Monday, 3 October 2011

Surprising ways to go green

Australia is one of the world's biggest producers of waste per capita, per day. We generate 2.25 kilos of rubbish per person, every single day! That, my lovelies, is a lot.
So how do we reduce this ridiculous load on our precious Mother Earth?
I have a (maybe) surprising way to save on waste and money:

Look after your kids clothing!

Yep- clothing in landfill equates to approx 10 kilos per person per year. So making your kids clothing last longer is a great move (saves you some cash too)

  • Learn to wash correctly. It is pretty common to sort our washing into like colours, but how often do you sort them into washing needs? Get a good hold of those clothes and read the tags. Wash like with like and follow those directions!
  • Start reading those labels BEFORE you buy. Go with the cold wash, line dry clothes.Think carefully about anything that says 'hand wash'- because unless you actually do hand wash, that pretty, delicate item won't stay that way for long! If the label says 'dry clean only' put it down and back away.
  • Quality over quantity. This works especially well if you have more than one child. My own personal experience with this idea is what makes me include it in this list. I have done a lot of kids clothes shopping at a certain, large chain store, and I bet you have too! The clothing is cheap and cute. BUT the sizing is inconsistent and the quality sometimes dubious. The few items that have been passed down from my biggest girl to my middle girl have not made it unscathed. They are stained or have patched knees, they only just make it as play clothes. However, the few items that I have bought from 'designer' children's labels still look pretty good (and yes, they have been worn just as often because I bought them half price and didn't feel any need to be precious about them). The clothing looks played in but it has no stains or tears. In fact, a few of these are already packed away for the smallest girl, and are still in good condition after two big sisters.
  • Repair and patch. My biggest girl seems to tear the knees out of her pants and jeans. My middle girl does not, BUT she refuses to wear pants with the knees out (even in the garden!) So we have to patch them. I tried the cheat option of iron on patches but they didn't last. So I had to pull out the sewing machine (use a needle and thread if you have to) Find some fabric and sew the patch BEHIND the tear. It adds a lovely decorative element and prolongs the life of the item. 
  • Upgrade to a front loader washing machine. I know they get a bad rap, but I love mine. They use less water AND less power.
  • An oldie but a goodie. Wash in cold water and line dry. It isn't new but I want to add a new tip. Try to dry your clothes in the early morning or late afternoon, (in winter in the southern states of Australia this isn't as important) The Aussie sun is harsh is on your kids clothing as well as their skin so it is well worth protecting both!
Do you have any tips for prolonging the life of children's clothing?

    1 comment:

    Rhianna said...

    So true about the quality factor, it really does pay to get a good quality rather than the cheap as chips stuff that is mass produced in some under paid factory.

    So lovely to see a post from you, I miss reading your blog, hope that lovely baby of yours is enjoying all the time she steals from blogging :)

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