Umbrellas a funny name, (The word umbrella comes from the Latin word umbra, meaning shade or shadow (the Latin word, in turn, derives from the Ancient Greek ómbros [όμβρος].)) but going into Spring with April Showers and Summer with Umbrellas being used for shade, there will be millions of broken, discarded, lost and stolen umbrellas floating around the world and landing up in storm drains and of course landfills.
I Just Gotta Eco Ya:
- While there are no reports for worldwide sales of umbrellas, about 33 million are sold every year in the United States alone. If you treat America as an accurate representation of the whole world, that comes out to 640 million umbrellas sold every year
- In 2007, Duane Cahill of Deer Lake, Pennsylvania obtained a patent for the first “LED-lit umbrella
- As of 2008, most umbrellas worldwide are made in China, mostly in the Guangdong,Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. The city of Shangyu alone had more than a thousand umbrella factories. In the U.S. alone, about 33 million umbrellas, worth $348 million, are sold each year (Wikipedia)
- The Japan Umbrella Promotion Association representing umbrella manufacturers estimates that about 130 million umbrellas are purchased in Japan each year. As Japan’s population stands at 127 million, about one umbrella per person is being purchased each year, and the country’s consumption of umbrellas is said to be the highest in the world. Therefore Japan launched the Mottainai Umbrella Project to reuse umbrellas
So What do you do with old and broken umbrellas?
Make Clothing And Accessories
1.) Fix It to be Able to Use Again – How to Fix A Broken Umbrella
2.) Donate: Designer Taryn Zychal works exclusively with broken umbrellas. Her company is called Recycling Zychal and includes custom made to order broken umbrella dog rain coats and winter coats, modern day babushkas that called the HOOD and Organic Cat Nip Filled Kitty Toys, Be sure to check it out and if you would like to donate a broken umbrella http://www.recyclingzychal.etsy.com
3.) Designer AiAi Gasa– creates clothing from recycled umbrellas
4.) Himane creates apparel and accessories.
5.)Take the fabric and make a Tote Bag
6.) Make a drawstring bag or Purse
7.) Make a Make Up Bag by adding a zipper
9.) Make A Skirt- use the hole in the center, cut to fit, all elastic and decorate. For more ideas google umbrella skirt and lots of patterns will come up.
Make Household Decor
10.) Take the fabric and make a pillow
11.) Make Umbrella Art
12.) Make a Magazine Rack
13.) Make a Chandelier- Remove the cover fabric and attach small wine glasses or glass yoghurt containers using thin metal wire. Add votive candles into the glasses and hang the umbrella from a hook set in a ceiling or a tree branch in the garden. Include some bobbles or whatnots to add interest.
14.) Reuse as A Drying Rack- Turn upside down from the shower bar, either hang or clothes pin clothing.
15.) Make a Upcycled Holiday Tree
16.) Make a Parachute or use in Kids Forts
17.) Sew up and put in some foam for kids toys in pool and bath.
18.) Make a Kite
19.) Make Dolls Cloths
20.) Sew and Make balls
Banners and Signs
21.) Use for banners and signs
22.) Add Streamers to the frames- good for parades, theaters and outside in front of an business.
23.) Use for Shade or rain cover, tie to tree or fence.
24.) Can be used as frost covers for car, plants and any outdoor items
25.) Make a raincoat for your animals.
26.) Use the pole as a hiking Sticks
27.) Use the pole as a Limbo Rod
28.) Use spokes and Sticks for plant support.
29.) Make small little greenhouses for plants
30.) Use to keep frost off plants,
31.) Hang small child’s umbrella upside down in a tree and fill it 1/3 full with bird seed. If it gets ugly with too many bird droppings just hose it off and let if dry. Little birds will literally flock to your yard.
32.) Make a Trellis, remove fabric, leave ribs, put handle into ground and climbing vines will cover it.
33.) Fly Protector- cut off the handle and use to cover food for outdoor picnics.
34.) Make Sun Shade
35.) Build a House
Burda Style– offers patterns for upcycling umbrellas.