Saving the Earth, One Tablecloth and One Apron at a Time
When my children were quite small, they decided to form a club called “Save the Earth.” They designed felt banners and hand crafted them. The club consisted of family members and a few close friends. When I asked them recently to remind me what exactly the “Save the Earth Club” DID years ago, they laughed and said they did not remember. Actually, what it did do was simply raised their awareness that the earth needed to be cared for- that was enough and quite large of a realization for young children.
When Sierra was a teenager, she announced that she was no longer going to buy any new clothing. She no longer wanted to be a consumer in that manner. Goodwill Industries would provide her with all the wardrobe that she needed. She could fill her cart with dozens of items, all different, and leave the store with a bill for less than $50. I was proud. I have always been a fan of Goodwill and it was great fun to shop there with her.
When Sierra and her husband Eben moved to their new apartment in Charlottesville, VA this past fall, where Eben is pursuing a PhD, they bought their furnishings at Habitat for Humanity. They found many amazing deals, many solid oak antiques for a fraction of their worth, including a 4 ½ ft wide wooden oak pedestal table for $30. For her 29th birthday, she made the announcement that for any presents, she requested they be either previously owned, purchased at a Goodwill or re-gifted from someone who no longer wanted the item, in an effort to live lighter on the planet and be more sustainable.
She was looking for a tablecloth or two for that beautiful oak pedestal table. So in honor of her birthday I asked my Facebook friends to dig into their storage and drawers and see if anyone had a nice round fabric tablecloth to fit an antique pedestal table…a tablecloth that they no longer used or in case they just wanted to get rid of unneeded things. I asked them to mail it to me please and I would gladly reimburse them. If there was a story to go along with it, all the better. The results were overwhelming. A tablecloth mysteriously arrived at our front door in a plastic zip-lock, with no note attached. A friend gave Sierra a beautiful blue and yellow flowered cotton tablecloth that her deceased ex-husband had purchased in France. Another FB friend generously said, “I have two- I’d happily share-both small checked-one blue and one red. Interested?”
The real heart warmer was a package that arrived wrapped in birthday paper, of a tablecloth that was accompanied with black and white copied photos. They were images of a family reunion where this particular tablecloth had been used for years to cover picnic tables. It was so touching. The verbal responses that I received on FB were also heart-warming.
Oh I love this idea so much!!!
Love how she thinks. I’m all about repurposing.
So proud of your daughter. I have always chosen used things too.
From a single male friend, “Just a big ol’ goofy grin here but no tablecloth. Raised right.”
Good for her to see that value both $ and history. What wonderful values you gave her.
Kudos to her for embracing this mentality so early!! And your idea of asking fb friends! I am in a purge mode at this time and will be getting to closets soon! Will keep her in mind:-)
Then we received this message.
“A simple round tablecloth at Wal-Mart is only $3.”
And I replied, “That’s not the point.”
Someone else chimed in… “That’s basically opposite of the point. Buying $3.00 table cloth from Walmart ruins the earth in like five different ways.”
And the person replied, “I’m a long-time minimalist, no need to educate me on the subject matter. There’s more to it than a $3.00 cotton table cloth.”
That got a good laugh and continued confusion.
The comments that moved us the most, however, were these, as we realized the ripple effect of good that this simple act generated.
“Great idea! Think I will do same. Thank you
What a creative way to live! I have no round tablecloths, unfortunately, but will promote this concept in my own dealings with friends and family!
It amazed me that other people did not go to their vast web of “friends” on FB for help before. I put a message out years ago looking for no-longer needed old cell phones. I received about a half dozen and supplied my children, myself and my husband with free phones for years. Since back then, my son was an art major and not the most careful, he went through multiple phones and we certainly did not go broke supplying him.
When my son was looking for a good used car, I put it out on FB and found an excellent used car.
For Sierra’s birthday present from her brother this year, I acquired a used white, cotton duct apron from a friend that only needed a good washing. I suggested to Bryce to illustrate it for his sister using indelible markers. It turned out fabulous and a few who saw it on FB asked if they could purchase one!
A lot of people dis FB and there have been some major issues with it in the recent past, but I have found this component of it to be very helpful. I know people use it to ask for prayers and good thoughts when a loved one is going through a rough period, and that cannot be a bad thing. It is an amazing vehicle to gather support and spread goodness and bright ideas, like recycling unneeded items. And if putting it out there not only gathers some beautiful tablecloths with great memories, besides spreading the idea and saving the earth one tablecloth and one apron at a time, why not?
Posted in: Uncategorized