It’s easy to go overboard at craft stores, but with a little guidance, it’s also easy to go green.


Avoid kits. Anything that contains everything you need to make a pottery bowl or stained glass coaster is neither ecological or economical. Instead, buy individual materials as you would buy ingredients at a supermarket.

Wrap real. Imitation cellophane is everywhere, but real clear cellophane wrap is made from tree cellulose (translation: biodegradable) and can be used to wrap a basket of fresh organic fruit as a last-minute present.

Choose quality. Avoid the temptation of cheap, disposable foam paint brushes. Instead, invest in bristle brushes that you can wash and use over and over. Get good scissors that will stay sharp for a long time.

Think thrift shops. Many thrift shops have bins of odds and ends that are perfect for crafts. At a local Goodwill, I scored a collection of ’50s holiday cards for just a few dollars. Authentic—and a bargain, to boot.

Danny Seo is the author of Simply Green Giving, a new gift guide that’s chock-full of crafty projects. He’s also host of Simply Green on both Lime TV and Sirius Satellite Radio. 

Story by Danny Seo. This article originally appeared in Plenty in December 2006. This story was added to in June 2009.

Copyright Environ Press 2006.

Go green at craft stores
A little guidance can help shoppers avoid going overboard at craft stores.