Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dare I say it...spring is here!(?)

I make no secret of the fact that I don't like winter. I am often reminded, by people who know me, that I grew up in Western New York, a place know worldwide for its brutal winters, biting cold, and massive amounts of snow. While it is true that I grew up there, it is also true that I don't live there anymore, and one of the reasons I have chosen to NOT live there is because I hate cold weather. I physically hate being cold, I know it affects my mood for the worse, and there's nothing nice about it. While appreciate the passing of the seasons, I am especially appreciative of the fact that winter does, indeed, pass (except for in The Day After Tomorrow...but that is a post for another day, perhaps when my chosen topic is "Cheesy Movies I Love.").

So it is with great enthusiasm that I declare, today, that SPRING IS HERE! Yes, I know the calendar indicates that the first day of spring is technically a few weeks away. I am also aware that other parts of the country are still experiencing what can only be described as winter weather, period. I'm sorry for that, I really am. But in the southeastern portion of the United States, we are experiencing a blissful mini heat wave. I hope I don't have to eat my words, as I remember seven years ago we experienced a massive winter storm right at the end of February, so I know we're not out of the woods yet. But today it is in the low 80s, the sun is bright, and the windows are open. Plus, the groundhog did tell us that spring would be right around the corner from the day he didn't see his shadow on February 2nd, and who am I to argue with a rodent who apparently is more into following the weather than I am?

Spring has sprung, ladies and gentlemen (do you think many gentlemen read this blog?) and for that, I am more grateful than you know.

Lately I have been more aware than usual of waste. Waste regarding money, waste regarding food, waste regarding actual garbage. I have been a pretty avid recycler for the past few years, but I'd say over the past two years I've become pretty passionate about it. The more I realize the impact our decisions have on our pocketbooks, the planet, and our children, the more I feel like it's my responsibility to do as much as I can about it. Today in the checkout line, I had a pretty meaningful conversation with the teenage cashier about the giant garbage pit currently floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. How, he wondered, could a cyclone of garbage the size of Texas get to be that big before anyone thought of doing anything about it?

I don't know.

I cannot, today, do much to rectify the situation with the garbage pit in the ocean. I can, however, do a little bit to make sure I don't add to it, and so I'm trying to do that. Baby steps, Bob.

I first heard about morsbags through the Greenstitch blog. Morsbags is a movement that aims to curb the world's rampant use of plastic grocery bags because of their harmful effects on the environment, specifically their effects on wildlife. Take a look at the site and I promise you'll look at your shopping bags in a new light. Inspired by the idea, this weekend I created the first two of what I hope will be many morsbags:

K will be taking these two to school tomorrow for her teachers. We're hoping to make it a bigger project involving other members of her class, since the pattern is simple and the goal is lofty. But we're committed to the project regardless of who is involved, so we'll be making more.

This one is bag number one, for Ms. Arshia:

And bag number two, younger than her sister by just a few minutes, is for Ms. Heather:

These are made from heavyweight fabric that I am often able to find for next to nothing at the thrift store. I love the bags themselves. The seams are strong and sturdy, and almost any fabric of any sort can be used, so they're a perfect project for upcycled fabric, remnants, stuff in your stash that's kind of ugly and won't be used for anything else, whatever. Plus, just making them has inspired me to remember my bags and not leave them in the car. I want to use my own bags. They're prettier, they feel good in my hand, and I know it's a good thing to not add to the number of plastic bags being used.

On our way back from running errands today, J became determined to count the number of discarded plastic bags he saw on the side of the road. So just on the way back from our errands, which was only a 12-mile trip, just one 8-year-old boy looking out just one car window on one side of the car found 104 bags. 104! In the bushes, up in trees, tangled among other garbage by the side of the road. Even I was surprised. I never noticed all of them before.

But it's amazing what you see once you're looking for it.

1 comment:

Terry said...

You are right on the money, here! It's amazing what a big issue this is! Thanks for posting your story and the project, too!