Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pictures from reduce, reuse, RE-DESIGN

Thanks to everyone who came out and made it a great event Alhamdullilah!



Hosted at DC Goodwill's training center in Arlington.
Thanks Goodwill!


Amazing sewists & designers at work (Special thanks to: Aasiyeh, Fatima, Mariam, Khadijeh, Mrs. Z, Sarah Ullah, and Sarah Rashid!)


The resurrection of a skirt


1 old bag + old long johns + artistic vision= a new place to rest your head


In a re-fashioned shirt for his newly re-fashioned body


Re-design in action


Presentations during another delicious potluck dinner


Participants watch a documentary on fair trade clothing

(photo credits: Nadia J & Nadiya El-K)

One man's junk....

Ever heard the saying 'One man's junk is another man's treasure'? Last Saturday's DC Green Muslims dinner, 'Reduce, Reuse and Redesign' at the Goodwill Training Center, made sure of that.

We came armed with recycled-paper bags filled to the brim with the barely-worn clothes we found stuffed in the back of our closets.

We perused the racks of swap-able clothing – including everything from a Lacoste men's shirt and elaborately embroidered kufi to women's jeans and colorful tunics – and hauled our discoveries to the 'redesign center' where a cluster of talented seamstresses stood ready with their sewing machines to turn used clothes into new. A few designers were also on hand to offer advice on the best way to transform my newly discovered Indian-inspired tote bag into a new throw pillow.

In the midst of the swapping fun, it was easy to almost overlook the deeper purpose of the night's event: to raise awareness about our habits of (over)consumption and expand our conception of sustainability and recycling to include clothing. A presentation at dinner took the concept a step further by introducing the intersection of fashion and spirituality -- reminding us of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) habits of mending his own clothes.

But perhaps the most important take-away of the evening -- besides my chic new pillow -- was the reminder to try to gain barakah in all of my newfound 'green' habits, a reminder that may come in handy those times I feel the urge to wander the mall in search of that must-have item that I don't actually need.

Submitted by Malika :-)

What are you doing for Earth Day?

Heralded as the birth of the "modern environmental movement," Earth Day is a worldwide event to promote good environmental citizenship and encourage action to sustain a healthy planet.

DC Green Muslims, I'd like to encourage YOU to take this time to renew your commitment to creating more sustainable and eco-conscious (and thereby, insha'Allah, a more God-conscious) existence. Think of it as your "Environmental New Years" resolution. Make a pledge - for the month or a year or however long - to change something about your relationship to the earth and its natural resources.

Some (random) suggestions to get you started:
  1. Act: call your senator or representative and tell them to enact fair and immediate action on global warming.
  2. Grow: plant something. This is part of my pledge - I'm attempting to grow my own herb garden (indoors), with some Michael Pollan for inspiration. If you're doing something outside, consult local botantists, tree planting organizations, or biologists to know what plants are best for your area.
  3. Organize: plan an outdoor activity because nature inspires us.
  4. Recycle: Dispose of hazardous wastes properly: find recycling centers in your area here. You can drop off old batteries at My Organic Market locations (College Park and Alexandria, among others).
  5. Reduce: Limit the use of disposable products - paper plates, cups, napkins, take out containers. (The second part of my pledge.) And watch the Human Footprint for a visual representation of an average American's lifetime consumption (trailer).
  6. Connect: Tell a friend about your pledge and encourage them to make a change in their lives.
Let us know in the comments what you plan to do. Click here for a listing of Earth Day events in the area.

Everyday is Earth Day

Friday, April 18, 2008

Gearing up for dinner #4

As you start thinking about sustainable clothing, make sure to check out our sister blog - the Ramadan Compact - for a variety of posts on how the compact members incorporate sustainable purchasing in their lives and "unplug from the consumer grid."

And a thorough article on how to recycle almost anything - http://www.emagazine.com/view/?3172

Saturday, April 5, 2008

While checking out the awesome cherry blossoms...

A stop at the FDR Memorial revealed this:

Men and Nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men. - Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(c) T. Ahmad, 4/1/2008, Washington, DC.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Announcing Green Dinner #4



You've heard about sustainable food, water, and energy.

But what about sustainable CLOTHING?

DC Green Muslims is excited to present in coordination with DC-Goodwill, "Reduce, Reuse, RE-DESIGN," an event designed to alter not only our practices of consumption, but also your old clothes!

Attendees will have the opportunity to bring their old clothes and swap with others. Sewists and designers will also be on-hand to provide advice and alterations on your 'new' clothes. Look here to get a better idea of what this swapping business is all about.

Presentations and displays will further address issues of sustainability, fashion, and spirituality. The program will also include dinner (tentatively 6:30) and group clean-up.

Time: 
April 19th, Swapping begins at 4:30.

Location: 
Goodwill Training Center
10 South Glebe Road
Arlington VA 22204
(Buses available from Ballston Metro. Parking available on-site. Check contact details below for carpool info.)

What to bring:
* At least one piece of clean, lightly used clothing, shoes, and/or accessories (but you can bring much more!)
* As before, dinner will be potluck. Please bring healthy, non-sticky/greasy food/drinks

What not to bring:
* Undergarments, socks, torn/stained clothing

All leftover materials will be donated to our friends at Goodwill.

Contact:
Esa (esa dot syeed at gmail)
Rima (rimazk at gmail)

Mercy Mercy Me

Pictures from Green Muslim service trip to Marvin Gaye Park















Oh, mercy, mercy me.*
Ah, things ain't what they used to be.
What about this over crowded land?

How much more abuse from man can she stand?



*Lyrics from Gaye's Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Re-Connected

Sitting in the room where Marvin Gaye performed for the first time, we listened to Dennis, coordinator at Washington Parks and People, inspire us with the evolution of the Marvin Gaye park. What had once been a haven for drug dealers (the previous year they counted ~60,000 drug needles littered around the park), stripped cars, crime and waste, had now been reclaimed by the community as a center of hope, movement, growth, and reconnection to the land.
The 11 of us followed Dennis through the park toward the children's garden center where we would be working that afternoon. He pointed out open spaces and his vision for their potential uses; a future playground, a future flower garden, a footbridge in progress, park-lighting in the midst of wiring... I was overwhelmed with a sense of hope and excitement of the ongoing reclamation of the park. The children's garden, an essentially one-man operation run by an endlessly energetic elderly gentleman named Jerry, provided open space for neighborhood children to reconnect to their land. Situated around the corner from where once Martin Luther King Jr. had gathered 5,000 civil rights activists to stage lunch counter sit-ins, we worked to help prepare the children's garden for spring.
At first, some of us who had been removed from working with the land, gingerly coaxed the weeds out of the soil with gloved hands. Realizing the weeds were stubborn and infestuous by nature, we resolved to hacking at the soil beneath the weeds, resolute to clear the soil, allow it to breathe, make way for new growth...new hope for the children who would soon be planting prized vegetables, beautiful flowers, nurturing a once abused and neglected space with care, dedication and love.
Jerry urged us, upon our departure, to return in the near future to observe the transformation of the garden after the plantings. Deeply humbled, we made the intention to return to the site soon inshaAllah. Watch out for future Green Muslim service events with Washington Parks and People! :-)

http://www.washingtonparks.net/