Scrapbookers of the Future

Fast-forward forty years. You receive an email (or whatever form of future communication, maybe an ezap?) from an old scrapbooking friend who would like for you to visit her. You accept and once the weekend arrives, you pack up a couple scrapbooks and drive across state to her house.

As you make your journey, for a brief moment, you are infatuated with the one tree that stands desolate for miles. (There are not many trees these days since scrapbookers took over the paper mills and cut them down to document all of their memories.)

It’s late afternoon when you pull into her driveway. You grab the scrapbooks, your camera and walk to the front door.

Knock. Knock.

The door opens.

photo source: blakespot on Flickr

It is me. I’m old, wrinkled and worn-out from working in the paper mills so scrapbookers like me can spend a lifetime documenting everyday moments on pretty paper in 12x12 albums. (And this photo doesn’t show me with my usual collection of archival-safe markers in my ragged hair and the pair of scissors that dangle across my chest in place of the charm that was once on my favorite necklace.
I couldn’t find a photo with a crazy old scrapbooking lady like that.)

I invite you in. Upon entering, your view of the living room that you had once cropped in has been blocked by a wall of scrapbooks. From the floor to the ceiling and 10 feet wide, these albums are not in bookshelves and you wonder how they stay in place without falling.

You follow me through a maze of paper stacks, more albums, boxes of photos and begin to believe that there must be a black hole at the local scrapbook store that sucked everything from there to here. You finally end up at the only chair free from any scrappy clutter...


Okay. This story is not going to happen. I’m not going to end up being that crazy old scrapbook lady because over the past few years, I've changed the way I scrapbook. It's a continual process of alternative scrapbooking and my focus is ecoscrapbooking.

The premise is simple.

1. Use my stash. Stop buying excess products. Save and reuse paper scraps. Dig into the recycling bin. Simplify. 

2. Seek out sustainable products. Companies like Basic Grey and K&Company have made eco-friendly changes. I've also found FSC-Certified 8.5x11 acid-free cardstock at office supply stores.

I've downsized the amount of products I use and still trying to be a full-fledged green scrapbooker. I believe the future of scrapbooking will be completely digital. We're already seeing traditional scrapbooking stores and publications close their doors.

Will I ever give up my paper and printed photos? I don't know. I love the creative process and enjoy time off the computer. However, I can imagine a virtual scrapbooking world that is easily shared, changed and moveable. Instead of traditional photo frames, think digital photo frames on your walls and shelves that can be programmed to display your scrapbook layouts. I've gone off on a tangent, but this kind of scrapbook sharing has endless possibilities and I look forward to seeing the growth of digital scrapbooking and media.

Before we get to that future, traditional paper scrapbooking must continue to change. I truly believe that ALL scrapbooking manufacturers need to jump on board and:

  • Switch to FSC-certified paper, recycled paper or tree-free paper sources (maybe even elephant poo poo paper).
  • Use soy or vegetable based inks.
  • Offer reusable packaging.
  • Consistently seek out ways to be more earth-friendly.

We must unite to make sure these changes happen so we can continue to create scrapbooks and not worry about a mass consumption of virgin paper (or scary old scrapbooking ladies of the future). ~Danielle

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