Monday, April 22, 2013

Inspiration: Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day, a celebration of all things...Earthy? AB and I celebrated by attending The Great Cloth Diaper Change, an event to set a world record for the most cloth diapers changed at one time (seriously, Guinness is there and they have all these official rules and everything!). This was our second year, and even though a 2 month old newborn is slightly more manageable than a 14 month old baby, we still had a good time.

Great Cloth Diaper Change '13

In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to talk about my New Year's Resolution for 2013, which was to not purchase any new clothing for the entire year. The only exception is one bridesmaid's dress for a wedding in September. I actually picked up that bridesmaid's dress this weekend, yay! What is it with formal wear places trying to get you to order the wrong size? I had to talk this store into letting me order a dress two sizes down from my "measurements" and it fit just fine. It's an alterations racket, I tell ya. But I digress.

My New Year's resolution started from a desire to use my sewing skills to take care of my clothing needs, but shortly after the year started I read Overdressed (reviewed here) and developed an even more layered reason for the resolution. I won't go into all the details of the book again, but to be blunt, there is way too much clothing on this Earth already. Most of it cheap and trendy. It's been easier to stay focused on my resolution by simply forcing myself to shop in second-hand stores and seeing that there are plenty of quality items to be had. To be fair, I live in a university town, and there are two Goodwills and one Plato's Closet, not to mention tons of little vintage shops. The college students seem to keep an influx of items flowing through these stores, meaning that it's easier for me to find nicer things than it might be in other towns.

Aside from helping the environment, it also helps my wallet to purchase second-hand clothing. Last week, I got a great pair of shorts (black eyelet, which I've been lusting over for spring), white capri leggings with lace (exactly what I came into the store to find) and a leather belt all for somewhere around $12. I wouldn't have been able to buy just one of those items at Target for $12. With one income and a baby at home, I rarely buy clothing for myself, so it makes me feel great that I can stretch a dollar when I do look for some key wardrobe items.

As far as saving the Earth and all that, I think balance is important. Yes, we use cloth diapers, but we also use paper plates. We try not to eat too much processed food, but I also drink Coke every day. If you tried to go all-out gung-ho saving the world, you'd probably burn out quickly. Take the steps that seem manageable, one at a time, and you'll be surprised how many positive changes you can make.

The next time you find yourself needing a wardrobe staple, might I suggest that you shop around second-hand before rushing out to buy something new? Chances are that someone else had too many black cardigans, and there's one waiting somewhere (possibly even with the tags still on it!) for you. Help keep our landfills as empty as possible (yes, LOTS of clothing ends up in landfills) and not only will our Earth thank you, but your wallet will, too!

Flash sale over at Craftsy today, some classes up to 75% off! It's free to sign up and fun to join!

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