Monday, April 07, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I've been very inspired recently to become less of a consumer (this is all a part of my quest to be more environmentally conscious.) It's an interesting journey I've taken so far. Starting with the animals then moving to the environment and now it seems I've come to the root of the problem. Endlessly consuming stuff is really taking it's toll on our planet and those living on it (including humans.)

So, reduce, reuse, recycle it is! I've stopped using plastic bags, not only at the grocery store, but also other stores (which I have to admit, I haven't been to any in awhile.) I always bring my travel mug with me to the coffee shop. I've started using all natural cleaners for my apartment, ie. baking soda, vinegar, etc (I'm amazed at how well it works!) I use handkerchiefs instead of tissues.

I have been on a major kick of knitting dishcloths. Not only do I want to stop my use of paper towels, but I don't really want to buy sponges anymore. I was inspired the other day to reuse something you wouldn't normally think of....

Those old shower puffs. I had one just lying around.
What's a girl to do but cut it up into one long strip...
And knit it into a dishcloth....
As dishcloths go, they don't take very long to knit (though it can be a bit more time consuming wrangling the puff strip) so I finished it very quickly.I don't care what's stuck on my pans, this thing is sure to get it off!

I also started a ballband dishcloth. So far, so good...

16 comments:

keri said...

I LOVE your idea of reusing a pouf and putting it into a scrubbie washcloth/sponge. That is such a great idea - one reason I hadn't made the switch from sponges is I needed something to scrub all the stuff off - this is perfect, thanks! =)

ellie said...

What a great idea! I got rid of my sponges too, but this seems like it would definitely toughen up my options! I need to get more conscientious about the bags though. I usually remember when grocery shopping, but I want to get some biodegradable bags for my cat litter.

erica said...

Great idea for the pouf. We've even stopped using the poufs in the shower. I've made several washcloths in cotton and hemp that are nice and scrubby. Have you seen the knitted bath puff from the One Skein book.

Last year I made napkins, to reduce our use of napkins and it's now hard to use paper napkins. Old t-shirts make great rags for cleaning around the house. And for kitty litter, we now use brown paper lunch bags instead of plastic bags for used litter.

Knittripps said...

What a great idea! Kudos to you. Keep posting your ideas to help us all make better choices :)

jackie said...

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing,

Crazy Canuck said...

Good for you for going green. I'm all the way into full blown guilt over our wastefulness. I almost never drive (bike and walk most of the time), always take bags to the store (started that 20 years ago after living for a stretch in Europe), and try to minimize consumption and maximize re-use. And we grow a lot of our own food.

I seriously worry about the planet we are leaving to my children. And we do have to change our habits, in a big way. But look at how long it takes. You are an educated, intelligent and thinking person and are just now getting going on this path. Moving the millions of your consumer culture countrymen (and mine) seems like a nearly insurmountable problem. I hope your posts here help to move some others to consume less and reuse more.

One other thing I do is fix a lot of stuff. People toss out things that are broken in the most insignificant of ways, but they don't know how to do any basic repairs. I'm an engineers, so I bring things home, as do my kids, and I fix them. We have probably half a dozen lamps in the house that someone had set out to the curb for trash because of a failed switch (easy to replace) or some other minor problem. They were otherwise perfectly good. I just cringe to see such things go to the landfill, so I rescue them and fix them. And other stuff too. I've fixed my old coffee grinder half a dozen times in the last 20 years. Had to replace the fan motor in the dehumidifier last month after 20 years of service. But it works fine now, and it's not in the land fill. And I fixed the clothes dryer earlier in the year when I was getting pressure to replace it. The thing is fine and will go for many more years. Every repair feels like a tiny victory against rampant consumerism.

So I applaud your efforts. Bring as many as you can on board, because this is one movement that just cries out for help.

Cathy said...

I really like the colors on the ball band dishcloth! I finally read Mason Dixon Knitting, and I now I don't know why I waited so long to read it! And great idea about the bath poofs.

I really should do the hanky thing, because I go through a lot of tissues...

Lolly said...

great idea about repurposing the pouf! i will definitely use this trick!

Laura said...

Awesome idea!

laurie (Moo!) said...

Drat! I just tossed an old shower puff. Next time I'll make BETTER use of it. Thanks for the idea!!

dropstitchknitter said...

What a wonderful and inspiring idea! And it's great that you are doing such a outstanding job of reducing your impact on the environment.

Claudia said...

What a brilliant idea!!! Really!

Webbies said...

Great job being less of a consumer....we could all benefit from making a few small changes!

Diana said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas. Mr. Effer and I have been major recyclers for the past 7 1/2 years. It all started when I bought our hybrid car. We're still trying to find ways to reduce our household energy consumption by 20% this year. Unfortunately it limits my computer time. Thus, I haven't blogged much.

Jenny Raye said...

What a clever girl you are! Must try this myself.

Lena said...

This is a good idea, but I have an old bath scrubber puff that is in poor shape. Can I just dump it in the trash? It's made out of plastic, so i assume no, but i feel bad putting in the land fill where birds and bugs will get stuck in it! Help, how do i contentiously get rid of it??
Thanks!
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