Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 94 of our Green Year: Reusing Sweaters

It may be odd to start talking about sweaters as we go headlong into August, but the truth is that this is a great time to start looking through your closet at things you can reuse or recycle, and one of the most common pieces of clothing people will toss out is sweaters. Many people are not big fans of sweaters because they can only be used for part of the year, unlike a T-Shirt that can be worn year-round (at least under a big coat in the winter).

So, for Day 94 of our Green Year, Layla and I will be reusing our sweaters in new ways.

First, we will be giving old sweaters to thrift stores so someone else can get as much use out of these as we did. On the flip side, when we need a sweater, we will get ours from thrift stores as well. Why buy new when you can buy used?

Second, if you have a hand-knit sweater, and you know someone who can knit (Layla can), then have the sweater unraveled, cut out the thin spots and turn it into a toque!

Third, if it is wool or mostly wool, you can make a great heavy fabric that is great for craft projects. Just get a bunch of old wool sweaters, put them in a zippered pillow case and wash them by hand or by an energy-efficient washer. Only use a small bit of laundry soap (the green kind) and fabric softener (also green). After the load is done, check to see if the sweater has shrunk, if not, then do two loads by hand or in the washer. Now, just air dry and cut into pieces for a quilt, pet toys or anything else!

Lastly, use the old sweater as stuffing for a pillow. Why buy new pillow stuffing when you can give new life to pillows and cushions with an old sweater.

Got any ideas for what you can do with an old sweater? Let us know!