Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Going Green

With focus on global warming and rising oil prices, it seems everyone is trying to go green, or at least more green, these days. By finding ways to cut down on waste and find new uses for things that would normally be discarded, the outcome is better for the environment and for the wallet. I have recently discovered a few crafty people that find creative uses for waste, turning trash into handmade treasures.

"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt,
finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
sermons in stones, and good in everything."

~William Shakespeare

According to Wikipedia, an average of 55 greeting cards are sent per person each year. It seems like a waste of a caring thought and a postage stamp to display them for only a short period of time before they are discarded! Why not turn them into something that can be reused? RunOnTheSun takes old greeting cards, as well as cereal boxes and anything else of similar structure that would normally be tossed, and punches them into mini jewelry tags. They are the perfect size! It shows customers not only the price of an item, but that the seller has taken a step toward going green.

SimpleLifeDesigns helps clean the earth by going to the ocean beaches of the coast of Central California and picking up beach glass. This sea glass is formed when the ocean waves beat down on the littered glass, typically from broken bottles, giving it a beautiful smooth and frosted appearance. She literally turns other people's trash into beautiful treasures. Below is a creation made with green sea glass and sterling silver.

Another seller I have come across recycles her empties, but not in the traditional way. MadeFromTheHeart makes jewelry and buttons from her empty soda cans. A pair of earrings is shown, recycled from a Mountain Dew can! She even has jewelry made with pop-tops! The backs of her empty can pieces are backed with foam and have no sharp edges.

Mother-and-daughter team Pouch are true environmentalists. They have certainly done their research to educate shoppers on the harm that plastic shopping bags do to the Earth. Not only are they promoting the use of cloth bags in lieu of the plastic ones that they offer at stores, but they use old clothes and vintage material to make the bags. The denim tote below is made from recycled jeans, even the waist band was used.

These artists uniquely turn would-be trash into common items, and are truly inspirational. Before throwing something out we should ask ourselves if there is something better that we could do with the item.

Some "green" suggestions for fellow craft sellers:
  • Instead of a light box, use natural light for your photos
  • Replace the traditional light bulbs in you studio/craft room with energy-saving compact fluorescent ones
  • Combine your trips to the post office if you send out several orders a week
  • Reuse boxes/containers for shipping
  • Instead of buying new fabric for quilts, use old clothes that you were going to get rid of
  • Save your scrap paper from scrap booking, even if you can't use it in a scrap book, you can use it for notes to your self, or for gift tags at Christmas time.
  • Random left-over beads make great earrings
You don't even have to be crafty to go green. Instead of wasting paper towels, if you need a rag use the lonely match to the sock that the washing machine mysteriously ate. If you have plastic grocery bags, use them for bringing your lunch to work, for wastebasket bags, or donate them to a local business to be reused. Combine all of your errands into one trip to save gas and try to start a work carpool.

"Many must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values...
God made life simple.
It is man who complicates it."
Charles A. Lindbergh


Oh Mandie said...

Just stumbled on your blog today! Lovely collection of Green products! :-)

Artifax said...

Wonderful green products you showcased!

Bonghi Nautra said...

Great products and tips!!

lepetitmonstre said...

Thanks so much for the great tips and shop links. Going green has been on my mind a lot lately as well. I am in the process of making a huge stack of cloth napkins, and the project is turning out to be more fun then I thought it would be.

Me, You and Magoo said...

Interesting blog post, some great ideas for going green!
thanks for including our recycled fabric tote :)

Unknown said...

I love the mini jewlery tags!

joeyandaleethea said...

That was a great read. Wonderful products and links! I love those beach glass earrings.

StormyDesigns said...

Great read :-) Love the products & tips.

Jo Hoffacker said...

The earrings are just too neat!