Married to the Empire

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Crafts That Save the Planet?

Call me a cynic, but that seems like a rather dubious claim.

Admittedly, I'm going to be picking on the latest issue of Paper Crafts magazine, but it's really a general observation. Let's face it: It's trendy to claim that little things are saving the planet. But are they really?

I'm all for reusing things or saving stuff from landfills, but I've never really understood the logic of people who write to Heloise with their tips for using plastic grocery sacks as garbage-can liners or pooper-scooper bags, then claim that they are recycling the bags. They're being tossed in the landfill whether they're being filled up with something or not, so I can't buy the argument that it's a glorious deed. Granted, it is helpful if it means not using some other bag in its stead, but it's hardly recycling if the ultimate end is the garbage can.

That leads me to this magazine. Please understand that I very much like this magazine; I bought it, after all. I'm just shaking my head a bit at the front-cover claim of projects that "save the planet."

Okay, so using the packaging of a craft item is better than just tossing it in the garbage. But are you actually saving the planet by doing so? Not really, especially as purchasing the item in the first place is encouraging the manufacture and shipment of the product, which are a billion times worse for the earth than just tossing the packaging away.

Making a campfire kit is hardly eco friendly. Yes, it may be taken camping in the great outdoors, but it's actually creating more garbage because cute labels are being made to go around the already-existent wrappings of the chocolate bars, graham crackers, and marshmallows for s'mores.

Please don't call a project eco-friendly when it involves printing things out on cardstock. Doing so uses electricity. How is that helping the planet?

Now, I'm certainly not saying that we shouldn't do any of those things. Goodness knows I have such an issue with buying new craft supplies that I had to challenge myself not to do so for a while. My point is merely that I'm tired of all the trendy claims of things saving the planet when they really aren't. Keeping things out of the garbage can? Maybe, in some cases. But truly eco-friendly? I don't think so.

1 comment:

*carrie* said...

Mmm-hmmm, I've thought the same thing!