Published on January 20th, 2009 | by Lenore MacLeod-Bickley8
Keeping a Craft Room Green and Organized
If you’re one of the lucky people that has enough space in their house to have a craft/art room, like myself, then you know how quickly things can become messy and cluttered after you’ve been working on a project. Depending on if the project has a deadline or not, it can also mean that you might use methods and materials that you wouldn’t normally. After thinking about my art room, and how that was one room that I haven’t gone in and “greened up,” I thought I would share some tips and ideas I came up with when I go to tackle my creative space.
First off, clean up the space! Having a lot of clutter means wasted time, and you’re more likely to get frustrated when looking for something. I know that when I get in this phase, I tend to not think clearly and throw away a lot of things that I probably shouldn’t. Having an organizational method is key to cleaning, and maintaining, your space. Make sure you have recycling bins out for white paper, colored paper, plastic and other materials you frequently use. Keep a bin for scrap materials, like fabrics and ribbons. Just because you don’t know how you’ll use a 4 inch length of red ribbon right now, it doesn’t mean that the perfect use for that won’t come up later, and you’ll be glad you kept it.
Also, be aware of the materials in your space. If you’re going to paint the walls, make sure they are low-VOC, which means they aren’t chemically caustic to you or the environment. Also make sure that the paint you use for projects is low-VOC, and can be cleaned with soap and water. Try to avoid using spray adhesives, since they are heavy in chemicals, on top of their ability to make the area sticky. Use inks that are vegetable based, if possible.
Another tip is to be aware of general waste while you’re working on a project. If you’re scrapbooking, be sure to keep scraps of paper handy to use later, and use papers that aren’t chemically bleached or dyed. If you’re doing a project that requires test prints, like a graphic design, don’t do more prints than are necessary and use the fronts and backs of a single page before recycling. If you’re sewing, be aware of the pattern you’re using and how to lay it out, and try to make your scraps easy to use on another project. Keeping down your waste is a simple and easy way to green your art.
The most important thing to be aware of is how you use the space and the things in it. Keep your waste low, unplug appliances and machinery like a sewing machine or lamp when not in use, stay organized and clean, and be mindful of the carbon footprint of each piece of art that comes out of that space. Keeping art, and the planet, beautiful are projects that can go hand in hand.