Change the World Wednesday, More Good News

 

I am writing this from my son’s couch while everyone else is fast asleep.   It’s been a fantastic day where I spent plenty of time playing with my granddaughter, what a sense of humor she has.  After the little one headed to bed my daughter-in-law and I played four games of scrabble.  She and I both miss having a person around to play word games with. My son wasn’t left out, he got to rub it in that finally in the last two weeks he’s beating me in fantasy football. :-)

 

Today’s Change the World Wednesday is directly related to the following picture.

WP_20131126_004

The good news for this week at first may not seem to be of an environmental subject, but bear with me and see if you don’t agree.

The city, Rockford, Illinois, together with Etsy has created the Craft Entrepreneurship Program

“This “craft entrepeneurship program” brings local etsy employees together with high school and college students as well as adult education participants and teaches them how to craft their skills, make products, build a business and earn money

How does this relate to my promise to bring you good news each week?  I wrote about the move to reduce employee’s hours to less than 20 because of rising insurance costs here, I believed then, and still do, that the initial adjustment to part-time work would be difficult, but in the long-term this could be a good thing.

Rockford, Illinois has been hit the hardest after Detroit, in the changing economy, by training all age groups in how to run their own home-based business I am seeing the first step to what I pictured as the best situation to emerge from the current mess.

I graduated high school with honorable mention, went on to work in the business field, then returned to school to obtain my B.S. in Business, yet with all that schooling the one thing I can tell you is that my education at all levels was focused on working for someone else.  Sure I took accounting and marketing classes, but nothing that would have helped me to move into the world self-employed.

How does this program help the environment?

  1. People will not be on the road each day getting to work and back
  2. Creating a craft business will result in more locally produced products, yes even if the materials may  have to be shipped in for now.
  3. This will offer the community quality goods they can purchase without needing to drive to the mall.
  4. Crafters will look to use every bit of their product and many use vintage materials when available which reduces new resources being used.

So how does this relate to the picture above?

I took this picture of my granddaughter this afternoon during a quiet moment.  If you take  a look at the picture you will see she is wearing a summer dress. This dress was made by someone in my town, I spotted it while running some errands.  The dress is unique being that you won’t find the exact copy in one of the big box stores.  My purchase allows another person to make a living from home, and my granddaughter loves the dress which is most important.

But there is another thing you will see in the picture.  Do you see the pillow next to her?  I made this for her first birthday nearly two years ago.  I pulled fabric scraps out and pieced them together to come up with enough.  I created a carrying strap, again from scrap fabric, and the stuffing was removed from another pillow I found. I washed the stuffing before reusing it.  The back of the pillow has a pocket to hold a snack or even favorite toys.

This is important because crafters are a thrifty bunch. We try hard to use up every little scrap we come across in some way.  There is less waste in production when people are looking to make a living off of their crafts.

Today I was shocked to see this pillow is still one of her favorite toys, one she plays with daily.  Her mother and I discussed the my selling these pillows as a result of how long the little one has enjoyed her pillow. I was able to personalize the pillow, make it functional for their vacations and outings. It didn’t use any new resources to make, and no one else will have one exactly like this, even if I should decide to make more to sell.  And even better there isn’t a hole or tear anywhere it has help up to being stuffed to the point where nothing more will fit regularly. :-)

There you have my reason the Etsy program is a good thing for all, including the environment.

What good news have you heard this week?

20 Comments

  1. Don’t say football! I may never recover from last Sunday’s debacle in New England. Sigh.

    So, my bit of good news this week comes from the world of the uber-geeky-far-out-techno-wow. Apparently there’s a fellow out there who claims to have found the secret to cold fusion. If you’re not familiar with the term “cold fusion” it basically refers to nuclear fusion (as opposed to nuclear fission, which is what our current nuclear power plants do) done in a controlled manner, at temperatures that aren’t exactly “cold” but are much cooler than the center of the sun, which is where fusion normally takes place.

    Cold fusion has long been considered the holy grail of power generation because it would allow us to create practically limitless amounts of energy without combustion, carbon emissions or radioactivity. Anyhow, the scientific community is skeptical to say the least, but it would be a total game changer it it’s for real. To be completely honest, I think I’d prefer a world that was less wired and dependent on electricity, but it I have to choose between the George Jetson future and the desolate hellscape of climate change… well, bring on the flying cars! Ruh Roh!

