Being eco-conscious and crafty can be a challenge. Most of us have a love affair with paper, paint, glue and other single use products, some even highly toxic. I’m not preaching here. I adore paper. I’m actually guilty of purchasing vast quantities of art supplies that I have no specific plans for at all. (For me, the medium dictates what it will become. ) I studied photography using the wasteful, toxic products of film, chemicals and emulsion covered paper but I’m coming around digital. If I weren’t so sensitive to oils and turpentine, that would still be my choice of medium. I’m struggling with this. I want to leave our world rich in resources for future generations. I also have an obsession with real greeting cards and there are certain circumstances when an e-card seems inappropriate. I don’t mind reading the daily news online, and I might even eventually buy a Kindle but I am just not willing to give up the paper version of certain publications, like Somerset Press.
How do you reconcile the desire to be earth-friendly with a lust for the feel of parchment? Particularly since we want to support everyone in the craft industry, including the manufacturers and designers of supplies. How can we create with recycled materials and still keep our friends, the suppliers, in business?
The good news is that more and more companies are using recycled materials in the production of papers and other craft supplies. Let’s make sure and support them. Also, we can combine some re-used and some new material in our crafts.
If you are like I am about dumping work you aren’t pleased with, you probably throw out lots of paper or other material. I know I sure used to waste a lot until I recognized that one of the best parts of working alongside fellow crafters is swapping materials. Why not include our “rejected” projects in the pool of supplies to trade. It’s likely that a piece you aren’t happy with could be just the color, texture or shape that a craft buddy needs. It’s fun to take apart someone else’s art and re-use some parts or materials.
We need to educate our customers on why re-using, recycling and repurposing is so important, and why it costs so much more to go green. Many eco responsible products like building materials cost the consumer more than conventional, but the good news is that using earth friendly materials in your craft can actually save you money.
What are YOU doing to make your crafts more earth-friendly? Do you struggle with balancing your love of paper, paint and chemical art supplies with a desire to be a responsible, green consumer? I’ d love to hear how you reconcile these values so please do comment here or email me with your solutions and dilemmas. I’m looking forward to hearing about your greening.