Hobby: environmentally friendly handicraft materials

Whether as a hobby in your free time or at nursery, school or the after-school centre, the DIY wave is spreading. In the age of climate change, there are also environmentally friendly handicraft materials to help satisfy your lust for creativity. An overview.

In keeping with tradition, nature serves many handicraft enthusiasts as a source of materials. As environmental awareness grows, hobbyists are also increasingly turning towards thrown-away and discarded materials such as wastepaper, old textiles or plastic waste to get creative, meaning recycling and upcycling are right on trend. The range of new materials being retailed for arts and crafts is varied and wide – a true paradise for hobbyists! So that it doesn’t fan the flames of climate change, though, the usual handicraft products need to become greener. Retailers can find ecologically responsible versions of materials in all craft corners 

Greener painting and drawing

In the painting corner, much has already been done regarding environmental protection. On the one hand, there are recycled papers in a range of styles which offer a green alternative, the quality of which is as good as new paper. The production of a tonne of recycled paper, however, saves 26 trees and around 50,000 litres of water. There are also now coloured pencils made from materials such as recycled newspapers. Eco-friendly painting chalks are made of natural plaster and natural chalk, and coloured with harmless pigments. Those who would like to buy harmless wax crayons are best off looking for crayons made of organic beeswax instead of oil-based paraffins. Watercolour paint sets in natural colours may look rather pale when first unpacked but show their true rich colours on the paper and are even suitable for painting Easter eggs.

Greener kneading and modelling

Natural modelling clay made of renewable raw materials becomes extra soft when handled and can be modelled easily. It is washable and when dry it can, firstly, be brushed out of textiles and, secondly, even be painted. Another plus is that hardened clay becomes soft again if wrapped in a damp cloth for two to three days. 

Greener gluing

No crafting without glue. Environmentally friendly glue is based on roasted potato starch, for example, and is free from solvents, as well as being washable and non-toxic. For those who would like to cut down on plastic packaging, it is possible to buy a large bottle and refill packs instead of a small bottle.

About the author:

The freelance organic journalist and #motherof4 Doreen Brumme blogs at doreenbrumme.de about the organic lifestyle for work, school and family.

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