If you love to craft but aren’t fond of the chemicals and other toxic materials that can sometimes be found in the supplies you use – there is hope. A variety of eco friendly crafting supplies are available on the market and can supply you with everything you need to complete your favorite project. From the basics like wood and clay to decorative items like paint, here are some materials that let you create without feeling the guilt of hurting the environment.
Paints that have natural pigments are usually very eco friendly. These paints use natural resources like berries or plants to create their color pigments, and the paint will still be vibrant and long lasting. These paints are also low VOC, so they are less toxic to breathe in and create less harmful fumes. An eco friendly paint can often be customized so you end up with just the right shade.
Similar to paints, you should also look for clay that uses natural pigment ingredients. This can include fruits, vegetables, and other items from nature. Don’t be fooled – these clays may contain natural ingredients but make sure that kids know they’re generally not edible. Clays that are colored with natural pigments have far less toxins that traditional coloring and clay itself naturally eco friendly.
Wood is clearly a natural material, but some wood is treated with paint or stain that can be toxic. Look for untreated wood that is from a renewable crop, such as bamboo. Trees like bamboo tend to be replenished quickly, as opposed to other varieties that may be have dwindling populations. Untreated wood may need to be covered with an eco friendly clear paint or stain before it can be worked on, since many types tend to be quite porous.
Look for fabrics that are woven without the use of harmful chemicals. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that the fabric was treated with a water based dye during the finishing process. Some fabrics with eco friendly dye are still finished off with a toxic recipe – so check the label for water based products. Certain fabrics are also produced from crops that don’t use pesticides or harmful insecticides – these fabrics are even more friendly to the planet and safe for you to handle. Fabrics are more complex than other materials; fortunately, you can find many interesting posts on eco friendly fabrics on environmentally conscious message boards.
Being crafty and having eco friendly standards are two traits that can go hand in hand. There is certainly a market for creative people who also want to limit their footprint on the Earth, and products from paints and dyes to colorful clay are at your disposal. In an effort to be even more eco friendly, you can be sure to pass your craft projects on to another person when you don’t need them anymore. Rather than adding to your local landfill, donate your unneeded quilt or picture frame to a charity or gift it to a friend.
Jessica Watts loves to craft and sell her wares online. When she’s not working, she’s writing about all things crafty. Visit the Calgary Energy site for more environmentally friendly solutions.