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5 Eco-tips for Back to School Shopping

Go green with your back to school shopping!

Summer is almost over and it’s time to start your back to school shopping. Each year it seems like the school supply list gets longer and longer, resulting in spending more money! But back to school shopping doesn’t have to be a drag. Here’s 5 eco-tips that you can use to not only save money, but also help the environment.

1 – Reuse items from last year.

Just because it’s a new school year, doesn’t mean you have to buy everything used. BIC has sold over 100 billion disposable pens since their launch in 1950. That’s enough to circle the earth 350 times! These pens and other similar items; like markers, colored pencils, and crayons can be used again. Reusing supplies from the previous school year will add a little green to your wallet and create less waste.

2 – Ditch the plastic.

back to school shopping
photo courtesy of Naptime Craze Designs

Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. Ditch the plastic and switch to reusable snack bags and containers. We love these reusable snack bags from Naptime Craze Designs! They are perfect for lunch boxes and on the go.

3 – Buy recycled products.

back to school shopping
photo courtesy of TreeSmart

While shopping the back to school aisles, look for products that are made from recycled materials. You may find more options then anticipated. More and more stores are carrying reusable and recycled school supplies. If you can’t find anything local, check out TreeSmart. Kids, students, and teachers are sure to love their newspaper pencils and water bottle pens.

4 – Ditch the chemicals.

Every year teachers request disinfection wipes for easy clean up. Wipes are great, but many common brands contain harmful chemicals, resulting in these chemicals lingering on surfaces and little hands. Switching to an ecofriendly cleaner and Unpaper Towels are a great alternative. However, many ecofriendly brands are now offering cleaning wipes. Some of our favorites are from Seventh Generation, J.R. Watkins, and Green Works.

5 – Go Paperless.

Paper napkins are flimsy and not very absorbent. Instead, replace with reusable napkins. Not only are they a lot more absorbent, they also look great in lunch boxes! Children love the fun prints that can be found in our shop. Once they come home, just wash and reuse!

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A tour of Half Mile Handmade in Capitol Park Detroit!

Is that a fairy garden in Capitol Park Detroit?!

capitol park detroit
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 28, 2018

You may have driven by and noticed cute little greenhouses throughout Capitol Park Detroit! At first glance, it looks like a fairy garden came to life. Honestly, it kind of is! Bedrock Detroit has organized an amazing summer shopping experience that you don’t want to miss. You can also find more of these cute little shops in Cadillac Square.

capitol park detroit
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 28, 2018
capitol park detroit
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 28, 2018

Lending a helping hand to Half Mile Handmade!

I was lucky enough to enjoy an entire day exploring Capitol Park. Our friends at Half Mile Handmade are one of the many featured shops at the market! Half Mile Handmade is a shop originally based out of Bay City. Shop owner, Capri, jumped on the opportunity this summer to move to Detroit and participate in the market. She has done an amazing job turning her pop-up into a one stop shop for Michigan products. I was lucky enough to lend a helping hand at the shop for a day. As soon as I walked in, I knew I had to share this unique downtown Detroit stop.

capitol park detroit
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 28, 2018

One stop shop for Michigan products!

One of the most unique things about Half mile Handmade, is that every thing is made by local artists and crafters! You will find a wide variety of products. Tourists and locals alike will love the Detroit themed postcards, magnets, and keychains. You’ll also find art prints and home decor to add the perfect Michigan touch to your home. One of my favorite items were the Detroit map throw pillows!

capitol park detroit
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 28, 2018
capitol park detroit
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 28, 2018

Make it a trip!

Downtown Detroit really has some great things going on that many aren’t even aware of! Plan a weekend trip to check everything out. Start your day off with a visit to the oldest outdoor market in the US, Eastern Market. After, make the mile an a half drive, walk, or bike ride to Capitol Park. Say “Hello” to Capri and welcome her to Detroit!

Half Mile Handmade can be found at :

Temporary Pop-Up Location at Capitol Park | Detroit, MI
Open July 17 – September 9
Store Hours
Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00am-7:00pm

904 North Water Street | Bay City, MI
Store Hours
Monday – Friday: 11:00am-7:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm-4:00pm

Phone: (989) 778-2228

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A Trip to Helium Studio in Wayne, Michigan

helium studio wayne michigan
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 14th, 2018

Experience a unique artisan market in Wayne, Michigan!

