Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Big Green Purse

I've been known to carry bags made of recycled seatbelts, organic cotton, and even reshaped plastic bottles, but I recently found a website with what I think are the most fashionable recycled material bags yet. They are made out of recycled tire treading! I know it may not seem like the most glamorous material to be carrying your most personal belongings in, but I guarantee you that they are impressive. Don't just take it from me though, see for yourself:
I have found that eco-shopping is more fun than regular shopping. Not only is there the added challenge of finding the things you need in forms that have a smaller environmental impact but you also have a rare opportunity to carry products that are some of the most unique on the market. One of my co-workers recently commented on one of my bags saying, "I knew it had to be yours because you always have the coolest things." The purse she thought was so cool was made out of old plastic bags and magazine clippings. If you're the crafty type, making your own recycled products can be fun too, but sometimes the professionals can create works of art that we couldn't make in our own homes. So here's to shopping in the eco-friendly way.

The following website allows you to send in your own used license plate and have it turned into a bag, CD case, or even bracelets. Or you can try some bags that look less like what they are made of and more like mainstream styles with this gg2g website. This site features bags made of materials ranging from recycled vinyl seating to highway billboards.
Our feet can make a statement too. Try this site featuring shoes made of recycled materials and organic fibers.  I can personally vouch for this company- my simple shoes are the most comfortable pair that I own. I wear them to work everyday, and I can step a bit lighter knowing that the making of my shoes didn't expand my environmental footprint.
The logo of this company known as Sweetgrass features the short clause, "Designing Sustainable Solutions." I feel like these three words could in themselves describe the goal of my life mission. This company works to find the most ecologically sound fibers for their clothes while also standing on their beliefs of a fair business ethic. They are working to help not only the environment, but people as well.
I encourage you to visit some of these sites and search for others and read about the mission behind the company. While styles made by companies such as these might not match normal mall prices, the benefits reaped from buying ethically made products cannot be ignored. In other words, these business workers believe in more than a bottom line, and it's about time that we start to do so too.

My Immortal Enemy

Understanding my obsession with recycling and wanting to do his part while in our apartment, my roommate's boyfriend, Gabe, asked me if he could throw his styrofoam egg crate into our recycling bin. "Sadly, it has to go in the garbage," I answered before heading into a lengthy tirade about how I find styrofoam to be the most unnecessary and harmful human invention ever. It found out later that Gabe had asked me this question simply to bate at me, knowing my passions would overcome the calm mood I had formerly displayed. He certainly got the reaction that he was going for. I often do come across people that genuinely do not know about the harmful nature of styrofoam, and I'm not surprised since it provides many everyday conveniences and is used more frequently than we might think.
I was actually told once that styrofoam breaks down into small enough pieces that they can be detected in our air, water, and even in our lungs here in the United States. While I don't know the original source of this information, I do know that it's enough to scare me into wanting to take action against this environmental plight. My favorite smoothie joint uses styrofoam cups to serve their drinks, so I bought an insulated plastic cup that I can use again and again instead. Most places will allow you to do this and some will actually give you a discount for saving their supplies. Most styrofoam products are made to be disposable, but they have non-disposable alternatives that we can choose instead. If we try to choose this instead, we can save our natural resources from being turned into things that are destined to end up in a landfill only to outlast our presence on this planet. We need to conserve the resources that we have here, now. If we aren't careful now, then in the future, there will be no future.