After a rainy start to summer, things are heating up around here. All it takes is a searing hot car seat to remind me to break out the Auto Sunshade I made from my book Sewing Green. It's made from discarded mylar juice pouches. They are reflective, lightweight, kinda fun to sew, and free! (First photo below by John Gruen.)
I started by collecting empty juice pouches after cub scout events, soccer games, even from a neighbor that saved them for me. (The darn things are non-recyclable, so I do my best not to buy them myself!) Trim the tops, rinse them out, and hoard them until you have about 100.
You'll sew them end to end into long strips, then into an according type construction. Details are on page 110 of Sewing Green.
The resulting shade folds easily to stash in your car.
Before you get out of your car on a hot summer day, unfold the shade, slide it between the dash and the windshield, then flip the visors down to hold it in place.
The shiny silver mylar will reflect those rays and keep your car dramatically cooler and you'll rely less heavily on the A/C. Your car's interior and your posterior will thank you.
If you want to practice sewing juice pouches (or have extras after making the sunshade) try a making a small bag. I made mine by just winging it and used an old jumprope for the handle. I found a tutorial for something similar if you like specifics.
I hope you'll consider making the sunshade and please let me know if you do, I'd love to see it! I also hope you'll consider not buying juice in mylar pouches when you could opt for a drink with more environmentally friendly packaging. (How 'bout mixing up a pitcher of lemonade and carrying it in reusable bottles?) I'd rather make existing trash into a useful item than create more trash, wouldn't you ?