I’ve built my jewelry line around my love of design and travel. I’d happily run off to every corner of the globe with my camera and husband in tow (if only our cats could be world travelers, too – we’d be set). My happiest day, outside of the studio, is spent wandering around a new place—experiencing it with unending curiosity and an open heart. I just have to know what is around that next corner.

Having said that, you need to know that all of my hippie/granola dreams that I never even knew I had recently came true. I had the opportunity to stay in an Earthship in Taos, and it was magical. I know, you’re probably thinking, “What the…what is an earthship?” Friends, I’m about to blow your minds.

An Earthship is a fully sustainable, solar-/wind-powered home made of natural and recycled materials. In simple terms, the electricity runs off solar or wind power. It has a greenhouse that runs the length of the home, which is not only used to produce your own food, but you can also open the door of it for heat, or open the cooling vents on other side for cooler air. The water is rainwater and purified and makes your hair feel heavenly. I’m not lying—best hair day ever. If you ever travel to Taos, hit up AirBnb and stay in an Earthship. First of all, the view is killer, and the amount of stars you can see at night… seriously took my breath away. So did all the coyotes howling near by, but that’s ok, I like to live on the wild side. Second, you can learn more about sustainable living and life off the grid, which completely opened my eyes.

I’ll be honest: as a girl who grew up hearing the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra on repeat during my school years, you’d think I’d be good and indoctrinated into the sustainable lifestyle. And yet, after living many years in a city that makes recycling a bit of a hurdle, I realized that, until recently, I’ve largely ignored much of what I learned. As both a small business owner and a resident of Planet Earth, I resolved to make a change.

We can talk all day long about the minefield of environmental, fair trade, and ethical issues that plague the world. (However, you don’t have all day and I am in NO way an expert.) I’m just someone who wants to do better and to help protect the world and let future generations enjoy the beauty and wonder that heavily inspires my work.

As a jewelry designer, there are a bunch of ways that I’ve found and have or am currently implementing in my own studio:

  • Packaging/Shipping: We use recyclable gift boxes, eco-friendly hemp twine, 100% recycled shred for packaging, & reuse incoming shipping supplies in my husband’s business.
  • Sourcing Ethically: We source 95% of our materials from the US & Canada, which not only cuts down on the amount of fuel/emissions from shipping, but also allows a more transparent view of how our suppliers do business. We’re currently making the move to Made in the US chain, from a company who focuses on solar power & scrap refining in addition to their high quality materials. There are still many strides to be made in this area, but we want to do our part.
  • Materials: We use semi-precious stones & other natural materials and as few chemicals as possible in the sealing/patina of our metals. Many stones are mined overseas and there is little transparency as to history/mining practices/etc. We strive to source semi precious stones from companies who share similar values to our own.
  • In home/studio recycling
  • For the Future: We are even looking into solar power/rainwater for our home, my studio, and my husband’s shop.

So, here’s the thing: We’re busy running our businesses, spending time with family and friends, and basically living our lives and maintaining the 3 million things to which we’re already committed. As bosses, we already have a ton on our plate and even putting in the brainpower to live a more sustainable life can seem like too much. But, I want to challenge you to make ONE change. Just one little thing. It might be as simple as actually recycling those printer cartridges that seem easier to throw in the trash rather than collect and drop off on your next office supply run. Or shredding scrap paper and using it for box filler on one of your next shipments. It only takes one step in the right direction to help the environment and be just a little bit more boss. And honestly, anything I can wrangle control over in my business life – makes me feel more boss.

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Lindsay Farrer is a Jewelry Designer who creates unique jewels for globetrotters and those with unshakeable wanderlust. She also blogs about travel, adventure, & studio life. Find out more about Simon & Ruby Jewelry at simonandruby.com.