My upbringing is rooted in the Green movement by happenstance. My family left Warsaw, Poland in the ’60s, a time when there was scarcity of basic necessities. People stood in line endlessly for government hand-outs. That could mean pantyhose which were not your size or a stale loaf of bread to feed several members of a household for a few days. These were the fruits of the Communist system and every morsel that entered a household was savored.
Luckily, my family was able to escape this Communist hell-hole. They enthusiastically embraced the freedom and unlimited choices available to the American consumer, yet remained steadfast in their disapproval of wasteful spending and became obsessive with energy conservation.
I am a product of this upbringing and extremely conscious of wastefulness. I shut off lights, tv’s, and heat when not in use. I layer clothes in the winter so I conserve heat usage and get panic attacks when I need to throw out food. I hate excess and have extricated myself from the pressure to partake in all that’s accessible in overabundance 24/7.
Earth Day is celebrated annually and is one of those days when people ponder the limitations of our planet’s resources. It is incumbent upon us we to be stewards of our natural resources; we need to prevent future generations from drinking a cocktail of manure-fracking water, swimming in the ocean alongside empty cans of Miller Lite caked in medical waste, or needing respirators to take a short walk with Butch, the friendly rescue Pit-Bull.
To celebrate Earth Day, I looked around my home and wondered what I could create from material which I already have. After a few minutes, I set my eyes upon the Wheelchair Becky Barbies sitting on my mantle and PRESTO! I decided to build for them a floating vessel out of empty green Ginger Ale bottles. Don’t Barbies deserve to float around in Scooby-Doo bubble bath? Ironically, the jacuzzi tub requires more water than a small Bangladesh village uses to wash a week’s worth of cutlery!
Don’t waste the remnants of your empty bottle after constructing your Barbie floating vessel. Use the scraps and create a stylish recycled necklace for a fraction of the cost. Let your imagine run wild. Here is how I made my version: cut leaf shape pieces from the bottle. With a blow dryer, soften the pieces into varying curled pieces. Punch holes and string with ribbon. I chose neon chartreuse ribbon to be very Spring 2013 and added a repurposed vintage brooch for some sparkle. Recycling and repurposing is fashionable and glamorous!
What would the Earth want me to wear today? Vintage head scarf, DKNY jersey dress, Sigerson Morrison kitten heels and necklace made from recycled Ginger Ale plastic bottles.
Yes, it’s Earth Day! We do have choices for which I am grateful. I don’t have to churn my own organic butter, sew a denim jumpsuit or figure out a way to write about me, myself and I and share it with the world. On that note, here are my thoughts about the little effort needed to make a few life style changes to reduce waste and be more energy efficient:
- When brushing your teeth, don’t leave the water running. Water is a scarce commodity though the earth is comprised of 71% salt water. An exorbitant amount of energy is expended to make water potable.
- Drink filtered water and buy less bottled plastic water. It is shocking to see the amount of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean. Since plastic is made from petroleum, it is wasteful to use a commodity so costly to obtain. You can put the water into an aluminum water bottle which keeps your liquid cold. I love Sigg water bottles. They design beautiful durable, recycled bottles with eye-catching graphics that make these collectable.
- Bring recycled shopping totes when buying groceries. Plastic bags make their way into the ocean and are not bio-degradable.
In summary, it is vital to share ideas in conserving energy. Though wasteful habits might be hard to break, start somewhere and be mindful of what you consume and what happens afterwards. A little effort goes a long way.
Go see the movie “TRASHED.” This 2012 documentary, narrated by Jeremy Irons, highlights the growing industry of trash in the US and the world. He examines the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world exploring what solutions are being made to address this issue, anti-waste legislation, and an entire city which is now virtually waste-free. It is not a doom-and-gloom movie, but one which is eye opening and needs to be seen by young and old alike.