Back in May, Veda Salon selected Yobel Market and Yobel International as one of the Greenie Award nominees for Green Business here in our hometown of Colorado Springs. To say the least, we were incredibly honored to be selected! We began to think of our own “green” tendencies and intentional choices that we make to be good stewards and caretakers of the earth. As a business, non-profit, and individuals, we don’t just care about fair trade, we care about consumption in general. Therefore, we make decisions and purchases that reflect that paradigm.
When you walk into our office and showroom located at 27 S. Sierra Madre 80903, you might notice repurposed doors as our desks, steamer trunks and reused suitcases in our displays, and cabinets holding Rwandan baskets and Divine chocolate to name a few. Each of these selections is intentional. We desire our shop to be a place of ethical consumption. For us, this means not purchasing brand new display furniture, but instead exploring the RE Store, the Arc, and other area thrift shops and estate sales to find these gems.
After you buy some fair trade jewelry, coffee, or other alternative gifts and check out at our register, your purchases are packaged into a cute paper bag and tissue paper. Enjoy that all of these are made from at least 95% post-consumer recycled paper.
If you’re visiting us for a meeting or presentation, you’ll notice that we don’t have any styrofoam cups. Instead, we have an eclectic collection of mugs and cups from which to choose.
Here are a couple other ways our office is green:
If you’ve ever purchased an item from www.yobelmarket.com, then you might have received your gorgeous product in a reused cardboard box. We recognized that as a business and individuals that we receive a lot of cardboard boxes that would, at best, be stuffed into a recycle bin and, at worst, tossed into a garbage can. Instead we keep these boxes and send out our wholesale and online orders in them.
Even some ethical products you can purchase at Yobel Market are green! We sell gorgeous sari blankets and journals made from recycled saris in India. Not only do these products reuse saris that can no longer be worn by women in Kolkata, the journals are also filled with recycled paper.
We also supply beautiful Costa Rican cutting boards made from sustainably harvested exotic tropical hardwoods. Each cutting board is unique and contains between 5 and 7 varieties of woods. Not only do these products benefit the artisans through a living and sustainable wage, but US-based profits also contribute to Food for the Hungry Costa Rica.
Twice a year, Yobel International hosts Swap for a Change which was even chosen by Best Of 2014 Colorado Springs as the Writer’s Pick. This is a popular clothing swap event which this year brought together over 100 women. Individuals donate their gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories and come out of the event with a refreshed wardrobe made entirely of second-hand items. We then donate the leftover items to The Hanger where foster teens are able to select donated clothes and accessories free of charge to continue giving back to our community.
From January to June of this year, Yobel International hosted a shoe drive. The collected shoes are shipped to developing communities around the world to jump start microenterprises and serve as start up capital. This shoe drive gave individuals and organizations in Colorado Springs an opportunity to give new life to old shoes that sometimes would not be accepted at local thrift stores. The well-loved shoes can still be used by entrepreneurs elsewhere to be stripped down and used for individual parts.
As we enjoy the beautiful office space we have created, we also allow that space to be used for other events. This includes an amazing weekly donation-based yoga class by Mountain Soul Yoga, birthday parties, board meetings, and warehouse storage to name a few. We consider this green because instead of renting out large, pricey, and higher-energy locations, we have an opportunity to offer up our low-energy location, while also providing people with inspiration of our repurposed and refurbished items that they can pursue green choices as well and create beautiful places simultaneously.
Outside of the office, each of our staff members make conscious choices for the environment in their daily lives. For example, we enjoy finding second-hand clothing and even our CEO and Executive Director, Sarah, is using cloth diapers for her baby.
Thank you to Veda Salon for recognizing these decisions we at Yobel make to be green. We are thankful for other businesses in town that are doing the same. It might not be easy to consistently make conscious choices for the environment, but it’s worth it to take a next step!
Written by Hannah Monroe, Programs Administrator