    Anyhow, here’s an article in case anyone is curious: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/171660-1-megawatt-cold-fusion-power-plant-now-available-yours-for-just-1-5-million

    • Cat, I thought of you as I watched that game. I’m sorry you didn’t win that one both because I do like the Broncos and Peyton and very much dislike the Patriots.

      I love this sharing of good news, I may have to continue it long after Reduce Footprints returns on Wednesdays with new challenges.

      This is good news! Let’s hope cold fusion will be a safer technology and can be tested well before it is launched full-scale, but hopefully I will see a better technology in my lifetime.

      I used to watch the Jetson’s when I was younger and think I would hate that life. Not so much for the technology but because they were so separated from land and nature and everything was “speedy” but yes, as long as I can still run my toes through the grass I too would take more of the Jetson’s future and less of the destruction I fear we are in for.

    • Sarah, that was a bit of a “round the way” to get to my point on this one wasn’t it? :-) I was excited by the news and saw all the potential ways a program like this being spread around the world would be good, especially for those of us in the First World who need to scale back or are having our way of life change dramatically by economic problems.

      I did have a wonderful Thanksgiving, can’t wait to hear how yours turned out for your first celebration of this holiday.

      Nope, my fantasy team while doing really well until 2 weeks ago is now falling fast into the abyss. That’s okay, I only joined it to have some fun with my son since he and I bonded even in his teen years over football Sundays. He would even bring his girlfriend (now wife) home every Sunday because he wouldn’t miss even one to spend with me.

  2. Lois this could be really good news and right up your creative street! :-) I know because my Granddaughter also as a favourite cushion, given to her when very small, She is 3 next week and its her constant companion as her snuggle pillow… Being heart shaped with two wings type handles she finds great comfort in holding it especially when she is tired and ready to sleep…

    I would give yourself the chance to try selling some I am sure little ones with personalised additions it would bring lots of snuggle moments :-) into their lives with Love attached to the making of them :-)

    Wishing you and your family Lois a Happy Thanksgiving, sending you a hug across the airways and loved the photo of your little one :-)
    Hugs Sue x

    • Sue, a heart-shaped pillow with handles would definitely be perfect for a little one. I was trying to think of a way to make my pillow easy for little hands to carry, but only came up with the strap idea. That has worked well, she loves to have it near so hangs it from the strap on her rocking chair which is funny because she doesn’t always put things away, but that pillow gets hung up when she’s not using it.

      I just returned home to a chilly apartment but it’s good to be home again, while I am already missing my kids and the fun I had with the little one. It was a lovely Thanksgiving. Hope you are having a relaxing weekend for a change.

    • Lois, enjoyed the posting..
      any chance of more pics of the pillow? other side/etc

      just trying to picture in my mind how it goes, size pocket, etc. how much can fit in pocket. etc..

      I too think you should give yourself the chance to design / sell these.

      when i saw it, i thought, oh gee, on sale days at the second hand shop, there will be all kinds of interestings tops/sweaters. would be pretty easy to find one cheap and cut the design out to sew on pilllow, etc.

      another idea i had, likley easy for a sewer like yourself. if one is cutting up a pullowever sweater to make things, the sleeves might be made into “hand muffs”…(maybe?), don’t know,, miight work. somehow had this pic in my mind to take a length of sweater sleeve, and then around the middle make a complete circle around the sleeve, to make a design/patter..don’t know, not much of a sewer…

      • Lynn, I didn’t have an opportunity while I was visiting my son’s family to respond to your comment but I did see it and took a minute to take several pictures of the pillow. I will write a post on the pillow later this week and try to come up with an after-process tutorial for you or anyone else who would like to make one.

        My son commented that he is shocked the pillow has held up so long being that his daughter stuffs it full of so many things then carries it around. He was right, she does add quite a bit of weight to the pillow with her favorite toys and books yet there isn’t a tear or hole anywhere.

        You are right about sweaters. I have been seeing a lot of sweaters cut up to create entirely new items using every piece of them. I may give this a try later this year when I have a chance to get out and find some nice ones at our thrift shop.

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