Sus­tain­abil­ity Tips

Catron Courier - - Front Page -

Ac­cord­ing to a new doc­u­men­tary film, The True Cost, we pur­chase 400% more cloth­ing to­day than we did twenty years ago, largely be­cause of the lower costs of fash­ion. But it may be may be that, as con­sumers, we could be our own worst en­e­mies. Ac­cord­ing to the film, the av­er­age Amer­i­can tosses 82 pounds of textile waste each year, or 11 mil­lion tons of the stuff! For the most part, these tex­tiles aren’t biodegrad­able; they sit in land­fills for at least 200 years and re­lease harm­ful gases. With the cost of trash go­ing up, it’s time to look at other op­tions.

Did you know you can sell your good, old clothes on Ebay—there’s money in name brands. And it’s a great way to shop, too.

The site yer­dle.com is also a place to swap your old stuff for things you re­ally need. Yer­dle’s mis­sion is “to re­duce the num­ber of new things we all have to buy by 25%.” Even that small amount will make a huge dif­fer­ence. Yer­dle of­fers an ‘un­shop­ping’ chal­lenge. If, for 30 days, you

buy noth­ing new (ex­cept things you can’t re­use like food and gas), they’ll give you free ship­ping and other perks.

Also con­sider mend­ing and re­use of what you have. The best pot hold­ers I ever saw were made from old jean’s pock­ets. In Pie Town, you can buy aprons made of Blue Bird flour sacks—how cool is that! What about turn­ing your long sleeve Tshirt into a cut-off top for sum­mer? And us­ing the sleeves as dust rags (you can fit your hand right into the sleeve).

When you buy, look for nat­u­ral fibers such as cot­ton, wool and silk, and buy for dura­bil­ity—get a coat that will last a decade. Spend the money for a re­ally great pair of jeans (Duluth Trad­ing Com­pany makes their rep­u­ta­tion on rugged and USA made, and Patag­o­nia will re­pair any item you buy from them! That’s a great ser­vice.)

Shop at the lo­cal thrift store to make you dol­lars go far­ther and get those ‘new to you’ clothes. Your dol­lars there do twice the good of help­ing oth­ers and sav­ing clothes from land­fills.

Fi­nally, keep a rag bag for worn our cloth­ing. You might even try mak­ing an old fash­ion rag rug, which is what we used to do with old clothes.

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