We can change how we scrapbook (so we don’t look like this in 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 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

I am changing the way I scrapbook  

I like to call it ecoscrapbooking. The premise is simple:

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

2. Seek out sustainable products. Companies like Cosmo Cricket, Piggy Tales and K&Company have made eco-friendly changes (and I’ll throw in my new Etsy shop for blatant self-promotion).

3. Learn digital scrapbooking. Downsize the amount of products you use and become a green scrapbooker. If you really want to build an extreme ecoscrapbook, go completely digital and don’t print a thing. Create a virtual scrapbooking world that is easily shared, changed and moveable. I believe that this is the future of scrapbooking.

Before we get to the future, traditional scrapbooking, as we know it today, must change. Even though there are some scrapbooking manufacturers that have gone green, I truly believe that ALL 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). 

ecoScrapbook will be an exploration of everything you need to know about green scrapbooking.

Expect to learn:
  • What companies have gone green.
  • How to scrapbook with reusable packaging.
  • What to do with your unwanted supplies.
  • Alternative ways to print your digital scrapbook pages.
  • Where to find unicorns (just kidding! Making sure you’re paying attention.)
  • And plenty more!

My current plan is to post every Monday (with extra posts as needed), share what I know and learn along the way, and most importantly,

I want you to change the way you scrapbook.

Now, for your first challenge. Make an eco-friendly scrapbook page. If you need ideas on where to start, read about ways to be an eco-friendly scrapbooker. Remember to use what you have first. You don't need to go to the store and buy recycled paper. Paper scraps work fine. You can also make a page that has an eco theme.

Once you created your page, share it on the ecoScrapbook Flickr group page or email it to me, ecoscrapbook (at) yahoo (dot) com, and I’ll add it for you. If you’re already a digital scrapbooker, I’d like for you to share something that has an eco-friendly theme (after all, you’re already a green scrapbooker since you digiscrap). And you may even see your page here (with your permission, of course).

Feel free to add as many ecoscrapbook pages as you would like. I want ecoScrapbook on Flickr to be a source for earth-loving inspiration.

Are you ready to join me and change the way you scrapbook? (Yes, I hope.) Then sign-up to receive email updates (enter your email address over on the sidebar), follow me on Twitter and tweet (or Facebook) this post to your other scrapbooking friends.

See you next Monday!