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Making an Aethercraft Living & Hopepunk Difference through Form, Function & Fantasy.

If you're interested in knowing the WHY, you can click here to read about our mission statement. Otherwise, let's get on with the HOW:

We've always had these ideals at the heart of all our discussions, and as we get past the "experimental" stage of our work and start leveling up to kind of knowing what we're doing (we'll say level 5 of 20?) we're starting to solidify the big and little things we're doing to try and do our part to make the world a better place.

This is an ever-growing work-in-progress list. We know there’s more we can do, better sources for our materials, other apps we can use. It’s just a matter of choosing how to do it in a way that works with the rest of our work. We’re getting there. We can only be as good as we can be in the moment, and continue to collect XP and level up.

BEFORE WE START

This video was extremely fascinating to Jess. She and a few of the others on the crew were born in 1984. It's interesting to see the actual change in the Earth in pretty much exactly our brief lifetimes. Jess wrote this article up and posted it the day before watching this video, and it just seems a pertinent reminder for us about why we are trying to pay attention to what follows. Plant more trees, guys.



BASIC SHIPPING & BUSINESS THINGS

Everything shipped out by The Rogue Crusade Labs attempts to match the following guidelines:

  • Shipping Boxes. We’re phasing all our shipping boxes to be from prattplus.com, which says that it’s been America’s leading recycled paper and packaging company for over 30 years. The boxes are made from 100% recycled material and they’ve got a lot of good-for-the-planet measures in place as a company.
  • Padded Mailers. We seek out and collect 100% compostable padded mailers for envelope-ready things. We’re still looking for just the right envelope, so bear with us!
  • Shipping Stuffing. We either stuff spaces with compostable/recyclable material, usually kraft tissue paper, or we reuse stuffing that was sent in boxes to us. Now that bubble wrap is no longer “poppable” it doesn’t even serve a self-care purpose so we avoid it at all costs unless we're reusing it. We also detest styrofoam. I GUESS most peanuts dissolve or something now. But they still get everywhere. In short, we really pay attention to what we’re stuffing with.
  • Reuse & Recycle. Sometimes plastic is unavoidable. But whenever possible our product packaging is made of reusable materials like glass and metal, and paper products that can be recycled, composted, or kept for creative reuse.
  • Bring it back for Shiny Points. Certain packaging items, like our glass potion bottles and plastic jars, can be sanitized and reused. If you bring empties back to us, especially our glass jars and potion bottles, we’ll trade for 100 Shiny Points per item that can be used as currency at conventions or for free loot on the website. Find us at convention for the trade, we’re still working out ways to best ship it back.
  • Paper Stuff. If you get something that involves paper, such as a traveler’s notebook, tome, snarky card, etc, it should be known that Jess is starting to phase in Loop papers by Mohawk, which are made of various percentages of recycled fiber that are Forest Stewardship Council Certified. We also get it from a supplier that uses 100% renewable energy in all their facilities and has used Carbon Neutral shipping since 2008. If you need a paper supplier, we highly recommend thepapermillstore.com.
  • Use The Shop App to Neutralize Your Package. Aside from the cool features like faster checkout, next-level package tracking, and keeping up with us from an iOS or Android app (think of it as an Etsy replacement), using Shopify’s “Shop Pay" to checkout from our store will offset carbon emissions of your order’s delivery. A pretty cool new feature we only had to click a button to offer. Learn more here: https://shop.app/carbon-offsetting

WHAT WE DONATE TO FROM OUR SHIP'S FUNDS

Besides the $1 Shiny Tree option which is something you choose, we donate a base 2% of all our orders to the following non-profits at no extra cost to you. The 2% is a minimum, and we'll sometimes do bonus opportunities when we feel like we can afford it out of the Ship-Funds, or if we do special batches of work. We'll very likely increase this as we get more established.

  • Save The Trees. Jess is a BIG fan of One Tree Planted. There are several opportunities to donate to One Tree Planted throughout the shopping experience, including adding a tree to your order, getting trees with Shiny Points, and rounding up to donate at checkout. We also follow and share relevant news from their Facebook Page.
  • Save The Bees. Jasmynn and her household are champions of Bee Rights, keeping a small apiary of their own and spreading Bee Awareness at every opportunity. Therefor Bee Informed Partnership Inc is one of our featured non-profits. We also follow and share relevant news from their Facebook Page.
  • Save the Ponies. Among Colbie’s Beastmaster skills is Horse Wrangler. Her chosen non-profit is Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, which saves neglected horses throughout West Virginia and educates the Appalachian area about equine care. We also follow and share relevant news from their Facebook Page.
  • Extra Donation Loot. Every once in a while we decide to make a batch of something that is specifically for our special cause, where we donate above the usual 2%. We’ve got a lot of ideas floating around, like bee-themed goodies and specific laser-crafted items. We’ll be sharing when we do something like that via pretty much all the wires.

OUR ADVERTISING BUDGET

Yeah, we’re trying to make a living on the big sea of the internet, and that means advertising is part of that. Jess has tried LOTS of different advertising methods, and they’re all equally meh as far as actual results go. Especially when you try to tango with the Tech Giants and Local Newspapers. So we’re deciding to focus as much of our budget as possible to do little things to help out where we can. That way even if nobody shows up, at least we put our money somewhere useful, and often had a good time doing it.

  • Steampunk Symposium NAMI Raffle Donation - Each year we donate a small Dragon-Related pack of goodies to the NAMI Raffle at the International Steampunk Symposium in March.
  • Parkersburg C8 Cosplay Parade - We get heavily involved with C8 Cosplay’s Parkersburg Christmas Parade and Food Raffle food drive in November by donating food, raffle items, and walking in the Parade. It’s the only parade we’re aware of in the region that takes food as fees for parade entry, and we’re totes down with the idea of Cosplay Nerds doing good by doing what they love. They have a few other projects in the works too, and while 2020 was a rough year, we plan to help them as much as possible going forward.
  • One Tree Planted, Appalachia - Jess also gives a personal monthly donation to One Tree Planted that directly goes to the Appalachian region above and beyond the customer donation opportunities.
  • Advertising Budget To Ecosia It’s not One Tree Planted, but they’re also doing a LOT to bring the tree population back. Jess uses the Chrome extension and her Hand Computer has the Ecosia App, and it is literally the least you can do when you do a lot of searching every day anyway. So since we figure certain other tech giants are getting enough cash anyway, we’d instead focus our search-engine advertising budget there.
  • Ravenwood Castle Hoop & Stick Con - In the past one of our biggest advertising opportunities of the year has also been one of our biggest direct action opportunities in the year. Ravenwood Castle in Hocking Hills has an annual boardgame mini-con on site that raises money for Extra Life, which is a Children’s Miracle Network fundraising program. 2020 was kind of a mess for everyone, obviously, but we plan to throw our lot in here again soon.
  • In The Future - When we’re on the lookout for direct action opportunities, it’s gonna be in this line. Heavily in the theme of our fantasy, cosplay, steampunk, nerd-vibe making a difference for the environment, for the poor, and the sick, especially if it directly benefits Appalachia, which all too often gets the short end of the stick. 
  • That's not to say we don't also advertise elsewhere. We also advertise on TikTok and Pinterest, which are not all about saving the planet (though the users of these platforms often are, it's where our people are), and technically the things we use to communicate like our newsletters and even this website are part of our advertising budget. But we're doing the best we can with what we've got right now.

GREETINGS ADVENTURER!

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