Browsing Tag

Conservation

The Uncommon Life

Protecting the Rare Kirtland’s Warbler with American Forests

February 18, 2018

*Editor’s note: Spring is almost here, and we’re celebrating by sharing a story from our longest-standing nonprofit partner, American Forests. Thanks to our Better to Give program, we’ve donated over $400,000 to American Forests, the nation’s oldest conservation organization, since 2010. Read on for a report on their efforts to conserve the habitat of the Kirtland’s warbler, courtesy of the organization’s Manager of Forest Conservation, Justin Hynicka.

A Kirtland’s warbler in Stubb’s Park, Centerville, Ohio; photo by Andrew Cannizzaro

A bright future for Kirtland’s warbler in the Northern Great Lakes

By Justin Hynicka, American Forests Manager of Forest Conservation

I have a love-hate relationship with red-eye flights. On one hand, they maximize daylight on day one to explore my destination, which I love. On the other hand, it usually takes a day or two to shake off the cobwebs from poor sleep, which I don’t love. As if one night isn’t hard enough, just imagine taking a red-eye flight for two weeks straight. Oh, and you are also the pilot.

This is the journey the Kirtland’s warbler (KW; Setophaga kirtlandii) makes twice a year, traveling 1,700 miles in 16 days from the Bahamas to Michigan in spring, and back again in fall. [1] Even though KWs pass though many eastern states, they are rarely seen outside of their wintering and breeding areas due to a low-but-rising population and because they migrate at night. After such a journey, it’s hard to blame them for being one of only a few warblers to nest on the ground.

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Maker Stories

Uncommon Impact: Help Elephants & Sip Coffee with this Handmade Mug

February 16, 2018

When you think “activism,” you may not think “handmade pottery.” Thanks to the work of longtime maker JoAnn Stratakos, we’d encourage you to broaden your horizons. Best known around these parts as the creator of Elwood, our de facto mascot, JoAnn’s latest creation—the Protect the Elephants Mug—harnesses cuteness for a cause. For every mug sold, we’re donating $5 to the PAMS Foundation, an organization dedicated to conservation efforts, including the protection of elephants, in faraway Tanzania.

From left to right: Ryan, JoAnn’s Production Supervisor, throws a Protect the Elephants Mug on the wheel; mugs get their handles; and glazed mugs wait to be fired in JoAnn’s Effort, Pennsylvania, studio

Why PAMS? We asked JoAnn that very question. “The MudCrew and I came about the PAMS Foundation through a social media post about Wayne Lotter,” she told us. But if “the MudCrew” is JoAnn’s nickname for her staff, then who’s Wayne? The former director and co-founder of PAMS, that’s who. Killed in the line of duty last year in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Wayne founded PAMS in 2009 alongside fellow conservationists Ally Namangaya and Krissie Clark. It’s believed that Wayne—who received death threats throughout his career—was murdered for his anti-poaching work.

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The Uncommon Life

Planting the Seeds for our American Forests Collection

April 18, 2017

Sleeping Fox | UncommonGoods

Each time you shop at UncommonGoods, we donate $1 to a non-profit partner of your choice through our Better to Give program (at no cost to you). In 2010, we were proud and honored to welcome American Forests, the oldest conservation organization in the United States, to Better to Give. Since then, we’ve donated more than $380,000 (and counting!) to further American Forests’ mission to protect and restore forests worldwide. But there’s still work to do.

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The Uncommon Life

Announcing Our En‘light’ened Winners!

April 7, 2011

Congratulations to the winners of our first Earth Month 2011 Giveaway! These six Earth-loving readers vowed to step-up and make positive changes to make every day Earth Day.

Here’s how the winners of our Recycled Pelican Night Lights are making a difference:

Debbie:
“I will continue to 1.) Recycle, even though my condos don’t, and try to get more neighbors to as well. 2.) Buy less plastic. 3.) Stop using zip lock bags. 4.) Recycle batteries. 4.) Remember to take to go containers into restaurants 5.) Ride my bike more, building up courage to ride on the streets! Memphis is adding lots of biking lanes and trails! 6.) Continue teaching my 6th grade students to reuse, reduce and recycle 7.) Keep my windows open whenever possible, love fresh air!”

Joe:
“I pledge to:  Use reusable bags for shopping. Compost. Buy local (farmer’s market). Grow own produce. Not consume bottled water. Try and be as least wasteful as possible. Reduce, re-use, recycle.”

Kristal:
“I pledge to look at the packaging more often and to not forget my fabric grocery bags at home so that I cut down on the plastic bags at the store!”

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Design

Earth Month Giveaway: Recycled Glass Night Light

April 1, 2011

April is Earth Month, and we’re excited to show Mother Nature some love! What better way to ring in Earth Month than by celebrating recycling? How about by giving away some eco-friendly art?

We’re giving those who pledge to recycle the chance to win one of six Recycled Glass Night Lights by Vawn and Mike Gray! You can vow to help the planet by:

1.) Go above and beyond recycling newspapers and soda cans. Pledge to recycle old linens, batteries, cell phones, and other items that don’t get picked up by the side of your curb.

2.) Look carefully at the packaging on the items you buy. Pledge to cut down on buying items that can’t be recycled, or come in extra packaging that will end up in the trash.

3.) Start reusing materials to create art projects of your own!

Three contestants will be chosen at random to receive the Recycled Pelican Night Light, and three more will be chosen to win the Recycled Sandpiper Night Light.

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