We all know that we only have one planet, so we wanted to take a little time out of our day to talk about the steps Queen City Yarn as a company, and us in our personal lives take to make our home a little greener. It's impossible for everyone to make drastic changes in their lives in the name of sustainability, but it is very possible for all of us to make at least a few small changes, which in turn can make a very big impact. Below are a few of the ways we have found to leave this earth a little cleaner than it was when we found it.
Brian and I have taken several steps to help reduce our carbon footprint. Brian loves to ride his bike to work! Something he is eager to do from our new home. We took huge steps to reduce the amount of paper and plastic in our home several years ago. We invested in cloth grocery bags and use all cloth napkins in our kitchen. A little laundry basket in the kitchen helps keep them together to be washed once a week. We recently started using some of the silicone resealable bags for snack and travel. Brian has a little Bento box for taking his lunch to work and we are always using our reusable water cups and straws.
With two younger children and a family on the go, we find it a little hard to completely step away from one use paper and plastic but we do what we can to minimize its impact and made changes to reusable silicone baggies, water bottles, and metal straws. One of the biggest changes we have made as a family is to invest in solar energy for our home. We had solar panels installed on our house to harness the harsh summer sun here in the Carolinas which offsets the majority of our energy consumption. We also installed a water catchment system to conserve water (and really money because water where we live is very expensive). So, we are able to water our garden (and even dye yarn) without tapping into the city water.
We are also a busy family with two young kids at home. We try to do our part to consume less plastic, reuse plastic that does make its way into our home and keep our community clean. We use glass containers in the kitchen and reuse all the plastic ones that have made their way in with take out orders for either food storage or craft projects. We all have reusable water bottles (and I have coffee cups) that get an extreme workout between school, soccer, the little bits of traveling we do and regular days at home. We've personalized them with some stickers so we always know which is ours when we are out and about. Speaking of being out and about, we are careful with our trash and always pick up litter when we see it. The kids are quick to call out a litterbug and Caitlyn and her friends regularly take "trash walks" through our neighborhood, collecting any litter they find along the way and properly recycling or disposing of it.
We can't forget about QCY! All of our shipping materials are made from recycled materials and can be reused and then recycled. We REFUSE to use any plastic packaging! In the dye studio we use LOTS of old towels to keep things clean. The yarn dyeing process uses A LOT OF WATER! Brian is actively trying to install a heat recapture system that will allow us to take some of the heat from an exhausted pot of water and transfer it to the next pot while allowing us to use clean water.