Sustainable Tuesday: Buy For The Future

Feel free to leave comments about how buying for the future is the point of sustainability, then I can know you only read the first sentence.

 

 

Okay. Now onto the point of this post.

Ages ago, my parents lived in France and something delightful happened. The worth of the American Dollar went way up. Their income remained the same, but they were worth so much more.

They didn’t start eating out all the time. They didn’t start eating expensive food all the time. They didn’t start going to movies all the time.They bought things.

Things that have been used since then. Things that are still being used. Things we joke we will argue over when they die. I might have considered taking pictures of these things. But sadly we have looked and found they are no longer made.

Mom’s Pans

Stainless steel nesting pans. With Copper in the bottom. Removable handles. Yes these are plastic, but as long as you keep them clean and off of cooking pots they will last for years with only the springs needing to be replaced. The largest pan can hold just enough soup for six people and the smallest is perfect for one person. I love these pans.

Theory

If you find yourself with a surplus of money invest in some nice, expensive pans and learn how to take care of them. Thirty plus years from now you will still be using them and patting yourself on the back.

Matching Backpacks

As my parents knew they would be doing a lot of traveling they got matching orange backpacks. These packs were designed to be used for hiking or traveling. The smaller one just works as a carry on, but the larger is great for stashing extra things. They zip all the way down the sides, but still feel great for a long time on your back. I can’t say they’ve been used as much as the pans, but on average probably twice a year for some purpose or other. These are mostly plastic, but with care they’ve lasted and been used, so it’s less of a worry.

Theory

If you know you will be traveling a fair amount invest in a good backpack. Do your research and find something. If you know you will be doing lots of spontaneous traveling get something that zips all the way down. You will not regret it.

 

Unlike some of my parents wedding presents (which I’ve barely seen), the things they bought in France are staples of life. Perhaps some other day I will write about some of the old staples in our house, but for now these two will do.

Buying larger items, that hopefully will only need to be done once or twice may seem hard, but if done correctly will be extremely rewarding.

What are you going to cut out of your life so you can invest in your future?

 

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We’ve Got Pockets

Whenever it was I spent 10 days off grid. I found it to be super inspiring. On the second Thursday we had a cook out for dinner and after the guys showed up we started talking sewing.

Yes, that happened. And No they didn’t mind. And Yes as I often find they had useful inputs.

I had mentioned to my best friend that I wanted to go visit Israel with her next year and I figured we needed at least a thousand dollars each. She had recently been hired to make little girl dresses. Upon finding that she enjoyed it, she has been working on setting up a shop. We were talking pricing.

JH said when someone other than his job was wanting his time he asked for at least $25 an hour per person. He got paid that much, his brother would want that much, his machinery cost that much to run. This added up to $75 per hour for him and DH to cut down a tree. One tree took them only an hour and the man paid them $200.

Let me not say anything. Take a deep breath. I’ve had people tell me that $35 was to much to hem a pair of pants. But they were willing to pay fifteen dollars.

This is all to say we were encouraging SH to bump the finished price of the dresses to the $70-$100 range. Sew much closer to what she should be earning.

In turn I mentioned my sewing plans. So often I have seen complaints about how women’s clothes just don’t have good pockets. And on the flip side I have often seen ladies worrying if the pockets will be to much. I was wondering why don’t I make a clothing line where pockets are the statement of the piece.

My family expressed doubts.

I explained I was considering making a blue skirt with orange star shaped pockets on it.

My family thought that sounded horrible.

I fell quiet, but that vague idea stuck in my brain. Finally today I was able to put on paper rough sketches of that idea and another one.

Pardon my terrible drawing skills.

On the left we have a skirt designed to look like an upside down flower. The pockets are quite visible as they are representing the sepals.

On the right is a modified version of blue and orange. The color has been changed to yellow and the stars are evenly spaced. I haven’t yet decided if the little stars should be pockets too. And is four star pockets around the waist good or should I go for the semi subtle three stars like Orion’s belt?

A pin cushion topped mason jar with a few buttons in it

 

So bountiful hay to my best friend.

For re-inspiring me to start sewing again.

For re-inspiring me to start designing again.

