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The Beauty Within | by Jessica Burch | Oct, 2021

Jessica Burch

Sustainable.

The ability to meet our own needs, without compromising future generations’ ability to meet theirs.

I will admit, the importance of this concept was far from my worries. Teacher by day and mother of two by always, my attention revolved heavily around lesson plans and lunch boxes.

I consider myself a recreational planner. I enjoy mapping out what’s to come. Hand me a glass of wine, a brand new box of pastel Paper Mate pens, and a Bloom daily planner and that’s what I call a good time.

Color coding my daughter’s after school extracurriculars and my son’s pediatrician appointments, provides me with a sense of calm. In my brain, as I write down “events and don’t forgets”, I feel in control of the future. Logically, I know that a last minute staff meeting may be called or a sudden rainstorm might cancel the picnic in the park.

Logically, I know in the large scheme of things I have very little control over what’s to come.

One thing, that is certain, is that we become so wrapped up in taking care of our own worlds that as a society we forget about the one we share.

During lunch breaks, when the students are away, I would close my classroom door and attempt to escape for the next twenty-five minutes. Sometimes, I’d pop on my Civil Wars Pandora playlist and sing along while eating a sandwich. If I was having a “rough-one” then I’d turn off the lights and dance out any pent up frustration, always to “Hold Back the River” by James Bay.

It was when I did neither of the above, that things began to change. Instead, I sat at my desk scrolling through the endless pictures on Instagram. I came across a necklace in an ad for a company called Bayou With Love. The piece was so mesmerizing that I clicked, wanting to see more.

There, I was introduced to sustainability.

Niki Reed, the founder of Bayou with Love has done something incredible, in her partnership with Dell she has organically intertwined beauty and technology.

Ms. Reed, designs sustainable jewelry using gold mined from recycled computers and other resources.

Humans are blessed with the ability to create, but we have cursed ourselves by continuing to harvest earth’s natural resources instead of looking to the already made, and repurposing them.

Something happened in that moment — and moments to come — as I began to learn more about Niki and her unyielding love for the earth and her passion to protect its diverse ecosystems.

My children are my world and I get lost in their needs, but what will happen to them if OUR world fails because we neglected it’s needs? We can control our future as a collective whole and the future of generations to come, and it starts with finding more sustainable solutions in all types of industries.

I wanted to get involved, but how? Teacher salary limits the funding aspect to start a large business and even if I had the money what could I create?

My talent lingers in ink.

I chose to start my own freelance writing business partnering with independent entrepreneurs or companies that have sustainability in their foundation. I may not be able to create a physical product that encourages waste reduction, environment support, and overall organic living, but I can surely write about it and those that can.

I stopped for a necklace; I read out of curiosity; and, I was inspired by a woman’s love for our earth.

So I decided to make a change within myself — and a change for the future.


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