BY ASPEN KVICALA
When the pandemic began in March, local potter Mandy Schoger, owner of Foxtail Pottery, had to quickly rethink how she was going to make her sales. The farmers market was on hold, summer festivals were cancelled, tourism was down. Mandy quickly shifted gears and began focusing more on online sales. But while business recovered and sales were up, Mandy couldn't help but feel bad about the piles and piles of plastic that were being sent out all across the country to cushion her pottery. Plastic that the consumer then had to deal with and which likely wasn't getting recycled. She had caught wind of a machine that some potters had begun using that shreds cardboard and makes it into a woven mat of sorts that can be used as padding for fragile items.
Fast forward a few months and Mandy was awarded a small business grant, part of which went to cover this "miracle machine." All of Mandy's pottery is now shipped plastic-free! Customers receive beautiful pottery in reused and still completely recyclable packaging. So incredible!! And how well does the shredded cardboard packaging actually work? Mandy says out of over 200 packages only two shipments had broken pottery (and that was more the fault of the carrier).
We love stories like this because they show us that even small efforts lead to real change. We celebrate Mandy's commitment to reducing waste! She could have just gone on with the status quo bubble wrap and focused on creating pottery but she instead chose to recognize her impact. Who knows what else this small effort may inspire?