I was over at crab&bee´s lovely blog today and read a great review of the book No more dirty looks by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt. Not only was the review great (I instantly added the book to my wishlist, as well as it is a great present for an upcoming birthday), it spurred me to think about what I do in my life that “will make the world a better place”. I´m faaaaar from perfect, it´s so easy to do and purchase things out of old habits, or just by being lazy!
But I thought I´d share with you some things in my everyday life that I do that I hope makes an impact. Some of them are sewing related, some of them are not. All of them are quite easy to do, though. Hope it can help you in your everyday life too!
- I try to always turn off the lights (and the sewing machines) when I leave a room.
- I try to never buy stuff from big corporations I know are “bad” (though it´s hard), I think the bigger the company, the bigger the climate effect… There are some great resources online for telling who is “good” and who is “bad”. What resources you want to use of course depends on what your moral compass is. Mine is based not only on who treats their workers with respect, and who leaves the smallest climate footprint, I also base my choices on the political sympathies I have.
- When I shop for groceries and skin care products and have to choose between two seemingly identical items, I always take the one with the shortest ingredient list. That is almost always the better product. When it comes to food, the longer the ingredients list, the more processed are the food! With skin care products it is the same, many cheap ingredients try to compensate for a few natural ones…
- I am hoarding all my scraps. I don´t know what to use them for yet (possibly I will use them for weaving?), but it seams so wasteful to just throw them away (and we don´t have any good fabric recycling where I live). I know both Ali and Tasia recently had some good blog posts on this topic!
- I rarely make muslins, for the same reason as above, it seems to me to be so wasteful. I rather prep the patterns more, I have generous seam allowances and I baste a lot instead.
- I ride a lot of bike. I don´t have a car. I don´t even have a drivers license. I understand that this way of living is difficult if you live on the countryside, though.
- I thrift shop! Yay, I didn´t do that much earlier, but I love it! It´s become one of my favorite things to do. If I need something new, I go to the thrift shop first, actually, to see if I can find it there.
- Apart from the aforementioned fabric scraps, I recycle. It´s easy to recycle here in Sweden, because it´s adjusted by the government, and we have different recycling bins for foods, paper, glass etc. I also try to buy products that has as little packaging as possible.
- I try to buy eco- and fairtrade certified products as much as possible. This is becoming easier and easier, fortunately. Just a couple of years ago the products were few and expensive. You see? Hans Rosling is right, the world IS getting better. 🙂
I do have a million things I could be better at too. I could be better at turning OFF my iron when I´m not using it, instead of putting it in stand by mode. I could take shorter showers, I could travel less by plane and more by train, I could get better at eating left- overs etc, etc. etc…
Now I want to turn this over to you guys. Are you a pessimist, do you think it´s to late, and it doesn´t matter what we do? Or do you believe in making a change? What do you do in your everyday life to help improve the state of the world (and your own health)? I´d love to get some new tips and ideas!
New York City, United States.
Here´s to the world!