Natural Inspiration – Happy Earth Day!

Running on the trails near my house has recently reminded me of a quilt I made years ago.  While it didn’t get much love on the blog, it gets used all the time at my house.

Inspiration came one spring day while biking.  Shades of purple, green, and brown are sprinkled along the Monon Trail.  The trees bend just so to create a lovely archway.

Friday night during a run, I looked up and noticed a very similar picture.  It was breathtaking.  This isn’t from the trail, but it’s nearby.

To create the quilt I took shades of Kona purples, greens, and browns.  It was pieced organically and out of paper bags.  The method is fun and keeps the piecing random.

It’s a family favorite.  This is our go to picnic quilt and has traveled all over the US.

On these long runs I have been listening to a variety of podcasts.  I listen to ones on health and wellness encouraging me to think a little differently about what my family is exposed to.  DIYing things with safer ingredients and reducing our carbon footprint has been weighing on me.  Changes needed to be small things that I could implement and sustain.  There are MANY ways to make changes but these are some that are working for us.

We started composting with our neighbor.  They had a bin and used it sparingly.  We wanted a bin but had not fully committed.  It has surprised us how many food scraps we go through in a day or two.  We are going to have some rich soil for our garden beds which we started planting over the weekend.  If we continue to compost we will need to consider our own bin in the future.  It’s been a good way to test our commitment to this change.

In my spring cleaning I found some cloth napkins I had made a while back.  NYC fabric from City Quilter.  Look for an upcoming tutorial on a cute linen napkin.  I prefer these over paper towels or paper napkins any time, they hold up better against the preschooler.

With our laundry I started using wool dryer balls and cut my drying time down.  Playing around on Pinterest I have been researching making our laundry detergent.  So far I am loving the one below.  Two gallons for next to nothing and took like 15 minutes to make.

via Dwellinginhappiness.com

We recycle everything we can, our 96 gallon bin could be emptied every week.  We buy our meats from a local butcher and shop the farmer’s market in the warmer months.  P was cloth diapered for 2.5 years.  Most of our personal care items have been switched out to better options.  I started using a local companies lotion and it’s amazing, that was the real catalyst to make some changes in these products.  The Shea Butter Softening Cream is simply amazing.  My skin has never felt better since I switched over 2-3 years ago.  Best part, it’s a small woman owned local business, the owner is pretty great too.

Courtesy of Frangipani Body Products

I need to start doing some research on more natural makeup companies and make that switch next.  I see lots of trial and error going to happen with it.  I am open to suggestions of your favorite companies as well.

When it comes to quilting I try to apply recycling to my products as much as possible.  I incorporate scraps into most projects, vintage sheets as backings, and left over batting bit to stuff pillows.  They are small actions, but with the amount of quilts I create, that would be too much waste.

By no means am I perfect at this and have lots of areas we could improve upon.  However, I really have to consider how sustainable an action is if it’s going to be implemented in my home.  Grandiose ideas are just ideas without some real thought into how to make them actionable.  I want to leave the Earth in a bit better health for my son’s generation.

Happy Earth Day!  What are you doing to celebrate it?

 

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