Sunday, December 29, 2013

De-cluttering, and Recycling...Jeans

I've always been back and forth on this one. Sometimes I save old jeans to cut into squares and make patchwork. And yes, I do, sometimes, actually make things from them. I once made an apron for my young son from old denim patches, and, another time, I made a light throw, a little blanket you can drape over your lap while reading or watching TV. 

I often look at recycling ideas in books and blogs. For example, this website,Going Green with Jeans, has lots of different ideas for using old jeans to make new purses, pillows, aprons, and more. 

However, I get busy with my other hobbies: reading and writing, as well as with school and caring for my family. So I usually spend more time exploring ideas than actually pursuing projects. And - as one son pointed out - finding a good home for each item slows down my de-cluttering process. Actually, he said I'm a packrat. Who me?  But I just hate to see things go to waste.

So, I was excited to discover that there's another way to recycle worn jeans, too. There's an organization that takes old jeans and recycles them into cotton insulation for homes. A portion of the insulation they make is donated to community organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity. You can watch a video about a recent recycling effort of Blue Jeans Go Green at National Geographic for Kids, here. Yes, I know it says "for kids", but it's fascinating, all the same. 

And if you don't mind paying the postage, you can mail your old jeans to this company. You can find a shipping label here

Or, if you don't want to pay postage they say that, seasonally, various retailers collect jeans for recycling, and you can find a list of retailers through their FAQ page and check with the retailers that are in your area. 

In the interest of disclosure, from what I can see, it's my understanding that this organization makes insulation for sale, and donates a portion. In other words, it's not purely a charitable donation. But, this is the case with other recycled items, as well. The idea is to keep from filling our landfills and to reuse our resources. 

Just wanted to share this with you, in case any of it is helpful to anyone or as interesting to you as it was to me.  

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