CBC's The Hour recently completed their challenge for Canadians to do "One Million Acts of Green". Kudos to all participants. This challenge is still ongoing. For more information check it out here.

The new challenge for Canada, is to reach Two Million Acts of Green. According to the website, they are hoping to reach this new goal by summer. Many businesses and individuals are participating in this effort. Good luck to all. If interested in learning more click here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Recycling has gone to the toys! And the clothes and whatever....

Recycling ideas as well as waste. A recent news article on Fox 2 News indicated that one of the dolls discontinued by Mattel is being brought back to life in an effort to keep costs down. The toy in the news clip was PJ Sparkles created in 1988.

An article from the Wall Street Journal Marketing & Media dated March 3, 2009 explains the reason behind this and other toy manufacturers' decisions. It is titled Toy Makers Reach Into Product Attic.

There were many toys that were perfectly good but discontinued. Granted they might not have had tons of bells and whistles to make them super-contemporary; but kids need to use their imaginations and simple toys are one of the best ways to accomplish this. By bringing back pre-existing designs companies are reintroducing good products that were discarded, possibly too early, to new generations. By doing this, they keep design costs down and perhaps eliminate some of the waste that comes with producing a new design.

The interesting part to the concept is that it reaffirms the old saying "Everything that goes around, comes around" or "What's old is new again". No matter how you look at it, retro can be a good thing. Get back to basics. Forget about always being the better or the best, do what works. It could be a cost-saver and it could be good for the environment as well.

Another example of what I call variant-recycling (because it doesn't deal with waste) is shown with Vintage Clothing. A number of posts on this topic can be seen on Infashuation. Again, there was a recent article (click here) in the Windsor Star about the trends in clothing and referred to those who bargained shopped in the resale stores etc., as Recessionistas. Cute term!

Another way to recycle old clothing, if you are so inclined, is to use the fabric from old clothes to make something new. You definitely end up with one-of-a-kind designs because no one else will have that particular material. It can be fun! I just wish I had the time and energy to do it again.

Yet another use for old fabric was very common when I was a kid; people used to make quilts, potholders and hooked rugs from left over material. I recently found a Chatelaine article (August 2007) that dealt with this specific topic. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate the article online. But, a group of women in Newfoundland have created a cottage industry by creating hooked rugs.
Each one different from the next; each one telling a story about the history of the area. The photo shown is by Deanne Fitzpatrick (featured in the article) titled Safe in the Harbour.

A lost craft perhaps, but hey, why not give something different a try. You might just be surprised by what you created and at the same time have done something good to help reduce waste.

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