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Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22nd. During this time, there are some people who ask, 'What can I do?' or 'Can I really make a difference?’ in our environment.
The simple answer is yes! “Greening” your life can happen with some simple steps. First, is awareness. Being a conscious consumer means taking into account the impacts that our purchases and actions have on our own families, other people, and the environment.
I personally try to purchase higher quality products so they last longer. If I do get rid of something, I try to donate or sell it, so it can have a second life somewhere else. I am also proud to say that The Basket Lady celebrates Earth Day everyday, because our wicker basket products are made from eco-friendly materials.
Our wicker is environmentally sustainable, grown in abundance, made with all natural materials, and handcrafted by highly skilled artisans in Indonesia. Another benefit? Buying our products directly contributes to the community in which it’s grown. A win-win!
Below are some eco-friendly facts about our wicker baskets, and perhaps this information will help inspire you to live a more conscious life, starting now.
Supporting Local Villagers in Indonesia
At The Basket Lady, our manufacturers work directly with artisans who live in the villages of Indonesia. We supply the artisans with the materials and they weave each basket by hand, and also do finishing work individually, on each and every basket. Our baskets employ people in the villages, who have perfected the basket weaving handicraft over generations. This job keeps them from working on oil palm plantations or going into the cities for other employment options.
The Sustainability of Wicker
Our wicker is made of rattan, a vine-like palm native to the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Indonesia and Australia. Rattan, unlike bamboo, is solid all the way through the reed and also has the ability to grow up to hundreds of meters long. In forests where rattan grows, its economic value can help protect forestland by providing an alternative to loggers who forgo timber logging and harvest rattan canes instead. Rattan is also much easier to harvest, requires simpler tools and is much more efficient to transport. It also grows much faster than most tropical woods like teak or mahogany.
There are two types of rattan we work with at The Basket Lady:
Core Rattan – this is a wild rattan where the “skin” or outer layer is taken off, allowing the rattan to be dyed. At The Basket Lady, all of our core rattan products such as Pole Handle Wicker Storage Basket and Wicker Storage Trunks are finished using water-based dye and finally water-based polyurethane for protection.
Kubu Rattan (or Kooboo) – this is a thicker species of rattan where the “skin,” or outer layer is left on. This material is then buried in mud for several weeks, giving a gray coloring to the rattan, which is growing in popularity in the U.S. Then, a clear, water-based polyurethane is applied over the rattan to preserve it. Examples of products using kubu rattan are the Deep Kubu Wicker Storage Trunk or the Kubu Wicker French Laundry Basket.
Other Eco-Friendly Benefits
In addition to the actual wicker used in our baskets, we try to take eco-friendly steps across our whole production process. Our Wicker Trash Baskets, for example, are made with metal liners instead of plastic. These tin liners are made from recyclable materials rather than petroleum-based plastic that hurts our landfills. And finally, our baskets are made with the highest quality rattan so they last longer, helping to save on waste.
To shop for sustainable products that will help you and your family live a more conscious life, visit BasketLady.com. And, Happy Earth Day!