You don’t have to trade in your car for a bike or install solar panels on your roof to make a difference for Mother Earth. But you can make a few small changes to your crafting. Doing so is not only a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s also a great way to use your stitching skills for good.
1. Swap Your Supplies
An easy change you can make next time you need to stock your stash: opt for eco-friendly and vegan yarn (which can be found on sites like EcoButterfly). If you like to dye your own yarn, you can use a natural dyeing process. And when you buy crochet hooks, organizers, project tote bags and more, consider how the products were produced. Were the animals you got that wool from treated humanely? Is your non-vegan yarn biodegradable? Take time to research before purchasing your next batch of tools and notions.
2. Upcycle When Possible
Instead of tossing your unused items — and very likely sending them to a landfill — there are a variety of ways to transform a product into something you use on the reg. You can make T-shirt yarn from old clothes, for example, or recycle plastic bags into plarn.
You can also add a crochet edge to spruce up an old garment, or transform it into something completely new.
3. Replace Disposable Items
Think about all the disposable things you use in your day-to-day, then brainstorm whether there’s a way to crochet something longer-lasting. Dish scrubbies, for example, can replace the green-and-yellow scrubbers you have in your kitchen and bathroom, while coffee cozies are better than the cardboard version found at to-go coffee shops. Stick one in your purse and you’ll always have one nearby!
4. Use All Yarn Scraps
Instead of tossing those ends, keep ’em in your stash to make use of later. You’d be surprised at all the things you can create with just a bit of scrap yarn.
5. Turn Off the TV
Real talk: many of us keep the television on in the background while we crochet, but are we really watching it? (That’s a hard nope). If you’re a constant crocheter, that can add up to a lot of hours of energy-wasting TV time. Try reducing your carbon footprint by turning off the TV, radio and any other background noise.
6. Hand Wash and Line Dry
Every time you use your washer and dryer, you’re putting a strain on the Earth. Reduce that strain by taking advantage of the sun, an excellent eco-friendly drying source. And if you want to go fully green, you can hand wash those garments. Bonus: it’s gentler on your items!
7. Recycle Old Projects
So you crocheted something a year (or two … or five) ago, and now you no longer have a use for it. Don’t throw it out! You can frog it and reuse the yarn to create something brand new. You can also repurpose it — think turning an old crochet dishcloth into a cleaning rag — or donate it to a local charity.