Reduce, Reuse, Reincarnate

I recycle!  Yes, I do.  In fact, you might say I have a bit of a problem.

I’ve have been asked, and answered with complete seriousness, the question, “Are you keeping this dryer lint for a project?”

I won’t tell you how I answered.

It all started with using wool as a cloth diaper cover.  It worked so well for my heavy wetter, I could hardly believe it.  It became my cover of choice, and with a little research I learned how to take discarded wool sweaters and turn them into rockin’ baby pants with almost no skill involved at all.

Gradually, I realized that I could make more than just pants – I could have matching sweaters!  Hats!  Wool appliques!

It’s easy to see now, in hindsight, how a person with my proclivities might get carried away.  A Goodwill sweater here, a silk shirt from a pile of junk on the side of the road there – you see where I’m going, right?

Before long, I had a stash of historic proportions.  The thing is, the more I bought, the more I realized I could do with them.  I started using the scraps to stuff toys (and knitted breasts, but that’s another post), I use the larger pieces to make little embellishments for hats.  I started buying clothes made from gorgeous fabric and making something I would actually wear.

It’s not that I don’t buy anything new.  My kids have regular clothes, in among the pants that I mended with fabric I rescued from the thrift store and the recycled sweater pants.

But I dress them in cashmere.  I have awesome diaper bags that I made from castoff place mats.  I have a baby bib I made from a Sublime tee shirt.  I have the coolest kids on the block, in my book.

When I walk into a clothing store and see row after row of all that fabric, I wonder where it will end up, and why we think we need so much.  It makes me nauseated, dizzy, the overwhelming choice of it all, when just down the road, if you can spend just a few minutes digging, are bargains waiting for new incarnations.

Even if you can’t sew, there are amazing things to be found in a thrift store.  And I’m not saying you have to buy your under drawers at the Salvation Army, honey. You can buy tee shirts from the dollar bin, cut them up and use them as cleaning cloths.  Make a reusable shopping bag from an old Sex Pistols shirt.  Fly your freak flag with pride.  Or buy that designer skirt you’d never be able to afford in real life and don’t ever tell a soul where you got it.

Buying thrifty is just one way to make a dent in the crazy amount of waste that happens in this country.  It cuts processing, which involves chemicals, as well as transportation and other environmentally damaging parts of the clothing industry.  And when you only spend  a few dollars on an item, you can afford to buy more!  It’s a win-win situation.

Another great way to reduce your impact on our earth is to use environmentally friendly cleaning products.  SC Johnson has developed a new line of cleaners that are designed to actually, you know, work while still retaining their eco-friendly personalities.  They are called Nature’s Source and I can’t wait to try them.  They, along with The Parent Bloggers Network weekly Blog Blast are the reason for this post.  So, uh – check them out.  Right after you send me your wool.


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One Response to “Reduce, Reuse, Reincarnate”

  1. You are a person after my own heart! I spent the morning weeding clothes from my mother’s house – this for the thrift shop, that for the trash, and a whole pile of stuff for my stash.

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