As we wrap up our year long quest to help everyone live a little greener, today we’re focusing on your wardrobe. There are some clothes you can wear forever, some that slip in and out of fashion and some items we pray no one finds the pictures of—MC Hammer parachute pants anyone? 😄
But there is a way to stay fashionable and be environmentally conscious. Without holding onto your Cyndi Lauper crinoline skirt until it somehow comes back into style (seriously, it’s time to donate it to Goodwill), here are four tips on Going Green with your Wardrobe!
It’s time to start Poppin’ Tags
Thrift and low cost vintage stores are everywhere. And it’s not just clothes people donate when they’re full of holes – unless that’s your taste in jeans. People donate used – and even new – clothing for all sorts of reasons. They might be embracing a new clutter-free lifestyle, the clothes may be out of fashion, they may have come from someone who no longer needs them on this earth, or someone who’s gained or lost enough weight that they don’t fit them any more.
By the way, you can also help out on the other side of this equation. If you’re getting rid of clothes for whatever reason, donate them to Salvation Army or Goodwill. You’ll be helping the planet, helping folks who may not be able to afford new clothes, and helping to support the charities with their other assistance projects like feeding homeless or giving jobs to the disabled. And it’s a tax write off. Win-Win.
Please don’t add to the 68 pounds of clothing and textiles the average American throws away every year.
Buy an Ironing Board or Steamer
Yes, it’s so easy to just drop off and pick up your work clothes twice a week from the dry cleaners. While that industry has shaped up in the last 30 years, there are still a lot of dry cleaners that use known cancer-causing chemicals for processing their customers’ clothes. And they might not even know it. A lot of smaller, local dry cleaners send their stuff out to larger dry cleaning chains and warehouses. So, unless they do their due diligence, anything could be used to clean your clothes,
Many pieces of clothing that are labeled Dry Clean Only can just as easily be hand washed, although your washing machine will damage them. If your item is silk, wool or linen, consider doing a little elbow work yourself.
If you simply must dry clean, look for Green Cleaners that are beginning to pop up. These establishments use a liquid CO2 or wet dry cleaning techniques to get the clean you want without the risk you don’t.
Think Ahead Before You Shop
Instead of just buying that sleek new dress from Macy’s or Nordstrom, consider how much it will actually get worn and if it’s a responsible purchase. And remember, a lot of the hot new stuff in the store today will show up in their own outlet-style stores, or at Marshalls or TJ Maxx before too long.
There’s nothing wrong with an occasional impulse buy, but a little extra planning can make your shopping trip more successful and save in the long run. Plus, you can take the time to research and make sure what you’re buying is organic – truly organic, made from all-natural materials that haven’t been grown in fertilizer laden soil or been treated with metal-laden dyes.
Take Care of What You’ve Got
Grab a sewing kit and get to know your local tailor and cobbler. Small issues are easy to DIY. Working with a good tailor and cobbler can radically increase the life of your clothes and shoes. And they’re specially trained to deal with more delicate older fabrics.
Always wash a full load of clothes and use an energy star rated washer if you can. Instead of running the dryer, hang everything out on a clothesline or drip dry over a rack. Click this link for more tips on green laundry practices. If you have an errant spill, try these salt-based solutions for stain removal before you wash.
As God’s appointed stewards of the planet, we have a responsibility to step out of our comfort zone and do what we can to make life better for the earth and those of us still living on it. Here at Good News Pest Solutions, we strive to do that, providing 100% organic, reduced-risk pest control solutions to our clients from Ruskin to Port Charlotte. If you want to learn more about how we can keep you and your family safe from chemicals, insects and rodents, just give us a call!