When was the last time that you made something with your hands? Do you remember how it felt to create something, finish it, look at it and enjoy it? Even if your creation is far from perfect, it likely felt very, very good. But why? Research has shown that creating or tending things by hand enhance mental health and make us happy. Ever wonder why you just seem to work better when you’re sitting by the window where you can appreciate the world outside you? Nature plays an instrumental role in improving productivity and maintaining good mental health. And that is how my love affair with sewing and gardening began.
I love making things and sewing is my outlet to express my creativity. Sewing is my first love, in fact, it is my language of love. Like all things in life, sewing does present challenges and frustrations. That’s when I turn to gardening for a change of scenery. My love of gardening made me become more aware of the idea of “going green”. This means making changes, no matter how small or big, to make environment-friendly decisions. Let me share to you some creative ways on how to go green through sewing and gardening.
- Upcycling or Refashioning old clothes
Just like what my mom used to do, I buy old oversized clothes from thrift stores for as low as 30 pesos. I would downsize these and turn into shorts, jogger pants, or leggings for my kids. That’s fashion in a frugal way!
- Making your own reusable sanitary pads
On average, a woman will, in her lifetime, use 11,000 tampons or sanitary napkin. That’s a lot and that is why I made my own washable, reusable menstrual pads. Using cotton fabric, an old towel and a waterproof fabric, you can make your very own reusable sanitary pads. Did you know that there’s such a thing as period poverty in some other parts of the world? We are so lucky to have access to sustainable sanitary health protection.
- Grow your own food
There are many foods you can regrow yourself from kitchen scraps. I started with tomatoes, peppers and pechay because these plants are very forgiving and easy to grow. If you live in a small space, container gardening is the way to go. Using empty plastic bottles to pot your plants, you can even hang them to save space. I also made a bird feeder out of plastic bottles to attract birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
- Indoor plants for better air
If vegetable gardening is not for you, then try planting ornamental plants inside your home. Did you know that some plants can purify air? Instead of buying an air purifier, try planting some snake plant, spider plant and peace lily to name a few. Again, if space is an issue, try your hands at kokedama.
Don’t throw away your kitchen scraps. You can make a compost out of it. Composting is very easy and can be used as a fertilizer for your plants. I used an old plastic file cabinet, drilled some holes in it and voila, I made myself mini compost bins. Be careful not to add any food wastes into your compost like meat, fish, dairy and other cooked food. However, these can also be composted by using a bokashi bucket.
My mother has been the biggest influence in my life. I am glad she taught me how to sew from an early age and her love of plants passed on to me. Now a mother myself, I wish to be that kind of nurturing mother to my kids and to mother nature. Let’s all be part of the creative process of crafting a green world!
Ada Marie M. Belmonte