Hey, just a heads-up, Wrapsody’s putting in a price increase starting February 1. The Stretch-Hybrid will go from $86 to $89, the Breeze will go from $79 to $83, and the Wrap DuO will go from $68 to $69. Thinking about a Wrapsody? Might as well buy it now and save yourself a few bucks!
One way to avoid bringing so much waste into your home is to buy fewer things new. Used items have generally already had all the packaging (waste) removed. Not to mention that by buying used, you are preventing one more item from being tossed in the landfill, and that’s one fewer item that will need to be replaced on the store shelves with a fresh one from the factory.
So where does one go to get used items? This might seem like the most obvious list ever, but here goes:
- Garage Sales. Garage sales CAN be tough, because they’re kind of a crap shoot and you could end up wasting a lot of gas. When we decide to hit garage sales, I like to make a list of the ones that sound promising, then mapquest them all. I then select just one area of town to visit, and plot out the most efficient route. We also, of course, visit all garage sales within walking distance.
- Consignment stores. We’ve found Once Upon A Child to be a great source for clothes for Wally when we don’t have what we need in the box of previously-purchased clothing. I usually buy ahead at garage sales and end of season clearance, so the clothes at Once Upon A Child are actually more expensive that we usually buy, but they are nice, and if he needs, say, a black shirt for some particular reason, it’s a good place to go. Consignment stores are also good places to buy good-quality used toys with a minimum of packaging.
- Half Price Books. They are pretty stingy on what they pay you for books you bring in, but getting something is still better than getting nothing, and you can buy used books for cheap.
- Half.com, Ebay, and other auction and used-items stores online. Half.com has been a standby for me for years. The packaging is usually pretty minimal, and almost always previously used, since the items are being shipped by regular people, not stores.
- Swap websites like Paperback Swap.
- Freecycle, ReUseIt, CraigsList, etc.
- Looking for things for your home? Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, as well as local architectural salvage stores (such as West End Architectural Salvage and Found Things), are good spots to try.
- And, don’t forget that family and friends can be great resources for getting used items. We picked up a nice pasta machine from my sister in law a few years back. She wasn’t using it, and I really really wanted it!
Wool does need special care, but it’s not as difficult as many people are afraid it will be!
You don’t need to wash wool with every wearing – hang it up to dry after each use, and wash once it starts to smell bad or if you notice it’s not performing up to par.
You may wash your wool by hand or in the machine on the delicate or handwash cycle (do this at your own risk – there’s a slight chance that your machine’s delicate cycle will have enough agitation to shrink your wool).
Use a wool wash, and follow the directions on your bottle of wash. Wash in warm water, and avoid extreme temperature changes.
Squeeze out as much water as you can, then wrap your wool in a towel and press to remove even more water.
You may hang your wool to dry, or dry flat. I like to lay my wool on our radiators during the winter!
After several washes, if you notice your covers aren’t performing as they should, you may need to re-lanolize. (If you use a high lanolin content wool wash, you may not need to lanolize your covers separately.) To do this, melt some lanolin in a small cup of hot water. Fill the sink with warm water, add the (clean) covers, and add the lanolin. Agitate just a bit, let soak for a bit, then remove and dry as above!
Reduce the Garbage you bring in:
- Pay attention to packaging.
- Buy products that are packaged minimally, or that use packaging that can be reused or recycled.
- Buy larger packages when possible. Buying one giant bottle of laundry detergent, for example, creates less waste than buying three small bottles.
- Buy concentrated products if you can. For example, we use one particular cleaner that we dilute 1:10 in a separate (reusable) bottle before we use it.
- Buy used (garage sales, Craig’s List, Freecycle, Secondhand Stores)
- Don’t buy single-serving foods. Instead of small bottles of juice for lunchboxes, for example, purchase a larger bottle and then divide it among smaller, reusable bottles.
- Reduce the number of things you bring into your house:
- Borrow, rent, or share things you don’t use often. (For example, Randy’s family all shares a carpet shampooer. That means they only threw away the box/packaging from ONE carpet shampooer instead of four.) Saves money, too!
- Resist consumerism! Do you really need it?
- Make your own food at home instead of eating take-out in all those disposable packages.
- Buy milk in glass bottles that can be washed and reused by the dairy.
- Buy and use reusable goods.
- Use reusable shopping bags.
- Purchase reusable products (cloth diapers, cloth napkins, reusable water bottles).
- Buy rechargeable batteries.
- Fight Junk Mail!
- This site has good suggestions.
- Call the 800 numbers for catalogs you no longer wish to receive.
