Thursday, September 5, 2013

Where's All the Stuff?

Stuff Kitty says:  You do not need more stuff!
With all the talk lately of our funding campaign, I thought I'd take a minute to discuss with you the "perks" we're offering to all you lovely backers. You may have noticed, being the smart little giving green hearts that you are, that other funding campaigns have a lot more tangible stuff to give away. And why not? After all, people like stuff. And, while at some point in the future we may offer more tangible TGCG stuff you can purchase, we thought that, right off the bat, we'd like to start off on a different foot. And here's why:

Our world is teeming with too much stuff. You know what I'm talking about:  houses full of more stuff than the occupants know what to do with; trash (a good portion of it being the packaging from said stuff), and broken stuff, and sometimes perfectly usable but unwanted stuff overflowing our landfills; oceans full of non-biodegradable, dangerous-to-ocean-life stuff; even those quiet, remote wild places end up with our litter of stuff that we haven't taken enough responsibility for to make sure it ends up in a trash can (you know, so it can end up in a landfill or the ocean... o.O). It's everywhere. There is, simply, too much stuff.  

But, let's say we wanted to offer you good-intentioned stuff (and, like I say, this may still happen at some point, so please remember this admission when the time comes, and power down the flame throwers; I promise there will be much consideration and deliberation at that stage in the game as well).  Reusable stuff that isn't necessarily an obvious throw-away.  What about... ceramic mugs with our pretty TGCG logo on it? Or reusable water bottles? Or bumper stickers made of recycled materials? That would be cool, right? But, let's also say that ceramic mug breaks, and hell, you don't know how or where to recycle it. Same with the water bottle. And the next thing we know, all kinds TGCG stuff ends up--you guessed it--in the landfill, in the ocean, in the wild.

We didn't like that idea. So, you won't see a lot of stuff as an incentive to back TGCG. Stuff may come, but when it does, you can rest assured that it will only be after much deliberation and some serious soul-searching regarding how our promotional stuff is created and delivered, and what will happen to said stuff when it's lost its pizzaz or usefulness to its owner. This is a full circle operation here, peeps.

Instead, as reward for backing our initial funding campaign and giving TGCG its wings to fly, you will see a lot of experiences.  The thing with starting a local green e-zine and website is that community is very important to us. Community, and a sense of place. The whole purpose of our existence is to support and enhance the natural health of our region's ecosystems by supporting and enhancing our local citizens' awareness and ability to live harmoniously within it. And so we set out to put together some of the most interesting, immersive rewards we could think of.

A trip down the 'perks' scale will show first a few small stuff-type-things. We went with thank you cards, because they can be recycled and personal and we believe there's something magical about the hand-written word. Call us sentimental green fools. We won't deny it.

And then we found a fantastic local crafter/blogger named Holly who was making these great little seed bombs out of reclaimed paper and some other organic awesomeness, and asked if she would grace our backer-reward table with their presence. She did. She also agreed to write a monthly eco-craft column for us. Love was in the air.

And finally, we're offering a reusable bag locally handmade (by us!) with reclaimed materials. We like this item because it takes a bit of work to get it to you, it keeps feedbags (the 'reclaimed material') out of the landfill for a bit longer, and it's something you might actually use more than once.

And then... and then... we went out in search of fantastic experiences for you to enjoy and connect with the local community. And man, did we find them!  We were lucky enough to have not one but two local, sustainable, fully-functioning farms, which offer their goods to the public, willing to offer farm tours on our behalf. One of our writers also happens to be a bit of a foraging expert, and offered her services to take you on a walk to help you identify local edible wild plants. We have a food blogger/mom of two celiacs offering to help you gluten-free your world. And we've got a great master homestead/gardener who has offered up personal garden consultations.

We know it's a bit harder of a sell, to offer rewards which require a person's time and participation to "cash in," but for the sake of our community and our planet, we thought it was well worth the risk. Stuff is a fleeting, potentially wasteful commodity. But experiences, knowledge, and memories--those can last a lifetime, and they fit with your zero-waste lifestyle. Wouldn't you agree?  

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