Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Using arts & crafts to abide by the 3 R's

For a number of reasons, recently, I’ve made an effort to think about my consumption habits a bit more lately. Becoming my own boss has encouraged me to become a bit more frugal with my spending. By putting a recycling box in my office, I’ve realised how much paperwork I either piled up in folders unnecessarily or threw out without thinking.

Christmas Card by Paperminiskirt on EtsyThat was recycling tackled, but clearing out some cupboards and boxes made me realise just how many birthday, Christmas, house move, anniversary and other cards we accumulate.

So this is my call to friends and family to reuse, or let me reuse, old cards this Christmas. If you live nearby, I’ll happily take them off your hands. If you’re further away, drop me a line. I want to try to give magazines, cards, photos and material a new life, however it ends up being used. It also hopefully means I can avoid buying tacky cards, pre-filled with a meaningless Hallmark holiday greetings and write the cards myself. (Oh boy, I’m going to be annoyed I said this when I run out of time and ideas for the cards three days before Xmas…)

There are so many feel-good reasons to reuse stuff wherever possible. It’s less stuff to throw away, and occasionally, there’s the sentimental value of reusing something that otherwise would have had a short-lived lifespan. So that’s the “Reuse” element (sort of) ticked off.

And then there’s the “Reduce” factor. Well, I’ve curbed my buying-of-random-stuff to an extent, but developing an addiction to crafts means that while I’m buying less expensive gadgets, I’m spending on new crafts material like a Cuttlebug and a bunch of embossing goodies. (As an aside, there’s a definite trend in arts & crafts websites being utterly horrible and unusable. I would love to help them make their sites fun to use, and as good looking as the products they sell!)

So I’m not doing well at reducing the amount of stuff I own, but soon, I’ll write about someone who was more successful at not buying stuff (for a whole year!) than I was.

[Card on the right not by me, but by Paperminiskirt on, one of the best sites for cute handmade stuff. Like eBay for hippies and artists.]

6 thoughts on “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Using arts & crafts to abide by the 3 R's

  1. Francine

    Héhé, je devrai, moi aussi, faire un gros effort de détachement et réduire le matériel que j’aurai à déménager à la fin novembre. Pas facile… On garde souvent des choses “au cas où on en aurait besoin un jour”, ou des souvenirs qui ont une valeur sentimentale mais qui dorment dans des boîtes depuis 10-20 ans – comme vos dessins de maternelle et jardin, vos textes du concours d’art oratoire, vos cartes d’anniversaire.

    C’est étonnant comme on peut vivre avec peu quand on n’a pas le choix. Mais c’est justement les choix qui sont difficiles à faire…

    Défi: réduire de 50%, non 25%, ce qu’on apportera à Wendover.

    Francine 🙂

  2. Megan


    I’m new to blogging, crafting and am also trying to cut back on my consumption habits. I like your post, I have heard many people suggest reusing Christmas Cards, and think it’s a great idea. Hopefully all your friends read this, just incase any get their last years Christmas Card recycled back to them this year, they’ll know why.

    I also recently started a crafters web site and my own blog, both a work in progress. I hope I’m not headed down the road to one of those utterly horrible and unuseable craft sites, but welcome any feed back if I am. Are you a marketing consultant?

  3. Vero

    Maman: Tant que ce sont pas mes dessins de maternelle! 🙂

    Megan: Thanks for popping by, and good luck with the new crafters site and blog. I tried to drop you an email, but your email address didn’t work. Here’s to hoping you read this and follow up!

    Kate: Interesting timing, Sam Weinberg seems to have done it over the course of 2007 as well. I think you’re right, I’d struggle with such a hard-line approach, I prefer to try and moderate for a lifetime, while encouraging those around me to do the same.

  4. ted @ house clearance

    i do like your three r’s method, its a great way to look at the things you don’t want again and not sure what to do with it. Making new things is what recycling is all about thank you for sharing

  5. Pingback: Wrapped with Love: Making Your Christmas Gifting More Eco-Friendly – Along The Lanes

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