Reduce the Garbage you put out:
- Recycle as much as you can.
- Choose Durability:
- Buy quality products.
- Maintain your things. Take good care of your clothes, your appliances, everything.
- Repair items that can be repaired, rather than replacing them.
- Sell, donate, give away, or freecycle things you don’t want. (I freecycle my fabric scraps to quilters who make charity quilts.)
- Compost yard waste and food scraps, instead of putting them in the garbage. (In Des Moines, you can also choose to use the Compost It! program.)
- Plan meals wisely to cut down on food waste.
- Reuse disposable shopping bags.
- Reuse other things. Turn old clothes into new clothes, let your kids make art projects from old cardboard, etc.
- Reuse paper – print on both sides of office paper, or let your kids draw on the back of used paper.
Other things that are Good to do:
- Purchase items that are recycled or made from recycled products.
- Purchase items that are recyclable, or packaged in recyclable packaging.
- Talk to others about reducing their waste.
Use Less Stuff has a fun survey at their website to help you see if you’re a waste-wise wonder or a waste-wise wuss.
Here are a few new Wrap Conversions!
Toddler size MT with a ring waist, flat/adjustable hood, contoured body with padded leg opening, waist belt, wrap straps, and fully reversible with the dark side on one side and the light side on the other. It’s BEAUTIFUL.
Actually, no. And I personally find it much easier on my muscles than lugging a car seat around or holding a squirmy toddler! If you’re using your sling or carrier correctly, it won’t hurt at all. If you’re using a ring or pouch sling, make sure the fabric is spread over the ball of your shoulder and across your back, not all bunched up near your neck or in a tight, thin wad across your back. If you’re using a wrap or any carrier with straps, make sure the straps are not wadded, bunched, or twisted. If wearing your baby hurts, then there is a problem that should be solved! Please contact us or find a local babywearing group for hands-on help.
I sat down a month ago and sketched out TARDIS pants. I wasn’t sure I’d gotten the dimensions right, but I think I got them RIGHT ON. These are ADORABLE.
Since I started them, I’ve gotten numerous requests to make the pattern available, which I will be doing as I have time. If you’re interested in being a test knitter, please let me know.
Additionally, I’m HAPPY to knit a pair of TARDIS longies for your little one. The price will vary depending on what you want for yarn, but will be around $70.
Don’t you hate Tutorials without picture?? Sorry.
Simple messenger bags are pretty easy to make. Perfect for a last-minute gift for anyone on your list this year.
- Fabric for outside
- Fabric for inside
- Interfacing if desired
- Webbing or other material for strap
- Buckle if desired
- Fastener for flap if desired
1. Decide what size you want. Let’s say you want a bag that’s 12 inches by 24 inches and 2 inches wide.
2. Cut out pieces. A front, a back, a flap, and a strip for the width.
Front and back: 13×25 (Your desired bag size plus 1/2 inch seam allowances on each side)
Flap: I chose to cut mine the same size as the front and back. You may go shorter or longer. You may opt to shape it as a rectangle, or to angle the edges in a bit, or to make it a half circle.
Strip: 3×48 (the 48 comes from adding up the three lengths that the strip will be sewn to. 12+12+24, the 3 is the bag width plus two half-inch seam allowances.)
You’ll need to cut the whole bag out of both your main fabric as well as your lining fabric. If you chose to use interfacing, cut the bag out of that, too, and iron or sew the interfacing to your lining fabric.
3. There are several ways to go about assembling the bag at this point. These directions will give you just one option.
4. Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew the two fronts together, right sides facing, along the top edge. Turn right sides out and iron the seam flat. Topstitch if desired. Baste around three unfinished edges.
5. Sew the two strips together, right sides facing, along the two short edges. Turn right sides out and iron the seam flat. Topstitch if desired. Baste along two long edges.
6. Sew the two flaps together, right sides facing, along three sides, leaving one long edge open. Turn right sides out and iron the seam flat. Topstitch if desired. Baste along open edge.
7. With wrong sides together, baste two back pieces together along all four edges.
8. Pin and then sew strip along the sides and bottom of front piece, right sides together. Clip strip at corners to enable smooth turning. Repeat with back piece. Turn right sides out.
9. You now have a little bag that just needs a flap and strap!
10. Sew flap to back, right sides together.
11. Finish all exposed seams however you desire – overcast, pinking shears, seam binding, etc.
12. Determine how long you want your strap material and sew it securely to either side of the bag. (If you decided to use a buckle, now is the time to assemble that and attach.)
13. If you desire to fasten the flap, assemble and attach whatever you have chosen as a fastener.
And you’re done.