Article courtesy Scrapjazz.com; by Rachel Myerson

In these days of high gas prices and global warming, paper scrapbookers may want to get on board and try and keep scrapbooking environmentally responsible. Here are some easy suggestions for ways to incorporate a "green" philosophy into your scrapbooking.

Consider using recycled products when you are shopping for scrapbook supplies. There are several companies, such as the Piggy Tales Preserve and Conserve Line and the Tinkering Ink bECOming green collection, which offer beautiful designs printed on recycled papers. Also, consider supporting companies which have environmentally responsible programs such as the Plant a Family Tree program from K & Company.

Recycle items around the house. Many items which are about to go into the trash can be rescued and altered. They can then be used for scrapbook storage or gifts. Items that can be beautifully recycled include milk cartons, peanut-butter jars, CD cases, shoe-boxes, and many other types of containers. Some small jars can be used to store flowers and other small embellishments, even if you choose not to alter them. Before you purchase items for scrapbook storage, look in your pantry and around the house for suitable storage items that can be re-used.

Embellishments can also be found around the house. Buttons and snaps that fall off in the bottom of the dryer can be re-used to embellish layouts. Ribbons previously used to tie packages or hair can be used on layouts and cards as well. Bottle caps can be saved from the trash and turned into interesting embellishments; just paint them and add a rub-on. Apply a little creativity and see what types of embellishments you can create from household items that are no longer needed.

Recycling can also extend to your scrapbooking stash. Always remember to recycle your scraps. One popular way to recycle paper scraps is to save them for future use on smaller projects such as cards. Scraps which are too small or not suitable for cards can be recycled through your community recycling program. Keep a separate recycle bin next to your scrap area and place recyclable scraps in there, separate from your trash. Unwanted stickers and embellishments can be donated to local schools. Before anything is placed in the trash, ask yourself: is this really trash or can it be recycled?

1_175Eliminate excess photo paper. Rather than crop photos the traditional way, crop your photos electronically and print them in the size you need for your layout. This saves money as well as limits trash. If you print your own photos, find software that allows you to print photos in different sizes and fill up a piece of paper. I frequently print photos four (3 ½" x 5") or six (2" x 3") per page.

Go digital. Personally, I enjoy working with my hands and don't have an interest in digital scrapbooking. However, for those of you who do, it is certainly an environmentally friendly approach.

Save gas. If you attend crops that are far from home, consider carpooling or take the train. Likewise, share a ride to the local scrapbook store - not only does it save gas, but shopping with friends can be more fun.

Applying an environmentally friendly approach to scrapbooking can be easy, fun and rewarding - and you don't even need to make green layouts!