Part of what we do at Swizzle and friends is to promote the message about living in a sustainable way and there are many ways of doing this.
That is why the beeswax used in our ready-to-use resin blocks and wraps is from sustainable sources, rather than taken from beehives in a destructive way.
It is also why we have launched Swizzle Socks, as they use wool and that great material is sometimes burned or composted now, as the prices have fallen below what it costs to pack the wool, let alone the cost of shearing the sheep (see our previous blog for more on this subject).
So with all this in mind, it was great to receive an email from the Sustainability Committee at Amazon, asking for volunteers to speak about their businesses that operate on sustainable principles.
In the email, they said they were looking for ways to raise awareness about the benefits of purchasing sustainable products, which have zero waste and are beneficial for the environment.
The talk was due to be presented to a group of Amazon employees via a webinar, with the aim being to educate them about the importance of reducing waste and buying sustainable brands.
As it happened, we were able to respond within minutes of receiving the email and got ourselves booked in.
The event was due to be relatively informal, and in different times would have involved a trip to an Amazon office but instead, it followed the more recent format of being via a video conference.
With a couple of weeks to prepare, the next thing was to decide what to say and how to say it, so work began on the speech - it’s amazing how much you can say in five minutes.
So I began by outlining how I had been conscious of the environment for many years and how, when my daughters were babies, I had used washable nappies.
This led on to how I got into making beeswax wraps to help them keep their sandwiches away from other food in their lunchbox, which then led on to selling them to other people.
I also explained how I had further refined the formula for the wax mixture to make the wraps stickier and flexible and then they really started to sell well, as a result of the plastic-free movement benefiting from the descriptions of the world’s oceans being polluted with plastic in Blue Planet 2.
I went on to explain how the next logical step for the business was to move into other sustainable products and this was followed by the move into knitting socks from wool and all the benefits this has for the environment and the sock wearer.
So, having prepared the script (I thought that would be easier than having a few notes) I practised it over some days to make it flow well and revised it here and there to bring in different points.
And when the day arrived, I gave my presentation and heard a few others. We all took some questions from other people on the call and I felt great afterwards.
Not only had I stepped out of my comfort zone for a few minutes (public speaking is not really my thing) but I had also promoted the sustainable message to a receptive audience.
As I said in my presentation: “One of the things I’ve learnt is there are sustainable alternatives to most things, sometimes they’re easy swaps, sometimes they’re more expensive and sometimes they’re a bit obscure. But even if you only change the easy things, that’s a step in the right direction.”