Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Earth Day Every Day

The concept of sustainability, as the Environmental Protection Agency defines it, is “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It’s not a new idea, but it's an idea that goes beyond the annual field trip my junior high school class made to the creek on Earth Day to clean up discarded paper, broken bottles and old rubber tires. Although I can remember feeling smug that our generation had the foresight to think about the environment back in 1970 when the first Earth Day was celebrated, there was so much more to do! Seventeen years later, in 1987, the seeds for sustainability were sown when a report called “Our Common Future” was published by the World Commission on Environment and Development.

In concrete terms, sustainable development takes place when economic progress and environmental protection hold hands and march forward together into the future. It happens when items that would otherwise be discarded are upcycled, or converted into new uses. It occurs when reusable products take the place of one-use-only products. It also happens when an article of clothing that is outgrown is passed on to another person, or recycled.

Members of the BBEST team exercise their sustainable development muscles in various inventive and interesting ways. June of Fickle Faerie, for example, sews reusable produce bags that allow fruits and vegetables to breathe, but are also good for the environment because they take the place of plastic bags.

"Reusable Produce Bags," by ficklefaerie

Joon of joonbeam upcycles bits of old magazines and books that would otherwise end up in the local landfill by converting them into inventive pinbacks.

"Scottish LoVe - Too Sweet Pinbacks," by joonbeam

Ann of Greenwillow Crafts sews reusable gift bags that are both a visual and tactile delight.

"Gift Bag / Reusable Pouch," by greenwillow

Alysa of Alysa Merle Handcrafts makes plarn bags by cutting strips from plastic bags, and crocheting them like yarn into reusable bags.

"The Best Plarn Gym or Beach Bag You Will Ever Have," by AlysaMerle

Kym of PaperParaphernalia has fashioned origami business card holders from glossy magazine pages.

"Origami Recycled Business Holders," by PaperParaphernalia

Finally, Jeanne of Button Divas reminds us to “Go Green” with her photo button pendant necklace.

"Save Our Planet 1 Inch Photo Button Pendant Necklace," by ButtonDivas

With each of these eco friendly products, today’s Boomers remind us that the idealistic children of yesterday’s Earth Day are still working every day to create tomorrow’s sustainable future.


On a Whimsey said...

Great post Judy! I would say that previous generations didn't think about saving the world but about saving money, when they recycled. A practice that the younger generation has yet to acknowledge! Remember darning and saving bits of soap? Or, as the phrase goes, waste not, want not.

jstinson said...

Judy, with today's economy maybe more people will be up-cycling and/or respectful of recycling,up-cycling,etc. I agree with Pat about waste not, want not. Great items you selected and thought provoking blog. Keep up the good work.

Zuda Gay Pease said...

Great post, Judy!!

Unknown said...

Nicely done Judy !

Pam said...

Wonderful post! I would like to see more glass used, and returned (as in the olden days with milk and soda bottles). I love the idea of reusable gift bags such as Green Willow makes. Just think of all the boxes that would save, how purchasing those would support individual and small businesses, and add further to our economy. Great job on the article and featured sellers.

joon said...

Thanks for focusing on a cause so close to my heart (in art!) and for featuring one of my recycled items, Judy! Another wonderful post.

environment is everything.

Jean Levert Hood said...

excellent post! What talented ladies!

Chauncey said...

Jn, thanks for the great post, your choices shows being greener is certainly not boring, but beautiful.

Jaclyn Gray Designs said...

What a wonderful post! Someone mentioned to me the other day that if we start to think of the current economic state as an opportunity to change the way with think about our consumption and can become a positive thing! Thanks everyone for your comments about recycling!

The Filigree Garden said...

I feel like 2009 is the year to refocus on environmentally-friendly crafting for me personally. I am inspired by my BBEST teammates!