This post was originally published at www.greenphonebooth.com where I contribute as the Mindful Echo. It’s a great blog for those of you interested in environmental issues of all sorts. Check it out!
Although I titled this entry as a “How to,” I really meant it more of a question. Seriously. How do I reconcile the two corners of this dichotomy?
In some ways, being crafty and being green make total sense together. Craftiness can be borne from a desire to be thrifty, to reuse, and to repurpose. However, if you’re anything like me, it takes no time at all to get lost in a list of attempted projects, many half-completed, and most requiring mountains of supplies.
I made this Venn Diagram to help me better understand this complex issue. 🙂
Now that the holiday season is rapidly approaching (side note: Christmas music was playing in the grocery store yesterday!), I’m starting to organize myself for handmade gifts. Sure, there are some no-brainers that amalgamate being crafty and being green such as consumables (homemade jams, soaps, etc.), but what about the other stuff? What about the ornaments, decorations, and toys?
I guess the big question can be broken down to this: Is it worth purchasing *new* craft supplies for the purpose of a handmade gift? The answer, I think, is yes (but carefully).
It is SO EASY to get caught up with every “____-in-a-jar” recipe, and book-page garlands, and designs for winter jackets made entirely from coffee filters. So I think the solution is two-fold: first is to get organized and second is to embrace that inner environmentalist.
- Make a list of the handmade items you’re going to attempt.
- Find detailed instructions or tutorials that clearly outline what products you will need.
- Take an inventory of what needed craft items you already own.
Embrace your Inner Environmentalist
- Decide if there are any items on the list that are particularly harmful to the environment. Does your wreath project really need a styrofoam base? Can those items be substituted for a less-harmful alternative?
- Consider if you can find any of the items in your recycling bin. Jars, cans, paper bags, magazines, are often valuable items in the realm of craftiness.
- Check your thrift stores. It’s no guarantee but I have often found packages of brand-new craft items at my local thrift store, including yarn and scrapbook paper.
Once you’ve gone through these steps, consider yourself cleared by moi for a trip to your craft store. I think by this point it safe to say that you’ve done well to stay green. Now, go forth and craft. And may the force be with you.