Are You a CraftCycler?

    Well, if you have been a crafter since you were a kid, then you are probably already a "CraftCycler". A CraftCycler is an environmental crafter.  Out of necessity, kids are naturally environmental crafters - they make things out of found objects.

    Basically, what we are talking about is taking items that were otherwise destined for the trash and creating something with them. It can be something beautiful and purely decorative or it can be something useful. It can be fun and funky or it can be elegant and sophisticated. We will cover many styles and items with fairly basic techniques.

    Well, rather than just looking at it as crafting, we look at it as a form of recycling. The three R's are Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. Everybody recycles, right? As of 2006, the last year recycling statistics are available, there were 8,660 curb-side recycling programs in the US. Municipalities and environmentalists have come a long way in overcoming resistance to recycling and most of us do it as a matter of course. We dutifully place our cans, bottles and newspaper into recycling bins and haul it to the curb on our designated days. We do our part, right?   

What if I told you that while recycling does an awful lot to reduce the overall amount of items that enter the waste-stream, but it is perhaps not the most important thing we can do. Now, I'm not advocating that we all abandon our recycling efforts. This is still very important, but let's take a look at the other two R's - reduce and re-use.

    If we take an item that would have been recycled and somehow re-use it instead, how much of a difference do we make? Wouldn't it be just as good for the environment to toss it in the recycling bin? Well, the answer to this is multi-fold:

Recycling itself uses time, energy, resources and money.

    Items that are recycled need to be collected, transported, sorted, cleaned, stored and reformed. 
All of these things require time, energy, resources and money.

Recycling employs different techniques that are not always environmentally friendly themselves.

 Different recycling techniques use chemicals and solvents that can themselves be harmful to the environment.

Many of the items we use are never recycled at all.

Packaging, clothing, carpeting, building materials and a long list of items that get thrown away every day will never be recycled at all.

Reusing an item not only keeps it out of the waste stream, it prevents another item from entering it.

Think about it:  if you create an item to organize your desk out of old cans, for example, then you are not only keeping the cans out of the waste stream, you are keeping a new organizer from ever entering the consumer stream to begin with.

How much of a difference can I really make with a few crafts projects?

Well, everything starts
with just ONE person.

    All of the greatest movements in history have begun with the actions of a single individual.  Things build slowly.  If I keep 10 items out of the waste stream this year, that's not much.  But, if 10 people do it, that's 100 items.  If 100 people do it, that's 1,000 items and so on and so on.  It all has to start somewhere.
 Within these pages I hope to provide information of crafting, craftcycling projects, craft books, general recycling tips, conservation tips, gardening info, recipes, home and family and much more!

Oh, and a few fun pages -

all work and no play, right?

Eco Facts

Microwave ovens use 50% less energy than conventional stoves.

earth yarn ball

Letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about the same amount of energy as burning a 60 watt lightbulb for 14 hours!