Green in the City

Drab to fab

By Jasmine Johnson

Photo by Jasmine Johnson

Amairani Galvan, known as Maira to her friends and family, is very much into doing the right things to help the environment. She is a member of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, which is dedicated to improving environmental resources in her Little Village community. This young Chicagoan also has found a new way to recycle.

She started with an old shirt that she no longer wears; then she cut it into a rectangular shape and sewed pieces together to make a shoulder strap. After stitching the sides together and the strap, she added a few pin-on buttons for a finishing touch, one of which reads: “Stop Mountaintop Removal.” The result is a rectangular shoulder bag.

Maira, also a fellow in the 2009 "Green in the City” reporting academy at Columbia College, says that in addition to helping the world in a big way, she wanted to renew and repurpose her old clothing and save money for something more important that she needed. So she literally turned her shirt into a bag.

Approaching Maira, one would not realize that the bag on her shoulder was the one in question. It looks like a purse or a cool mail bag from a trendy boutique. That just shows how much can be done with old clothes and other items we no longer need. All it takes is a little creativity and environmental consciousness.

“I looked at it as a way to reuse my old shirt” and lessen the negative impact on the environment, Maira says.


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Comment by Nancy Day on August 29, 2009 at 8:07am
Very creative! nice photo, too.





Bushra Kabir, Northside College Prep

Bri'anna Moore, Waukegan High School

Managing editors

Brenda Becerra, Curie High School

Amairani Galvan, Farragut Career Academy

Photo editors

Jasmine Johnson, Homewood-Flossmoor High School

Kimani Smith, Noble Street College Prep

Multimedia editors

LeJohn Montgomery, Hales Franciscan High School

Morgan Selvage, King College Prep

Contributing reporters

Carissa A. Eclarin, Schurz High School

Vivianna Galvan, Farragut Career Academy

Daniela Jurado, Farragut Career Academy

Safiya Merchant, Lane Tech High School

Demetria Taylor, Lindblom Math and Science Academy

Chad Wilson, Lindblom Math and Science Academy

Professional staff
Nancy Day, chair, Journalism Department, Columbia College

Workshop director:
Brenda Butler, media specialist and former Chicago Tribune senior features editor

Rui Kaneya, managing editor, The Chicago Reporter

Maudlyne Ihejirika, assistant city editor, Chicago Sun-Times

Charlie Meyerson, former Chicago Tribune online editor, now WGN-AM news director

Billy Montgomery, reporter, photographer, professor, Columbia College

Lynn Norment, former Ebony Magazine managing editor, now media relations specialist, Carol H. Williams Agency

Antonio Olivo, immigration reporter, Chicago Tribune

Nancy Traver, professor and writing coach, Columbia College

Avis Weathersbee, former Chicago Sun-Times assistant managing editor, now blogger and writer/editor

Cassandra West, former Womanews editor, Chicago Tribune, now writer and photographer

Mike Zajakowski, picture editor, Chicago Tribune

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