Earth Day… start with one small change


Happy Earth Day!  For the past several years I have made SMALL changes in how I try to reduce or reuse “STUFF.”  I  don’t have a political reason behind my decision or theory about global warming, I just think recycling- like my grandparents and parents’ generation- makes sense.    I think for me the image of the floating island of plastic in the Atlantic ocean was enough for me to try and start with plastic bags.



Sidenote: I love the Athleta shopping bags! They are large and sturdy!  They hold a lot of groceries!

It started as a game with myself. Yes, I am that competitive that I have to compete against myself with  the # of  bags I have to use!   If I leave  my recycle bags in my car I  force myself to use as few bags as possible to get my haul of groceries to the car.  Now it’s just the end goal: use as few plastic bags as possible.

Here is the visual:


And, now when I checkout I just tell the baggers  not to bag any liquids or anything already in a plastic bag (think potatoes, bags of chips).  And, yes I am making a few extra trips from the car to the kitchen, but I look at it like extra steps for my 10,000 steps a day! And, think about it, how many bags of chips fit in one plastic bag? Maybe 2?  Well I can carry a dozen items with my arms and hands without extra plastic  bags!  I use my Athleta bags to bag  jars, meats, small items.

Here’s one more suggestion.  How many of you have dogs?  With two dogs we go through 1 large bag of Nature’s Recipe Vegetarian ever 3-4 weeks – depending on on how many “bonus meals” the dogs get when we forget to announce the dogs were already fed!   Those bonus meals are like a buffet for my Bernese Mountain dog!    I use the empty bag to stuff with yard debris.  This is Tanner, our Australian Shepherd.


What creative ways are you recycling?


My son’s blankie.. emergency surgery for this 12 year old blankie!


All three of my children, who are in double digits now, have their childhood blankies….  in their beds.  My daughter, who is studying abroad, made sure to pack her blankie in her suitcase. It made me smile.  Her blankie was a gift from her great aunt.  My sons’ Gymoboree blankies were gifts from my girlfriends.    Here is my son’s blankie… 12 years later!  It is loved.


It is also falling apart- literally.  After every wash, it just leaves pieces of itself in the dryer.    I got out the sewing machine and assessed the situation:


I started sewing and quickly realized the sewing needle was only making it worse.  More holes, more shredding!


I decided I needed to “bind” the blankie to a more solid piece of fabric.  I decided to sacrifice one of my {first} husband’s new  t-shirts because it was almost as soft as his blankie.


It’s not the prettiest job, but I hope it buys a little more time!  What have you done to salvage your child’s childhood blankies?


Follow up:  I gave this to my son with mixed reactions.  I asked if he would like a new Gymboree blankie, thinking he would roll his eyes, but he didn’t.  So I ordered a new blankie for my 12 year old son!!!!  Wait until he finds that in his Easter basket!  Yes, I will be that mom that still makes Easter baskets when they are in their 20′s! Is that creepy?