We compost, recycle papers and plastics, and limit our water usage, but one way to help the earth that never occurred to me was to recycle old underwear.
Rodale.com offers five surprising ways to recycle underwear, including cutting it up and adding it to your compost bin (only if the underwear is 100% cotton, of course!).
These tips come at a good time in our house as I just noticed a few pairs of my husband’s underwear that should be retired from active duty. Have you noticed that men will wear underwear until it literally falls to pieces?!
Happy Earth Day! A few ideas to love your planet earth today and every day:
- Drive less. Combine your errands and map your route for the most efficient car ride.
- Use a bike for transportation. Denver has a great B-Cycle system, with bike depots all over the city where you can swipe your card and grab a bike for a few hours, and then drop it off at any other B-Cycle station. There are great bike lanes and off-street, scenic routes you can use to traverse the city by bike.
- Take a bus. My elementary-school age son would much rather I drive him the six miles to school every day, but as I remind him, the yellow school bus carries ninety kids and my vehicle would only carry a single child… Him riding the school bus is a much better use of our non-renewable resources.
- Carpool. I am so grateful to the mother that I remembered vaguely from a kindergarten class at a different school four years ago, who approached me and offered to share the driving of our combined kids back and forth to an extracurricular activity. So much of my time seems to be spent as a chauffeur to my kids that reducing the number of car trips benefits in personal as well as environmental ways.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle. Our goal is to collect less than one bag of garbage each week; everything else gets recycled, reused, or composted. Which leads to the next suggestion:
- Compost. If you don’t have land to do it on, petition your city to include composting in its citywide recycling program.
- Eat local. A lot of our food travels 3,000 miles to get to our plates. That’s a lot of petroleum used in transport. Choose foods grown or produced locally when possible. Check out Barbara Kingsolver’s book about spending a year doing just that.
- Use less water. Water is the oil of the future. It will be easier to invent sustainable energy sources than it will be to find and bring potable water to all the corners of the earth.