Registered to VOTE.  Each state differs but don't wait if you are not registered.  A great site for info is The Environmental Voter Project. 

        Donate- donate time, blood, money, items.  There are so many community and grass root initiatives that it can be hard to choose.  Here in Maine since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the lack of PPE safety equipement a drive was created to sew fabric masks for essential workers in retirement homes, public safety, grocery stores and more.  Check out Sewing Masks for Maine

        Shop Small- this is more important now than ever.  If you value community, innovation and just plain old spunk please use some of your purchasing power to support small businesses.  Green America has a great blog about the power of voting with your money.  

        Plant Something- focus on a bit of green.  Start some seedlings.  Repot a house plant.  Get some seeds sprouting in the kitchen.

        Make Less Trash- This might be the hardest square to fill in during the quarantine because it's so limiting what you can purchase at the store for food.  One big change for me was to shop from our local farm and buying my milk in glass jars.

        Notice Nature- If you are stuck inside look out your window- chances are a bird is tweeting.  If you are lucky enough to walk or hike safely be grateful- nature is a gift to treasure.

        Repair or mend- clothes, furniture, a relationship.....  Our recent blog The Joys of Slow Stitching has ideas for using a needle, sewing or knitting to help reduce Covid stress.

        Share an Eco Tip- we'd love to hear about your experience with zero waste, being mindful, voting with your money and any tips or strategies to help make staying home a community and growing experience.

        We are offering prizes!  3 in a row gives you a code for $5 off our website.  You can only use the code one time per order.  If you fill the cardin share with us to be entered into our Eco Extravaganza Bundle- cool stuff from our downeast shop which is currently closed.

        Come on and play some bingo!

         

         

        My Galentine/Palentine/Valentine Shopping Spree

        My Galentine/Palentine/Valentine Shopping Spree

        I've been a grinch about holidays in general and Valentine's Day in particular.  I signed the first of my divorce papers on Valentine's Day.  Remembering that cold, winter morning still gives my heart a crack but  lately I've been thinking about heart opening exercises beyond yoga poses.  Traveling and walking the beach has given me lots of time to think.  I remember a small town in Oklahoma that had the coolest building- all deserted except for a pizza joint.  It was sad.  One way to be sure this doesn't happen is to shop small and local.  To vote with your dollars.  I decided to go on a shopping spree for a few Valentine/Galentine/Palentine gifts in downtown Apalachicola, Florida.

        Tips to shop small and local

        I've been on a solo travel, escape the snow road trip.  My temporary home is an Airstream trailer- an Air B n B in a local's backyard.   It's a teeny trailer community where I feel  completely safe.   Populated by women and dogs.  The owner and her big dog Zeek as well as two fellow travelers and their not so big dog, Apunne.  I decided a few small treats from downtown Apalachicola would be a sweet treat.  I also had the goal of shopping as plastic free as possible. 

        I set a budget for myself, which was between $20 and $30, which is an important holiday consideration.  Its counter productive to work on opening your heart without paying attention to your budget.  It's not going to feel good if you over spend.  My list was a small treat for each women, a treat for 3 dogs, some cards to mail and a good cup of coffee.   I went with cash because small businesses love cash and it also helps me keep to my budget.  Spending twenty or thirty dollars in a downtown isn't going to keep any business in afloat but ten people spending that amount will.  Where you spend your money matters.  It's a simple way to spread some love.

        tips for shopping small and local

        I started with a cup of coffee- so YUM!  One thing I've been missing is my morning coffee routine and my delicious cuppa.  I'm not a fan of coffee machine coffee or store brand beans.  I had my reusable cup, the service was great and I ended up treating myself to a sandwich. 

        I wandered into quite a few different stores with an open mind.  I knew there was a dog shop which made biscuits so that was my first stop.  Oysterbones is part of the Dixie Theatre Company as its one way the theatre raises money.  Talk about keeping it in the community and how your dollars go to support a town- this is about as real as it gets.  I bought 3 biscuits packed in a paper bag.  

        tips for shopping small and local

        I decided chocolates were the best gift for the three gals since I really now very little about them.  Just that they are nice and love dogs.  The coffee store is also a chocolate shop.  I went for dark chocolate with tupelo honey, a speciality honey in the area.  I asked for a little packaging as possible but also each chocolate was for a separate person.  the chocolate maker packed each one in a small cardboard box.  Not zero waste but plastic free.

        Tips for shopping small and local.

        Cards were the hardest thing to buy plastic free.  I went into quite a few stores, many with lovely selections of card pre packaged in plastic.  I get why this happens, part of the appeal of plastic is how it keeps items "clean and fresh" before purchase.  I still love to buy and mail cards.  It's a treat to get something besides junk mail and I wanted to send some love to special pals.  I finally found not local cards but a company that package plastic free and they were very reasonably priced.  I would have preferred to purchase local cards from area artists but the cards from Positively Green were cute, plastic free and reasonably priced- all factors important to consider. 

        Tips for shopping small and local

         

        Voting with your money sends a message about the world and economies you want.  You still have to make decisions to fit your values, budget and beliefs but it's such an important step in supporting small, local and sustainable businesses that supoort communities and our environment.

         

         

        Sustainable Gifts for Super Moms

        Sustainable Gifts for Super Moms

        When you're thinking about zero waste gifts for mom, it's important to think about what your mom likes, enjoys and considers a special treat.  If at all possible, give the gift of you. It's important to VOTE with your dollars and support the types of businesses that you value.  Shop small, indie, farm and eco friendly.

        Read more