the ReFab Diaries

Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Trimming my waste: Week 46 (mom's refashion)






To say that this refashion was years in the making is no exaggeration. I started it three years ago. Then shelved it because I had an idea of what I wanted to do next, but didn't have the know-how. Last month, my parents came to visit. And I hauled it out and asked my mom for help (pro sewer) - so glad I did! Along with the know-how, this really needed someone else's eye and patience. 

Here's some version of a how-to:

Trimming my waste: Week 45 (The Denier-in-Chief)





Cartoon credits: Zapiro and Green Humour


Since my last post, the USA elected a climate-denier as the next President. We will soon have the embarrassing honor of being the only major nation on Earth led by someone who rejects climate science (although that hasn't always been the case). If you know anything about me or this blog, I don't have to explain to you why I've felt paralyzed for a while. I wrote and rewrote reactions but never published them. Then I thought of saying nothing because I try to keep this blog light. Then I calmed down.

I calmed down and remembered that this very big thing I care about has never been safely in the hands of any administration. I probably wouldn't have this blog if the world was already doing what needs to be done to address climate chaos.


The UN Climate Conference just wrapped up in Marrakech. The goal of the conference was to have leaders from around the world do the work to make the Paris agreement real. And representatives from the US were there in force. How did Paris come about in the first place? Not because leaders of nations suddenly woke up to the climate crisis. They got there because people who care WILL NOT SHUT UP.  Can we trust them to follow through? Hell no. So let's not shut up.

The actions that will ultimately drive change are, and always have been, in the hands of consumers. Change consumer habit and the market is forced to react. Recycle, reuse, repurpose. And demand what you want supplied.


Here's a shortlist of things you really can do:

1. Keep voting with your $$ lovely refabbers. 
Whenever you can, shop off the grid: used, local, small. Take the train. Ride your bike. Turn off the lights and shop for high-efficiency appliances.

2. Support clean energy by switching to clean energy.
Do you know where your power is coming from - wind, water, coal, or solar? If you want to ensure it's coming from a clean source, that's possible. In many parts of the US, consumers are now able to switch with no disruption and no change of provider. I switched to CleanChoice Energy a year ago.

If you can't switch, talk to your power provider to determine if a greater percentage of your energy could be coming from renewable resources. If you don't ask, they won't know that you care.

3. Continue to support organizations that know how to fight this fight. 
Pay attention to orgs like The Environmental Defense Fund and sign their petitions. Here's a great list of 25 environmental agencies and organizations who know how to fight.

4. Read actual, real good news.
Guess what? Our soon-to-be Commander in Tweets is not a king. There's a big difference between him saying he'll pull out of the Paris agreement and his ability to actually do it. How do I know this? Because I've decided to work a little harder to find real, powerful voices on climate and read them. Like this piece by Diane Regas, Executive Director of the Environmental Defense Fund. And articles covering the work of Jonathan Pershing, top climate envoy for the current US administration. And in case you can't tell by all the quotes, I'm a fan of Naomi Klein.





I'LL BE BACK SOON WITH A REFASHION :)




Winners! Green Traveler giveaway



If you missed the Green Traveler giveaway, it's not too late to back the Kickstarter and get one at a significant discount. 

What is a Green Traveler? It's an eco-friendly container designed with four separate, leak-proof compartments. It can carry a total of 44 ounces of food or beverage and can easily clip to a bag or strap. The creators call it the world's first no-nonsense, convenient, leak-proof and reuseable to-go container. Find out more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Green Traveler blog. And become a backer to grab one of your own before the hit the retail market next year

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway - we appreciate your interest and all your help spreading the word across social. Here are the lucky winners - expect email from me very soon:

1. Teresa P.
2.  Rachel
3.  Katy SkipTheBag



Don't waste your vote: Week 41









Week 41 goals: 

  1.  November 8 is about more than the presidential race
  2.  There are LOTS of ballot measures related to environmental protection
  3.  Do a little research and use your vote to elect representatives who will fight for the air you breath 

One of the biggest changes I've made in the last year is switching to a clean energy provider. For the average US consumer, this wasn't possible until pretty recently. Why? Because it wasn't in the best interest of big oil and gas to allow clean energy to be easily accessible or affordable.

The upcoming US election has been dominated by divisive candidate issues, but there’s one thing that we should all be able to agree on: the quality of the air we breathe is pretty important. On November 8, your vote can elect representatives who get it. If you have kids, vote as if your child’s health depends on it. Because it does. Here’s why:

CLEAN AIR. Vote to stop wrecking the air we breathe. Pollution from fossil fuels leads to poor air quality in too many communities. And increases in smog can trigger asthma attacks and exacerbate other chronic health problems. Don't sit on your couch and let your right to breathe decent air be voted away to protect corporate profits.

CLIMATE CHANGE. The same pollution that's damaging lungs is linked to rising temperatures and extreme weather events. And our changing climate is, in turn, making smog worse. The overall effect is an increase in respiratory health threats. Vote for candidates who support proposals to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. And vote for candidates and measures that put the US on a clean energy path. PLEASE PLEDGE TO VOTE.

Clean Air Moms Action is the political action partner of Moms Clean Air Force. Their goal: build strong, bipartisan support to protect kids from the health impacts of air pollution – including the urgent crisis of our changing climate. By cultivating unlikely political support and mobilizing an army of concerned parents, they're working to deliver climate change solutions big and small.



This fall, Clean Air Moms Action is traveling the country with a documentary film crew capturing the stories of parents who are fighting to protect their children from the effects of exposure to oil and gas productions, high-tide flood waters and ground water contamination from coal ash waste sites. 

Join them and pledge to vote on November 8! 


If you can vote in the US, please don't waste the privilege. It's not just about a president. Google "Preview my ballot" to see who (and what) else you're voting for next month. Use BallotReady to research every name and every issue on your ballot. And to get a sense of what other states are voting on, take a look at the issues by topic here




Finally, get involved and spread the word. Join the #CleanAirMomsVote selfie project! Print out the Because I Love sign, fill in the blank, and post it to social media with the hashtag #CleanAirMomsVote. And search #CleanAirMomsVote to find out what other moms are doing!

Find Clean Air Moms Action on:



This post was produced with support from Clean Air Moms Action. All opinions are, of course, my own.
















Week 40 Giveaway! (My Green Traveler)







I'm 40 weeks into my challenge to trim my waste and I'm so happy to be able to celebrate with an EPIC zero-waste giveaway. Really. Sometimes an idea comes along and it just makes sense. That's what I thought when I first saw My Green Traveler on Instagram. They just launched their Kickstarter and I have THREE of these amazing containers to give away.

Read on to find out more about this fabulous reusable to-go container, their Kickstarter and how to win your own Green Traveler. The giveaway is worldwide!