Take Responsibility with Eco-Friendly Paper-Crafting Tips

comments (8) June 2nd, 2008     

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KhrisCochran Khris Cochran, contributor
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Earth-friendly digital papers and elements are available in thousands
of fabulous printer-ready designs such as this one
from The Shabby Princess.
With great designs and pocketbook-friendly prices, its hard to resist
these great papers from the Scrapbook Pantry made with recycled
materials.
Earth-friendly digital papers and elements are available in thousands
of fabulous printer-ready designs such as this one
from The Shabby Princess.

Earth-friendly digital papers and elements are available in thousands of fabulous printer-ready designs such as this one from The Shabby Princess.

Photo: Courtesy of The Shabby Shoppe

I am a devout green fiend. Throughout my home, you will see my adherence to the three R's of being green: reduce, reuse, and recycle—that is, until you get to my craft room. Here are some earth-friendly ways I’ve found to be a more responsible paper crafter.

While I eschew excess product packaging, recycle everything my city allows me to stuff into my recycling bins, and try to come up with crafty ways to repurpose everyday household items, my paper habit is somewhat troubling.

As a paper crafter and scrapbooker, I go through a lot—and I do mean A LOT—of paper every year. Thus, I am looking at ways to reduce my paper addiction (are there 12 step programs for this?) and searching for more eco-friendly supplies and ways to craft.

For those of us who are looking for earth-concious and less wasteful ways to get our craft on, we’re in luck! I have a ton of resources for creating recycled paper crafts, ideas on reducing craft waste, and some stellar products from scrapbooking and paper crafts-related that are designed to help us save the planet while enjoying our crafts.

Eco-Friendly Tips: Here are some ultra-easy ways to reduce the amount of paper craft waste:

  • Save those scraps! If you do any paper crafting, you’re bound to have leftover scraps. My rule of thumb is to save any piece of cardstock or paper over 2 inches square. Small scraps are handy to have around for card-making and scrapbooking projects. I save my scraps in clear containers, sorted by color, on my paper shelf. The more scraps you use, the less product (and product packaging) you’ll buy. The less paper you use, the more trees saved.
  • Buy only what you need, when you need it. Oh, I know it’s hard to turn a blind eye to the sales racks and coupon days at the local craft stores. I’m a sucker for a good sale, too! By reducing the amount of impulse buys, you’ll not only reduce the amount of unnecessary spending (great for your budget!) and eliminate craft-room clutter, you’ll be less inclined to waste what you’ve got.
  • Buy products made locally. When you buy locally made products, you’re not only supporting your local economy, you’re reducing the amount of fuel consumption to get the product to market.
  • Donate your leftovers. If you have extra papers and craft materials that you no longer want, don’t throw them away or send them to the recycle bins. Schools, daycare centers, children’s hospitals, adult care/convalescent centers, and Girl Scout troops are some of the places that happily accept donated craft supplies that are in usable condition.
  • Plan ahead. What’s helping me out these days is planning ahead on repetitive paper projects such as card-making. I know that I’ll be needing 16 birthday cards, 2 graduation, 3 baby/shower, 4 weddings, and probably a few get well and sympathy cards over the next few months. I’ve set aside a card-making weekend during which I can carefully plan out what I’ll need for those projects and buy the minimum necessary to complete them. The big bonus here is that I’ll have a bunch of handmade cards ready to give at a moment’s notice. Sweet!

Savvy craft companies are coming to market with some outstanding eco-friendly products for stylish crafters like us.


Products That’ll Save The World (Or At Least Some Trees)

The ultimate paper-saver: digital scrapbooking. This is something new to me, but I’m already totally hooked. There are tons of high-style, low-cost (and even free) digital scrapbooking products on the market to suit any taste from elegant to whimsical to cute to modern. Some of my favorite spots to shop for digital papers and elements are:

Two Peas In A Bucket
The Shabby Shoppe
Scrap Girls
Cottage Arts

Recycled papers and handmade papers for all paper crafters. Using recycled and handmade papers helps lessen the burden of paper production in our environment. My favorite recycled and handmade paper resources include:

Scrapbook Pantry
Green Field Paper Company
Living Tree Paper Company
Neenah Paper
Twisted Limb Papers
Creative Papers Online
Elephant Poo Paper (Seriously!)

I hope these get you started with guilt-free eco-friendly paper crafting.

posted in: digital scrapbooking, recycled paper

Comments (8)

SaveTheGreen writes: I should have mentioned the web address

http://savethegreen.net
Posted: 10:21 am on April 5th
SaveTheGreen writes: Saving trees is a high priority for me as well! There is a new site dedicated to teaching paper and newbie scrapbookers how to scrap digitally with a completely free program, materials, and resources. In this case free not only saves trees but money as well and in this economy, scrapbookers can certainly use more of that!
Posted: 9:50 am on April 5th
gossamer_wings writes: A tip I would have is to think of ways to alter the paper you have now or packaging material....with stamps, ink and paint you can take boring paper and turn it into something "wow" without buying anything new....assuming you have stamps ink and paint...

Melissa
Posted: 7:17 pm on February 8th
ChildfreeTrophyWife writes: Buying products locally not only saves on fuel but helps keep up our economy, makes more jobs which helps reduce the number of homeless, and also keeps businesses from closing down and laying off thousands just because it's cheaper in labor costs to move stuff out of the country where they don't have so many human rights, and quality and safety regulations.
Posted: 11:33 pm on August 26th
AKUA writes: Hooray! I applaud your recommendation to use non-tree sources. Truth is, paper is best from plants other than trees ( cotton and linen, for example)
and you can make it yourself! I join others in explaining how: http://www.artfarm.com/papier.html
Posted: 11:07 pm on June 8th
AKUA writes: Hooray! I applaud your recommendation to use non-tree sources. Truth is, paper is best from plants other than trees ( cotton and linen, for example)
and you can make it yourself! I join others in explaining how: http://www.artfarm.com/papier.html
Posted: 11:06 pm on June 8th
Nightcats writes: I really support you in your attempts to reduce the environmental footprint. I also do crafts with this in mind. I do some hybrid scrapbooking, in that I include digital elements to my designs. However, for the paper scrapbooking, part, I am an advocate of using found objects and ephemera for embellishments rather than buying products. The good news is that doing this also saves money as well as helping to save the planet. There's an article about it on my blog at Scrapbooking by Design
Posted: 9:41 am on June 6th
alts writes: Reuse - shred the bits, and make new paper. It is a craft in itself and textured paper, with flower petals or other flat additions can create unique paper for the next project.
Posted: 2:28 am on June 4th
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