I am, by all definitions, an earthy girl.
I live to be outside, I love to garden, I hike as much as I can and I’m always trying to find more ways to live a sustainable life in which I reduce, reuse and recycle.
For example, I gave up Lean Cuisines and body wash so I could reduce the amount of packaging I consume. I also participate in my community’s recycling program, eat locally via a community-supported agriculture program, use reusable bags at the grocery store and even wear shoes that are completely organic and made from recycled materials:
My Eco-Sneaks from Simple are made from organic cotton, the outsoles are made from used car tires and the laces are made from recycled plastic bottles.
Like many of you, I’m just trying to do my part—especially considering I work for a magazine whose very nature depends on the destruction of bunches and bunches of trees. And let’s face it, lots of resources are required to create the papers, embellishments, fibers and do-dads that we like to put on our cards.
The good news is that there’s been a movement to make more environmentally-friendly paper crafting products, and there are many, many ways to make paper crafting more sustainable. The even better news is that you don’t have to look very far to find them.
In the PC 101 column, “Get Funky with Fabric,” Go-to Gal Kim Kesti shows us cool ways to incorporate fabric in your projects. If you’re like me, you’ve got scads and scads of this stuff lying around from various costumes and home décor projects you’ve worked on over the years. Putting fabric on your projects is not only fun, but it’s trendy as well—adding texture and dimension in all kinds of amazing ways.
I love this tip from Stephanie Halinski in her Love You, Mom Card in our Thanks Mom & Dad feature on p. 40. She suggests using your Christmas product throughout the year by adapting it to projects for other occasions. That’s a great way to stretch your supplies—which is always friendly to Mother Earth.
Another earth-friendly tip? Use images as focal points that you already have on hand. Here, Deb Rymer has used a photo in this simple but heartfelt card:
And how about one of the hottest trends around—making your own embellishments? We’ve devoted an entire feature to this trendy addition to the paper crafting scene. If you take a close look at the DIY embellishments highlighted in the feature, you can see that most are made from scraps our designers had on hand. The added benefit to this particular way of reducing, reusing and recycling is that you save lots of money as well! Take this project by Go-to Gal Betsy Veldman:
And last but not least, never estimate the power of inspiration. One way to be earth-friendly is to think outside the box and use resources you might not have considered before. We did just that when we asked our designers to create projects by getting their inspiration from the garage. Look at this amazing project by Heidi Van Laar. She came up with a punny sentiment by using a nail as her focal point in this rockin’ awesome card:
I’ll be the first to admit that when I see a new product line I like, I want to snatch it right up and gobble it whole. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it is always good to save the scraps, repurpose what we can and use what we buy to its fullest potential. It’s good for our Mother, it’s good for our pocketbooks, and I’m happy to report that it’s really trendy as well!
Earth Day is officially on Thursday, but I’m starting the party a little early! Leave a comment telling me ways you make the most of your paper crafting product. Do you use something up before you replace it, save scraps or make your own embellishments? I loved to hear your ideas! As a special treat, three random people will win Cosmo Cricket’s Earth Love Crafting Kit. All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Wednesday, April 21.
Happy Earth Day,
P.S. One of our readers, Jessica Barr-Gabriel, is committed to living an entire year without buying anything new aside from food and toiletries, as well as anything that needs to be replaced to keep her family safe. She is an enthusiastic paper crafter, and boy is she going through her stash! She’s also having to look at paper crafting from a completely new angle—it’s more about repurposing found items to keep her creativity thriving. Her blog is called Nothing New, Nothing Wasted and you can find it by clicking HERE.