From 'Brollys to Bags: Umbrella Tips for a Rainy Season
For many of us, this summer's must-have accessory is....an umbrella. The rain seems to go on and on this year, and while it's nice not to be suffering from drought, the frequent squalls might be taking their toll on your frequent companion. Like so many things these days, many umbrellas seem to be so poorly made they might as well be disposable. It seems like they should be designed with the possibility of wind in mind, but city streets are often littered with discarded umbrellas that couldn't make the grade, or their spokes can be seen protruding forlornly out of trash cans. Umbrellas can be a true test of one's green intentions. After all, what instant gratification could be more justifiable than a nice new umbrella when your old one is all lopsided and sad-looking? You don't need any extra reason to feel down in the rain, and an umbrella that looks like it's on its last legs is bound to add an extra tinge of gray to an already murky day.
Hanging on to umbrellas is kind of a point of pride with me precisely because a human and her umbrella are all too soon parted if she's not careful. In my experience, the more complicated it is, the more likely it is to break, or to stick open or shut at the wrong time. Buying the very cheapest rain gear is also a bad idea, because not only are they very flimsy but they are somehow too small, meaning you've traded a couple bucks for wet shoulders. Only the strongest winds can really twist an umbrella completely out of shape....Usually a thin wire or paperclip (to hold together a broken joint) or a needle, thread, and tape can keep your portable shelter going for a very long time.
Here are some tips for more sustainable umbrellas:
- Buy one made out of recycled plastic
- Or one that comes with a lifetime warranty
- Pay a little more for a model that looks sturdy...you can save several inferior models from the trash
- Learn how to repair an umbrella from step by step instructions
Of course, all good things come to an end. If you're lucky to live in an area where there's a broken umbrella collection, you can destine your worn-out umbrella to become arts-and-crafts fodder for a creative person. If you want to try your hand at being the craftsperson, see these easy instructions for recycling your spent umbrellas into reusable bags.