Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Be Nice Box Review: Spring 2015

Be Nice Box is a unique quarterly subscription box full of items made by artisans and tips for being nicer to people around you. Each season, they release a limited number of boxes, which are full of handmade and specialty items. This is the Spring Box. They also offer a family-oriented box to help teach children the value of doing nice things for other people!

This box was founded by a woman who had written a blog post on her vegan blog about doing nice things for others after the Boston bombings, which then led to the realization that people always join forces to be nice in the face of tragedy, but rarely maintain it once it passes. Thus this idea was born. 

The first item I noticed, aside from the handwritten note that was such a nice touch, was the stack of cards with 30 suggestions for ways to better the world. These are small actions that anyone can do and I love the idea that the box should be sustainable and recycled. One way to do this would be to follow the action for one day and then pass the card along to someone else, hoping they would pay it forward, continuing the action well beyond only yours (and worst case, at least you tried). 

There was a lot of variety in this box, starting with the mini notebook. I always enjoy little notebooks like this because I randomly have things I want to jot down and I make lists for everything. 

There were a couple of handmade Easter ornaments and I admit I haven't tackled the "nice things" cards, but I think these may be related. Sadly, the weather here hasn't been great for being social. There was also a bracelet, which was handmade as part of Outreach Uganda. This is an organization that helps women empower themselves by creating beaded jewelry. I am a very big fan of companies and products that have stories and give back, so I am going to be hanging on to this!

The next item is seriously one of my favorite things I've ever seen in a subscription box. It is a coffee sleeve from L.I.F.E. Line Fashion, products made by hand by women in Kenya. These women are all mothers who have been shunned by their society because their children have special needs and so they teamed up to design fashion and accessories to provide for their families. The sales of this particular coffee sleeve also go towards protecting elephants and rhinos from the ivory trade, so I will treasure this!

Also included was a card and a postcard, both with inspirational messages, and some bath bombs. I didn't see an info card, which would have helped because I don't know if any of these have a story to them as well. I also wasn't sure about the bath bombs, but since the founder of Be Nice Box was a vegan blogger, I am hoping these are cruelty-free.

There was also an EP from Nikki Black with another handwritten note. All proceeds from this EP are going to families living with depression and its effects, so that's another incredible charity and item. I am looking forward to listening to this, although it will likely be after the move since I'm packing most of what arrives that is not perishable.

The last two items were food (yay). I received two chocolate bars from Equal Exchange and I recently reviewed their chocolate from Eco Emi, so I was super excited to see it again (and a crisp bar this time as well).

The other item was a banana bread and tin from Madibanani Bread Co. Talk about amazing - this is a business started by a teenager who had loved baking and then, when traveling to Thailand on a school service trip to help orphaned children, realized that she wanted to use her skills for good. Her school group was working on building an orphanage with UN funds, but it's not a sustainable program and when she discovered that, she set out to start this business and now donates half of what she earns to the orphanage to keep it operating. These kinds of stories and products remind me why I even wanted to subscribe to these boxes in the first place. Sure, it's nice to get some treats every month, but by supporting businesses like this, we are able to improve our community as a whole. By buying bread from Madibanani rather than the ones at the grocery store from a food conglomerate, I can improve life for children in Thailand, too, and that's worth the few extra dollars!

1 comment:

  1. I love this, we could all use a little niceness and support of others in our lives.