Going Green in your Sewing Room

Posted by & filed under Environment.

It’s coming up to St. Patrick’s Day, and I keep thinking of the word ‘green’. However, I’m not thinking of green as a colour, but rather as a verb – as in ‘going green’. More and more, people are becoming conscious of the environment and are looking for ways to contribute to a healthier earth. How can we go green in our sewing room? Here are 25 ways you can make your sewing space, and your sewing life, earth-friendly.

  1. Don’t heat an empty room. When you’re not using your sewing room, turn off the heat and close the door.
  2. When you are in the sewing room, turn down the heat 1-2 degrees in winter and wear a sweater, or turn the air conditioner up 1-2 degrees in summer and wear a light shirt.
  3. Sew with a friend (or two or three). Each person can generate the same amount of warmth as a 100-watt heater!
  4. Place an area rug on your wood or concrete floor. Carpeting keeps in the heat and reduces your heating bill.
  5. Use LED or CFL lightbulbs – they are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs.
  6. Turn out lights when you leave the room.
  7. Let in the light. Open the blinds, let in the natural daylight and keep the lights off as long as you can.
  8. Turn off your computer when not in use.
  9. Buy an iron that shuts off automatically when not in use.
  10. If you launder your quilts, wash in cold water; hang to dry instead of using the dryer.
  11. Unplug electronics such as your sewing machine and iron when not in use. Even when turned off, they use energy.
  12. Skip bottled water. If you like to have water with you when you sew, buy a re-usable water bottle and fill from the tap instead.
  13. Re-purpose glass jars to hold buttons, ribbon, thread, etc.
  14. If you are printing patterns on your computer printer, print on both sides of the paper.
  15. Go digital. Order digital subscriptions of your favourite quilting magazines and print only the pages you need for a pattern.
  16. Like scents in your sewing room? Instead of plug-in style room scents, opt for 100% essential oils in a reed diffuser.
  17. Borrow instead of buy. Visit the library for the latest quilting books, and borrow specialty accessories and tools from your quilting friends.
  18. Don’t throw your fabric cuttings and thread trimmings in the garbage. Line a bucket with an old pillowcase and toss everything inside. When the case is full, sew it shut and donate it to a local animal shelter to use as a pet bed.
  19. Make your own eco-friendly spray baste and fabric starch. There are plenty of recipes online.
  20. Buy a plant for your sewing room. Plants help improve air quality.
  21. Walk, take the bus, or carpool to the local quilt shop.
  22. Take your own bag when you go to the fabric store.
  23. Shop at thrift stores and yard sales where you can buy new, unwanted fabric at used prices.
  24. Buy quilting tools and accessories second hand. This reduces the impact of by-product waste in the production of new products.
  25. Recycle! Check your local recycling bylaws and recycle what you can – paper, cardboard packaging, plastics, etc.

It really is easy to go green in your sewing room! Every little thing you do will help reduce your personal impact on the environment and the earth. Go green, go!