Upstate NY Woman Helps Magnify The Need For Personal Attention To Sustainability

Energy efficiency and renewable energy procurement solutions have been at the center of an international conversation that’s long been needed.

energy supplierEnergy efficiency and renewable energy procurement solutions have been at the center of an international conversation that’s long been needed. From energy suppliers to multinational corporations, powerful organizations lead the charge at the commercial level with their reach, finances, and influence to motivate tangible change and global progress.

Let’s face it, everyday people use a lot of energy too. Every day, 120,000 terawatts of power from the Sun flows through to the Earth. About 10,000 times more than that flows through our industrial civilization at any given time. In the face of such staggering numbers, it’s easy to shrug off individual impact, but societal changes can’t be wholly enacted at a global scale. It takes personal changes as well.

Rosa Ferrigno, 75, sought to make some personal sustainability and recycling changes in her own life. Knowing she isn’t speaking for energy suppliers and massive industrial conglomerates, she still decided to change her own habits. Ferrigno used more than 300 plastic bags — collected from Upstate New York Supermarket Wegmans — to knit a two-piece suit. And it looks fabulous.

She noted being at a family picnic a year ago when she saw someone with a handbag made from repurposed plastic bags woven together. That sparked her bespoke suiting idea and she set to work. First, she tested her skills by making a couple of different purses from plastic bags, then decided on something more challenging. She crafted the suit pattern herself and used whittled wooden dowels as knitting needles to turn 140 plastic bags into a skirt and another 170 into a matching jacket. Without touching it, it’s difficult to tell that it’s made from plastic bags at all.

In the wake of New York State passing legislation that will ban single-use plastic bags beginning in 2020, seeing people like Ferrigno shows us that repurposing future waste has great potential. It also opens our eyes to the fact that merely because policies are being passed doesn’t negate the existence of excessive waste already out there.

“We love it when our customers reuse or recycle grocery bags, but never have we seen a work of art like Rosa’s!” said Jo Natale, VP of Media Relations for Wegmans.

Though Ferrigno is just one person, Wegmans is one brand, and New York is only the second state after California to pass such legislation, the overarching concept is that large organizations, governments, and private citizens need to be on the same page. Corporations, energy suppliers, legislative bodies, and private citizens have to be allies to set positive environmental change in motion.

Even if it begins with plastic bags.

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