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3 Simple Ways to Make Craft Time More Eco-Friendly

Craft stores are filled with glittering possibilities, but it's hard to ignore the environmental impact that often lurks behind the sparkle. Here's how to make craft time more sustainable.

Written by
Riley Baker
Crafting is fun—there's no doubt about that. Unfortunately, it
isn't always the most sustainable hobby
. One quick walk through any craft store will leave you looking at shelves brimming with an endless array of glittering possibilities, but it's hard to ignore the environmental impact that often lurks behind the sparkle.
In a recent episode of
Good Together
, Brightly's founder
Laura Wittig
chatted with
Tiffanie Anne Westgor
, a sustainable crafting expert, to unravel the threads of eco-conscious creativity and share how making small changes during our crafting and DIY adventures can make a big impact on the world around us.

Why to Prioritize Sustainability When Crafting

Craft supplies are really hard to dispose of. If not used or donated, yarn, paint,
, and other items really only have one destination: the landfill.
Want an idea of how much waste we’re looking at? "There's a place out in Nashville, Tennessee, called
Turnip Green Creative Reuse
," says Wittig. "In 2021, they actually diverted 378,000 pounds of totally usable craft waste from the landfill." You can ensure your crafting hobby doesn't contribute to landfill waste, too, using the tips below.

Tips for Making Craft Time More Eco-Friendly

1. Always Save Your Scraps

Your everyday scraps might be exactly what you need for your next
DIY project
, so hold onto anything that looks promising.
"If possible, organize your scraps so you know where your items are when you need them," says Westgor. "For example, I know where all my scrap wood pieces are, I know where all my empty toilet paper rolls are, and where to find all the leftover construction paper that can easily be reused."

2. Use Facebook Marketplace and Local Buy Nothing Groups

Instead of buying new, look to your local groups for crafting materials. You might be surprised by what's waiting to be discovered.
"Use Facebook Marketplace, local
Buy Nothing Groups
, and Nextdoor apps," says Westgor. "I find so many great items for free or very cheap on these apps and I love doing upcycled DIYs with them or using them as part of my recycled crafts."

3. Be Inspired by Nature

Sometimes there's a craft store waiting to be shopped at right in your own backyard.
"One of the things my family and I love to do the most is to take walks and hikes outdoors. Many times, we get inspiration from just being outdoors," says Westgor. "It's also a reminder that things in nature can be part of your crafts."
For example, she created an adorable Halloween garland with her family by decorating fallen leaves. She simply painted them all white and added spooky and cute ghost faces on them before stringing them together.