Many people believe in destiny. Some people believe in guiding signs or omens. Psychologists would say you see what you look for. Regardless, this has been on my mind.

We have been producing more, consuming more, and wasting more since the middle of the 1900’s without much consideration on our environmental impact. I will admit, it is hard to escape consumerism. Daily, I receive emails trying to sell me all kinds of products I don’t really need. Our daily choices impact the environment and future generations.

Slowly, our family has been making changes. Bringing waters, using my reusable coffee cup when on the go, using cloth diapers and wipes, buying used instead of buying new, asking for hand me downs or experiences instead of traditional gifts. We have a long way to go.

This slow shift in my consumption coincided with an reignited interest in making and sewing. Specifically, I had an interest in making wool diaper covers because I am too cheap to spend $30 on a wool soaker and they were hard to find in excellent used condition. So, I took myself to Goodwill and scanned the racks for ALL the 100% wool sweaters I could find. Then, I tried three times to make a satisfactory soaker. Each time, I learned what not to do in terms of felting, cutting, pinning, stretching, and zig-zag stitching. It was both frustrating and empowering. Finally, last night, I made a soaker I think will actually fit my babe AND covers the fitted diaper that goes underneath completely.

Beyond a lovely finished product, here are my environmental wins:

  • Wool is a natural fiber that does not contain synthetic fabrics or plastics
  • Wool is renewable
  • I recycled the wool
  • I reduced my purchasing (kind-of!)
  • I reuse the soaker

Here are my “making wins”

  • Identifying both a problem and available resources (constraints)
  • Learning from multiple iterations
  • Doing something enjoyable
  • Exploring the soaker as a system and examining how each part functions
  • Making instead of buying
  • Customizing the style, color, and weight to my tastes

Why is “Making” always linked to STEM, 3D printing, and robotics? Why does society consider making as a past-time for children, rather than way to enrich our lives and learn as a collective?

Making is something we all do to improve our daily experiences. Why not use making as a way to also step lightly?