I realize that my paper hobby is not particularly environmentally friendly. It’s something that constantly bothers me and so I have adapted some methods to lessening my guilt while continuing to act on my compulsions.
- Altered projects – Almost everything you will see on my blog, outside of cards, is an altered item I had on hand or found. Most of the time these are boxes I no longer liked the look of but needed for storage and therefore redecorated to my preferences. In fact, that’s probably how I really started all this, though I’ve always been involved with crafts and junk due to my family background. Occasionally I will buy something from a second hand store or flea market to alter for the fun of it such as my yellow floral suitcase. I am also fortunate enough to receive random crates and little boxes from relatives, though they probably don’t realize I will be modifying them. woops. Jars given to me are also reused like crazy, though not always decorated. Ugly journals are always used for quick notes, ripped into useable sheets, or altered.
- Recycling – An obvious one. I try to throw any unusable paper and fabric scraps into the recycle. Since I don’t keep a recycling bin in my room (I haven’t found a pretty enough or size appropriate option ha) this can get real messy but it is much better than trashing the pieces.
- Hoarding – A lot of times leftover scraps don’t reach the recycling bin and go back into my stash. I always think I can use them for some random project someday. Sometimes I am right. I’d probably be right more often if I organized my paper better.
- Collecting – I have a really bad habit of holding onto little things I pick up on outings. I somehow think scraps of tickets, coffee sleeves, receipts, and the like are “souvenirs” and should be saved for memory’s sake. These don’t as often reach the projects you see on this blog but are fun for my personal art journal.
- Handmade paper – This is my more extreme attempt at lessening my guilt. A lot of those scraps, deemed too good for the recycling bin but too inconvenient for the stash, go into a separate bag. Eventually, when the bag is too full, I’ll shred them up and try and blend them and press them into new sheets of paper. Some of these turn out more useful than others but my insane mind seems to think this method is worth it. Something about being told “reusing is better than recycling” in environmental class really stuck in my brain.
- Not buying craft supplies – This is the hardest one, especially recently as I have discovered more and more stores and better and better craft brands. In fact, I could use a reminder for this step. I try to remember that making my own embellishments, dying my own paper, and using my own found scraps can look just as good and often more authentic than store bought decorations while saving some cash. I’ve been considering buying more of my scraps and embellishments from vintage stores but they tend to run at higher prices than hobby stores with continuous sales and coupons. Not buying supplies is a tricky step, but I think it would be worth it and something I want to start practicing more heavily again.
Do you have any alternate methods for greening your crafting?