With my first week complete at Starfish-Project I feel I’m slowly catching on and settling into the behind the scenes activities that are to take place. I was able to learn about some of the basics of shipping and I also learned that Starfish will begin having some of their projects sold on Overstock (Editor’s note: see an example of the jewelry available on Overstock HERE). Thursday was full of inventory (I had an amazing counting buddy and we worked out an incredible system) and Friday ended the same way. I’m glad I was able to come in for this experience and was even able to stay later to watch their process of inputting paper data to the computer for sendoff. Thursday’s inventory went so well that they asked me to type up the system my counting partner and I created for future volunteers to reference. We organized all of the jewelry and brainstormed on ideas of reusable markers to separate them according to FIFO (first in first out). Considering how well they reuse plastic bags and paper I wasn’t surprised that we’re leaning towards CD cases as a means to physically separate the two (and we’d be able to write the shipment dates inside). I know a few library employees here in Elkhart and may ask around and see if they have any old cases they would be willing to donate and if not, we could look elsewhere as well.
My expectations I had when I first asked about an internship at Starfish thus far have been better than I could have hoped. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do enough or ask enough questions, and was worried they would be reluctant to hear all of my rambling thoughts. My, was this thought wrong! I love the curiosity they show, even while juggling all of the various tasks they are already handling. I’ll be printing off a couple of the pages from the Sustainability Primer for Starfish Project and can’t wait to talk more in detail about certain processes and materials they use. Already, they’ve been enthusiastic about my questions and have wanted to know more. I know I’ll be asking them about the first principle for a sustainable organization, or how they may hope to “reduce and eventually eliminate our contribution to the systematic accumulation of materials from the earth’s crust.” I’m interested to hear more about this and can’t wait to find out. I know that they work with a lot of glass, metal, and pieces with gemstones, but honestly, haven’t spent as much time studying the pieces or wondering where exactly each piece may have come from. It will be interesting to find out just how many footsteps each part of the piece may take for it to all come together.