Since today is Earth Day, I thought I’d share some tips to incorporate more “green” into your crafts. No, not money- although you are bound to SAVE some money with them- but rather ways of making your craft space and projects a little more eco-friendly!
- Add recycling containers into your craft space. It sounds goofy, but I go through a TON of paper scraps- and just tossed them! (duh!) So I set up a box just for paper scraps to haul down to the curb to recycle once it’s full. I also brought in some blue plastic bags to remind me to recycle things like empty bottles, packaging materials, old lids, etc. I do a fair amount of recycling in the kitchen, but I found I needed a bag in my craft area to remind me to recycle there, too
- Put a piece of paper on it. On your craft table, that is. Whether you choose put down a piece of water-color paper (as I do) or slit open a brown paper bag and tape it down, use that paper to stamp, mist and paint on. Then recycle it into tags, note cards, what ever. I’m finding that the paper that protects my work surface is often just as- if not more interesting- than what I’m actually working on. Go figure.
- Use it up. Use it ALL up. Every last drop of paint, every last bit of that fabric, all of that pretty paper. After your done making your “primary” project- like a birthday card, for example-Â commit to thinking up clever ways to use up ALL of your materials instead of just putting those scraps away or in the recycle box. Make the card, then make a tag, then make a bookmark, then make an ATC, then make an embellishment or two or three for the NEXT project. You get the idea.
- Commit to ONE. Commit to replacing one “store-bought” element with one recycled or repurposed one. Instead of buying those pretty chipboard embellishments, look through your stash and make one of your own with recycled cardboard. Take out ONE of the fabrics for your quilt and replace it with a recycled shirt. Instead of buying all of the components for your jewelry project, replace just ONE with a recycled clasp, focal, or a dismantled set of beads. Don’t buy an new set of stickers, cobble together a fun/funky headline with the leftovers of other projects. Just replace ONE.
- Swap it out. There are so many places to get free or cheap supplies- Craigslist, Freecycle, Yahoo groups- that there’s no reason you can clean out some of what your NOT using to trade/buy something you really want. Tired of that polymer clay? Sell it on e-bay and use the money to buy the Glimmer Mist you really want. Have oodles of yarn? Give it away on Freecycle. And just ASK if anyone has old jewelry-making stuff that they’re done with- you might just get it. Join a yahoo group (like craftersfleamarket) and let everyone know that you’re looking to swap dies, or stamps, or fabric. There are great ways to get “new to you” product and clean out what your not using. And that’s better than just going out and buying new junk at full price with all that packaging, right?
And, while I promised FIVE tips, here’s a bonus: use the web. There are so many awesome crafters out there up-cycling and recycling and repurposing, you are bound to get some great ideas from them. As a matter of fact, there is a great little round up of “Green” crafts for Earth Day on the CraftCritique Earth Day Blog Carnival. (And yes, thank you, they included little ol’ me!)
I’m passionate about reducing, reusing, and recycling- you’ll notice I have a whole tab up there for “Recycled Materials.” So have a great Earth Day, and I hope you’ll join me in the “green” crafting movement!
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