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Green Is The New Black

8 Conscious Crafting Tips and Tricks for the Holidays!

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Ahh, it’s the most wonderful time of the year again; When there are gifts and cards and tags to be made and given to the ones we love!

We love crafting as much as anybody else- which is why we’ve created a quick guide to be a greener artist this Christmas and some great upcycle ideas. Because gifting and crafting doesn’t have to be planet-killing! Here are 8 Conscious Crafting tips and tricks to help you this holiday season.


1. Be creative with your gift wrapping


In Britain alone, 108 million rolls of wrapping paper will be used and thrown away this year.


And most of that paper isn’t even recyclable. Wrapping paper is usually used just once and then thrown away- talk about being incredibly wasteful. Additionally, fibres found in cheaper types of paper are not strong enough to recycle. Wrapping paper is also often dyed and laminated and can also contain non-paper additives such as gold and silver colouring, glitter and plastics.  And to compound all this, it often has sticky tape still attached to it- which makes it unrecyclable, too. The solution is so simple: Avoid using paper entirely by using reusable decorative tins, baskets or boxes! You can even DIY your own decorative fabric wraps that can be reused multiple times.


Lefthandesign creates unique sustainable product ranges for gifting. They celebrate collections inspired by the simple joys of travel, art, nature, food with its roots in paper goods. All of their products are ethically produced using highest quality eco-friendly, organic, recycled materials. They are crafted to look beautiful with delicate details to lose yourself in. Experience Gifting with their collections meticulously designed and curated for all life’s occasions just for you. With their amazing array of reusable gifting pouches and bags, you’re sure to find one perfect for those nearest and dearest to you.

Or you can always upcycle material instead!

Read more | Shop here


2. Upcycle!


For every ton of discarded textiles used again, 20 tons of CO2 is prevented from entering the atmosphere.


Behind every upcycled product, there is a maker who strongly believes in a level of craftsmanship. After all these decades of consuming mass-produced items that come off the production line duplicated in their thousands, what is there on this earth that’s truly unique and new? Upcycled products celebrate people who love making things with their bare hands and encourage a creativity that benefits both the environment and society. And not only will upcycling save materials from going into the landfills, it’ll save you serious cash and gain you mad skills, too. And anything you make will be well and truly one-of-a-kind- which we’re sure your recipients will cherish. Truly, there is no limit to what you can upcycle; from old cards, to tins, crayons, glass bottles, socks (which you can turn into heating bags!), and even old t-shirts, the sky’s the limit. You’ve just gotta put your pedal to the metal and see what that mushy pink clump of smart-cells up in your head can do.


In your own houses, your wardrobes, your bins or even look to your friends’ bins for inspiration. Declutter the house and see what you can turn into your next beautiful Christmas decoration or upcycled present for Uncle Joe. Here are over 200 upcycling ideas to get you started. Get creative!

>> Get more ideas to upcycling and repurposing here. 


3. Use FSC-Certified, 100% PCP Recycled Paper or Stone Paper


Recycling reduces CO2 emissions by 20% in comparison to incinerating the paper.

Paper fibres can be recycled 4 to 5 times.


When it comes to paper communications, recycled paper is the greenest option: It uses less energy, water, and produces lower carbon emissions than the manufacturing of non-recycled paper and reduces the amount of waste in landfills. On average, the production of virgin fibre paper, followed by incineration uses twice as much energy than it takes to produce recycled paper. With advances in technology and processes, recycled paper is now as white and has the same print performance as non-recycled paper.


Stone paper is future-friendly, made from one of the most abundant substances on earth: calcium carbonate. What you’re looking at is recycled — Karst Stone Paper repurposes waste stone produced by the mining industry and construction industry, crushes it into a powder, and combines it with a non-toxic, recyclable binding agent to make stone paper. Not one drop of water and not one tree was harmed in the making of these notebooks. Their products are an amazing alternative to traditional pulp paper that uses no trees, water, wastes, acids or bleaches to produce. Not only are they a better alternative, but it’s also waterproof and tear resistant. Their manufacturing process is powered in part by solar energy and leaves a 60% smaller carbon footprint than traditional paper.

Read more | Shop here


4. Use non-toxic paints and inks, environmentally friendly solvents and thinners


11 ink cartridges per second and 1 million cartridges per day are thrown away.

It takes 1000 years for a print cartridge to fully decompose in a landfill site.


