Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Clean Closet, Clean Earth.

Happy Earth Day. Be sure to hug the planet today, but please don't buy anymore clothing. Just for a day, people. Just for a day.

I know, capitalism is what makes the traditional blogosphere go round and round and round, but after being pitched stories on a few lines of Green wear, made of repurposed hemp and dyed of natural causes or whatever, I've decided to take the stance of abstinence in honor of Mama Earth today.

Don't shop for a day. Instead, look at the plethora of stuff on store racks. See the huge glut of fabrics sewn into trendy shapes, in all the bright colors of "now", screaming for your dollar, and turn them down. Feel the claustrophobia of so much extra stuff clogging store shelves and eventually landfills. Just for a day resist the urge to participate in the game of getting more, and awaken your senses to the sheer amount of clothing, jewelry, shoes, bags, hats, hair things, undies, and all the rest that are being made, cheaply bought, worn and quickly tossed. It is all so disposable. Believe me, I'm all for the love of things, for beauty and the thrill of shaping your wardrobe and shopping to fit a personal style. I love fashion. But, like so many other societal norms we have come to take for granted, the easy game of trendy shopping needs to be reexamined.

My suggested solution? Buy things you absolutely love, things that make you tingle and light up. Buy items that you have carefully considered and that will last you through trends. Maybe spend a little more, but ultimately it doesn't matter how much they cost. More important is whether or not they will be with you for the long haul. Get to know your style. Clothing that pleases your senses will make you a happier, better person to the world. Don't laugh, it's true! When I feel good in what I'm wearing, I smile more. I talk to people. I have a better day. That kind of goodness is contagious. That kind of happiness is good for the planet on all levels.

Also, get rid of the unnecessary clothing clogging your own closet. Do an inventory. Maybe you don't need to buy another black button-down after all, maybe there is one hiding in between your old prom dress and your new spring floral. Know what you have and toss stuff you don't need or like, but wait! Don't toss it in the garbage. Instead donate it to the Goodwill. Or, bring it to be recycled. The Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC) has teamed up with the Union Square Farmer's Market to provide a drop-off location for your old clothing. They take anything clean, even torn or unusable clothing items. The program is fast expanding to help alleviate the environmental and financial stress of the whopping 193,000 lbs of clothing and textiles sent to landfills and incinerators each year (as reported by the NYC Department of Sanitation). Check CENYC's website for additional information, such as collection dates and added drop-off sites. Clean closet= clean Earth. Happy you= happy planet. It's all good. Happy Earth Day.

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1 comment:

Christiana said...

Super info! 193,000 lbs of clothing is completely insane. Numbers like that shock me. I went to CENYC's website and I especially like the Stop 'N Swap.