Recycle, Upcycle and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

RIG Arts are one week into their new 6 week block of upcycling sessions in the Broomhill Art Flat. For this block we are working with artists from Rags to Riches from the Govanhill Baths, Glasgow to design and produce a textile banner using recycled fabrics.

 

With the Recycle Upycle project, we are looking to figure out ways we can all save money by choosing not to buy new things but recycling and upcycling our old furniture and clothes, creating not only useful products, but unique ones to our own tastes.

However, recycling and upcycling also has another benefit, reducing our carbon footprints.

But, what is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gasses produced by each person, usually measured in a year. Lots of gasses count as greenhouse gasses, but our carbon footprint is usually referred to and measured by how much carbon dioxide (CO2) those other gases are equivalent to (CO2e).

The term ‘greenhouse gasses’ refers to all of the gasses – including CO2 – which contribute to the ‘greenhouse effect’. This in turn, describes the process by which radiation and heat energy are trapped inside the earth’s atmosphere. Greenhouse gases lead to climate change and global warming.

When we think of producing greenhouse gasses, or measuring our CO2e production, we usually think about the petrol used to power our cars, the gas used to cook our food, or the energy used to make the electricity to power our T.V. However, greenhouse gases are made in the production of so many things we use in our daily life, things we don’t even think about.

The textile industry, for example, is the one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gasses on Earth. The industry itself is huge – just think of how many clothes you have worn only once, or the amount of fabric you have in your house in terms of curtains, sofa covers, carpets and bed sheets. To make and deliver all of these fabrics requites a lot of energy which produces greenhouse gasses– growing the natural fibres or making man-made ones, powering the machines that turn the fibres into threads and fabrics, and then delivering those finished items across the world and into our shops.

So, in being conscious about how often we buy new clothes, making choices to shop in charity shops or do clothes swaps with friends, mending or altering old clothes which perhaps only need a button sewed on or a seam taken in our let out, or using unwanted fabrics to make art and craft, as opposed to buying new materials can all help to reduce our individual and collective carbon footprints.

Make sure to come along tonight where artists from Rags to Riches will be helping us to design and begin work on a textile banner using recycled fabrics. 6-8pm every Monday at the Broomhill Art Flat, 12 Broomhill Court, PA15 4ET.

For more information on carbon footprints and how you can reduce yours, see these links:

http://www.timeforchange.org/what-is-a-carbon-footprint-definition

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/recycling.html

http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/03/27/uk-launches-first-carbon-footprint-label-for-retail-clothing/#ixzz4DotGURae

http://www.oecotextiles.wordpress.com/category/co2-emissions-in-textile-industry/

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