For giving me such a handy pin cushion as a belated birthday present. I know you don’t read my blog, but still.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

If I were to make skirts like these how much would you pay? Would you pay $200? Would you pay $250 if I made sure to use sustainable fabric? People often pay tons of money for clothing of little quality. From people they care little for. Fabric costs money, but the most expensive part is the labor.

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PS.

Speaking of sewing I have recently agreed to sew a dress inspired by a book as an art project. I would really like to put my best foot forward with doing this. But I need nice fabric and notions in order to do that. If you would like to help with this in any way at all please check out the Go Fund Me I put together and either share it or give a donation. Every dollar helps.

PPS.

Speaking of obvious pockets don’t you think that an evening gown with a blue jean pocket or two sounds like something that could come down a runway?

Sustainable Tuesday; Off Grid

This will not be my classic Sustainable Tuesday post.

Since Thursday, September 12, I have been off grid.

Minimal electricity, no running water, and spotty phone service. I enjoyed my time off grid, it inspired me for my blog, my sewing, and my future.

But I realized something.

Being off grid is hard and it may not be as “green” as we would like to think. I’ve said I don’t really worry about my van emissions or what type of fuel I use, and that is true, but I live in the country. Here in the country there are lots of plants to soak up the excess.

If you take being off grid to just mean solar energy instead of the power plant. If you have a well insulated house. If you live somewhere sunny. Yes. You can pretty easily generate all the energy you could possibly use. But if any of these things aren’t true, it becomes super hard.

I’m boring. I spent two of the days with my best friend canning. We used a tank of propane. We had the generator running. Because of the canning we did, we weren’t very green.

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But.

Now we have quarts of canned meat. Gallons of canned pears. It no longer requires electricity to store this food. Come winter less will need to be bought from stores, meaning that less gas will be used to bring food to them.

This is the challenge of it all is what do we accept. Yes, we used lots of propane, but now there is less worry for winter, the food is stored…

When is it best to spend energy and where?

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Unsustainable Tuesday: A Sustainable Tuesday Post

Sustainable often it is thought of these days in terms of “good for the environment”, “be green”, “shop small”, “shop local”.

But a quick check in with the great Merriam-Webster shows this

Definition of sustainable

1 : capable of being sustained
2a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged sustainable techniques sustainable agriculture
b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods sustainable society
And when you go on to wonder about sustained.

Definition of sustained

: maintained at length without interruption or weakening :
I have to admit something. Posting on Tuesdays isn’t really sustainable for me.
I start most Tuesday, with breakfast, and as soon as that is done, I must clean up from breakfast. No sooner have I finished washing the dishes, than my email and the blogs I follow are calling me.
While I wait for everything to load, I sneak in my Bible reading. And suddenly it’s at least 9:30. It does depend on the day, but it’s generally time to go hurry and get ready to go help the food pantry.
There is an hour drive, then it’s time for an early lunch. After lunch I usually can get some reading done. But once I start working it’s pretty steady until 4:00. Even if we don’t help with cleanup it’s still an hour back to the library where I write most of my posts.
So by the time we get here, it’s late, I’m tired and I’m supposed to come up with something? Ha!
But in other interesting news. I recently decided to make a dress based off The Coronation by Olivia Jarmusch. Click here if you would like to help fund the project. Or feel free to check it out here.
the coronation

Sustainable Tuesday

I am taking part in #sewyourselfsustainable over on Instagram so I thought, why not bring it over to the blog, for this month and maybe even longer.

I want to talk about my feelings on the subject.

I Don’t Worry About Climate Change or Global Warming.

But I do Care about taking Care of Our World, so…

I try to get fresh food in recyclable packaging. This means lots of bulk food and a garden. If I must get a plastic bag I reuse it.

Apart from necessary plastic on food. The thing that bothers me the most is polyester, spandex, and all the other horrible plastics that goes into clothing. I have never liked anything but natural fibers. Lately however I’ve completely stopped wearing non natural fibers, unless they are part of some decoration.

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I don’t worry about using paper. Pine trees can be used for this and they grow super fast.

I also don’t worry about eating dairy and meat. Or wearing leather. Because I don’t worry about animals using to much oxygen.

Do you care?

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