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Ahh the joys of summer. Here in the good ole mitten, most of us Michiganders are cannonballing or bellyflopping into every open pool in sight due to the 85+ degree weather this week.  Not only did I get the memo that it’s time to get out and enjoy the sunshine but I’m pretty positive my clothes dryer thought my jeans and shirts should also enjoy it. Not quite following?

Well, in a much more pessimistic and less cutesie way…my clothes dryer decided to stop working. Even better, I found this out after I put in a giant load of jeans and t-shirts (caught me, I don’t usually separate my colors or types of clothing for that matter) and then saw that my dryer made that decision without my input. So now what’s a girl to do? Let them enjoy the sunshine and lay them out to air dry.

I have to admit, I’m not one who usually lays my clothes out to dry nor have I grown up with a clothes line so I haven’t exactly given it a second thought until now. I was intrigued. After doing some research, mainly from this site, this might have to be something I do more often. It’s free and it’s better for the environment. This is even beneficial for those who live in apartments or dorms because you could easily purchase an indoor line which folds up for easy storage in small places.

A nifty tid bit I stole from the linked article about benefits:

Benefits of line drying

The benefits of a solar clothes dryer, aka a clothes line are many; here’s just a few:

– Initial outlay is cheaper than a clothes dryer
– No ongoing energy costs
– No greenhouse gas emissions from usage
– The sun helps to kill bacteria
– A fresh smell for your clothes without the use of chemicals

I would even recommend reading the comments that the readers left behind. They have some great tips and opinions on the topic.

So where does this leave me? Well, it left me with some fresh smelling clothes and a believer in air drying. Where does that leave you (the college student or the young professional who lives in an extremely overpriced apartment no bigger than a refrigerator box)? With a lot more quarters…and hopefully a believer as well.

Caught me. Those aren’t the lyrics that Blackstreet sang BUT come on, that’s kind of creative on my part…right?

Anyways, this past weekend I took a much needed R&R vacation to Canada and while there are numerous differences between there and the US, I took a particular liking to the fact that they charge 5 cents per plastic bag in some major grocery stores. I personally feel that if I were to shop there, this would be an incentive to whip out my cloth bag rather than to be lazy and leave it at home. I even try to use my cloth bag for a purse so that if I go somewhere to pick up something out of the blue, I can skip the plastic bags because I have my own carrier with me. It isn’t that difficult to do and if you are saving the environment (and in Canada, saving money), why wouldn’t you?

To play devils advocate, I did a little research to find some info and I found out why some people don’t agree with me and I have to admit, they brought up some pretty great points. One in particular that stood out was the opinion that consumers shouldn’t be paying for the plastic bags when they weren’t really given a choice in the first place. It was the stores idea to bring them in and use them. Valid point.

You can go on for days and days and days and even a few more days about the pros and cons of plastic bags, paper bags, cloth bags, etc. However, I do know that less junk and garbage in the landfills, the better which is why I choose not to contribute to more useless waste.  I bring my own bag with me and I reuse it like you would not even believe.

My bag is from Kenneth Cole and while my exact bag isn’t on the site anymore, the shape and size of it are identical to this. Some other fun sites I found are: Green Girl World (a little expensive but cute if you want to spend a few more dollars), Project GreenBag, and if you want to buy in bulk for when you do pick up multiple things Envirosax.

If you’re still a tad unsure about what you want to do and if it’s worth it (and it is) look up some information on the plastic bag dilemma, there are a plethora of articles floating around the world wide web. Need to wait until your next paycheck before you make the purchase? In the mean time, ask for paper…not plastic 🙂

Hi everyone

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to post lately. I have been super busy with finals, graduation, moving, etc. I promise there will be a new post up in a few days and please check back then 🙂

In the mean time, I would like to share a few of my favorite quotes to you

Ponder them. Love them. Steal them. Make fun of them. Enjoy however you wish.

Talk to you soon!

“We don’t need stuff. We need ideas and energy and subjects and motivation and time and lots of other things that can’t be bought and are not sold at Wal-Mart. Happiness is not under the Christmas tree but somewhere in the air above it. It doesn’t stick to traditional dates or statutory holidays. It can sometimes be found on the most ordinary of Thursdays. Sometimes it just blows in like a swallow in December. Sometimes when you want it most, you can’t have it. And sometimes you’re up to your elbows. That’s why we don’t need regular stuff. We’re into bigger stuff. – Robert Genn

“We humans have existed in our present form for about a hundred thousand years. I believe that if during this time the human mind had been primarily controlled by anger and hatred, our overall population would have decreased. But today, despite all our wars, we find that the human population is greater than ever. This clearly indicates to me that love and compassion predominate in the world. And this is why unpleasant events are “news”; compassionate activities are so much a part of daily life that they are taken for granted and, therefore, largely ignored” -Dalai lama

“Because I trust in the ever-changing climate of the heart. I think it is necessary to have many experiences for the sake of feeling something; for the sake of being challenged, and for the sake of being expressive, to offer something to someone else, to learn what we are capable of.” -Jason mraz

Hi everyone,

I’d like to start this off the right way with introductions.

My name is Kate, a nearly graduated senior from Grand Valley State University, and a self proclaimed blog fiend. I’m one of those college students who gets most of her information/news/tips/ways of procrastination from reading blogs. I find that these little electronic articles give me a quick and easy way to get the info I want and when I want it. That’s precisely why I’m starting Reclaim Simplicity. If you’re like me, you want a fast and easy way to get useful information (with a little bit of entertainment and attitude thrown in) and you’re interested in a more sustainable way of life. I’ll provide ways that can help you to start living an affordable and worthwhile lifestyle plus articles so that you can see how others are already doing it. You don’t have to change your whole way of life but I want to show you how you can improve it while reducing your harmful impact on the Earth.

Why the name Reclaim Simplicity? Let me explain…

Simplicity is defined as a freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts. Today’s world is becoming increasingly less simple, and society needs to realize that their actions do affect everyone. The actions of today’s leaders will have an effect on everyone from the consumers of their products, to future generations and the way that they will live their lives. We want our children’s children to have the childhood that we did but with the choices many are making today, will they be able to?

Reclaim Simplicity is about returning to a simpler and a more sustainable way of doing things that will not have such a negative impact on our world.

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