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Green Xmas: Use up your stash.

December 15, 2009

Its amazing how much money is spent each year during the holiday season, and how much waste is generated.  Really, it is mind-boggling to think about—so most of us just don’t.  But if we do that doesn’t mean we need to stop celebrating, or sharing, or giving, but rather approach it from another angle.

In her comment on my Green Xmas post last week, Traci, of amazing mae, focused on downsizing consumption this year by using up the abundance that is in most of our homes.  She wrote the following in response to my question on how you are all celebrating green this year:

“This Christmas I am not buying many new gifts for family, teachers and friends. I have been using what I have (which is way too much) because I just want to see it go and because it helps me become more creative. I have had to buy supplies here and there, but for the most part, I have so much stuff around here to use.”

And I am right there with her, for many reasons.  Our house is small, so storage is limited.  We do not have a costco-stock-up kind of house.  We have more of an essentials-only house.  Excess gets quickly re-routed out of house as often as possible.  Those pants look a little short?  Watch out, I’ll probably snatch them off you and ready them for delivery to my nephew.  Done reading those magazines–in the back of the van ready to be dropped off at The Friends of the Library who resell them.  Of course, I still end up with my fair share of fabric, paper, and craft supplies.  Oh, and glass jars I can’t bear to toss in the recycle and am convinced I”ll find a purpose for.

So this year, instead of thinking of projects I would need to purchase supplies to make, I looked at my stashes.  I already shared how I used up my untouched vodka and some recycled dressing jars to make homemade vanilla, but I’m still going–looking carefully at the potential of some untouched piles of supplies.

On my list?  Easy and quick p.j. bottoms (like these) for my kids and my nephew out of fabric in my stash.  And a custom pillowcase (like this) long ago promised to my son and never completed.  I also have plans to prepare some easy sewing projects for my daughter, pre-cutting and writing instructions for her to do on her own later–perhaps a simple tote, an apron, and her own p.j. bottoms to sew.

I haven’t been able to completely resist purchasing this year (new yarn for my neice’s hat and there are some legos hidden away), but it has been a good exercise to look at what I already have.  And I’m guessing that if we all did this more often, our stashes wouldn’t be quite so large.

btw: check out Traci’s whimsical and simple santa ornament tutorial!  Very sweet and would be an easy craft to do with older children.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2009 6:20 am

    I was lucky enough to receive a big bag of fabric and thread from an acquaintance this summer, when she heard that I’d taken up sewing. Thanks to her I made a beautiful Christmas tree topper a la Design Sponge’s circus inspired Christmas tree, as well as a tree skirt. I’m also working on napkins and place mats made from scraps in my scrap box. What a wonderful feeling to use what I have to create nice things for friends. It’s a win-win situation!

    • jessbcuz permalink*
      December 17, 2009 9:14 am

      I would love to see that tree topper! post a pic on f.b.!
      and lucky you..a whole bag of goodies–that sounds lovely.
      Hope you’re making good progress on your projects–I’m preparing to start cutting mine out today.

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