Earth Day Series (3) -Striped Creatures & The Awesome Beauty that Exists in Nature
April 22nd is Earth Day.This week April 16-22, I will be sharing with you ideas and projects to help create better awareness of environmental issues and develop a much deeper empathy for other earthlings be they winged, finned or legged. Hopefully, there will be more interest to commit to help care for the home we share- planet Earth.
Today’s Topic: Striped Creatures & The Awesome Beauty that Exists in Nature
Today’s Project: Making a Reusable Gift Bag (repurposing a ‘TOYS r US’ animal print bag)
Making a Reusable Gift Bag
(repurposing a ‘TOYS r US’
animal print bag or any reusable store bag)
Project concept by Paulina Constancia
If we take the time to look around we will realize that there are so many curious things in nature, so many colours and patterns, and scents and rhythms…there is so much to be seen, felt and cherished. Today, we will look into the world of striped creatures. Do you ever wonder why tigers have stripes? What about zebras? We will see one explanation through an animated folktale and then read about a scientific research.
How The Tiger Got His Stripes
How did the zebra get its stripes?
A team of researchers from Hungary and Sweden think they have the answer. It has to do with evolution and a way to prevent blood-sucking disease carrying insects from attacking.
In a study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, Susanne Åkesson, an evolutionary ecologist and professor in animal ecology at Sweden’s Lund University, and a team of researchers found that a “striped (white) pattern” doesn’t attract as many horseflies as a black surface does.
The team of researchers used a horse model with zebra-like stripes in their study to measure the way light is reflected on a black surface compared to a white surface. They found the black surface reflects linearly polarized light in just the same way as a water surface.
“But if the black area is divided in more narrow bands with white stripes in between,” Åkesson wrote in an email to the Star, “this signal is destroyed in such a way that the horseflies (or tabanids) are not attracted.”
It seems the striped pattern is a more efficient way of reducing the risk of being attacked by flies,” Åkesson said.
Åkesson and her colleagues believe “the zebra seems to have evolved a stripe width that is narrow enough to prevent tabanids to be attracted and in this way minimize the risk of being bitten by the flies and at that time avoid the risk of getting lethal and dangerous blood diseases.”
With the evolution of this black and white striped coat zebras have also been able to make sure they graze properly. Tabanids not only transmit blood diseases with their bites, Åkesson said, but they also can be very annoying and make it difficult to feed.
It’s not just zebras who are able to use stripes to their advantage to fend off insects, Åkesson said. She suggests people might also want to wear a striped T-shirt that mimics the zebra’s coat if they go to the lake in the summer and want to avoid being bitten by horseflies.—“We protect wildlife because they inspire us.”-(WWF)..Check out the wildlife protection efforts of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and see how you can help support their efforts
Making a Reusable Gift Bag
(repurposing a ‘TOYS r US’ animal print bag)
Yes, you got that right..we are going to make a bag out of a used reusable store bag. Does that sound puzzling? So a lot of people now refuse plastic. They bring their own reusable bags when they shop. Some people keep a big inventory of reusable store bags and have far more than they need. Here is a project that can repurpose some of those very pretty bags that you rarely or never use. A gift bag with a matching gift tag – how about that?
Step 1– Find a pretty reusable store bag
that you can repurpose.
Step 2- Cut the part of the bag you want to use
Step 3- Play around with the material just to see how big a gift bag you can make while maximizing
the best part of the design. In my example,
I had to give up the tiger’s mouth.
Step 4- Search for other materials you can use for this project. I used some plastic handles
(from old plastic bags)and a luggage tag holder
Step 5- Start sewing using the basic diagonal stitch.
Step 6- When you’re done stitching the back of the bag,
attach reusable plastic handles
or whatever material you can use to make strap/handle
Step 7- Make a gift tag and insert it in the luggage tag holder
Step 8- Attach gift tag to the bag handle using a ribbon or string. As you can see from the photos, this is really intended to be a reusable gift tag as well. The card stays in the tag holder and you can just insert your own little “To-From Note”. This way gift bag and gift tag can be reused over and over again.
And your handmade gift bag is now ready.
You made Mother Earth happy
by reusing a store bag.
You will also make somebody feel so special because this my friend
is a true ‘labor of love’