Tag Archives: environment

Do you really need that new shirt?

Here is a video of the recycling portion of the thrift store where I work. There was about 500 bales in the warehouse at the time of the video. One bale of clothing weighs about 1000lbs on average. Some of the clothes in the bales have been sorted and others haven’t. Which means last season’s already out of style trendy top that was sent off to the thrift store could likely be in this pile.

You would think the majority of my clothing would be from the thrift store but sadly I figure only about a 1/3 of it is. I have a little bit of trouble finding things due to being an unfashionable size. And lately I’ve just slacked off on my thrifting. I do wear the heck out of my clothes however.

Anyways I leave you my completely unprofessional video to contemplate on your own. I had racked my brain on how to write this post. I thought of adding all kinds of facts about fast fashion and such, but I’m sure you’ve already read about that stuff. Here’s the clothes on their journey after they’re sold and then discarded.

If you know of or have written any articles pertaining to the topic of fast fashion and solutions for reusing clothes I’ll add links to my post if you put them in the comments.

Here’s Secondhandtales  post on why they shop secondhand.

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The Ocean Cleanup, Boyan Slat

When I was roaming the internet for documentaries and movies about the garbage patch I ran across Boyan Slat and his ocean clean up project. I love seeing someone passionately tackling such a gigantic problem without seeming daunted by naysayers. Here’s a short video on his work. I was amazed at how he’s taken such a huge task at hand and came up with a simple idea. Why waste time trying to trawl the ocean with nets when you can let the ocean do what it already does, move. He states there’s still a ton of work to do on the project of course. And they actually have the full report of the proposal available for download. You can follow the project at The Ocean Cleanup
Here’s the original Ted talk:   
  More recent talk:   How We Showed the Oceans Could Clean Themselves

Repurposed dental floss container

Behold! Here is my ugly old wind chime! Ok you have to give it a break, it’s so old I can’t remember when I bought it. The top wood piece is snapped in half but holding in there from the strings. I noticed recently that the little wood piece attached to the middle string (I have no idea what this would be called) had broken off at some point. I took my beloved wind chime down and have been thinking for quite awhile now about how to get it back up and chiming again.

I have a BUNCH of dental floss containers from trips to the dentist. In staring at the guts of one and wondering what I could reuse it for, I noticed the little middle piece with two holes where a string could easily fit.

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Hmmm I thought, couldn’t I just tie this to the bottom of my wind chime? But the container is so ugly I thought. I racked my brain trying to think of ways to make it cute. I don’t have any Sharpies, I figured I’d waste tape if I tried to cover it with paper and the weather would likely just damage it. I thought of foil but then there goes wasting some foil. I don’t have any glue so that’s out. And honestly crafting kind of makes me mad sometimes. I have no idea why lol. Soooooo here is my poor unattractive wind chime, hanging up again and chiming away! I’m hoping I’ll get a new one as a birthday present but I’ll leave this one up until it dies 😀

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Materials needed:

  • One ugly wind chime
  • Dental floss container
  • Needle nose pliers or something to grab the string while threading it through hole

Hmmmm I wonder if you could make a wind chime out of the containers alone and what it would sound like?

Plastic free nail polish?

So I was lounging around the other night and could feel spring in the air. I started thinking about things that come with the weather change; sundresses, shorts, cute tank tops, sandals….Sandals, ohhhhh time to paint my toenails! Wait…..there’s a plastic cap on nail polish……And I think there’s even plastic in some types of nail polish, and in the glitter versions. I tried reading this article to get a picture of what exactly is in some polishes but find myself a bit overwhelmed by all the chemical names. I’m not a huge nail polish fan like I used to be, but I’ve always been pretty devout about having my toenails painted. I do my own (I’m weird about my feet being touched) and my pedicures last me about 2-3 weeks with a pinch of in between maintenance.

I have used henna on my toenails before. Not for any cause, but just because I’m a henna head, I was bored and had henna left over. I slapped it on my toes numerous times, one time I even slept with henna applied to toenails, covered with cotton balls and taped to each individual toe (did I mention I was bored?). The color came out underwhelmingly bad no matter what I seemed to do. My mother and boyfriend kept casting my toenails the equivalent of the evil eye. I didn’t keep them up however, some henna heads freshen their hennaed nails often with new henna saying it keeps the stain going. Seems most people end up with a brownish hue at the darkest, orangey or nicotine yellow at the lightest.

But anyways, yeah, nail polish. I have quite a bit left. I don’t know if I’m going to get rid of what I have or not. I do have a few reds that could float me thru for awhile. I decided to scour the Google planet and see what I could find in the way of plastic free nail polish. I didn’t find plastic free (sorry if you got excited), but I found two companies that use a wooden lid, both still have the inner plastic wand and bristles however.

I’m excited about a new business I found on Etsy. L’Essentiel nail polish, shop name OfficialEssentiel on Etsy. Here’s one of their pretty polishes.

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I contacted the seller to ask specifically about the cap and the owner responded quickly with: “Thanks for reaching out to us. Our caps do not contain any plastic besides the little wand portion and bristles. The actual cap is made out of 100 percent bamboo and yes, we ship in 100 percent recycled cardboard boxes!” I also asked if they could use a plastic free way to seal the package and owner was more than willing to find a plastic free solution as long as it worked with the post office’s shipping method and requirements. I like the bamboo cap, the customer service, and I like to see a new business with great earth ethics and aspirations.

I also found Sheswai Lacquer.

Seswai

Their cap is wood as well; I assume the wand and bristles are plastic though. They also wanted to reduce the use of plastic in their packaging in the interest of sustainability. They state that they donate a portion of their profits to different organizations like the Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Foundation. I contacted them rather late today to inquire about their packaging for shipping and other product details and didn’t hear anything back yet. I’ll edit the post when they get back to me.

So there you go, some less plastic nail polish options. Alas not plastic free though. But seeing companies that are trying to minimize their use of plastic in their product containers is definitely a good thing. Now if only other companies would catch on and follow suit.

Please comment if you know of any other less waste companies or alternative ways to color your nails! Found this in Wikipedia about the history of nail polish “During the Ming dynasty, nail polish was often made from a mixture that included beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, vegetable dyes, and gum Arabic.[1][2]” Where are the people from the Ming Dynasty when you need them?

Victory!

Ok well maybe I’m getting carried away as I didn’t really fight a war. But instead a small war towards a lifestyle change.  I went to an event tonight with a friend and afterwards we went to a local cafe. I decided on a chai tea, and after I ordered I remembered to ask to skip the lid. I was told no, that they legally couldn’t give my drink to me without a lid, and that it’s a liability issue.  I don’t think this is a law, maybe the cashier was told that at some point? So at this point I’m struggling and that useless plastic lid is looming large in my mind. I was also trying not to make a huge stink in front of my friend. Other than the times I’ve had to use my jars, and only had other shoppers hate me for it once, I’m not totally used to creating a ruckus yet. Or rather making myself inconvenient to others. So I ask if I can use my own container, and was told yes. Yay! I’m a bit confused as to what the difference is in being handed my own container minus a lid versus their container, but whatever. Now I’m just marveling at how long it took me to even process enough to ask if I could use my own water bottle I had. I’ve gotten so used to disposables it’s like I was mindless for a minute. 

I’ve been really good at avoiding plastic bags. It’s so funny to me that I’ve been met with close to astonishment by cashiers the few times I’ve forgotten my bag and I’ve had to smash items in my purse and carry quite a few things out in my hands. I had a bag almost forced on me just to carry out one small sealed container I brought myself to take home leftovers.  It’s as if people have forgotten we have hands!