Greener Goods: An Earth Day Experience
Written by Marcus Flinn, Communications Manager of VCC
We all know Earth Day as a time to appreciate the planet we all inhabit together. From businesses to non-profit organizations, community activists and everyday people—we all seemingly lock arms to increase awareness of the environmental problems that currently plague our planet.
In lieu of Earth Day, I decided to visit Greener Goods—an eco-friendly pop-up shop in Mahomet, Illinois. I admit, I didn’t know much about “sustainability” other than opting out of the plastic bags when I shop at Aldi’s, or drinking out of straw-less cups provided by Starbucks. I assumed these little changes made a difference, but after chatting with Tara Allen, owner and founder of Greener Goods—boy was I wrong.
Tara created Greener Goods as a direct response to the fashion industry (she sold second-hand clothing at Poshmark for a time), and discovered that clothing is a major polluter for our environment. The more she researched the harmfulness of fabrics, the more she wondered what other pollutants are harmful to our Earth. Tara eventually stumbled into the plastic industry and her world completely changed since. “It takes about 400 years for a plastic bag to decompose”, she exclaimed. My mouth dropped to the floor. “The key is not to recycle—the key is to refuse, reuse and reduce”.
Since realizing the significance of living a greener, sustainable life, it’s now her mission to take as many people along with her for the ride—Greener Goods is her answer!
After our long conversation about the environment and the harmfulness of plastics, she gave me a tour of her shop. When I entered, I immediately felt a sense of calm. The fragrant smell of spiced wood and white sage permeated the room like a warm embrace. At a first glance, her store was washed in a sea of colors—from earthy greens to punchy reds and deep saturated blues. There is a misconception that eco-friendly products have to be drab and neutral colored—that is far from the truth.
Tara provided me with an in-depth analysis of three of her products:
Vegan DISH BLOCK
This dish block was created by a mother-daughter team in California, and the product is completely plastic-free (the packaging itself is made of cardboard). For maximum effect, scrub the block with a brush and apply it to your dirty dishes. Extra brownie points if you have a wooden soap box to go with it, too!
Kind Laundry - laundry detergent sheets
These laundry sheets are a staple in Tara’s shop, and have the same plastic-free, cardboard packaging as the Vegan Dish Block. Instead of using liquid laundry detergent that sits in a plastic jug, you can pop one of these sheets in your laundry and gain the same results as their competitors. Once you run out of the sheets, you can recycle the cardboard packaging without any risk.
SUSTANIMALS IN THE ARTIC COLLECTION
Meet Kallik the Snowy Owl and Klondike the Polar Bear! They look like they’re made from synthetic material sourced from plastics, but in reality—they’re made out of recycled water bottles! Perfect for infants, toddlers, and children alike.
For Tara, sustainability is not just a one-time-thing—it’s a lifelong commitment that requires discipline and consideration for others and our environment. After our conversation, I left Greener Goods with a deeper appreciation for our environment, and a newfound willpower to go green myself. Do you know of any eco-friendly shops around the greater Champaign County area? Let us know! Give us a like or follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!