Hold On, This Is Gonna Be Crazy

airplane propellerDo you ever enter into situations that have the potential to drive you crazy? Calling your internet service provider….going to DMV….you know what I mean.

Traveling is like that. Just the concept of flying in an airplane is crazy. You are entering into a tiny metal tube with hundreds of other people that will then rise to 30,000 feet and fly at hundreds of miles per hour.

I do a lot of traveling. I have two tips for a nicer travel experience: take your time and understand that it’s crazy.

I find that giving myself extra time makes the whole thing easier. No rushing, less stress. Time to pack, time to get to the airport. Time to let crazy people do their thing. The whole experience is just better if you make the time.

And I’m prepared for the stressed out airline personnel, intolerable travelers, lines, hours of recirculated air – and to let it all happen with amusement.

-Posted by Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Hate.

fruit sticker on the groundHate. It’s a hardcore word. It’s definitive, strong and image ridden with anguish.

That being said I do hate a few things, including the small stickers on fruit and vegetables.

They seem to be everywhere – because they are plastic and don’t degrade easily. I was recently four miles into the Yosemite wilderness and encountered these stickers littered on the trail twice. They are not uncommon to been seen on sidewalks where I live. They also make their way through the filters of many water treatment facilities to pollute the San Francisco Bay and other waters.

C’mon fruit/vege companies, can’t we do better?

-Posted by Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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10,000 Photographs

A Japanese Snow MonkeyI have this habit. I take about 10,000 photographs a year. I’ve been doing it for 15 years now.

As I take each photo, I am simultaneously aware of four things:

1. How my eye travels across the image, 2. Light, dark and colors, 3. The composition/layout of the objects, and 4. The image finished and in a frame on my wall. These actions happen at once.

There is this essential step between intention and realization, it’s called action. We often talk about desire and intention: “I want to fly to Montreal,” is a simple example. The chances of going there are pretty high if I buy an airline ticket. Action is the step that connects the want to the have.

So when we want to create ongoing change in our lives, it’s often the action of habit that gets us there. Repetitive action needs to be habitual and without much thought. You just do it.

Desires like “I want to be happy” are not as easy to go pick up at the corner market. Happiness is found in those simple little habits that we develop over time, it is found in the actions.

Of the 10,000 photos that I take, I get extreme happiness from 100 of them – and that 100 will lead me to take 10,000 the following year.

-Posted by Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Being Brad

A picture of BradI’m reading this book on photography. It contains a challenge (by Leanne Shapton) – to take 250 photographs of one subject over a two hour period every day for a week.
 
The point is to allow you (the photographer) to exit the thought process and simply be with your art. Rather than ‘take’ a photo, to ‘receive’ a photo. To stop noticing the f-stop and see the subject. To become one with the process.
 
I haven’t taken the challenge yet. Still considering my commitment to it.

The whole point of it is to remember that I don’t always have to think (about it) and just be (with my art and actions). To let it come to me. The art of photography, the art of making soap, and most of all the art of being Brad.


-Posted by Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Don’t Dye on Me

M&Ms candyWe try to be conscious and responsible. From organic to recycling – we are constantly searching for the best way to do our business.

And then there is the bowl of M&Ms in our creative department. I’m not a big fan of the ingredients of M&Ms, however I seem to be constantly eating them – alternatives just don’t work.

The ingredient panel on the M&Ms include: COLORING (INCLUDES BLUE 1 LAKE, YELLOW 6, RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 1, RED 40 LAKE, BLUE 2 LAKE, YELLOW 6 LAKE, BLUE 2). I don’t like artificial dyes (because of the health issues), yet they are everywhere – on my back, in my closet, on my kids.

I’m not suggesting we suddenly live a life free of all artificial dyes, however we should migrate that way. When it comes to choice every step in the right direction counts.

M&Ms are made with natural dyes in the EU. The alternatives are out there – plant based dyes are available and are not linked to health issues.

We need to make the switch here as well.

-Posted by Brad Black, EO’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Phthalates

a flowerHuh? What a stupid @#$% word. It’s as difficult to pronounce as its purpose.

Phthalates are toxic to humans. They affect hormone levels (leading to birth defects) and have been linked to several kinds of cancer.

And (I’d say) they are in 99% of US households.

Synthetic fragrances are cheap, easy to use and smell the way chemists want them to smell. Phthalates in synthetic fragrances act as a binder (basically making the fragrance last longer).

Essential oils are difficult to work with, are rarely consistent/stable (like any relationship {haha}), expensive, and smell the way nature wants them to smell.

We’ll never use phthalates or synthetic fragrances at EO/Everyone.

One of our missions is to make essential oils available to everyone. They’re a lot easier to pronounce.

We hope you love them as we do.

-Posted by Brad Black, SWTC co-founder and co-CEO

Posted in Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Health | Leave a comment

Problems

smiling puppetProblems. They are inevitable and daily. Life is filled with them – in our own lives and the world.

Yet we seem to resist them or are surprised when they come up.

Then we feel like we have permission to get angry because it’s upsetting our perfect expectations.

How do you respond to problems?

You have a choice.

Sometimes being red-faced mad seems appropriate – even feels good.

You can also choose not to be.

Myself, most of the time, I like to be even keeled. Steady as she goes.

I like being happy more than I like being angry.

-posted by Brad Black, SWTC’s co-founder and co-CEO

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Bureaucracy

A man rowing a boatWe see it everywhere. Big business. Government. People adhering to rules and guidelines with the absence of any human character. These interactions lack accountability and thoughtfulness with an attitude of:

“Don’t rock the boat.”

“Don’t make me do more work.”

“Don’t bring any attention to myself.”

They resist change and innovation. They keep their head down and don’t question anything.

There’s no room in this small world for red tape.

We all need to make a commitment to each other and ourselves to act like we’re all in this together.

We need to shake this up to create the world we want.

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Failing in Life

StatueAt the heart of life is failure. The timing of failure is both inconvenient and precious.

If your idea of success doesn’t include failure, either you’re not reaching high enough or your picture is too perfect.

The deepest satisfaction comes from accomplishing things you thought were unattainable or overcoming the impossible.

As you experience failure remember it will get better, always does – without valleys you can’t have peaks.

Communicate your failure. And be humorous about it, it helps avoid self-pity. Failure bonds. Failure teaches.

So here’s an assignment. Do something that you know will fail. See if it does.

You may fail.

-Posted by Brad Black, SWTCo founder and co-CEO

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Keeping House

truck with cardboard in itI believe it is my responsibility to clean up after myself, plus a little extra. To cause minimal impact. However I do recognize that just the act of living causes impact. My leather boots. Beef ribs for dinner. The electricity to run my computer. My computer…

I choose to reuse, recycle and conserve as much as I can – especially at work where the impact is much greater. We do our best to hire like-minded people – who share the same values. We use bottles that are made from recycled plastic and are recyclable. We have a refill system in our store, a closed loop water system in manufacturing and we recycle as much as we can. And we aspire to do better.

One issue that we’re just starting to tackle is our number one waste item – cardboard. While it’s all recycled, it would be better to reuse it or utilize it somehow at work. To make matters worse, we buy pallets of ‘new’ recycled boxes to ship our products. There must be a better way.

You have any ideas???

-Posted by Brad Black, SWTCo founder and co-CEO

Posted in Environment, EO Stories, Packaging | Leave a comment