Sustainable Living

3 Ways To Knit Green And A Big Cable Coverlet (free knitting pattern)

In my conciliatory effort to catch up, it’s time for another knitting project. Before you grab your needles, let’s take a look at the saving the planet side of knitting.

Since I must examine the eco-friendliness of everything, and I must knit, I must help you find a way to knit without doing any further harm to our precious environment.

Let’s be real. Knitting is not the greenest of crafts. It’s expensive, and there’s a myriad of toxic additives and dyes used in the manufacturing of yarn. The process is not energy-efficient, and not great for workers health. And a large chunk of yarn comes from faraway places. All of this can negatively affect people and our planet.

While the yarn industry may have a long way to go, there are a few things conscious knitters can do.

3 Ways to Green Your Knitting

1. Knit Your Stash – Here’s a fact: Knitters horde yarn. Why? Because you’ll never know when you will need a variegated purple fingering-weight merino angora-blend skein. What was I thinking?

2. Unravel An Old Sweater – It’s spring…go weeding in your sweater drawer. I wrote about how to rip out a sweater and reuse the yarn HERE. Try it. For some, ripping out is more fun than knitting.

3. Consider Your Ecological Impact – Purchase organic yarn from a local yarn shop. Organic yarn goes through the same rigorous requirements as organic meat. Sheep are fed organic feed, free of injected growth hormones, and their cushy fleeces cannot be washed in chemicals. Natural dyes seal the eco-deal.

Big Cable Knitted Coverlet

My daughter sent me a photo of a coverlet she wants for her bed (main image). I pinned it onto my Pinterest Knitting Board. Love the big cables. I found the perfect (free) KNITTING PATTERN (right), and beautiful creamy organic yarn at my local yarn shop.

Cabled and caught up!

Photos: the style files, Lion Brand Yarn

Mobile Greenhouse Teaches Kids To Grow Food

“If you can grow food in the back of a truck, you can grow it anywhere!” ~ Compass Green

Prepare to be inspired by this sustainable farming/teaching project:

via: Treehugger

Repurposed Over-Dyed Rug Sling Chairs

I am awestruck by the beauty of these sling chairs. The chairs are handcrafted with over-dyed repurposed rugs. The custom designed chairs from Still + Co. for Sit and Read in Brooklyn, are hemmed and hand-stitched onto welded wrought iron frames.

Check out the rug-dying process via Design Sponge. Gorgeous.

Still & Co. for Sit and Read from Sit and Read on Vimeo.

A Kitchen Revolt – Recycled Appliances To The Rescue

My kitchen was out of sink. A while back, I was convinced my appliances had gathered around the triangle conjuring up ways to drive my family crazy. The collapse of the appliances ran the gamut from deranged to deceased…all in one agonizing week.

Here are the sorted story highlights and how it led me on a path to find a sustainable option for a major appliance purchase.

The Kitchen Conspiracy

The nozzle on the faucet sprayed me down every time it was time to clean the pots and pans, depositing water and grease all over. The refrigerator was particularly frisky and wouldn’t shut, leaking precious energy and melting down the freezer in its wake. There were two broken wine glasses in the dishwasher, making emptying a treacherous landmine.

You get the drift, my appliances were as unruly as inanimate objects can get…all but the gas stove, that just up and died at the ripe age of 22.

The Lifespan Of Kitchen Appliances

How long should a kitchen appliance last?

“The life expectancy of a typical appliance depends to a great extent on the use it receives. Moreover, appliances are often replaced long before they are worn out because changes in styling, technology and consumer preferences make newer products more desirable. Of the major appliances in a home, gas ranges have the longest life expectancy: 15 years. Dryers and refrigerators last about 13 years. Some of the appliances with the shortest lifespan are: compactors (6 years), dishwashers (9 years) and microwave ovens (9 years).” ~ Do It Yourself

The Attempted Fixes

The fridge, faucet and dishwasher had their requisite repairs. But, the stove was truly deceased. After cooking on my woodstove for about a minute, I realized we were faced with a major, major appliance purchase. I had been coveting a professional gas stove for a long time. Have you seen the price tags of one of those beauties? Astronomical. So, I searched EBAY and Craigslist for a gently used professional stove and got nowhere – shipping costs would have been prohibitive anyway. I had read about an organization called Green Demolitions. I knew they sold used salvaged kitchens and baths, and I knew they were connected to a charity. But I had no idea they would save my kitchen from imminent demise.

Green Demolitions To The Rescue

Green Demolitions Recycling Luxury for Recovery is a non-profit organization that provides recycled luxury kitchens and baths at 50%-70% off new retail prices. The appliances and fixtures are donated from estates that are demolished or renovated.

To sweeten the pot, the proceeds of the sale go directly to their “entrepreneurial charitable enterprise” which supports outreach programs for AAA (All Addicts Anonymous). The obvious benefit for the buyer is clear; recycled quality appliances for a fraction of the cost. Green Demolitions connects people who want to give, with people who need something, for people in need. The donor gets a tax savings, reduced labor and/or disposal, while the reduction of landfill waste from all those otherwise tossed appliances is a win for the environment.

The knowledge that a charitable contribution goes to self-sustaining funds for a highly effective addiction recovery program was the icing on the cake for me.

Back to the battlefield of my kitchen…

A New Old Stove

From my new hero, Green Demolitions, we purchased a shiny, 2 year old 30″ professional stove that looks just like this. We got it for a song (much less than a lesser new model). It is the focal point of my kitchen, and the object of my foodie family’s affection. And now, thanks to Green Demolitions, the rest of the revolutionaries in the kitchen triangle are on high alert.


Holiday Waste…Holiday Win


Holiday Win: 10 Ways To Reduce Holiday Waste

Fascinating or Bah Humbug?

Infographic via Green Upgrader