Take Responsibility with Eco-Friendly Paper-Crafting Tipscomments (8) June 2nd, 2008
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:
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:
Green Field Paper Company
Living Tree Paper Company
Twisted Limb Papers
Creative Papers Online
Elephant Poo Paper (Seriously!)
I hope these get you started with guilt-free eco-friendly paper crafting.