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By Lisa Shoreland

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Sometimes delight just comes right into the inbox, and such is the case of my guest writer for today.Lisa Shoreland was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan and is fluent in English and Japanese.  She came to the USA to attend St. Andrews Presbyterian College and studied creative writing, history, politics and humanities.  She is a contributor to the gocollege blog which is set up to assist students and parents in the transition to and during college.  Lisa included several pieces of her writing which were presented on other blogs and I enjoyed what she had to say and her good writing style.  Because Biking Architect is working on “greening up” right now, I asked Lisa to share her post about greening up your closet here on biking architect.  I also asked her to write for Patricia’s Wisdom during the month of April – so you will be able to find more of her good words and ideas there on the   14th.

Without further ado, I will let Lisa share her ideas and wisdom.

Greening your closet

Now that the spring cleaning season is officially upon us, it’s time to start cleaning all the areas in your house you’ve been putting off for the past year. And what better time to “green clean” your closet now that spring is here?

Adapting to a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle, even in your closet, will not only make a positive impact on the environment but it will also save you money on your electricity bills, water costs, and so much more.

Here are some of the many ways you can “green” out your closet this spring season:

Fabrics
If you’re contemplating a complete wardrobe make-over, one of the best ways to “green” your closet is to start by only purchasing clothes that are made from organic cotton, cashmere, linen, silk, or organic bamboo; (although bamboo isn’t completely renewable, it is biodegradable).

Organic cotton specifically is made out of materials that typically have a low impact on the environment, and are grown without the use of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

If you can, try to avoid purchasing clothing that is made out of nylon or polyester as these types of clothes are derived from oil which make them non-biodegradable. Soy clothing is another great eco-friendly fashion option because the clothing is made of the by-products of tofu production.

If you’re struggling to find eco-friendly clothing, American Apparel has a line of organic cotton clothing, (under the Sustainable Edition label), and Gap also carries a line of 100% cotton t-shirts that are grown without synthetic pesticides.

Shelves
Instead of buying an entirely new set of shelves to help organize your closet, ask your friends or family if they have any extra shelves lying around, or even scout out some shelves at thrift stores or garage sales. (You could even build your own shelves using wooden pieces from an old headboard, computer desk, or dresser).

If you are thinking about buying furniture that is made from pressed wood products, then make sure it has a “formaldehyde-free label,” as many pieces that are made from formaldehyde resin contain irritants which are known to cause cancer.

Clothing hangers
Yes, even your clothing hangers can be bad for the environment. In fact, close to 8 billion hangers end up in landfills each year, and take hundreds of years to decompose especially if they are made with metal or environmentally-hazardous plastic.

Green Hanger produces popular eco-friendly clothing hangers which are made from 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard, and approximately 80 percent of the cardboard is made from post-consumer waste. According to their website, their hangers are made mostly from old phone books, newspapers, and junk mail, so no trees were cut down during the production process.

Ditto Hangers are also another green option for clothing hangers because they are made up of 100% post-recycled paper and PET plastic, and they use starch-based adhesives and soy based inks as well.

Clothes shopping
If you are truly serious about “greening’ your closet, then you really shouldn’t be buying any new clothes for your wardrobe at all. Try checking out some recyclable clothing stores if there are any in your town or city, and try sifting through the various flea markets, garage sales, and vintage clothing stores in your area.

You could even try making your own clothing and accessories if you’re a particularly craft person, or you could ask a friend or family member to do it for you.

Regardless of how you choose to “green clean” your closet this year, it is extremely important to put some extra thought and consideration into where you purchase your clothes, as this will not only help you adapt to a “greener” lifestyle, but will also help you save some green as well.

Bio: Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at Go College, where recently she’s been researching minority scholarships and blogging on the ever-exciting world of college admissions. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, taking weekend trips, and practicing martial arts.

Had you thought about the clothes in your closet before?  I know that retardants are put onto kid’s PJs and that older baby clothing was better than new, but I had only just started working on my closet and then mostly looking for materials from local companies and suppliers.  How about you – are you greening your closet?

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Thu, April 14 2011 » Discoveries, Inspiration

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