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The Climate Crisis: Anxiety, Overwhelm and an Online Retail Business

The Climate Crisis: Anxiety, Overwhelm and an Online Retail Business

“As more people across the planet “wake up” as a result of the multiple crisis points we’re hitting with foreign relations, technology, the environment, and identity issues, the more we see this shift occurring all around the globe.”
- Lauren Sapala -
Earlier this year, I spent several weeks feeling slightly adrift, worrying about  the sheer amount of “stuff” in the world.  Hands up who has too many 'things'? I know I do - I’m forever trying to purge and streamline the clutter in my house (and my mind too, for that matter).
And this is what bought me to a certain tipping point….. 
Considering our throwaway culture, does the planet really need another small business owner designing, making and selling her art online? Am I just adding to the wastefulness? 
I worry (a lot). I worry that we’re wasting the Earth’s resources through the creation and consumption of so much “stuff”. I'm bothered by the size of the carbon-footprint generated by the global shipment of goods delivered directly to our front doors.
As you can imagine, this isn’t a particularly uplifting or reassuring line of thought for someone who has just started their own e-commerce business!
It was even more unfortunate that this particular train of thought happened to coincide with a dip in sales and a loss of faith in my creative abilities.
So that would make it: a creative crisis, on top of an environmental crisis, with a hint of existential crisis thrown in for good measure, all wrapped in a blanket of anxiety, and left to stew for several weeks. Not exactly a recipe for entrepreneurial success!

Unsurprisingly, I was starting to feel quite low about my business and questioning whether or not I should shut up my virtual shop, and make my small contribution to the environmental effort by eliminating my businesses’ consumption of resources altogether.
But the thing is, I love what I do, and my customers do too, so it can’t be all that bad, can it?
I took some time to sit with these thoughts (and worried a bit more!) and eventually I came to the conclusion that rather than quit, I would explore ways to make Wit and Wisdom more sustainable and less wasteful.
To begin, I identified three key business operations I can confidently start to improve: 
  • Packaging 
  • Postage
  • Consumption
I’ll share more on my progress with each of these changes in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you:
  1. How do you feel about the amount of “stuff” we consume as a society?
  2. Have you made any changes recently?
  3. Are small online businesses like 'Wit and Wisdom' contributing to the problem, or do you think that they are part of the solution?
Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below so we can continue the discussion.

Thank you so much for reading.
If this resonates with you why not share with family and friends?
The conversation continues on Facebook - click here to join in:

Until next time,

Photo credit: Dakota Monk
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