We all know how important it is to be as environmentally friendly as we can. But how can we all play our part? Celebrated in April every year, World Earth Day provides a chance for us to focus on sharing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude, and ensure we protect our planet, rather than damage it. Making small changes to the way we go about our lives can help us to ensure that we cause minimal damage to the ecosystem, whilst still living life to the full. Now, we’re all familiar with all the usual suggestions when it comes to shrinking our carbon footprint – reduce, reuse and recycle! But how can we make our crafting more eco-friendly? It’s actually easier than you think!
Upcycle crafts are not only great for the environment, but they’re super stylish too! Thinking about how we can reuse and recycle crafts, as well as crafting a little more cleverly, all helps the cause. Need inspiration? Here are 8 simple ways you can make a difference…
We know this seems obvious… yet we also know that it’s so easy to forget to do! And whilst switching of your cutting machine or sewing machine may seem like a tiny drop in the ocean, please remember that every little helps! The higher the demand for electricity, the more carbon dioxide is produced, and emitted into the atmosphere by power stations. By switching off your lights and electrical goods in your craft room (and across the house) when you aren’t using them, you can help to make an impact. So please, switch crafting machines off at the mains when not in use, and spread the word among fellow crafters!
Kraft card is the most environmentally-friendly cardstock out there because it’s made from recycled materials. Not only is it popular with crafters for this reason, but it also adds a rustic vibe to projects. Usually weighing around 280gsm, this sturdy crafting base performs just as well as non-recycled cardstock; the only difference is its natural brown colour. Recycled Kraft is available as cardstock, card blanks, paper, tags, and more. It’s also an incredibly trendy way to create vintage-effect cards, wedding stationery and more!
Book folding is a fantastic way to while away a rainy afternoon, as well as being an ingenious way to turn dusty old books into something beautiful to look at! It’s a fantastic way to reuse something old an unloved – and once you’ve got the book folding bug, you won’t be able to stop!
Jar lanterns are so easy to create, and so on trend, no matter what the time of year! In the spring and summer months you can use them to transform your garden into a beautiful space that’s perfect for entertaining, and in the winter they add a warm glow to any room of the house. Did we mention that they’re perfect for weddings too? Simply match the embellishments you wrap around the jar to your wedding colourscheme, and hey presto! Homemade wedding decor. You can easily craft your own shabby-chic lantern by decorating the outside of a glass jar with lace, cord and ribbon, then filling the bottom of the jar with salts to give it a hint of colour. It’s that simple! Or why not use paint to transform plain jars into colourful vases and pen holders?
The best bit? The main component is something you can recycle from your kitchen cupboard! Whether it’s a jam jar, a honey jar, or something else entirely – simply wash it out thoroughly, leave it to dry… then get creative!
Quilting is a fantastic way to add a touch of charm to your home decor, whether it be a blanket in the bedroom, or a throw on the sofa. So why not make sure you’re doing your bit for the planet by using up all your fabric scraps from previous projects to create a quirky quilt? You could even get really creative and incorporate old unwanted clothing, or snip into old cushion covers. You’ll be amazed at how an eye-catching patchwork design will breath new life into old prints and colours!
Have you ever sat down and thought about the materials you’re putting into your craft projects? We’ve already discussed paper and cardstock Kraft alternatives, but what about if you’re a stitcher? For example, you’ll likely need to use stuffing every now and then. But the processes behind making manmade – synthetic – toy stuffing can have a harmful effect on the environment.
Eco-Craft is a company that hopes to change this. Their Eco-Friendly Fiberfill uses Ingeo fibres that perform better than standard polyester. What’s so bad about polyester fibres? They’re made using coal, petroleum, air and water. Fiberfill is made of 100% PLA, which is a new synthetic fibre made from renewable resource corn, to create soft and durable filling.
Not only should you think about the materials you put into your craft projects, but you should also consider the craft products you use whilst working on projects. We understand that crafters want to use quality products in their crafting, but there are eco-friendly craft products that can still give you great results! An example of this comes from Finnish-Indian company, Blockwallah. Instead of selling rubber or polyester stamps (synthetic materials which require chemical processes to create) the company works with rural Indian artisans to produce handcrafted, durable wooden printing blocks.
They are each hand carved, so require no chemical processes and emit no greenhouse gases during their production. These stamps are carved from Shamwood – a sustainable hardwood – which is also known as Indian Rosewood. Furthermore, Blockwallah believes in ethical work practices and ensure that the community benefits from their work. As such, they help impoverished women in India by providing them with employment throughout the production process. This is eco-friendly crafting at its finest – a step in the right direction!
8. BE INSPIRED! CRAFTY BEGGAR JULIE PEASGOOD CLEANS UP
Crafty Beggar, Julie Peasgood, is a keen fan of upcycling and recycling – so when she saw the amount of litter scattered across a Cornwall beach on a holiday outing, she decided to create the ultimate recycling project, by creating a work of recycled art on a large canvas. The glue that is holding all the rubbish in place is Pinflair Glue Gel!
What could you create using all the things you’d otherwise have simply thrown away? This World Earth Day, experiment with things you no longer want or need, and see if you can create a gorgeous piece of Earth Day art too!