April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

Today is the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day. With all of the emphasis on being green, I thought I’d revisit a couple of my “It’s Easy Being Green” posts from the past.

Tops on my list is shopping at antique stores, charity shops and salvage businesses. I love poking around these places seeing what treasures I can unearth.Housewerks Many churches, hospitals and other non-profits have shops on their premises, and you can find great items at wonderful prices.  linens 010I can’t guarantee you will find a cache of Hermès scarves, but you can find great treasures there.
Yard/garage/stoop/tag sales are another great way to be green. As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. jakes non-yard sale Spring and fall weekends are the prime time for these sales, both because the weather’s generally good and because people are cleaning out their houses in preparation for a change of seasons. My best deal was finding a steel barristers’ bookcase for $25.00… guest room1 oh, and the Victorian brass bed I bought for $25 and sold for $300!
Next, use linen or cotton towels instead of paper towels. Although they are a little hard to find, once you get a couple of linen towels, they will last forever!  One good place to look is museum shops and historic house museums. I’ve got towels from Windsor Castle and Bermuda, which has a recipe for conch chowder on it. ttowels_001 Linen is amazingly durable (think mummies). The more you use the towels, the softer they become, and linen does not leave lint on china and glassware.
Get your pet from your local animal shelter or animal welfare organization. There are so many pets without homes, that you can pretty much find the breed you want from a rescue league or shelter. I have had two rescue dogs, Frank, (he was an angel for Halloween, right before he died)and now Connor, and feel like these guys have enriched my life in so many ways. connor in a snowbankClearly, the take-away message from this is that you don’t have to dress in sack-cloth and ashes to be green. You can surround yourself with elegance and gorgeous things and live a green lifestyle. What are your easy and elegant ideas for being green?


  1. I adore linen tea towels! Not only do I have many ratty but still usable ones, but I love buying them from places I've traveled. What a wonderful, yet practical, memory.

    As for paper towels, they are a no-no in my house. I use cloth rags for everything, though getting hubby to go along with this has been a challenge. (Then again, I also wash and re-use plastic bags -- never have bought saran wrap, baggies, wax paper, or foil in my life -- but that's another story.)

    If I felt safe giving out my address in the Wild West of cyberspace, I'd invite readers to my porch, where freebies are often to be had. I give away everything from books to clothes to shoes to LPs to utensils to tools to pots & pans to furniture to chandeliers, air conditioners, and TVs. If you can carry it, you can have it! Saves me having to schlep it to Goodwill, and the stuff also doesn't end up in a landfill. One man's trash is indeed another man's treasure.

  2. I buy almost all of my giftwrap/ribbon and kitchenalia at estate sales for pennies on the dollar. I have to admit I've also found numerous gifts at estate sales.

  3. Heading to the Chelsea Garage Flea Market this weekend (Eddie Ross trip). Should be fun and I will add linen towels to my list per your suggestion!

  4. Happy Earth Day!!! Love seeing Connor...posted my poochy today!

  5. Great finds - and I love your office space and that book case!!! A wonderful way to display sweaters.
    -Sanity Fair

  6. You are my kind of gal.... Love your treasures and your sweet dog!

    Happy Earth Day!


  7. great ideas and always love a pic of connor. I always feel green when I recover furniture and by from US companies that are green themselves.

  8. Ditto linen kitchen towels. Thirteen years ago, I got the best dog ever (sorry Connor) at the Baltimore City municipal shelter. My awesome cat is from the streets of Fells Point. We needed some extra room to hang our clothes that aren't machine dry, so I set up an outside clothes line. Although it wasn't my original intention, now everything goes out there. I live in an older suburb (third-hand house) so we have no rules against it.

  9. Oh, I love this post so much. Thanks for the great pics.


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