Monday, March 23, 2009

It's the Real Thing-- Recycled Good Luck Signs

The single rosette is the most basic motif of hex signs and it is one of the most ancient designs in western culture. The rosette appears on buildings, furniture, gravestones and pottery. The rosette design is a symbol for luck and the scalloped border symbolizes smooth sailing. The color red is used to symbolize strength and green is a life color. This sign with the red rosette is a potent safeguard against harm and portends good luck in life."--Pennsylvania DutchHex Signs
Reduce, re-use, and recycle. That's the mantra of the green movement, isn't it? Ever thought about how much you do of each? The new issue of National Geographic came yesterday (or maybe it's last month's edition, and I just remembered where it was when I cleaned off the desk?). There's an article about saving energy and reducing our carbon footprints, and it has me thinking and re-thinking my own ideas about reducing, re-using, and recycling. The authors point out that we can't do everything at once, thankfully, so my musings right now may or may not be translated into action, but they are necessary musings, nonetheless.
Re-using things has always been my favorite mode of saving the earth. Got a soda bottle and some Crystal Light or Kool-aid? Then re-use that bottle a few times before you recycle it. Got a stack of newspapers and a box to pack and mail? Then re-use that newspaper to cushion your package. Heck, if you've ordered something and it arrived with the dreaded styrofoam peanuts for cushioning, then save those peanuts and re-use them next time you mail a package yourself. Got a stack of old blue jeans that have regrettably shrunk? Then save them to re-use for a patchwork quilt to keep you warm (okay, I haven't done that myself, but I happily use the blue jean quilt my mom made for my dad!). Got soda cans and an urge to create? Then use those cans to make a three dimensional rosette hex sign for good luck :)
Reducing my consumption has always been a tough one for me. Oh, I am far from being a shopaholic, but we're talking about energy consumption. I. have. to. have. my. car. That's no stretch of the imagination for many situations, but shouldn't I be able to consolidate trips and cut back on actual miles? I'm getting better at this, little by little, over the years. Reducing my energy consumption inside the house should be a project for me. The experts say you can't do it all at once and should start with small changes. I can do that, and articles like the one in the Geographic are responsible for reminding me that I can do it. I can unplug items that aren't constantly in use (nasty phantoms sucking energy just 'cause they're plugged in). I can choose to not fill the bathtub to the brim with hot water every single night (I admit it, hot water is a weakness...but surely, I can cut back). I can turn off lights, only do full loads of laundry, and use the oven wisely. Occasionally, I need to be reminded (and/or shamed into) to try harder and make wiser choices.
Recycling is not a problem in our house, except for finding places to store the stuff between visits to the recycling center (so we don't have to make the trip every week). Yes, Mother, I know you bought those big yellow containers with wheels specifically for that purpose. They keep getting re-purposed, though (they are pretty darn cool boxes-- how could I resist?). Do I think we could recycle more? I imagine so, and once again, that article has me thinking about my approach.
Do what you can. Think about how you can do more and turn those "more" actions into habits. Recharge your own willpower/enthusiasm batteries. Every little bit helps :)


Sweetwater Designs said...

I do cold water laundry and I've stopped running the water while brushing my teeth.
hey, it's all in the baby steps!..I know I could be doing sooo much better.

Sharon Driscoll said...

Let's see --- hmmmmmm ----- I know I recycle ---- I think my brain is doing it right now! I do turn off lights and the flickering one between my ears is going to bed now!

Deb said...

I love the rosette Ang! Wonderfully done & what a great way to recycle.

We are pretty energy conscious here...this city because of the way it is situated has always had a pollution problem in winter - so reducing our carbon footprint gets quite a bit of media & city council coverage.

Recently we got recycle wheeley bins to put out every week, instead of using rubbish bags & having to make trips to the rubbish tips & recycle centres. They are fabulous! Yep, you guessed it ...I was excited about!
They kind of enforce recycling - so even the lazy people don't have a lot of choice.

I almost blogged about them!