Reduce, Reuse, Refashion

The start of summer is always exciting until you feel like you have nothing to do. Several summers ago, to stop my complaints of boredom, my mom encouraged me to learn how to sew and turn my outgrown jeans into a purse. I took on the challenge and made something that more closely resembled a sack, but a seed was planted and a hobby created. I spent the rest of the summer watching YouTube videos on how to cut up old shirts into necklaces and leaving a trail of fabric.

The emergence of an eco-friendly fashion industry that uses organic or recycled materials and doesn’t involve harmful chemicals is great and definitely something to cheer about. But for those who can’t afford to buy the occasionally overpriced products of that market or don’t want to, Do It Yourself fashion is the way to go. I realized only later on what a great thing “refashioning” was for the environment, but when you think about it, it makes so much sense. You’re keeping old clothes out of landfills while saving energy that could be used to make new ones.

Rather than heading to the mall for your next fashion find, repurpose rarely-worn clothes from your closet and turn it into something stylish you can be proud to wear. With a DIY spirit, not only can you find uses for otherwise untouched possessions, you can also join the battle against wasteful and materialistic behavior.

Websites like PS–I Made This, the YouTube channel ThreadBanger, and the book Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt are a great place to start. They offer many remarkable ways to bring out your crafty side even if you don’t sew or know where to begin. Next time you see something eye-catching way out of your price range, you might even be inspired to make it yourself.

Battling the Cold on Your Bike

Winter is coming. Your clean commute is looking more and more menacing. Soon you will face a tough decision: to push on with your clean commute, suffering through the cold in the name of walking, cycling, or jogging – OR – to give up. To let the elements win, and abandon your environmental quest to keep our air clean, just for the sake of warmth and ease. Winter is coming, and you have a decision to make.

I know, you are a resilient group of tree-huggers who would never give up your hard-won (and air-friendly) clean commutes. However, in case surrendering to the elements has crossed your mind, we’ve packed some reinforcements.

It’s not that serious.

All drama aside, biking in winter is hard. As a matter of fact, doing pretty much anything outdoors in winter is hard. But pedaling uphill, into the wind on a particularly brisk day can be enough to make even the toughest clean commuter call it quits. So we at OnAir have put together a few tips to keep your body warm and your commitment strong enough to last through the winter.

First off, you need a good, warm wind-stopping jacket. Personally, I recommend the Mountain Hardwear Alchemy Jacket. This thing is the bomb. It’s light-weight, super warm, and most importantly it pushes away wind harder than the prom queen rejects the captain of the chess club. It’s a bit pricey, though, so check out some of the other Mountain Hardwear coats with the same basic functions.

All that toasty warmth won’t mean squat, though, if you can’t feel your fingers after 5 minutes. That’s why you need gloves. No, not “tough-guy biker” gloves, but some biking gloves that are actually useful (and fashionable). For that, I suggest these awesome Novara Stratos bike gloves. They not only will help you train your Star Trek “live long and prosper” sign, but they’ll keep your hands pretty toasty. They’ve got a padded palm for grip and cushioning against those pesky Atlanta potholes, and even have fleece thumb pads for wiping of sweat (or more likely snot…gross.)

Wearing your best short-shorts in the middle of January is probably your best bet to get pneumonia. So while you may want to show off those dynamite legs you’ve developed from biking everywhere, it’s probably best to keep them covered when it’s cold. Some simple running tights will do the trick. But if your legs are easily chilly, or you’ve got some extra cash, I highly recommend the Columbia Midweight Tights with Omniheat. They are lightweight and super warm, not to mention contour tightly to your legs so you can still show off your killer muscles.

If pants aren’t your thing, and you really need to show some skin, you could always give DZ Nuts leg cream a try. It keeps your legs warm for hours, and keeps you lookin’ good too.

Keeping your face warm is important too. For this, facial hair is awesome. Now I know how hard you worked to grow it out for Movember, but sometimes that’s just not enough. So if you can’t grow a beard for any reason (ladies?), you can still have something cool to keep your face warm. The Beard Cap – it keeps your head and your face warm at the same time. It’s probably the only beard that you can put on and off whenever you want.

But let’s be real, folks. We live in Georgia where the weather never really gets that cold. So you really don’t need all of this fancy stuff. Yes, it keeps you super toasty, and looking good, but the same outcome can be achieved without making big purchases. Just make sure to dress appropriately and in layers when it gets really cold. You can always add your own flair to your riding outfit. Just find something that reflects your style and keeps you warm simultaneously.