One of the things that have defined the last couple of decades has been an increased movement towards environmentalism. Every day, more and more people are pitching in to do their part for the Earth; some even more so than others. These outstanding “green guardians” have established their reputations through diverse ways, all of which nevertheless have the same noble goal: To help clean up the decades of ecological destruction, and to secure a cleaner and greener world for future generations.
One of these stalwart advocates of environmentalism is Reena Kazmann, director of Eco-Artware.com, and (with her shades and her hair dyed with purple streaks) one of the more interesting people you’ll ever meet.
Reena and Her “Greenhouse”
Reena Kazmann, a longtime advocate of the environment, established her online business in 1999 after coming across some innovative green designs at a New York Gift Show. She realized then that this was just the beginning of a movement that would soon flourish. It was at this moment that the seeds that would germinate into Eco-Artware was sown.
With her band of handpicked craftspeople, the aim of the venture is to gather all kinds of discarded materials, craft them into beautiful and practical things, and sell them as gifts for both the green-minded and the potential eco-conscious.
Although Reena has had previous experience as a crafts teacher, designer, and illustrator, her function in Eco-Artware is mostly to oversee operations, as well as scout for the latest design practices and aesthetics; a bit like the late Walt Disney’s role in his venerable company, all things considered.
While Eco-Artware isn’t exactly as vast an empire as the House That Mickey Mouse Built, it nevertheless has made a positive impact on those who have come across it. It is a business establishment, yes, but the underlying fact is that it’s also a supporter of the green movement; an aspect of the company that puts it a notch above other online gift shops.
The company’s focus on green notwithstanding, the products they put out are anything but afterthoughts. On the contrary, the items they have on sale are wonderfully quirky and nothing short of brilliant.
Take, for example, their cuff links made out of stuff like typewriter keys, antique coins, and old streetcar tokens. These are definitely not your run-of-the-mill cuff links, but they work especially great for emerging companies that make an effort to straddle the line between “formal” and “hip” (think Google, Facebook, and the like). These fun and original links have even become one of the company’s many bestsellers over the years.
They also have these luggage tags made out of old circuit boards. Apart from having the same appeal as the cuff links, their distinctive look has the added practicality of being different enough so as to be easily spotted in case your luggage gets lost in a sea of passenger bags at the airport.
A couple of my personal favorites are the business card cases made out of old motherboards, and the smartphone stands crafted out of spoons and forks and fashioned into humanoid stick-figures of sorts. The former is a great identifier of my line of work (writing about technology and the environment), and the latter is just something that simply looks cool on my work desk next to my Transformers bookends.
Realistically speaking, not every item they have in stock will generate as much interest as they deserve, but all still stick true to the same basic tenet: Crafting usable (and reusable) products while keeping the well-being of the environment in mind.
And therein lies the driving force of Eco-Artware: Recycling. Each and every person working for Eco-Artware is as passionate about the environment as they are talented at what they do. For instance, there is the database expert who uses technical skills to create various lectures and demonstrations about eco-alternatives. Then there is the employee who knows a thing or two about video editing and has proceeded to make various eco-educational videos. And then, of course, there are the many artisans who always make a conscious effort to create products out of recycled resources.
And leading them all is one Reena Kazmann: Eco-savvy campaigner and certified ECB Green Guardian.
Forging a Green-Minded Future
The sad truth is that despite the laudable efforts of many, pollution is still a very real (and dangerous) thing. Thankfully, eco-activists like Reena Kazmann and her crew are doing their part to make sure landfills all across the nation aren’t getting as crowded as they could have been. Eco-Artware has forged an alternative environment-friendly route; a praiseworthy path for many to follow. With enough followers and the right mindset, Earth’s clean future may yet be secured.