A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Ryan Halston. He is an aspiring writer trying to put together a portfolio, and asked if he could guest write an article on recycled or reused materials, and the art of crafting. Here is Ryan's article:
"The scope of products: Reusing material for arts and crafts
As many people continue to take on an eco-friendly and green lifestyle these days, there are a growing number of ways in which we can all have a better impact on the environment. While much of the environmental focus is focused on outdoor air quality, fuel consumption and pollution control, there are a growing number of ways that we can have an impact without making large changes to our lives. One great way to have a profound impact is to use recyclable materials in arts and crafts.
The possibilities of reusing and recycling materials to use in arts and crafts are essentially endless. There are so many things around houses that have great potential to be a part of arts and crafts. Think about the possibilities of the kitchen alone. Maybe there are a group of old jars that may not be useful for food anymore. These can be used to make decorative storage or as candle holders. Old bottles and cans can be used for useful items such as decorative pencil holders or other desk accessories.
The bedroom and clothing also host a number of different reusable craft options. Wool can be used for numerous different items from grocery bags to pillows, and even other usable clothing items. A shirt can be cut down to be used as a pocket square or handkerchief in a way that is not only useful, but often creative and colorful. One of the more common ways to reuse clothing in a crafting sense is to use different shirts for a quilt pattern. This is not only a great way to reuse material, but the end result could be a craft that evokes some great memories as well.
The important aspect of reusing material is to always be smart about what is being reused. For instance, possible reusable materials like older types of paint, felt and other items have had rare cases of voc and asbestos exposure, among other toxins. While instances of this are rare, it is important to be aware of the items being reused. Even though some products may not be able to be reused, there are numerous materials that can be turned around as arts and crafts projects around the house.
In the end, when we reuse materials, it allows us to hold on to items of the past that may have some importance. Even though some things lose their usability over time, they can usually be reused in a different fashion that can bring decorativeness, value and importance. So next time you’re thinking about throwing something out, give it a quick look over and think of something that can be made in the future. Taking small steps to reuse and recycle material can have a great long term impact on the environment. "