Earth & Me Offers Sustainability and Style: A Place to Shop While Saving The Planet
By Allison Kridle
Whether you actively recycle, avoid buying plastic products or even volunteer to pick up litter around the neighborhood, it’s safe to say that living a sustainable lifestyle is important to you. However, it’s no secret that the earth needs us to do more. If you’re looking for more ways to lighten your carbon footprint on the environment, local shop, Earth & Me, is a great place to start.
The Astorian behind this eco-friendly business is Kayli Kunkel, who has lived in the area for about three years. Trying to find proactive ways to entertain herself in quarantine like most of us this past summer, Kunkel started crafting her own sustainable goods and researching manufacturers who create low-impact products (recycled materials, sustainable, etc.). After hosting several successful pop-up shops at local businesses like Newtown HQ over the last five months, Kunkel officially set up her own storefront in December.
“I have always loved the idea of small business ownership as both of my parents had small businesses for much of my childhood. Without the pandemic, I probably wouldn’t have launched into it as quickly, but it was always a long-term goal,” Kunkel said.
After leaving her Marketing job in June and trying to figure out her next move, Kunkel made a list of things she cares about. Sustainability being quite high on the list, Kunkel jumped at the thought of providing a shop of eco-friendly options to her community and neighbors.
“[Opening Earth & Me] felt like a nascent thing I needed to do,” Kunkel said.
With the help and support of other local businesses and organizations such as Parma Tile Inc., Astoria Pug and Fern Botanica, Kunkel feels right at home in her new space. Earth & Me is an oasis of natural colors, calming scents and eco-friendly items that anyone would feel guilt-free about purchasing.
“I wanted to give people a one-stop shop for sustainable products. Everything in the store has been researched and vetted by me, so it makes it easy and accessible for the customer,” Kunkel said.
Most of the goods sold at Earth & Me are made in the U.S. and about a dozen of the vendors are local. Shoppers can find everything from environmentally-friendly candles and dish brushes to facial serums and biodegradable toothbrushes. Earth & Me also contains a refilling station where customers fill their own container with shampoo, conditioner, hand soap or all-purpose cleaner.
In the near future, Kunkel plans to add more commodities to the station and host workshops and events post-pandemic.