Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Way Of Crafting: A Change The World Wednesday Challenge

Crafted from repurposed materials
Home to chard and lettuce!

When you have a small repair or improvement to do around the house or apartment, is your first impulse to go buy something? That certainly is mine; our hardware stores carry everything and can get me what I need quickly, shipped here from some nation where workers get $1 an hour so you know it's as inexpensive as possible.
This is a mistake in more ways than I have fingers to count them on!
With just a little mental re-orientation, we can accomplish many fixes and improvements without a single purchase! Instead, we craft existing materials into solutions at no cost except your time; and if this is time taken away from the time you'd waste watching television, you may think of time spent crafting as itself being recycled from waste!
The crafting projects in which I take the most pride are:
All of these products are useful, could have been purchased, but were instead crafted out of repurposed materials. This helps keep stuff out of the landfills while eliminating the costs of transporting them to  my home - they're already here! The general strategy is this: make it do, or do without  - and with a little cleverness and confidence in my ability, I didn't have to do without.
Of course, there are limits - there are limits to EVERYTHING - I'm not going to craft anything if its failure would have serious consequences, e.g. brake shoes. But there is a huge number of things that we can craft, limited only by our confidence in our abilities. (Doesn't it sometimes seem that we have a learned helplessness that discourages our craftiness in favor of shopping? I wonder how that could have developed ...)
 I got thinking about this by my bloggy friend Reduce Footprints' Change the World Wednesday Challenge:
This week we'd like to hear about your proudest "green" achievement. Perhaps you started a compost for the first time or purchased organic food. Maybe you stopped driving a car or added solar panels to your home. It could be as small as carrying a reusable bag or as large as building an energy efficient home. Whatever your proudest Eco-friendly achievement is ... we want to know about it. Please leave details and tips/ideas so that we can all celebrate with you and perhaps try the activity ourselves.
Judging by what I like to take pictures of and blog about, crafting for my house is my proudest accomplishment. You can do it too!
Can persuade you to take up The Way Of Crafting?

1 comment:

Small Footprints said...

I thought about this post yesterday ... we are "crafting" a new hanging pot for a bunch of cuttings that I've gathered. We're using things we have around to fashion this unique planter. But that's not the part that your post influenced. Once we got the planter together, we realized that we didn't have enough chain to hang it with. Our first thought was to run to Home Depot and pick something up. Then I thought about this post and we started looking around for something we could use. And sure enough ... we found it ... a chain holding an existing display that we're tired of. We'll take down the display and refresh that space ... and we have our chain for the new planter.

It is true ... it's all a mindset! :-)