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Readers Respond: Best Tips For Environmentally Responsible Crafting

Responses: 7

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How Do You Use Your Craft Skills To Help the Environment? Do you have favorite items to recycle, skills that help you avoid over packaged commercial items? Tips for making supplies or tools last longer or function better? Every little bit helps so please share ways you can enjoy your craft without harming the earth. Share Your Greenest Tips

Green multi media artist tips

I use both bottle caps (metal ones) and pop tabs in my jewelry, I recycle books left at the dump for all sorts of things, paper beads, the covers as wallpaper (scraps) covered journal covers; I have even taken old window screens from the trash to use for screen printing if the mesh is tiny enough... just think outside the box! look at an everyday item, say a pen and rhink about all the ways you could use it, redo it, change it into something, use it's parts for something... BUT ALWAYS HAVE FUN!
—Guest nhjulsjewels

Reuse "Waste"

We salvaged "waste" lumber from a house that burned down next door, which I'll be turning into shelving for my drawing papers. I also collect waste paper, shred it, and turn it into paper pulp to use either in making paper or making paper clay. At my house, we find uses for all sorts of "waste"! ;)
—BethPete

fresh popped popcorn

Take the heavy styrofoam used for packing that breaks into little balls when you try to cut it or break it up. It always seems to have a lot of static electricity. Once the peices are broken up small enough for the scale popcorn you need. Take a little soft yellow paint and put some butter on them. Plus, take a brown paint for the kernels and just barely touch some of the peices, with just a dot of it, for the kernels. I've never found anyone who could figure out what it's made of. Looks very real! I have pictures if you'd like to see them.
—Paulinekretler

Use Household Items in Your Projects

When I do bead embroidery, I recycle plastic milk cartons to use as a stiffener between the embroidery and the backing. I also recycle old cereal boxes for the same purpose. I also re-use the plastic bags in which my beads are packed when I order them from a supplier. The bags are perfect for storing the finished jewelry pieces and I give them away to my customers for the same purpose.
—JenVan74

Recycle wax scraps and containers

I save butts and scraps of used candles and melt them down for outdoor candles. Because of the mix of wax and scents, they don't make good indoor candles - but they're great outdoors where they don't have to burn as cleanly. I also reuse candle jars - especially nice containers. You just have to make sure that there aren't any cracks or flaws in the jar - and, as always, burn them safely.
—candleandsoap

Share With the Birds

Its a simple thing but when you yarn craft (crochet, knit, etc) there is always a lot of tiny yarn bits left over. I cut the pieces into bits shorter than 1/2" each, put them in a mesh bag (like oranges come in), and hang it outside for the birds to use as nesting supplies.
—LizMasoner

Make Your Own Wipes From Scraps

Intead of pre made alcohol wipes, I keep a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and scraps of lightweight non woven interfacing from sewing projects, or small cotton rags on my workbench. When I need a wipe, I just wet a scrap with the alcohol. The bottle doesn't evaporate the way the packs of wipes do, and I don't throw away nearly as much waste.
—minigardener

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Best Tips For Environmentally Responsible Crafting

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