recycling


So I have been collecting Doug’s old shirts and mine – that have fun patterns or good pockets.  You ask why?  Well, I have been saving them to make pants for the kids.  Soulemama has a technique she wrote about in her book The Creative Family.  I thought – what a great idea!  I love to re purpose something and give it new life. 

So I busted into my collection and began my project.  Amazingly it is super quick.  I think in total it may have taken 15 to 20 minutes – not too bad and in the end you get a cool new pair of pants.  

IMG_1351

Here’s how it goes….. take your shirt, lay out a pair of pants that is the kids current size, trace around it (I actually just cut with the pant laying on the shirt – another way to save a step).  Add a little around the pant to allow for seam allowance, cut a piece of elastic to size, sew it up and you got yourself a new pair of pants.  You can read in detail in her book. 

IMG_1353

I place the pants so that the pocket of the shirt becomes the back pocket of the pants.  I recently made Ryder a pair out of an old Ben Davis shirt of Doug’s (they are adorable) and also a pair of linen pants out of an old linen shirt (perfect for spring/summer). 

IMG_1414

My shirts don’t work so well b/c of pleating (something to watch for).  I have some jersey shirts I will be using for shorts and leggings.  I did make a skirt out of an old shirt of mine for Saige – it’s now one of my favorite skirts for her.

IMG_1528

(and her shirt is a new one I made yesterday – my little Peace baby!)

IMG_1530

I love to see the little ones in their handmade garb – and they seem to like it too!  Nothing better than when your 4 1/2 year old says “mama, will you make me another pair of pants”.  I just LOVE it!!!!

So I was thinking about different ways everyone can make Earth Day everyday and these are all very simple and easy ideas that don’t take much effort but are very beneficial to our environment.

REDUCE

First and foremost we all must start REDUCING our consumption.  It’s insane how “throw away” our society is.  Just keep buying and using and buying again.  With no thought about where these products come from, how the production of these products are affecting our enviornment and what’s going to happen to this product once it’s lifecycle ends.

So the first thing to remember is you need to reduce your consumption.  Some ways to reduce your consumption ….

turn off the water while brushing teeth

turn off the lights when you are not in the room

when you can walk or ride a bike

instead of using paper products (paper towels, napkins, paper plates) use cloth napkins and cloth rags and regular plates

instead of buying new, buy used – there are great consignment stores, thrift stores, antique stores and garage sales.  Also now with ebay and craigslist – it makes it even easier to buy used.  Especially with kids – why buy new?  it’s just going to get thrashed anyways or they will grow out of it before they even wear it more than once.  By buying used you are keeping that item out of a landfill and also you are preventing more natural resources to be used to create another item. 

REUSE

As I mentioned above – buy used- this is the best way to go for Mother Earth and your pocket book

instead of plastic baggies for your kids lunches use reusable containers (BPA free). 

don’t buy bottled water- purchase a reusable water container (Sigg, Klean Kanteen, etc) and get the water out of your faucet (which has more stringent regulations than bottled water).  Plus they have super cute designs for kids – it makes them more apt to use them.

bring cloth bags when shopping.  Keep a couple in each of your vehicles so they are always there. 

do clothing swaps with other parents in your community

RECYCLE

most garbage companies offer curbside recycling – take advantage.  If your service makes you separate- keep a couple small containers in your house to make it easier.  If you can combine all recyclables – well, there’s no excuse not to be recycling.  Get the kids involved.  My 4 1/2 year old loves to differentiate what goes in the garbage and what goes in the recycling.

These are all just a few easy things that we do and that are easy for you to incorporate into your daily lives.  It’s simple and it feels good to know you are doing something to help keep our planet green and it is a great lesson to teach our children.  Our children are going to be born knowing the 3 R’s.  It will just be a part of their life – there will be no question about whether they should or shouldn’t, it will be a given. 

I hope you and your families can find a way to make every day Earth Day!

So I hope everyone is doing something positive for Mother Earth this year.  Actually I hope you are always doing something positive for her!  But at minimum, at least on Earth Day.  This year we are building new planter beds in our front yard (it’s been a long time coming- we’ve been saying we’ve needed new ones since the day we moved in)  So almost 5 years later and many remodeling projects later we are starting on this one. 

We went to the central landfill and purchased reused lumber.

 

  What a deal!  $0.28/ft. and it was used for framing so it was totally perfect (minus the nails that had to be pulled) but it’s awesome- we are reusing wood that would normally have ended up being burned or left at the landfill or who knows what else and we didn’t have to buy new.  The central landfill is amazing.  They have everything so dialed in, all the wood is separated in piles by type (redwood, doug fir, etc.) size (2×4, 4×4, etc) then they have piles of compost, mulch, cords of fire wood, etc – and I haven’t even mentioned the reuse area that has kids toys, bikes, doors, windows, etc, etc, etc,.  Up at the site we purchased the wood there is a big sign that says they have diverted over 1 million TONS of yard waste from going to the landfill!  If only all cities did this!

 

So, after a trip to the landfill, a day of pulling nails, we were ready to build.  We are so thrilled with the beds, they still need the lip added (somewhere to sit or put our garden shovel) and we need to cut down the 4×4 to make it level with the top of the box. 

 

But we are pretty much there- one more day and we’ll be ready to get our veggies in.  We had to take a break from it and go to the Earth Day celebration in Golden Gate Park.  Bobby and Mickey from the Dead were playing along with Yonder Mountain String Band.  It was a gorgeous day and good tunes carried in the breeze. 

Just getting our hands in the dirt and nourishing the soil was our minor contribution to our Earth.  We will continue to nourish her throughout the year as we tend to our veggies and fruit.  We want to pass this on to our children.  By creating a habitat for the bees, birds, butterflies, worms, etc. we are showing our children respect for all living beings and respect for the earth and for themselves.  We will reap the rewards when we are picking fresh strawberries off the vine, fresh tomato and lettuce for sandwiches, fruit for lunch and more. 

So what are your plans for Earth Day?  If you don’t have any- think about going out and buying yourself a Sigg water bottle or Klean Kanteen (stainless steel water bottles) and vow to not buy bottled water and bring your own water wherever you go.  This one simple step can reduce the amount of plastic that is produced and that is sent to the landfills everyday (you know that plastic is made from oil) so this also helps in our reliance on oil.  Another thing you can do is vow to bring your own bag to the grocery store- another very simple thing you can do but again it helps reduce our reliance on oil (no more plastic bags).  They are making it so easy and cheap- most stores carry reusable bags that you can purchase for $0.99- keep a couple in your car at all times so you don’t even have to remember to bring them- they will always be there for you.

So happy Earth Day to you- go spread the good word!!!! 

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.  ~Native American Proverb