Saturday, January 26, 2008

Update about my green living improvements

Earlier, I posted specific steps I wanted to take or specific items I wanted buy to improve my sustainability as an individual. How have I done so far?

I have purchased brand new greeting cards for the slew of birthdays this month as well as various over the counter mediations for a variety of ailments. The former I could have purchased used but not the latter so I am doing okay with room for improvement.

One of my purchases ended up in a plastic bag so that was bad, but it was only one trip to one store and I neglected to bring additional reusable bags with me for the three stops I made. Again, I made most of my trips with reusable bags so one lapse is not a tragedy, but I know to prepare better next time.

I have made no progress on purchasing the cat poo composter so I will have to consider that soon. Other issues are more immediately important so this possible purchase has fallen by the wayside. I am reminded each time I use another plastic bag that I need to decide on this matter soon before I need to find more plastic bags.

On the plus side, I have purchased two sweaters, a long-sleeved knit top and a nightgown all at the thrift store. In addition, my niece will be receiving a gift of clothing also purchased secondhand. It kept me in my budget and allowed me to get three pieces for her to wear. I have been looking for denim jeans to purchase but none have appeared in my size. I also purchased a DVD secondhand even though it is more plastic. I rented the movie first, decided I enjoyed it and wanted a copy of my own.

Since I have been consuming more soda over the last several months (in parallel to my pizza consumption), I am considering making my own soda. Not only would this be more frugal but I would consume less plastic since I do not need to buy more plastic two liter bottles. This is a plan in the works but with all the snow my area keeps getting, I have not been motivated to visit the beer and wine shop that carries the supplies.

I am also looking at ways to use worn clothing and fabric scraps. I was stunned when I found a woman who crocheted her own rug out of secondhand denim. It is a great idea and prompted me to look at rag rugs and how to construct them. I found two books, Twenty Easy Machine-Made Rugs by Jackie Dodson and Rugs from Rags by John Hinchcliffe and Angela Jeffs, to help me figure out what techniques I can use to construct a rag rug. I found ideas in both that I may use for my home. Again, I can reuse materials I have to construct something useful.

As if these ideas are not enough, I had an epiphany at work after seeing a colleagues hand-knitted socks: I can make my own socks! I will preface the following statements with I cannot knit (attempted unsuccessfully) and I do not know how to crochet, but creating my own clothing and being more self-sufficient is part of what I want to do and who I want to be. I am planning on having a friend guide me through knitting and I borrowed a book from the library to instruct me in how to crochet. Both methods can be used to construct socks. Time is at a premium right now and my concentration is not on how to make new things, but the possibilities have my creativity cooking. I hope I can report one of my new ideas bears fruit in a few months.

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