Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Favorite T-Shirt Goes to Another Life

What can you say about a T-Shirt that died?
It was a green T, cotton, blazoned with "Save St. Edward State Park", and gifted to me by a friend from Citizens for St Edward Park (C4SEP) at my high school reunion there. St Ed's was my high school, and now it's a park that inhabits one of the last chunks of forestland on the shores of Lake Washington.
Keeping it as unspoiled as possible while open for public use is a continuing challenge since everyone wants a piece of it: a private college wants to expand deeper into it, people who play field sports want more fields, and the main building is pretty badly out-of-code - needing a lot of money to bring into compliance with today's safety codes, and there's just not money to do it. C4SEP is a classic local citizen action group, doing what it can to help the local community control its destiny.
I wore the shirt proudly, and with it referred several citizens to the Park that it advertized. I enjoyed the comfort of its thick cotton and the joy of the gift. BUT: all things come to an end. When not merely worn spots but actual holes started appearing in the shirt, I had to think of its next place in the cycle of existence.

Rather than just trash it, I converted it to useful rags. Old t-shirts make great rags for cleaning house or car, and you can always use more! Be sure to take advantage of the existing hems when you cut them up; you can leave the neckhole intact if you like to hang a rag on a doorknob. I suppose you could take the effort to hem the raggedy edges but I never bother; these are for cleaning, not for show.

I much prefer rags to paper towels or those expensive wipes presoaked in a cleaning chemical. I trust my rags and the simple chemicals I clean with; I'm not sure what's in the presoaked wipes nor the likelihood that their formulation may change on a whim; they can be no better at sanitizing than plain white vinegar, ammonia or alcohol. Also, I have a better use for the money I save! And when I'm done, my rags are ready for re-use with a quick soak in clean water and a hanging in the sun, instead of requiring a trip to the store.

I'm sure that's the way my C4SEP T-shirt would have wanted it!

I got thinking about this when I read ReduceFootprint's latest Change the World Wednesday Challenge:
Okay ... ready for a new challenge? This week's challenge was suggested by our friend Ange of Signed by Ange. It's something that many people don't think twice about but ... it generates a lot of waste. Here it is:

This week, stop using throw away wipes and cloths (baby wipes, single use window cleaner sheets, duster sheets, etc.).

Or ...

If you never use these kinds of products, please write a post about what you use instead."
How about you? Can you take the challenge (even if it means saving a little money?)

1 comment:

Small Footprints said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your "T"! But I know that "T" would have been proud to know that even in death, his life had purpose! May he WIP (wipe in peace).