One of the drawbacks of the internet is also one of its best perks. We are constantly online, but are also able to connect to people and places never before possible. Being constantly plugged in can sometimes make us feel like we are disconnected from what’s right in front of us. Chinese medicine is all about balance: we feel our best when we’ve reached a balance with our external and internal influences. Taking time to unplug is important, but what about using social media and modern technology to help you balance and get the most out of the healthy, holistic lifestyle you love?
We live in a time where corporations and brand names flourish, but it takes real effort to buy local products and live sustainably. However, the very technology that has given us so many conveniences that may hinder health can also be used to promote it. Expand your local community of like-minded holistic healers and those that live green with a website like Kickstarter.com. Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. It’s a forum where anyone with a project can create a proposal to earn funding. It’s open to the public, and anyone can chip in on a project they believe in.
Kickstarter was founded in 2009, and in that time, it has raised over $350 million for more than 30,000 creative projects. All types of fundraising ideas are posted; projects run the gamut from games to publishing, to cooking and design. What if you could get in early on helping a project come to life that really embodies the holistic lifestyle you’re passionate about? Kickstarter is an innovative way to support your local community (you can search by city), or the wider community of holistic-minded creatives whose ideas might just help make “going green” expand to the masses.
For example, check out this project for Dandelion Farms, an organic community farm in New Haven, Utah. Dandelion Farms is on Kickstarter seeking help in starting their first bee apiary. Their goal is to be able to provide natural, organic food at grocery store prices to help struggling families eat affordable healthy meals. Dandelion Farms would like to begin with a small, ten hive bee apiary, which will be used to pollinate their farms and the surrounding areas.
Another great example of a sustainable product to support is the Soma 100% Compostable Water Filter. This small filter is made of all-natural Malaysian coconut shells, vegan silk, and food based PLA-plastic. Even the packaging the filter will arrive in is made of sustainable materials. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zachallia/soma-beautifully-innovative-all-natural-water-filt?ref=search
Want to buy from a natural Mom & Pop endeavor? It doesn’t mean they have to be present at your local Farmer’s Market for you to support them. TribEndurance is a small company out of Nashville, Tennessee. TribEndurance has created a hand-made 100% natural Chia Energy Bar. The company takes measures to stay environmentally friendly throughout their production process. All products are packaged in renewable/ bio-degradable packaging.
Or what about natural packages for Hand-Crafted Tea? From Green Nirvana to Rose Chai, Gaia Tea company presses and mixes these teas by hand in Brooklyn, New York. They are trying to raise money for a new, uber-efficient and natural tea package.
Nature & Nurture is a small company from Asheville, North Carolina who has the brilliant idea of serving as the go-between for local organic farmers, ranchers, and dairies and their customers. This company will connect clients with local fare and will pick up, design, and deliver produce and meals from local farms. They are currently trying to raise money for a Cryovac system so they can keep more food fresh.
Wonder if you can really make a difference? Over 30,000 projects have been funded on Kickstarter in the last three years. Here are some stellar examples of products that are in sync with a Chinese medicine mindset and a mind, body, spirit lifestyle that came to fruition thanks to people like you:
Genki-Su: Japanese Drinking Vinegar Made from 100% natural coconut vinegar, these drinks taste great and offer many of the same benefits as fermented kombucha tea or apple-cider vinegar.
An Expansion for the Good Karma Kitchen (Natural & Organic Foods) The Good Karma Kitchen is a natural food business owned by three women who needed a little help getting a new commercial refrigerator. Kickstarter worked! Now they are sharing local and organic fare with more customers.
Wunder Chips: All Natural, Vegan-Friendly & Gluten Free Kickstarter made these natural veggie chips a reality. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/24592530/wunder-chips-all-natural-vegan-friendly-and-gluten?ref=search
Mimo: A Natural Hand-Held Massage Took for Cold or Warm Use This natural massage therapy tool is made from 100% recyclable materials, is light and portable and can be made hot or cold for different massage techniques. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1761148589/mimo-a-natural-hand-held-warm-cold-massage-tool?ref=search
If you’re interested in supporting local or natural projects that make holistic living a little easier, have some fun reviewing what’s current on Kickstarter. Projects are always changing, and each operates on a deadline to raise its allotted fund.
There may even be some fun bonuses in it for you—each company usually awards donors with merchandise or products. There is a different reward for various increments of donations. Who knows? These entrepreneurial products may inspire you to take the plunge and develop one of your own holistic ideas!