if one is interested, there are obviously ways to use even these scraps. one can stuff bits like this into a big cube of sturdy fabric to make a stuffed footstool. stuffed toys can be created. a few rags could be made from larger pieces. i am, however, ready to let these bits go.
there are different ways to look at this, but seeing it all together like this does make me stop and think. on one hand this waste is about to become something else...and is not really waste at all. on the other hand this is a lot of waste. these bags make me very conscious of how my choices affect the planet.
every time i type "zero-waste", i feel a little jab in my gut. there are not many things in our times that are truly zero-waste. gardening with seed saving and composting is truly zero-waste. sewing my own clothing is not. waste is inevitably created in the process of manufacturing and transporting the fabric. buying in bulk definitely decreases packaging, but it is not zero-waste. there is again packaging and waste involved in processing and transport. i will continue to use the term, because it is recognizable and compelling...but my true focus can only be on significantly reducing my family's waste and also getting the waste i do create into the right hands.
these bags of textile waste are going to goodwill, where i believe they will be sorted, transported and eventually be made into things like carpet padding, rags and car insulation. jobs are created in sorting and transport, volume is saved from the landfill, and less raw materials are needed for the manufacture of these items. i believe this is responsible disposal, but it does create further waste in the form of transport and manufacturing emissions.
it always comes back to less, in my mind. the less we need... the less we use...the less we use up and need to dispose of.
here is my big question: if we all kept our consumption to needs and the occasional luxury...could our waste actually balance out into productive closed loop systems?