Monday, February 23, 2009

Online vs. In-store Shopping

We have just started selling online woohoo!! and we have a running debate that is echoed throughout the shoppers we know. A post on Treehugger this week addressed the question of which is greener online or in-store shopping. As most things are found in the classic "which is greener" debate - there is no straight answer. I used to think it was because we treehuggers are so hard to pin down. Everything depends and as our gardens teach us, the same things that work for everybody else don't always work for my garden. According to their research, they showed that ground shipping is more efficient than a trip to the store in an individual's car.

That would seemingly make it easy, but the added packaging adds a lot of waste and energy in shipping. What if you want it tomorrow? Air freight adds up to more energy costs as well. How big is the item? That weight and whether it gets packed alone make a difference. I recently accosted one of our green suppliers for additional packaging on an item. Unnecessary packaging is just as wasteful as the plastic bag at the grocery (worse though if you ship it). Most of this is common sense right?

If you are shopping local and moving something home without excess packaging, then that is a good decision too, right? Riding the bus or carpooling (anyone like to shop with friends?) are steps in the right direction. It's a lot to consider, but that is the green journey... Lots of choices and none of them perfect.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Greener Kids

Our New York trip was very productive and has allowed us to expand our new products for kids. A big part of our mission at Tampa Street Market is the education of the next generation. Now you can find environmental books such as "Growing Green" and "Good Night World". We also visited our favorite graphic designers in Brooklyn and found that they have released kids placemats and letterpress cards that include crayons to keep kids creative and parents happy. These are printed on recycled paper and created with energy from wind power. The last addition to our kids section is super-cute hemp hats brought to us from our stainless bottle supplier in San Fran.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Garden Art That Doesn't Suck

Fresh from NYIGF, we have new stock in for you lovers of unusual garden art. We have received more mini-venus flytraps. These are unusual, fun and definitely demand some attention. Either you love 'em or hate 'em--we happen to love 'em!

Also new this season, we have WWII helmets that are re-invented as "turtles". These guys will protect your yard from invaders while blending in nicely. Along the same lines is the "bug bomb"--WWII disabled grenades made into interesting bug-shaped figures. These pieces are made from surplus and salvage industrial materials and can really bring some age and character to your garden. The artist likes to joke that all pieces are "guaranteed to rust" (of course you can clearcoat them if you want to preserve their patina).