Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Living Green and Frugal

I’ve been working toward living a more frugal life. Not including craft supplies and yarn! Wouldn’t want to give the Compadre any ideas! As a result – we’re living a more “green” life too. Some of the things I/we have been doing for a long time and some we’ve started more recently. We try not to waste food, we drive small cars, we wear our clothes until they wear out, we grow some of our food (sometimes successfully, sometimes not!). And now that I’m retired and we don’t have kids at home I have more time to do some things that I just couldn’t have done when the kids were all home and I was working. I’ve been washing our clothes with homemade laundry soap and for more than a year now we’ve been hanging them to dry – outside in the summer and inside on a wooden drying rack in the winter. The Compadre isn’t fully on board on this – he’s been known to dry the clothes in the dryer when he does the laundry and isn’t fully supervised. But I can’t complain – I’ve got a husband that does laundry!!

This Christmas I tried something new in the frugal department. I wrapped many of our gifts with fabric squares in the furoshiki method. Basically if you know how to do a square knot you can wrap gifts in fabric squares. There are several good websites that show how to do it. I made my fabric squares by using my serger and doing a rolled hem edge on all four sides. I found that the most useful sizes were 28 and 22 inches. I made one that was 37 inches for a bigger gift and a few that were 18 inches using fat quarters. The advantage of using 22 inch squares (if they fit the package) is that you can get two pieces from the width of standard fabric. Of course this method is more expensive in the short run but over time I expect that we’ll reuse the fabric many times and it will be free from now on. I told the giftees that they could give me the wrap so I could reuse it myself or they could reuse it themselves. That of course makes it part of the gift! I stocked up on Christmas fabric after in the after Christmas sales – 75% off!! So I’m all ready for next year. One hint about the sizes of fabric needed. If you’re making the squares as you’re wrapping the gifts – check to see what size you need before cutting it. It’s surprising that I didn’t need many large pieces. Oh, and here’s a tutorial for you if you don’t have a means to make rolled hems. A little more time consuming but it works too. I think that wrapping gifts in fabric is easier too – I never was much good with square corners and tape and all. By the way, we really noticed that the Christmas garbage was much less – I’m sure the garbage man was happy with our house!

Of course there are many more things that we could do and I’m sure I’ve got my blind spots about some ways we live life, but I’ve got some more ideas for things that I could do to live greener and more frugally. First up is composting kitchen scraps. Let’s see if I can get the Compadre on board!

I'll leave you with a cute picture of newborn baby Jordan in his car seat.

1 comment:

Compadre said...

So, going green adds to your stash, eh?