We are always looking for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Investing several hours of your time and energy to craft something by hand is eco-friendly by nature, but we wondered if our knitting could have even less of an impact on our environment. After a bit of investigating, we came up with these seven tips for ensuring that your knitting is eco-friendly.
Estate sales, thrift shops, and yard sales are great places to shop if you are interested in using recycled yarn. Many thrift sales and yard sales will sell skeins of unused yarn. If it goes unsold, it will be thrown into the trash and taken to a landfill. Get a great deal on unwanted yarn and give it some purpose. Also at these sales, you can find l old sweaters made from cashmere or other coveted fibers. Don't be afraid to disassemble the sweater and reuse the yarn to create something lovely and sustainable.
Do you have an old sweater than no longer fits well? Or maybe you stuffed a knitted blanket in a chest because the color scheme is outdated? Accept the challenge of undoing your original knitting work and reknitting to make the garment work for you now. Add length to a sweater or reknit a blanket with a more modern stitch. One of the fabulous things about knitting is that you can always change what you have done and reuse the yarn.
A quick search on social media allows us to find groups of people who are interested in knitting. Do you have knitting needles that you don't use? Maybe you have a few leftover skeins of yarn that you don't plan to use. Reach out to local knitters and offer to swap. Trade some leftover yarn for a loom or a different kind of yarn for a new project. You will be amazed by the knitting supplies that are swapped in groups like this.
It is so simple to order everything you need for your new knitting project with a click of the mouse. Each time you check out, you trigger a chain of events that includes assembling, packaging, and shipping. This process has an environmental toll that can be reduced by ordering in bulk. Rather than multiple separate packages shipping out over the course of a few months, one large package can ship. Less packaging and less carbon emissions makes our knitting more eco-friendly.
The latest scientific data reports that if we continue to use and discard plastic at our current rate, by 2050, our oceans will be filled with plastic and plastic residue and many fish will suffer extinction. Metal and bamboo knitting needles will last for decades and are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic.
Synthetic yarns contain plastics that are not biodegradable and will eventually make their way to our water supplies and landfills. Cotton fibers do not contain plastic, but growing cotton uses a tremendous amount of water and can be an environmental strain. Blended yarns containing bamboo is a great way to improve sustainability. Bamboo is fast growing and doesn't require much water, making it a sustainable alternative. Bamboo fabric is also soft and moisture wicking, making it a comfy choice.
Spend a few days paying attention to everything you throw away in your home. Cardboard sleeves for coffee house coffee, paper towels, plastic bags- the list goes on and on. Now think about the garments you can knit to reduce this waste. Here are some fun projects that can help to reduce waste in your home:
If you notice that you dispose of several of something regularly, create a knitted alternative and reduce your waste.
As knitters, it is important that we try to be good stewards of our earth. And we have this incredible skill we can use to make a difference.