Monday, February 2, 2009

Going Green?

A few short years ago, who had ever heard of “going green”, “renewable resources”, or “leaving carbon footprints”? I certainly hadn’t. Now just about every time you turn on the TV or open a newspaper/magazine, you will hear about these topics. A few months ago, Anne Marie came home from school where they had just completed a unit on recycling. Knowing that I don’t put out cans and newspapers for the local recycling company to pick up, she looked at me with a questioning expression on her face. “Mama, why don’t we recycle?” With not more than a second of hesitation, I said to her, “We do recycle”. The fact is that while I don’t sort and put out my trash for the recycling truck, I believe I do recycle in ways that might not be thought of by some people.

So how do I recycle? Here are a few of the things I can think of off the top of my head. Last Christmas when I needed boxes to wrap gifts, I used my cereal and cracker boxes. Of course, I always reuse gift bags. Instead of buying small trash bags for my bathroom waste baskets, I re-use Walmart bags. I have always enjoyed yard sales and thrift stores. When my children,younger, I loved getting hand me down clothing. I donate our old furniture and clothing to the local Good Will store for others to use. I don’t buy paper towels, but rather use washable dishcloths. I try to reuse freezer bags when possible. I try to use the least amount of heat in the house this winter. The list could go on, but rather than saying that I am living “green”, the truth of the matter is that I am living “cheap”. Instead of saving the earth, I’m more into saving a dollar.

So what has caused me to decide to write on this topic? Last weekend, my sister and I went shopping out of town together. I have had in mind that I want to work on making a rag quilt. There is a fabulous fabric store where I planned to buy the fabric that I needed. When I went, I noticed that the fabric suitable for my project was $9 a yard. This first attempt at learning a new project for the fun of it was going to run into a lot of money. Then, I had an inspiration. Where can you find cheap fabric? Old clothes! My sister and I went to a several thrift stores looking around. I wanted to make my quilt with the colors sage green, cream, cocoa brown, gold, and reds. Sure enough, it was like a treasure hunt. I found old shirts and pants in cotton fabric in just the right colors. It was really fun looking with a purpose in mind. Most of the pieces were around $1 each. What a deal!So here are pictures of how the project is coming along. When it is complete, I’ll post the finished project. So I now have a new project that I am spending very little on. And for what it’s worth, I am “saving the earth”, one quilt square at a time!

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