I just love the way that phrase rings, even though I know it is NOT that easy, especially for industry and the auto trade... however, being green is undergoing a wave of attention, mainly thanks to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, catching so much attention in the past year. Therefore, it was no surprise to see Vogue's Knit1 put out a Green Issue this spring-into-summer (though they did something similar last year, to be fair to them). There is a lot of good information about the wide range of "other fibers" to knit with now available, including soy, corn, bamboo, and nettles, as well as information about why using organic cotton is different than the other cotton yarns available. There are fun ideas for using up scraps and stash, including the classic Budweiser Hat that you used to see offered for sale at flea markets across the West. There are even some useable patterns, including several different totes to help you replace store grocery sacks.
I had been reading their Green Issue the past few days and feeling all warm and fuzzy when I saw Carole's version of the Green meme going around posted yesterday, and decided to make my own list...
1. I do recycle, including glass, plastic, most cans and most paper.
2. I re-circulate many of the books and magazines I purchase, finding them other readers to keep them in circulation. Bookcrossing is one of my favorite ways to do this.
3. We grow some of our own food every year, as well as shop locally, reducing the distance our food travels and the fuel consumed to get it to us. We also eat organic as much as possible, at home and at the Headstart program where I work.
4. I do most of our grocery shopping through our local co-op, which also makes a point of using as many local sources as possible. All of our members are extremely proud to have helped support the construction of a green-certified (LEED), brand new store which opened just after Memorial Day. You can read about it here.
5. We converted to compact flourescents with the help of our utility years ago.
6. We installed an on-demand propane hot water heater about four years ago; it heats as you go, consuming far less fuel than a tank full of hot water growing cold and needing to be re-warmed whether you are there or not.
7. We have routed the grey water (coming from our sinks, showers, and washers, as opposed to 'black water' from toilets) to ornamentals rather than the waste system.
8. We mulch and use drip irrigating to conserve water in our hot, Mediterranean-type climate.
9. I introduced using cloth napkins at our early Headstart program when I started as Site Supervisor in March; this is a simple way to recycle cloth napkins purchased from thrift shops and estate sales while saving trees. We have been doing this in our family for over 25 years, mostly without buying them new.
10. We buy many things we need second-hand; it is pretty easy here in the US to live well from the cast-offs of others. Just so's ya know, I always buy new underwear and shoes.
11. We installed lots of insulation in our 1852 home and chose not to install air conditioning, though we do use fans and a swamp cooler once the temps get into the 90s... we have ceiling fans in almost every room downstairs and use them summer and winter to make the most of the conditions.
12. I choose not to live the lifestyle of a frequent flier; traveling by plane uses an immense amount of fuel resources and there really isn't any way to get around that. I look forward to a few horizon-expanding journeys each year and consider taking the train as an alternative first.
13. As far as knitting goes, I have boldly re-purposed failed projects, am a proud member of the UFO Resurrection (wouldn' that make a great name for a punk band or new church movement?!), and scour thrift stores for other peoples' yarn rejects.
14. Wool is a renewable resource and I use it lovingly. Spinning gives me the chance to link more directly to local wool suppliers and to reduce the amount of chemical processing involved in the yarns I choose. I continue to explore natural dyes.
15. I am working on a knitted hat from recycled cotton and have used recycled sari silk yarn as well. I am looking forward to trying bamboo and soy, as well as the development of other fibers.
All of this fails to make up entirely for the fact that my rural lifestyle means I cannot access public transportation. Nor do I make enough money annually to be an early adopter of a hybrid electric vehicle. I am hoping to be able to get one within the next five years, though.
This bright pink scarf is a variation of the Montego Bay Scarf in this summer's Interweave Knits... mine is done in On Line's Linie 136. This was a quickie to make and cool enough to wear this summer on all but the hottest days (it is microfiber; probably not too green, but a Christmas gift I am putting to good purpose).
I am hoping to get another Manos square done and divide my Lutea shell at the armholes this weekend. The temps are hitting the triple digits today and tomorrow in California; hope you stay cool wherever you are!