For many of us, sustainability is something we try to incorporate into our home lives; by switching to more environmentally friendly products or walking instead of driving. But I am eternally inspired by people who bring their ethics to the business world too, and show other how you can be successful AND eco!
One such business is the wonderful Green Gables, a stationery and gift company that not only produces and sells green products, they operate green too! Here the founder shares her ideas for green living, and why everyone has a responsibility to muck in!
“My name is Gabrielle Treanor and my business is called the green gables. I design and create gorgeous and green gifts and stationery that help you get organised, connect with others in a real and tangible way, and spread a little joy in the world.”
What does green living mean to you, and how do you incorporate it into your life?
My husband and I have being living in a ‘green’ way for such a long time now we don’t really think about it much any more! I don’t eat meat and we buy local, seasonal, Fairtrade and sustainably produced food where possible. We recycle everything we can in our local authority and buy recycled paper products too. Good Energy supply our electricity and we use our wood burning stove with wood from a local supplier to reduce use of our gas central heating system.
Living this way has shaped my business too so the green gables’ products are printed on recycled paper in the UK only, we use recycled, compostable and reusable packaging, our website is powered by 1&1 green hosting and we support Woodland Trust, one of the six charities we donate 10% profits to.
Why do you think it’s important to live a sustainable lifestyle?
We’re only on this planet for a short time so it’s really our job to take care of it for future generations. I’ve heard farmers talk of being caretakers of their land for the future farmers and I think that idea applies to everyone, wherever they live. Centuries of taking from the land and sea while pumping gases into the air and waste into the earth and water, has had a clear and detrimental effect to the planet. Everyone has a responsibility from the way they behave to the purchases they make and the way they vote. Which also means that every positive step you take has a positive effect, don’t think whatever small things you do don’t make a difference because they do. It all adds up!
What have you found the easiest thing to implement?
I think it’s probably the little actions that don’t take long to become habits. Such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth. That saves gallons of water washing down your plughole. Or chucking unwanted paper into the recycling bin – it takes as much effort as it does to put it into the waste bin! Turning off lights when you leave the room saves you money on your electricity bill too so it makes double sense!
What habits have you found tricky to get started or maintain?
We try not to drive the car unnecessarily but living in a rural area with our families several hundred miles way makes that difficult. My husband works at home and I walk or cycle most days to my studio so that helps cut down our miles.
What’s your favourite idea or tip for living green without costing too much time or money?
Living green and being thrifty go hand in hand. Most ideas for living in a more environmentally-friendly way will also save you money so you can’t go wrong! For example, shopping with a list means you’re less likely to buy food you end up not eating, which reduces your food waste and your shopping bill. I think recycling is the most basic living green action you can do. It costs nothing, takes almost no time and yet has a significant impact as less waste is buried in landfill and your unwanted paper, plastics, glass etc are remade into new things! And if you watch out for buying overly packaged products (potatoes in a polystyrene tray and cling film wrapper anyone?!) you’ll have less to bin or recycle when you get home.
Who or what keeps you inspired?
I live in the countryside and seeing how beautiful our world is acts as a great motivator to not want to mess it up!
Connect with The Green Gables
- Website: thegreengables.co.uk
- Blog: thegreengables.co.uk/blog
- Twitter: twitter.com/thegreengable
- Facebook; facebook.com/thegreengables