If you’re ever in the Metro Detroit area, Helium Studio is a must see! This little shop on South Wayne Road opened it’s doors in 2015. Owners Kim & David Jenkins have worked hard to fill their store with one of a kind items. The moment you walk into the door, you find yourself surrounded by products from local artists and makers. It’s the perfect place to stop for unique gifts for any occasion!

helium studio wayne michigan
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 14, 2018

 

helium studio wayne michigan
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 14, 2018

Featuring over 120 Michigan artists and makers!

Helium Studio isn’t like other gift shops. Each item is made by the hands of local Michigan artists and makers. Therefore, ensuring you won’t find any mass produced products here! Kim & Dave are always finding new, cool products to feature. Nature’s Reusables has been lucky enough to have our eco-friendly products available at their store since opening. Some of your other favorite Michigan brands can also be found at Helium Studio.

helium studio wayne michigan
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 14, 2018

 

helium studio wayne michigan
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 14, 2018

 

helium studio wayne michigan
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 14, 2018

Meet Kim White-Jenkins!

helium studio wayne michigan
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 14, 2018

Kim and her husband Dave aren’t just small business owners. They are also makers with a passion for making and up-cycling jewelry and accessories. Not only do they make their own products, they are also passionate about helping other small businesses and artisans. When the opportunity arose to open their own store front to display not just their products, but local artisans too, they seized it! The results, an electric collection to represent their brick and mortar store. When customers shop at Helium Studio they aren’t just supporting a small business. Every purchase helps local makers/artisans live their dream.

Make the trip to Helium Studio!

helium studio wayne michigan
copyright : Nature Junkie LLC July 14, 2018

Visit Kim, Dave, and the rest of the Helium Studio staff at :
3127 S. Wayne Road
Wayne, MI 48184

Hours :
Tues-Thurs 11-6
Fri 11-7
Sat 10-4

Phone number : 734-725-3811

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Detroit Eastern Market : Part I – The Sheds

The Detroit Eastern Market is the largest historic public market district in the United States!

Detroit Eastern Market has been a gem to the city since the early 1800’s. Originally located in Cadillac Square with a focus on hay and wood sales, the market moved to its current location in 1891. It quickly became a gathering spot for local farmers and merchants to sell and trade their goods. Today, the late Victorian architectural sheds still stand. Eastern Market Corporation renovating these historic sheds in 2009. These renovations helped preserve their natural beauty and allowed for markets to continue today.

Many Metro Detroiters have never attended a market, or shopped the local stores. I, myself, hadn’t until I became a market vendor. 4 years later I’m still finding hiding gems around Eastern Market. Rather then keep these gems a secret, I want to share them with you. Join me as I take you on a little tour of this Detroit district. First up, Meet the Sheds!

Shed 1

The first shed was built in 1841. Unfortunately, it was demolished to make room for the freeway in 1967.

Shed 2

detroit eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018

Enjoy the breeze in this open-air shed! Built in 1898, it features photo worthy Victorian arches. The beautiful wooden beams are a must see. This is also the shed you will find the Nature Junkie booth. Check our events page for our next pop-up.

detroit eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018

 

detroit eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018

Shed 3

detroit eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018

Shed 3 is the largest of all the sheds and was built in 1922. You can find local farms and vendors in this shed year-round. Victorian touches mixed with modern industrialism makes this shed truly unique. Sky-lights provide great natural light for your shopping experience.

detroit eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018

Shed 4

This tunnel of a shed was built in 1938. Now it’s used as a walkway between Shed 3 and Shed 5. I like to call it “The Tunnel of Food”! This is the shed to go to if you need a bite to eat.

detroit eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018
detroit eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018

Shed 5

detroit eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018

Constructed in 1939 and the smallest of the sheds. You can always find something fun going on in Shed 5. From Shed 5 Flea, Detroit Book Swap, and even the Renaissance Festival. Individuals can also rent this shed for private events. Free Yoga classes take place every Tuesday!

detroit eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018
detroit eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018

Shed 6

Finally, we have the newest shed. This shed runs behind Shed 5 and was built in 1966. The retro architecture definitely represents the 60’s. On Saturday’s you will find this shed full of plants and flowers. During the holidays it’s full of Christmas trees and wreaths. The pine smell that fills the air will get anyone in the holiday spirit.

detroit Eastern market
copyright Nature Junkie, LLC – July 8, 2018

Attend a Market!

