Clothes to Help the Environment

Hello – I received an email from fellow blogger Betsy Wild over at What’s Green With Betsy?  She shared with me a very worthwhile project by her daughter, Amy Wild. Please visit her Kickstarter site to help fund her environmentally wise fashion project.

Here’s Betsy’s message:

“My daughter is a sustainable fashion designer.  Her clothing line is called Where Clothes and her mission is to protect the environment and support an ethical industry. Her line helps renew some of the 90 million pounds of clothes that end up in landfills each year. The fashion industry is one of the world’s largest polluters, and uses the second largest amount of water compared with all industries. But as the climate changes, so too will trends. Where Clothes expects to lead others in distilling the concept of design to its creative element: to take what we already have and create something new. By basing all aspects of her line from her Vermont studio, Where Clothes also avoids outsourcing to other countries where unfair labor and dangerous working conditions are rampant.

Her clothes are adorable, fun and flirty. They look and feel great on the body.  She sews everything herself using vintage, antique, and recycled materials. The demand for her clothes is growing, so she launched a Kickstarter campaign to hire an assistant to help put the designs from a current lookbook collection into small, locally-based production. You can check out her video here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/396581135/where-clothes-lookbook-shoot.

If she is able to reach her funding goal, she will be able to continue to push fashion forward in an earth-friendly and ethical manner. Please help Where Clothes spread the word! Thank you for your support.”

Thanks for sharing, Betsy. I’ve already made a donation and hope this post helps bring more attention to a very worthwhile project.

January Gardening?

catalogs galore

catalogs galore

By Patricia Zick @PCZick

The seed catalogs appear in the mailbox daily now. Today we ordered seeds for broccoli, brussel sprouts, radishes (both red and the long white variety), lettuce, Swiss chard, parsley, basil, and flowers. However, the catalogs came a little late for onions. After consultation with Llewellyn’s 2013 Moon Sign Book, my husband determined the best time to start the seeds was in the waning days of 2012.

So while we were in Florida over Christmas, my husband began sprouting onion seeds. He buys the cheapest and thinnest paper towels and places a layer of seeds on one sheet. Then he piles sheet upon sheet until the top of the plastic container is full. He dampens the towels with water and keeps the container in a warm place. He treated his package as if it was a pet, carrying it inside wherever we visited and adding water as necessary to keep the towels damp.

the sprouts after ten days in damp paper towels

the sprouts after ten days in damp paper towels

This year he sprouted seven varieties of onions – both short and long day types – of yellow, white, and red.

By the time we arrived back in Pennsylvania, the seeds had sprouted in their paper towel womb. The thin paper towel helps those tiny little sprouts from sticking to the layers.

A week ago, he put the seedlings into four-pack containers filled with regular potting soil with a very small quantity of organic and rock fertilizers. He uses a five-gallon bucket for soil (two-thirds filled) and throws in a handful of the fertilizers. Once the packs are filled with dirt, he pokes holes in each section with a pencil.

pencil poking

pencil poking

Then he “pokes” the onion seedlings into the soil.

poking onion sprouts

poking onion sprouts

Now the seedlings are growing happily under grow lights in cupboards in our family room. Unfortunately, we don’t have a heated greenhouse, but we’ve found a way to manage.

minutes in soil

minutes in soil

a week later after living in a cupboard under grow lights (set on a timer)

a week later after living in a cupboard under grow lights (set on a timer)

Now we await the shipment of the rest of the seeds. Some seeds, such as tomatoes, peppers, and butternut squash, he’s kept from last year’s crop. But he’ll still get some new seeds, even though each year I tell him more than twenty healthy tomato plants are way too much for two people unless I set up a roadside stand.

How about you? Are you sprouting seeds, looking at catalogs, waiting for the nurseries to open with plants, or anticipating the local farmer’s market in your area? Whatever you do, locally grown food is always the best choice.

last year's crop we're enjoying this winter

last year’s crop we’re enjoying this winter

Note: We recycle the magazines when we’re done with them each year. We also reuse all the four- and six-pack containers as well as the trays.

What’s Your Carbon Footprint?

By P.C. Zick@PCZick

I challenge you to take this eye-opening Ecological Footprint quiz to take that will tell you how many earth’s it would take to offset your carbon footprint. I’m at 3.3!

I could stop traveling. We probably need to install more water-saving devices in our home. We have an oil furnace but this past month we installed an energy efficient heat pump that will be our primary heat until it goes below 20 degrees. Then the oil furnace will kick on and do the rest.

We eat seafood, but we grow our own vegetables and preserve as much as possible. Our waste management provider does not offer recycling but we have a large basement so every six weeks or so I load up the truck and head to the recycling center with all our paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and aluminum. I’m always heartened when I go because there’s usually a line of cars in the bin area unloading their bottles, cans and newspapers. Even if our waste managers aren’t being responsible, many individuals are.

Let me know your score or if you don’t want to share your score, tell me about ways you’ve cut down or plan to cut down on your carbon footprint.