Giving a Gift to The Earth - Week 2

Please tell me you've read Phoebe Gilman's "Something from Nothing" with your children! If not, borrow it from your library or go and buy it now!

It's a great book and Gilman is an extraordinary children's author whom I've admired for ages. Family Literacy Day is coming up and I will finally get around to posting my book reccommends then - you can be sure a few of her titles will be on there.

Plus if you read it this week it might inspire you for this week's challenge. It is, of course, a something-from-nothing challenge.

Recycling is great, but it's even better to reuse or repurpose. The whole processing side of recycling uses up energy just the same as the production cycle. So my challenge to you this week is to use your own energy instead. You'll need a little ingenuity too, of course.

If you're stuck, try browsing the site Instructables for fun little projects like this one. Or just google something like "green crafts" or "reuse crafts".

Like the tailor in Something from Nothing, I've been doing most of my sewing projects by reusing fabrics from stained, outgrown, or torn-beyond-repair clothes. I had a favourite sweater that I accidentally got paint on. I repurposed it into a purse for a friend's daughter and pants and a shirt (ok, the sleeves are not done yet) for my daughter.

And there's still some fabric left over!

From another sweater I squeezed out two pairs of pants and two hats. One for each of my boys. They'll only let me dress them alike for so long and I plan to take full advantage. Unfortunately the oldest wouldn't pose with his - something about "playing" was more important!

I won't post pictures of all the other projects I've made from recycled fabrics. This is just to give you an idea. Sewing skills are not needed to participate in the challenge - any suitable and worthy repurposing or reusing will apply.

Make something pretty from garbage; turn found treasures (like sea glass) into real treasures (like earrings). The only stipulation is that the majority of the product used to make your "new" item must be reused from something that would have been junk or recycling.


  1. Further to this weeks challenge, I just happened upon this site:

    Basically it's a community of people who have pledged not to buy new clothes (uniforms, work clothes, shoes and undies excepted) for a period of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months or life.

    The next round of pledges starts up in March.

    I think I'll do it. I already hardly ever buy anything new (clothes, toys, household items). So it shouldn't be too hard.

    Plus I'll win the adoration of at least 10s of people!

    Ironically enough, tommorrow is my birthday and my husband has told me to go buy a couple of shirts. Knowing me, though, if they're not on sale I won't be buying them.

    Did you know there are people that spend $40 on a shirt!!!

  2. $40 on a shirt??? That's outrageous! I buy almost everything second-hand. There are so many good deals to be had, and it's far better for the environment. Or I repurpose a lot of clothing, as you did in this post... I get a lot of satisfaction from those types of projects.

    I see you've been hard at work on your blog... what a great new layout you have!

  3. Thanks Valerie!
    It still needs a little tweaking, but I definitely like the layout more and there's more potential this way.
    I ended up getting two shirts for $16 so I'm happy about that.
    The kids and I have been working on our gratitude tree. One thing T picked that she was thankful for was clothes and then she said we could make clothes for someone who doesn't have any.
    So we're going to repurpose some pillowcases and other items into dresses and shorts for Little Dresses for Africa. She's really excited about helping me sew them!

  4. For this week's challenge, I did something pretty small but it's something nonetheless.

    I cut the fronts off all of my Christmas cards to reuse as present tags next year. Some of the nicer cards also had images on the inside of the card so I cut those out too and used them to make Christmas cards with scrapbooking paper I had lying around.

    Less than half of the card ends up in recycling and I have beautiful tags for next year. A win-win.


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