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Kelly Caiazzo
Kelly Caiazzo

Kelly is a plant-based runner living in Wellesley, MA.

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Kelly Caiazzo

My son just turned 8!

I learned how to sew Furoshiki wrapping cloths for Sustainable Wellesley’s “Reusables” booth last year at the Wellesley Marketplace, and this year I learned how to sew drawstring bags to contribute.

We’ve been “upcycling” cloth remnants donated to us for our Sustainable Wellesley Marketplace Wrapping booth this year, but for our own home, I decided not to tap into the stash of donations but to let my kids pick out special fabric to have their birthday presents wrapped in year after year.

The result is a beautiful (I think) group of coordinated bags and furoshiki wraps that allow us to wrap presents for the kids in seconds instead of minutes. Cleanup after present opening was super quick, and now the cloths are all folded in a small stack to go into a closet and await the next birthday.

Not everyone sews, but cloth gift bags and furoshiki cloths can be purchased if you don’t want to make your own. After seeing how they worked for my family this year I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the investment. Besides, you can visit the Sustainable Wellesley Booth at Marketplace this year and get your stash started with one free reusable wrap from us!

Thanks to all the people who have donated fabric (especially the Griffin family) and to those who have sewn Furoshiki cloths for our upcoming booth (notably Nerine Warasta in a strong lead).

Kelly Caiazzo

We want to thank everyone who participated in our “Take 3” Beach Challenge to pick up at least three pieces of trash the next time you went to the beach. As you can see, most people didn’t stop when they reached 3! We received trash photos from beaches and even islands everywhere from Cape Cod to Casco Bay, Maine.

As hard as it is to look at some of these photos and think about the danger they pose to ocean life and human health, this all trash that won’t be washed back into the ocean at the next high tide. For that, we’re really thankful.

It’s also interesting to look at the types of plastic found and think about how we could reduce it.

Maybe flowers are a good choice instead of birthday balloons, or balloon lovers could tie them to a chair inside the house instead of to a mailbox outside where they might blow away.

The photo

comprised solely of forgotten beach toys (that have been found new homes) is one that my mother sent me on a day when she arrived at the beach to discover many toys but zero families in sight. Writing our family name on our beach toys could help us keep track of them; I’ve looked at a shovel and left it behind because I wasn’t sure it was ours and wanted to avoid awkwardly stealing it from another family. Writing on items with a sharpie will help us retrieve our stuff with confidence before we leave the beach.

Plastic water bottles, plastic cups, fishing gear and plastic bags are also common features of these trash photos. And if you’re celebrating the Fourth of July, it’s extra patriotic to make sure you bring your flag home so it doesn’t end up washed up on the beach and forgotten with other trash. (It’s been rescued from the sand.)

Thanks everyone who picked up trash and sent us photos, and thanks to everyone who mindfully reduces their consumption of plastic to help fight this problem.

With your help, we can enjoy burying our toes in cleaner sand.