Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How the Depression Taught Grandma to be Green

This past fall, an anniversary has come and gone that I have heard little fanfare about. Black Thursday. Not the famed best shopping day of the year, where retailers open at 4 am and sale catalogs weigh 5 pounds a piece. But the infamous anniversary of that fateful day that took us into the Great Depression.
I am not a political analyst touting the cautions and comparisons to our times and those that lead up to that dark day. I really pay no mind to the issues that flood the internet linking the Depression to present day concerns. However, there is one thing that caught my attention as I sat down to write my “Green Christmas Tips “article for the newsletter. I couldn’t get this thought out of my head. Did Grandma start going green in the 1930’s and no one noticed?
The Great Depression was a terrible time in our history, full of homelessness, joblessness and poverty. To my amazing discovery, it was also a time of being frugal, being thrifty and going green. The environment wasn’t the issue. Al Gore wasn’t standing on his 100% post-consumer recycled soap box warning of doom and gloom. It wasn’t an option to reuse items. There weren’t green stores, green art and green articles teaching us how to be more green. There wasn’t this type of save the earth mentality that made people change their ways. But instead the Great Depression was a time of conservation based out of necessity.
"Repair, reuse, make do, and don't throw anything away" was a motto during the Great Depression. Look how far we have come. Look how gone to the other extreme. Is it only the” tree huggers” and the “environmentalists” that see the usefulness in that phrase today. That slogan could easily be on any Eco Friendly Website and no one would know that it was regularly tossed around in homes 70 plus years ago.
Their green behavior is clear; their environmentally sound practices are shown through their resourcefulness. These lessons that they taught their kids have since gotten lost in an age of waste. Grandma became the nutty one for reusing cloth ribbon on her packages and neatly folding her gift wrap and saving it for the following holiday. And we became so superior for showing her how we can mindlessly discard anything that isn’t shiny and new any longer. Remember, Grandma was the one who wore dresses and sometimes even undergarments made out of feed bags and flour sacks because her mom wouldn’t toss out the colorful cotton. Our grandparents were taught that once socks could not be patched any longer they could be tied to the end of a long handle to become a mop. Glass jelly jars became everyday drinking glasses, geese would have their bellies plucked for the family to have a softer bed and oh, those beautiful handmade quilts and rugs made from worn out clothing. Everything outdoors became the kid’s entertainment. The garden was their grocery store. There was no thought to how much pesticide was on the produce or how much fuel it took to ship it across the country to your local neighborhood market. The electricity was limited to illumining the house at night, if that, and not for mindless hours of television, video games and lighting rooms we aren’t even in. They composted. They recycled. They did the things everyday that we pat ourselves on the back for; Repurposing, Reusing and Recycling. They were the first environmentalists, without even knowing it.
Every “Going Green” Holiday article you will read this season will tell you to start folding your paper to save it for next year like it is a new concept. Remember, Grandma still does this now. This is not a new concept. Grandma may have had this one right. And you never know she might just be right about her bee hive making a come back too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Contest Details

"Check out the new contest!

Do you Repurpose? Do you make garland for your tree out of old fabric,do you paper mache telephone book pages for your star tree topper??

Show them your best Christmas Tree Decoration made from recycled, repurposedand reclaimed materials.

Email them "How To" Directions and list of "Materials Needed" and attach a picture - between now and November 24. Their favorite entry will receive a $10 gift certificate, andthe winner's name and idea will be featured in the December e-newsletter, December snailmail newsletter and on the website!

Send your entries

Winner will be posted on the website byNovember 26th.

Enter as many items as you'd like. Good Luck!"

Monday, November 5, 2007

Interested in becoming a Artist

Are you Artist?

Our artists enjoy the freedom of doing something that they really enjoy, while seeming the financial fruits of their labor. All of our artists are committed to lessening the impact they have on the waste stream by using AT LEAST 60% recycled or reclaimed goods for all of their pieces.

With's ecclectic line of inventory there is always always a place for a new piece of art, furniture, home decor or fashion accessories made by your hand.

Please contact us if you have unique, handmade pieces that you would like sell on our site, or log onto our site and fill out the "Become an Artist" contact form at

Thanksgiving Craft Idea

Never forget what you are thankful for!

I have started one of my own little traditions in my family that I would like to share with you all. It is something that you will cherish as you set your Thanksgiving Table. I bought a large table cloth (large clean, flat sheet from a thrift store would do nicely,but make sure it isn't too full of texture) and left a wash-proof, permanent colored marker at everyone's place setting.
Some time during dinner they write on the table cloth what they are thankful for, their name and the year. It is washable so you can still get those gravy stains out, but the marker isn't.

Each year, with different guests and family members the table cloth gets more and more colorful and sentimental. I, of course, encourage the Thanksgiving Hand Turkeys too!

Be Creative, Cherish Silly, Recycle, Be Thankful