TAXIgoods? What?

taxi-goods

We’ve been making some changes here in the land of reusable snack and sandwich bags, and we’re hoping you’ll enjoy them!

As a crafty sort, I really like making stuff. All kinds of stuff. And I’ve been itching to make some different stuff, stuff that doesn’t necessarily want to be sold on the same page as reusable food movers (no matter how handy and cute they are!).

So, on our brand new website, under the brand new umbrella that we’re calling TAXIgoods (this is not some sort of umbrella corporation, mind you- I see an actual umbrella over everything- like a tent at a craft fair) we’ll be introducing you to some of these new items!

Many, many things will remain the same (change can be hard, I know!). And we’re also going to share with you some of our new ideas, and new directions. We’ll continue to offer the classics- the snack-sack and sandwich-sack- and we’ll also offer you up some variations as we continue to strive to be better, and make better.

So what else have I been making? Linen dish towels, linen bread bags, and lovely linen aprons- among other things! Linen is an amazing fiber- it’s durable, beautiful, and the flax and hemp plants that produce it require less in the way of pesticides and herbicides because they’re quite hardy. So you’ll see quite a bit of it, as you look around!

You’ll also find some offerings from other companies, because as much as I’d love to try my hand at whittling bamboo cutlery and weaving market baskets, other folks are already doing it better than I could!

 The name

I’m a bit of a nut about names. My kids all have unusual, but not totally “out there” names, and until said kids came along, I also had ultimate control of pet naming. Our current gaggle of animals have names that suit them, sure, but I know how much more interesting they could have been. Sigh.

So when it came to finding a variation of the name snackTAXI (which I thought would only ever encompass the 2 items I was making back in 2003) that would be both cohesive and somehow appropriate, it seemed my options were limited, and I felt a bit stymied.

I chose snackTAXI because it was so appropriate- this handy sack is moving your food, but just a finite distance for a finite time. You’re going to take those crackers out of their taxi when they reach their final destination. And honestly, how can you go wrong with the word taxi? It’s good looking and fun to say, and living and working in the middle of the woods as I do, it makes me feel that something just a little bit worldly and sophisticated is going on in the workshop.

Initially I tried to keep the same format- stuffTAXI, gearTAXI- but was unmoved. Then I tried just plain old TAXI, but it seemed lonely and undefined, unsure of its purpose.

TAXIgoods- well, I liked it right away. I’ve always liked the word goods. It puts such a wholesome and positive spin on being both a producer and a consumer of things, as we all are. It puts me in mind of outdoor farmers markets, or an old fashioned corner store with a bell on the front door.

So then there was just “taxi” that I had a bit of an issue with. It’s no longer just describing sacks to move food, so how could I continue to use it, as great a word as it may be? As so often happens in my house, Merriam-Webster saved the day. As soon as I saw the definition, “to move under ones own power, as an airplane,” I knew I had underestimated my old friend taxi. Moving under ones own power. That’s what we’re all doing, after all. Not like airplanes, certainly, although it is an entertaining image, evocative of kindergarteners at recess. But I digress. Moving under our own power, we build momentum in our lives and move with it. Maybe we have kids, and they build the momentum for us for a time.

And so TAXIgoods it is. Making good stuff well, under our own power.

The Snacktivist

activist

This year I spent the weekend of Earth Day in New York City at Green Festival, working the snackTAXI booth with my three kids. I’m a pretty massive Earth Day fan, and I also really enjoy events like Green Festival- the folks who attend are psyched to see what’s new in the land of green living, and the other vendors are always a good time too.

The fact that the festival was held in New York made it all the more exciting for our woodsy tribe- the kids and I lost track of the number of languages we heard, stared up in wonder at the skyscrapers (okay, that was just me), and explored our little piece of the west side after our work was done each day.

In the booth, we visited with all manner of folks for two days- everyone from lifelong New Yorkers, to glowing spa owners from Colorado. It provided a wonderful opportunity to share what snackTAXI is all about with lots and lots of real people. There’s certainly a sales component (NOT my forte), but selling this little group of products that I’m so proud of in a particularly well suited environment felt really good. And it was a treat to meet the end user for a change- to see how excited they were to try something that, for many of them, was a whole new bag- literally!

And for all of the waste-related ribbing I take from my kids- “Oh my GOD, why can’t you just buy this one lousy bottle of water?!”- it was a thrill to see them all in action, talking intelligently about the business that has grown up with them, and the products they’ve been the guinea pigs for all these years. My 13 year old daughter even conducted a video interview, while I was foraging for snacks.

It was a great place to be for Earth Day- and I was impressed with how thoroughly Green Festival walks their talk. I’ve attended other “green” shows and received my exhibitor badge in a nonrecyclable plastic sleeve and had booth visitors throw all kinds of trash (and recyclables- eek!) in the garbage can the show provided me with.

My kids were amazed that our badges (sans plastic sleeve) were made from elephant dung and were, as such, fully compostable. And everyone in attendance, if they needed to dispose of anything, was directed to one of many waste management stations. Each was staffed with a brigade of young people there to educate the disposers about their available receptacle options- “compostable,” “recyclable,” and “landfill.” That last one really gave me pause- it was so much more meaningful than “garbage” or “trash,” and served to effectively throw one’s throwing into sharp relief.

Green Festival was just what I needed. In the months leading up to Earth Day I’d been feeling a bit despondent- weighed down by the stresses of running a business, and losing track of my mission in the process. Earth Day in New York brought me back to why I started making these sacks in the first place, and reminded of all of the small actions that we take that make a real difference in reducing waste, and all of the actions we can and should begin to take.

I share (pretty much constantly, if you ask them!) these actions with my kids- bringing a reusable cup for your morning java, toting cloth bags to the grocery store, and filling your own glass or stainless containers for water on the go- these actions are not so hard, and pack an eco-punch to boot.

 “Enough already, we get it!” says my trio of inadvertent environmentalists. And that’s the best part- they do get it. Even if it makes them nuts sometimes. And really, I can live with an eye roll or two- as long as they’re separating “recyclable” from “landfill” while their doing it!