Manufacturing just one single toner cartridge emits around 4.8kg CO2 Greenhouse Gases per cartridge. This is just for the cartridge- it doesn’t take into account the toner inside, which have a much harsher effect on the environment. Petroleum-based inks also tend to contain a rather high amount of volatile organic compounds such as toluene, benzene and xylene. These compounds can be very harmful to the environment, wildlife and people: Benzene is a common carcinogen! In contrast, soy-based ink is an excellent alternative to petroleum or oil-based inks. Not only is this ink great for the environment and your eco-friendly crafting needs, but it can actually be used to produce brighter, more vibrant colors. The end result is an eco-friendly and visually appealing product every time, which says a lot about your business and demonstrates that you care about the environment – especially when combined with recycled paper.


Carda & Co are about more than just paper. They’re about the effect, the experiences and the impressions that our paper products bring to your life. Be it a social greeting card, a postcard, a piece of wall art, a business card, a branded parcel or a brand new artistic creation, they make beautiful things that matter. They’re also mindful of the environment and does their part by minimizing wastage, using partial or fully recycled materials, and print on FSC Certified or recycled materials using soy-based inks.

Read more | Shop here


5. Go digital!


In the UK alone, 1 billion Christmas cards end up in the bin every year, when they could be recycled.


The best way to reduce your impact on the planet is to start at the source, and stop creating waste altogether. One way you can go zero-waste with your Christmas Crafts is to go digital. Send out e-cards and emails instead of letters, and try your hand at digital painting on an iPad or a drawing tablet. Digital art also has numerous benefits: You can easily fix mistakes, your artwork is much less likely to get damaged, you can’t exactly “run out” of materials and your art won’t take up lots of precious space.


Wherever you want, really. Go try out a bunch of different tablets and websites and see which works the best for you. We personally enjoy iPad Pros paired with the Apple pencil, and using apps such as Canva, Adobe Sketch and Procreate. However, your mileage may vary.


5. Limit or plan out your waste (and what you’re going to do with it)


In 2017, Singapore generated over 7.70 million tonnes of solid waste.

Planning out your waste is one of the easiest ways to reduce it. Planning out what you’re going to buy (and use) allows you to choose products that are recycled, recyclable, repairable, re-usable or refillable, and to find (and purchase) quality products that will last, rather than short-life or disposable products. Planning for your waste also allows you to purchase items in bulk, thus minimizing packaging. It also means you’ll have less waste materials left-over after all your crafting is done.


LESS! Plan out what you’ll need and shop judiciously. Avoid making impulse purchases that you know are only going to end up in the bin. And use recycled materials wherever you can.


7. Dispose of your waste materials correctly


Proper waste disposal is super important due to the fact that certain types of wastes (such as commonly used paint thinners) can be hazardous and can contaminate the environment if not handled properly. These types of waste also have the potential to cause disease or get into water supplies. There are rules and regulations in place for how specific types of waste should be disposed of, and following them allows for toxic waste to be safely discarded without the risk of environmental contamination. Here’s everything you need to know about dealing with hazardous waste in Singapore.


8. Buy locally


Air transport produces nearly 60 times more carbon dioxide equivalent emissions than ocean transport.


Buying local increases your community’s health, promotes local wealth, reduces the use of fossil fuels, utilizes less plastic packaging, uses land more productively and creates greater connections between people and the planet. You can also save a ton of money (think of all those shipping fees you won’t be paying!), and you’re more likely to get better service and find products that work better for you.


A quick browse through our Conscious Directory will find all the best local Conscious Brands you’re after. Alternatively, walk through your neighbourhood and find hidden gems of art stores such as Straits Art and Overjoyed.


That’s enough of how you can make an artistic difference- have you checked out all the little ways to have a greener Christmas this year yet? You’ve definitely gotta check out our selection of Conscious Gifts under $50, or how you can have a Zero Waste Christmasa Vegan ChristmasZero waste swaps for eco-friendlier presents, How to dress both fashionably AND sustainably this holiday season or even a how you can have a Conversation about Climate Change and give Sustainable Corporate Gifts. Also, do you know which GREEN SPICE you are yet? Or where you’ll be having a plant-based Christmas dinner this year?

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A little sparrow who is convinced that every tiny step you take is capable of creating a big, massive change. She's "Teacher Mini" to those who know her best and simply crazy to everyone else; Her life goals include planting an oak tree and driving a cement truck, and she hopes that one day, people will believe her when she says that you can see stars hanging out in Singapore's skies.

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