vote our planet
not that long ago
Plastic grocery bags started to catch on in 1982. By 2000, Americans consumed 100 billion plastic shopping bags per year. Obviously before the introduction of even grocer-issued paper bags, shoppers had carried their own baskets and cloth bags along to the shops... accomplishing the job of transport just the same.
Styrofoam was invented in 1944.
Plastic lined paper cups were invented in 1950.
High-density plastic (now used for milk jugs among many other things) was invented in 1957.
Bic released the first disposable pen in 1958.
Disposable razors came onto the scene in 1960.
In 1964, Coca-Cola still came in reusable glass bottles.
Bread started being sold in plastic bags in 1969.
The great thing about these facts is that we can still see how our parents and grandparents shaved, wrote, ate, and drank without the aid of single use containers. I am fortunate enough to have access to returnable + reusable glass milk containers...which used to be the norm. Local bottlers used to exist in order to clean and refill returned glass soda bottles as well.
In only five years, the plastic ice cube trays that came with our refrigerator have cracked with the twisting required to loosen the cubes. They no longer hold water in all of the wells and they are now trash.
When I was growing up, we used metal ice cube trays. I have to admit that I was a bit envious of the unbroken cubes my friends' were able to produce at their homes... but now I'm envious of my mom's unbroken ice cube trays. :)
I was able to find this one online, and I believed the reviews to reveal a case for buying the Onyx brand tray that is 18/8 stainless steel. The imitation seems flimsy and prone to break.
Just a little reminder that sometimes it can help to take a look at the past to create a better future. :)
to go meal :: curry noodle soup
While culling my recipe file earlier this year, I came across this recipe which I think was originally from Martha Stewart's little Everyday Food magazine. Since it does require ingredients in both a can and a jar, we don't eat it often. Then I saw a portable version in Gwenyth Paltrow's newest cookbook, It's All Easy, and I knew I wanted to try this method for a meal on the go. It works well, so I can't wait to experiment with even lesser waste ingredients. (I'd love to be one of the lucky ones who has access to bulk noodle nests.) :)
Curry Noodle Soup (to go or to stay)
thin brown rice noodles
1 can coconut milk
1/2 of a 4 oz jar curry paste (i use this)
one cucumber, sliced
basil leaves, torn
Divide ingredients between 6 mason jars. When it's time to eat, squeeze the lemon wedge over before or after adding water. Add boiling water or water from a hot water tap... replace the top + shake... wait a couple minutes... and enjoy. (The pictures in Gwyneth's book show her pouring water out of an insulated water bottle/thermos. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm curious.)
To make at home, heat coconut milk, curry paste and 6 cups of water until boiling. Remove from heat, add noodles and wait 4 minutes. Serve topped with cucumbers, lemon juice and basil.
fair brand :: han starnes
I was first attracted to Han Starnes's style when I saw her beautiful minimal home a few years ago. Han brings this same carefully edited aesthetic to her collection of clothing featuring US grown organic cotton, 100% alpaca knits, and handspun + handwoven fabrics. Pieces are made by hand in Han's hometown of Nashville as well as in Alabama, North Carolina, and Peru. This collection could easily keep me happy all through autumn + winter. I think the pieces would work just as well for work as for relaxing on the couch. Simple shapes thoughtfully designed and ethically made from fiber to hanger.
all photos via Han Starnes.
weekend reads + such
J. Gordon Lippencott, a pioneer in product design and branding, said in 1947, "Our willingness to part with something before it is completely worn out is a phenomenon noticeable in no other society in history... It is soundly based on our economy of abundance. It must be further nurtured even though it runs contrary to one of the oldest inbred laws of humanity, the law of thrift."
It's no coincidence that the notion of saving up to buy something (and earning interest in the process) started losing ground in his era, supplanted by the then-new phenomenon of credit cards and borrowing to buy (and paying interest in the process). ~Edward Humes in Garbology
Love this so much!
Take a lunch + make it low, low waste.
Reused for livable housing.
"Being normal makes everything else 'abnormal'."
Because organic foods are good for our bodies, the farmer's bodies, and the planet... packaging isn't... and you can help!
Hope there's nothing but the sun in your eyes this weekend!
"Each time a man stands up for an ideal,
or acts to improve the lot of others,
or strikes out against injustice,
he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope,
and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring
those ripples build a current that can sweep down
the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
~Robert F. Kennedy
dear friends ::
Things are looking a little different around here, but I hope you'll stay. Writing over at jane+jo+julia and in this space has allowed me to stretch my creativity and to notice the beauty in everyday, simple choices. It's strengthened my values and held me accountable for my actions. My hope has grown in so many ways. It would bring me great joy to imagine that it might have done the same for you in any small way.
