Earth Day is almost here. And, of course, the planet is important every day of the year. The fact that you do a handmade craft already makes you more eco-friendly than some people. But you can also do some things to green up your crafting. In honor of Earth Day, here are ten eco-friendly knit and crochet tips.
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1. Learn About Sustainable Yarn
You can start by listening to what the Green Mountain Spinnery had to say about this topic on the Yarn Thing podcast. Sustainable yarn includes natural fibers, organic materials (such as organic cotton or even banana fiber), and recycled materials such as sari silk.
2. Shop Local for Eco-Friendly Yarn
The further away that your yarn comes from, the harder it is on the earth. If you have local fiber farms in your area that shear the sheep and spin and dye the yarn then get to know them. Join a CSA for fiber. Or shop at local yarn stores that carry yarn from local makers.
3. Look for Eco-Friendly Knit and Crochet Tools
You can buy plastic crochet hooks and knitting needles. Or you can buy ones that are made of wood. Hopefully it’ll be a long time before your tools end up in a landfill. Nevertheless, think ahead and choose the more eco-friendly knit and crochet tools when you can.
4. Make Eco-Friendly Knit and Crochet Items
For example, crochet market bags so that you can re-use them instead of using up plastic or even paper bags at the grocery store. Knit your own baskets so that you don’t have to buy plastic ones at the store. Think of all of the things that you can make for yourself instead of buying the new, cheap version.
5. Upcycle Items at Home with Eco-Friendly Knit and Crochet
Take an item that you would have thrown away and turn it into something fresh and new with your knit and crochet skills. For example, you can take mismatched plastic bottles and make them match with easy knit or crochet cozies for them. Then use them as vases, pencil holders, etc.
6. Make Your Own Yarn
This is another way to upcycle or recycle instead of throwing something away at home. Take your old t-shirts, sheets, and even plastic bags and make yarn (tarn, plarn) from them. Then use those supplies to knit or crochet.
7. Use Eco-Friendly Soap to Wash Your Knit and Crochet
Whether you hand-wash or machine-wash your items, you can easily have more eco-friendly knit and crochet by giving careful attention to the soap that you use. Some chemicals are really bad for the planet. Others are not. Tip: Check out SOAK Wash.
8. Learn About the Slow Yarn Movement
Knitting and crochet already help the earth because they fight fast fashion. Slow fashion is an antidote to many of the environmental issues associated with fast fashion. But you can take it even further. You can make more eco-friendly knit and crochet choices by learning all about the Slow Yarn movement. As a bonus, Slow Yarn isn’t just good for the earth but also good for you.
9. Read Books About Eco-Friendly Knit and Crochet
For example, in our roundup of 2021 knitting books you might want to check out, there’s Sustainable Knitting for Beginners and Beyond: 20 Patterns for Environmentally Friendly Knits. The more that you can learn about how other people are practicing sustainable knitting, the more ideas you’ll have for doing the same for yourself.
10. Re-Use Your WIP Yarn
How many WIPs and UFO’s do you have in your house right now? Take them all out and make a decision. Either you’re going to finish them – so do it. Or you can frog them and use the yarn. Don’t let things that can be used just sit around gathering dust. Use them!