By now you kind of get it– that is, assuming you know me or you have read some of my more personal entries. I’m a cyclist and a bit of an environmentalist. This past weekend we partook in the 33rd Annual TD Bank 5 Boro Bike Tour. This year 32,000 cyclists rode a 42-mile route beginning in Manhattan, touching the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and ending in Staten Island. This year marked my fifth 5 Boro Tour, including three as a ride marshal. It’s a fun ride, and not a competitive one. I prefer a hard 80 miles at a faster clip, but it’s fun to be social, see some sights, and be with Abby and 31,998 other car-free enthusiasts!
Notice we’re wearing green vests to identify registered riders. That is where the impetus for this entry arises.
Thirty-two thousand riders! That makes at least 32,000 vests printed. …and what do you do with them post-ride? If you live in Manhattan you don’t have space in your apartment for such keepsakes. Photos on your hard drive are enough. But throwing it away? Not very green for my green vest, is it?
Reuse, Recycle, Reduce!
Here is what I did with our vests: an easy craft project and one that will give you bragging rights at work, the grocery, wherever. Make a bag!
You, your mother, your neighbor, your grandmother, someone out there you know has a sewing machine. This is not a high-skilled project, and you can make something useful out of something designed to be tossed.
Take your vest, turn it inside-out, and start sewing the front and back sides together from about where the dark-colored stripe is, down to the bottom, and up the other side to the striped top again. Turn it inside-out again, and you will have a nice, light, packable tote bag about the size of a grocery bag as a memoir of your ride. Imagine how much landfill space 32,000 of these vests will require! Make a difference. Save the Earth. Reuse your vest! I used it for my lunch bag today.