Chris took this shot a couple weeks ago when he was down in Southern Oregon visiting his grandparents. The fog was actually rolling up and over the hill in a giant steady wave.
Today a very cool thing is happening all over the internet called Blog Action Day. It is a day set aside for a mass posting about a single issue – this year it is the environment. I just learned, as I was reading about the organizers, that one of them is Leo who writes one of my favorite blogs: Zen Habits.
So today, in honor of Blog Action Day, I want to talk a bit about the idea of green scrapbooking.
First thought: is this even possible? Let's face it, scrapbooking as most of us experience it today is really not very environmentally friendly. And the truth is, you really don't need all the excess stuff to tell your story and document your life creatively (the simple heart of what we do is words + photos). That said, since I am still planning to continue buying and using new products as most of the rest of you are (choices + balance, right?), there are definitely some things that can be done to lessen the impact on this one and only planet we call home.
Here are some things I am doing (or trying to do - as with everything else it is a work in progress) or have been thinking about in order to work towards a "greener" hobby/job/life:
1. Recycle all the paper scraps that don't go into my scrap-box for later us. This is super simple. I also recycle all product packaging, printing mistakes, bits of this and that, etc. In my office I have a big basket for paper recycling that gets put into our large recycle can for pick-up each week. This is an easy thing to do to lessen the amount of things going into the trash. Here's a great site that talks all about paper recycling.
2. Reuse. As you may have noticed in my post about my office last week, I buy a lot of my storage pieces second-hand. I love the character, charm and chance to re-purpose something that was originally created to be used for something else.
3. Re-purpose. Lately I have been looking for things to add to my projects at flea markets, garage sales, Goodwill, antique stores, etc. Accents, type-based papers, fabrics, etc can be located and purchased and become a part of my creations. This doesn't mean that I am going to stop buying some of the fun cool new products, it simply means I am broadening the scope of potential things to incorporate into my projects.
An off-shoot of this same idea: use the stuff that comes in the mail (that everyday "stuff" that accumulates…junk mail, etc) on your projects and pages. Re-purpose all that junk for some creative good. I talked a bit about this idea related to a "daily creative something" in a recent issue of my newsletter.
And if you think these are crazy ideas and you simply want to work towards eliminating the amount of junk you receive in the mail, you can do so by registering on the national "do not mail" list.
4. Simply use what you have rather than always buying the newest thing. For me this has started to mean being really conscious of what I buy. Many of you commented on how I am now using only four or five colors of cardstock rather than hundreds. This not only simplifies my choices when I am ready to create (which for me is a good thing), it also means I am not buying stuff that I am not going to use. There is nothing wrong with being picky when it comes to buying products. Thinking before you buy is a good thing.
6. A question: Are there any scrapbook companies currently using recycled materials – paper or otherwise? If you know of one could you let me know by posting in the comments or sending me an email. I would love to be able to support companies that are using sustainable practices or working with recycled materials.
7. Encourage your local scrapbook store to recycle (and have recycling available in their crop room) and use compact florescent light bulbs. Simple stuff that can make a big impact. Here at home have changed over all of our bulbs over the last year or so – man, they really do last a lot longer than the traditional bulbs and with so many rebates available to price is really right.
Bottom line, as crafty creative people there are definitely things we can do to participate in the movement towards a greener earth. Recycling and reusing and reducing are words and actions that can become a part of our creative vocabulary and our creative lifestyle. Every little bit helps.