Guest Blog: Indie is the new Green by Jessica Gonacha – Reduce, Reuse and Recyle in your Arts and Craft Studio

by guest contributor Jessica Gonacha

There are always more ways we can make our studios and work spaces a little more environmentally friendly. Looking around me, I thought I’d share a few of the little things I do that can make a big difference in the long run. Here are some ideas:


1. Use old, cut up t-shirts for rags, rather than using paper towels or buying new rags. You can either donate your own t-shirts that you don’t wear anymore to your art-making cause or go to your local Goodwill and pick up some cheap, used t-shirts. I also make sure I properly dispose of my used rags (check with your city to find out if there is a place to drop off hazardous waste. It is often associated with the city’s recycling facilities.)


2. Use coffee canisters as brush holders and other containers to hold odds and ends. If you’re feeling especially crafty, you can cover over the outsides with paper bits from your studio or from the recycling bin. Why not print on it with a potato stamp? Then cover it with an eco-friendly sealant like Safecoat Polyureseal, a low-VOC, low-odor, water-based clear gloss coating, for a lasting and attractive container!


3. Much of the furniture in my studio has come from garage sales, friends giving things away, things found in alleyways, flea markets…. this way, I’m not buying anything new, I’m saving money, and my furniture has some character to it!


4. Ask your grandparents! So many of the amazing things in my studio have come from my grandmother, who was also an artist and general maker of things– piles and piles of yarn, stacks of fabric, sheets of incredible watercolor paper….
Even if the products are not necessarily eco-friendly, it is most definitely an eco-friendly practice to REDUCE (the buying of new things), REUSE (use something that someone else doesn’t need anymore), and RECYCLE (someone’s old goods can become your new treasures.)


Find a coffee canister or jar that you would like to decorate and use as a container to hold something. What about flowers? Paint brushes? A container to hold coins? The possibilities are endless. Post your photos of your creations to the Indie is the New Green flickr group!

About the contributor: Jessica Gonacha is an artist from Atlanta, Georgia who is endlessly creating. Her work includes paintings, drawings, illustrations, and paper goods and is vibrant, colorful, and charming. Her work can be found on her site, in her Etsy shop and in the Indie Fixx Shop. You can also read more about Jessica and her work on her blog.