Saturday’s at the Detroit Eastern Market are the busiest, with up to 45,000 visitors per day! Fruits, vegetables, plants, and local products can be found all year round on Saturdays. Market is open from 7 am – 4 pm.

Sunday’s are for the Street Market! You’ll find the sheds full of local small businesses and artisans. Therefore, local produce and plants are limited. Open from 10 am – 4 pm every Sunday in June through September.

If you’re looking for fresh produce during the week, than the Tuesday market is for you. It’s a smaller scale Saturday market. Tuesday markets run from 9 am – 3 pm every Tuesday in June through September.

Finally, we have the new Thursday Night Market! Come out to the Detroit Eastern Market after dark for live music, shopping, and eats! Every 3rd Thursday of the month from June-September. Times are 5 pm – 10 pm.

More to come!

Stay tuned for additional parts to our series on the historic Detroit Eastern Market. We’ll be sharing a peek in some stores, and even introducing you to some of the market vendors. We hope to see you at a market one day!

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5 Simple Ways to Go Green for Earth Day!

5 Simple Ways to go Green for Earth Day

Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day!

One of my favorite days of the year is this weekend. It’s always great to see the community come together to help preserve mother nature. It’s important that we make changes to our lifestyles to help reduce our carbon footprint. Here’s 5 simple ways you can go green for not just Earth Day, but every day!


5 – Clean up after the litter bugs.

We’ve all seen the trash along the side of the roads, in our parks, and on our beaches. Take the time today to pick up all the garbage you come across. Keep a paper bag in your car or purse for easy collecting. Taking a walk around the block is a great and simple way to help clean up, or even just picking up what you find from the walk to your car to the store door. Every piece picked up and properly disposed of helps!

Trash pickup on beachPhoto by Andrei Ciobanu on Unsplash


4 – Turn off the lights and open the blinds.

Ah, you’ve just woken up from a nice night of sleep (said no mom ever!). Instead of turning on the lights, open your blinds and curtains. The sunlight will not only light your home without using electricity, you’ll also feel better! Sunlight can help kill bacteria in the air of your home and even help with depression.

 

3 – Start recycling.

One of the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is to start recycling. Most local waste management companies now offer free recycling pick-up. Our city just provided us with nice, large recycling cans. I always feel good about taking it to the curb. It’s always more full than the trash cans. Check with your local city to see if they offer curbside recycling or have a drop off location.

recycle plastic bottles
Photo by mali maeder from Pexels

2 – Ditch cleaning and body products with harsh chemicals.

Chemical filled cleaners and body products are not just bad for your skin, their also bad for our water systems. Just think, everything that we use to clean goes down our drains and into local lakes and rivers. Although the water goes through filtration systems, chemicals still linger that can effect wildlife that live in or drink from this water. Here are a few of our favorite eco-friendly companies that can make the switch to going green simple & easy! 

  • Nourishingly Natural – Luxury Organic Soaps, Herbal Salves and Skincare.
  • MamaSuds – All natural household cleaning products.
  • Mrs. Meyer’s – Great eco-friendly home products. – available at most Targets.

Ecofriendly Natural Reusable Paper Towels

1 – Reduce paper waste.

17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are used to produce one ton of paper towels! Every day the US alone produces over 3 tons of paper towels. You can help reduce this number drastically by switching to our Unpaper Towels and Cloth Napkins

 

We hope that you will use these tips to live a greener life. To celebrate Earth Day and help even more people reduce waste, we’re offering an awesome sale all weekend long.

Take 20% off all Nature Junkie purchases with code : EarthDay18

 

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USPS Shipping Rate Increase

USPS Price Increase
Whoomp, Whoomp! USPS has increased shipping rates again. Unfortunately, that means that I have to, too. Starting Monday you will see a slight increase in shipping rates.

