ASKING QUESTIONS IS AWESOME AND SHOULD BE DONE PRETTY MUCH ALL THE TIME ABOUT EVERYTHING. But for now, for here, I will answer as succintly and clearly as possible some questions you have had. Contact me with what you have if you don't see it here. Thank you for your curiosity!
1. How do I use this Teeth Paste? And why don't you have it in a squeeze tube? I'll answer the second question first. I don't use a plastic squeeze tube for many reasons but primarily because plastic is wack. The responsibility of breaking from plastics is primarily on the producer, the business owner, but of course is a personal consumer action also. The less we make with and in plastic, the less we buy plastic wrapped plastic things, the better. The better for our families, our air, our politics, our lives on Earth. The louder we are in our consumer demands and choices the more we are shifting our world. This choice on packaging is also reflected in the price and it is my intent and hope that we recognize the importance of these choices, purchases and repurposing of things we already own. And plastic is wack. The Pit Stick container is the next to go!
The Teeth Paste comes in a 6 oz glass jar that is easily repurposed, which is why the label is not a sticker on the jar. This is all intentional: I want to make it as easy as possible for you to not have one more plastic thing AND to not have that frustration I know I get when I am trying to remove all the adhesive from a jar's label so I can re-use that babe.
To use the Teeth Paste, dip your tooth brush into the jar, scooping a grape size amount onto the brush. Brush your teeth! You can spit out into the sink with some childlike delight! Look at the tiny plant skeletons! Look at the nasties it has taken from your mouth! WAHOO! Yes, it is a little messy. Yes, it is not what you are used to. It is not fluffy because I don't use sodium lauryl sulfates or other toxic, harsh detergents. Because you are better than that. Because I am smashing that idea. BAHM.
You also can swallow the Teeth Paste. Which leads to another question . . . . . . .
2. If I swallow the Teeth Paste, aren't I swallowing all the nasties I was trying to get out of my mouth and isn't that counterproductive/bad? Also a great question. If you are familiar with oil pulling, you use rad plant based things to pull nasties from your mouth and get rid of it. The difference with the Teeth Paste is the diatomaceous earth. It acts like a strong magnet grabbing the nasties and will hold onto them all the way through your digestive tract, even pulling more with it. So, totally up to you, spit or swallow. . . . . . .
Question 3! 3. Why are Meraki products kind of expensive? Legitimate question. What I hear you asking is "what exactly am I paying for that is different than similar things I see in a saturated market?" The biggest difference I think is that I grow the plants used in the makeries. Organically, of course. With my hands, with a lot of planning, labor, pruning, harvesting, drying, infusing, researching, educating myself and others. So considering all of that, and crunching numbers repeatedly and often, comparing my process and products to others, looking at what the commerce market supports the prices are quite reasonable.
Another thing you are paying for is Intention, is peace of mind, is active participation in shifting power from big businesses to your self and your tribe, your friend, the future. You KNOW you are not only safe using the makeries but you are also being nourished and healed. How do you put a value on your sacred container, the one body you have? INfuckinVALUABLE. You and your body. That is truth right there. How do you attach a value to KNOWING your deodorant is not feeding your body hormone disrupting chemicals? How do you attach a value to KNOWING your use of a meraki makery is honoring your body, is making a political statement? Is the kind of consumer power we all need to flex in all the ways we can?
I hope you will look at your consumer choices with added perspectives: Can I easily identify and pronounce all this? If this is going on my body, can I also eat it? Does this provide health? Long term habit of health? Does this support causes/ideas/morals/values that I believe in? Will this cause me harm now or in the long term? Do I KNOW what I am buying? What sort of labor practices are involved in making this? Does this make me feel good in the moment and long term? How does this affect my sense of self, my participation in the world? WHY am I buying this? What else am I supporting by choosing this business and this product? Where do these ingredients come from? Is there transparency from the maker/owner? Do I need this or want this? Is this playing to my insecurities? Is this local? Is this handcrafted? Does the creator and seller give a shit about things? Do I feel good recommending this or using it on my most beloved mammals?
4. I noticed my shipping cost was slightly less than what I was charged. What's up with that? Chances are you paid $3.50 for shipping and it cost $3.17 or something close. That happens rarely. 98% of the time I am subsidizing shipping, especially if you live west of the Mississippi. Real Time Shipping is an available tool that I can't afford to use yet. After some experimenting and collecting data I determined the two shipping rates I offer are the most fair to you, with me covering quite a bit consistently. I am cool with this. Shipping is one of THE things that makes small businesses crumble. I will continue to find ways to share some of the cost for you while not killing meraki :)
5. Do I need to do anything different in storing soaps or balms or things? The best way to keep your soap from getting really mushy is to not keep it in a puddle of water between uses and keep out of direct sunlight. I do use plant oils & butters that provide hardness for the bar, but do not use any fillers obviously. You should use the soap within 6 months of purchase. FUN FACT: Each soap responds to your skin & your water quality so each person will have a unique experience. Isn't that rad?!
Balms can be stored in the refrigerator. Use within 6-10 months of purchase.
The Pit Stick doesn't need any thing special. I use coconut oil that becomes liquid at 96 degrees F but even in temperatures higher than that there shouldn't be catastrophic melting or anything (thanks, beeswax!)
You may find there is a liquid layer atop the Teeth Paste; it's just coconut oil and peppermint essential oil. You can stir it into the paste at use. You can also add a mint essential oil to it (which I recommend having on hand anyway because it's so awesome and you can make homemade bug spray with it along with tons of other things) if you want some arctic blasting mint power.
6. Why do you use plastic? Dude, I know. Plastic is totally wack, and I know how irresponsible and wacky it is to use, especially in what Meraki is and stands for and is working to create in the world. The honest truth: money. I don't have the money yet that is required to purchase cardboard containers for the Pit Sticks. I switched to glass for the Teeth Paste and metal for the salves. The Pit Sticks are next. I take this very seriously! I know it's not in alignment with what I am doing, and I am actively working towards ways to get 100% plastic free and it will be in 2017! Thank you so much for caring about this. I may actually have a fund raiser so I can make that transition sooner. Being my own boss is great, being a really small business owner with no loans or investments provides opportunities to get creative when money is a determining factor in a solution. I will get there, soon. Promise!
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