Fairdare focuses on putting others first in regards to our clothing decisions. It's true that I like fashion and view dressing as a means of creative expression. I love that we can express love through our clothing choices as well!
Putting others first, for me, is an expression of my faith. This faith is the driving force behind not only my clothing choices, but also my food choices, and choices regarding how we choose to live.
So while I liked the space created here to focus on a single issue, I found that dividing my focus between two spaces was crippling my creativity. I added two instagram accounts to the mix and was soon feeling torn between where each and every idea fit best. So I'm circling the wagons and bringing the whole shebang back under one tent. (Total cliche dump there.) :) I apologize for the switch, but hope it's a good one for you too.
We'll still be exploring the fairdare, fair fashion, inspiring fair wearers, and all the other tools and inspiration meant for this space. We'll just add explorations of other fair choices to the mix.
I think "fairdare" accurately embodies this all encompassing drive to live fairly in a world of valuable people and limited resources. I hope you'll join the conversation!
cultivating habits :: vitamins
i've fought a mental battle over the years about taking vitamins. on one hand i think that we should be able to get all the vitamins we need from our diets... vitamins are expensive... and i don't want to get lazy about eating a variety of healthy foods, because i am depending on vitamin supplements. on the other hand, i realize that i may need some help actually reaching my daily requirements.
we don't eat meat at home, so i'm mindful of the holes we need to fill. i want to be aware of getting enough vitamin b12, iron, and zinc. we do eat dairy, but i want to keep my bones strong so am aware of calcium intake as well.
i've also recently read a bit of woman code. i took the quick test on the author's website, and it predicted that i have a magnesium deficiency. i'd also been told about taking magnesium for the heart palpitations that i experience. i've been taking fish oil (sporadically) for a couple years for that as well, but finding second reason to believe i may be deficient in magnesium motivated me to take action.
so with my vitamin b12, iron, zinc, vitamin d, and vitamin c covered in a multivitamin... my magnesium + calcium supplemented... and fish oil accounted for... i now have four pills to take. i'm determined to take those vitamins every day, and have been proud of my consistency over the past three weeks. the problem is that in the past few days, i've realized that i've gotten so used to taking my vitamins that i can't always remember doing it.
oh, habits. it feels a little dorky, but i've succumbed to the pill organizer. i looked for a non-plastic option, but didn't find one. i'll hope this one lasts. now i can keep track and be sure not to double dose.
one is enough
I've read over and over that when we find a piece that fits + flatters, we should buy it in multiples.
The other day I found a piece that I quite liked. It fit quite nicely. The color fits into my wardrobe perfectly. I tried it on with various bottoms + layers already in my closet... and it is quite versatile. It's a keeper. And even with all my writing about less and enough... do you know what my pressing thought was? I wonder if there is another one on the website... maybe in a different color.
Who do you think I write these posts for? Right, me.
The one piece is brilliant. Another would just be redundant. I find that buying more than one of an item often just makes me get tired of both pieces twice as quickly. Wearing a piece until it can be worn no more should be the goal, and when a piece is of good quality... that doesn't happen for quite a while... and usually not before I'm ready to move on to a new style or color anyway.
One is enough.
one day last week i made two dresses... but i only had one to show for it in the end.
i had pretty much finished my (first) dress, when i realized that i would never wear it. the idea was a good one (in my opinion)... a calf length, short sleeved dress with slits at the sides. this gorgeous fabric that i bought last autumn in nashville was waiting for the perfect project... and i thought i'd envisioned it. when i slid that dress on, however, i just knew that i wouln't actually want to wear it that often.
it's like shopping. i find what i think is a lovely piece, but when i try it on something is not right and i pass on the purchase. sewing doesn't afford the same walk away opportunity.
i've sewn pieces i love,,, but i've probably sewn a lot more pieces that i would have walked away from in the fitting room. the problem is that i've already consumed the materials.
i struggle with the notion that sewing and knitting offer the "perfect" custom clothing option. it does allow customization, quality assurance, and fitting options... but it can also create waste if the finished project is not worn. yes, i can use the waste for other projects, but what if i don't want or need a quilt (that involves purchasing batting) made out of my failed shirt fabric? what if i don't want or need another bread bag or child's skirt or any number of other projects that i could make out of the waste?
i can donate the finished project and cross my fingers that someone else will take it home and love wearing it.
i don't have the answers. i like to create. i like coming up with ideas and bringing them to life. i like when my creations become beloved parts of my wardrobe. they don't always become beloved parts of my wardrobe.
this time, i was able to pick apart the first dress... cut out a second dress,,, sew it up... and like it. i'm not so sure that a couple of my other recent sewing projects will have the same successful end to their stories.
i can consume less... as always. i can do my best. it's just hard sometimes to sort this all out.
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time