But not today! For one day only I am offering FREE SHIPPING on any US order of $10+! 

Just use coupon code : NATURE33 
Offer only valid until 11:59 PM EST.

Below you will find a chart of price increases that our packages most commonly use. Other USPS services have increased. Visit the USPS site for a full list of price increases.

First Class Rate Increase – our most commonly used way to ship.

USPS First Class Rate Increase
Flat-rate Priority Rate Increase
USPS Flat Rate Priority Rate Increase
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Goodbye, 2017!

Boy, did this year fly by! It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is right around the corner! But, I’m looking forward to it! A new year always gets me excited! It feels like we all get a fresh start, a nice breath of fresh air! An opportunity to set new goals and accomplish themI The approaching new year has me thinking about my goals for Nature Junkie in 2018. If all goes as planned, 2018 is going to be one amazing year! Here’s just a little sneak peek!
If you’ve been following our journey you know that we made a BIG change in 2017. We decided to close all custom orders and get rid of made to order products. It’s been a little bit of a bumpy ride during these changes, but I’m happy to say that they are complete! We will now be able to create products in bulk allowing for us to stock our online shop, get our products into more brick-and-mortar stores, and participate in more local markets! I’ve set a goal to have EVERY online order shipped within 48 hours (excluding wholesale)! These are just some of the great changes we are making to help reduce even more waste and ensure you have an amazing shopping experience. You can also expect new products, more giveaways, and some great sales!
The end of the year also brings tax season, running numbers, and doing all that math that makes my brain hurt but needs to be done! As I was evaluating this years numbers, I realized that I need to make some adjustments to my pricing in order to help accomplish some of my 2018 goals. The below new pricing will start on January 1, 2018. 
You’re welcome to take advantage of the current prices until the new year. Please contact me if you have any questions. Here’s to an awesome 2018!

Peace.Love.Create.
Kristin

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5 Ways to Go Green this Christmas

The holidays are among us! With them comes traveling, dinners, and presents! The festivities and spending time with friends and family is always enjoyable. But have you ever thought about how much more waste we create during the holiday season? Americans throw away 25% more trash from Thanksgiving until New Years Day! That amounts to 25 MILLION tons of garbage! Here’s 5 easy ways that you can go green this Christmas.

1 – Think before you gift – Avoid gifts that are just going to become “stuff”. When buying for everyone on your wish list think about what they will actually use. Gag gifts are fun, but they are most likely to end up in the trash. If you’re not sure what to buy someone, then a gift card is a great option so they can purchase what they’d like without dealing with a return.

2 – Reuse paper and packaging – Save gift bags, ribbons, and bows to use for later. I collect everything throughout the year. Once the holidays some around, I have very little wrapping supplies to buy. Wrapping products in newspaper or placing in a cloth bag that can be reused are also great options.

3 – Reduce food waste – The holidays bring good food and our favorite desserts. We cook large meals, but sometimes too large. Only make what is needed. Send your guests home with leftovers to ensure it doesn’t go to waste. Stay away from once a year dishes that require unique ingredients that won’t be used throughout the year. Composting is a great idea for vegetable scraps left over from prepping!

4 – Send E-cards instead of paper – The USPS delivers approximately 2 billion paper Christmas cards a year! After the holidays most of these cards will end up in the trash. Recycle your Christmas cards and send e-cards to your friend and family. They will be able to print them if they would like a copy. It’s a great way to reduce paper waste and having to go to the store to buy stamps.

5 – Re-gift – Now, this one you might not agree with. But every year we get that one gift that we’re just not sure what we’re going to do with. Or that sweater that’s color just isn’t for you! Re-gift unwanted gifts to people that you think will enjoy them. Not into re-gifting? Donating your unwanted gifts to a charity will ensure that sweater gets to someone in need.

These are just 5 simple steps that you can take to reduce waste during the holidays. Continue these easy steps after the holidays to reduce every day waste. Consider a new years resolution to start 2018 off green! 

Have a safe and very Merry Christmas

Peace.Love.Create.
Kristin