Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Eco-Artware.com
Washington, DC

Eco-Artware.com provides elegant and durable gifts, handmade from recycled, natural and non-animal materials by independent artists. I housed this online gift store in my Washington, D.C., condo when we opened, in November 1999.  Over 16 years, we have worked with 72 unique companies—most in the U.S.

In 1999, there were few “green” options for daily living and "trash” was a dirty word — we had to create our market. We created an illustrated newsletter with stories about the relationship of art and the environment and a “how-to” section. Write-ups in national publications helped establish us as a green alternative to national gift stores.We donate at least one percent of our profits to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network annually.

Today’s catalogue includes work by:

Elvis & Kresse, who create bags, and wallets from decommissioned British fire hose. Since starting in 2005, they have rescued 200 tons of 25-year old fire hose, and donated 50% of their profits to support retired firemen. 

hose 2
spoon

Out-of-date maps are recycled into stationery.

spoon

Jonathan's sustainably grown wild cherry notched spoon fits over both pots and bowls.

Jonathan Simons, who has created wooden spoons and serving boards from sustainably grown wild cherry wood grown in Pennsylvania since 1979.  He runs a no-waste studio—waste chips are used for heating.


— Chris Ryan, who creates stationery and envelopes from out-of-date government topographic maps.  Since 1990 he has recycled 100 tons of paper.

 

Realizing that people wrap our green gifts in eco-unfriendly ways, I present alternatives to “store bought” wrapping waste via videos and a Pinterest site with over 1800 examples. Our 2008 video showing 8 ways to wrap gifts with newspaper has had over 25,000 views. Since 2013, I have presented eight lecture/workshops on Green Wrapping in five states. 

Because more people are interested in environmental products now, we would like to use additional funds to work with a marketing firm, familiar with groups in all shades of green, to identify new clients and learn the best way to reach them via mobile devices, email, social platforms and both new and old media. We also would produce more videos to showcase our products with students from local art schools.