What happens to your handmade cards at the end of their life? In this blog post I wanted to share with you 5 tips for eco-friendly crafting, which is something I have been thinking about more and more. I know we like to imagine recipients treasuring our handmade cards forever and ever, but the reality is they will be recycled or go to landfill at some point so it’s good to think about the impact our crafting has on the environment. I don’t want my family and friends to feel obliged to keep cards I make for them. They have the enjoyment of receiving, opening and displaying the card (and I have had all the enjoyment of making the card) so after that it has served its purpose!
Tip 1: Use cardboard instead of foam squares
You can easily use corrugated card to raise up layers of your card instead of foam squares or foam tape. It keeps the card recyclable and uses up some packaging you’ve probably got lying around! The added bonus is that you can cut the pieces to any size or shape you need instead of sticking on lots of small foam squares.
Tip 2: Switch to biodegradable glitter
It’s now easy to find biodegradable glitter in stores like Hobbycraft or online. CraftStash stock Cosmic Shimmer biodegradable glitter in pretty colours. It costs a little bit more than normal glitter but it’s absolutely worth it to know you’ve made a better choice for the environment!
Tip 3: Reuse and upcycle
Collect bits of ribbon, twine and pretty patterned packaging to use on your craft projects. It will give something that would be discarded a second life and can also save you money on buying new items. It can also encourage you to be more creative when you set yourself a challenge of using a few different collected embellishments together. Try grouping similar coloured items to theme a card, or pick items of a similar style such as bits of lace and textured card for a shabby chic look.
Tip 4: Look for sustainable craft products
Tip 5: Avoid extra packaging where possible
Difficult to do when the items you want to buy are wrapped in plastic, but I’ve noticed some companies are changing their packaging to be more eco friendly. Docrafts have started producing their Ultimate Die Cut and Paper Packs as tear off paper pads rather than loose papers in a plastic packet. And at StickerKitten we offer you the option to tick ‘reduce my packaging’ at checkout. This means that if we’re making your embellishments, stickers and ephemera to order we’ll group them in one packet, use paper or glassine bags instead of plastic where possible, and reuse a mailing envelope so it gets a second life.