Scrapstores: Where Nothing Goes to Waste
For many of you creative types out there you may be wondering how you can keep up a low waste lifestyle whilst still indulging in your hobbies. Many hobbies such as sewing, sculpture etc leave you with off-cuts and other bits of waste that you often don’t want to keep, and can’t find a use for.
There are many ways that we can reduce waste whilst still doing what makes us happy. The biggest and most effective way is to reuse things in your creative endeavours: Make sculptures out of old nuts and bolts, make organisation boxes out of old cardboard such as cereal boxes or toilet rolls, use old clothes for materials. This helps to reduce your impact as even if you’re left with offcuts its still less than if you hadn’t reused in the first place.
Now when it comes to getting your hands on these refuse materials that can be another matter. If you’re like me then you don’t want to keep hold of every bit of scrap just in case inspiration strikes, especially if you have already decided to reduced the amount of waste that you create by buying products with less packaging etc in the first place.
This is where the Scrapstore comes in.
A new discovery for me, the Scrapstore is a place that collects refuse material and offers it up to schools, youth clubs and even individual artists in return for a yearly subscription. There are many Scrapstores across the UK, and a quick google search will let you know if there is one in your town. You can utilise the Scrapstore in one of two ways, by donating your offcuts and other waste products to them for use by others, or by getting your own supplies there.
A yearly subscription may initially seem off-putting but it often isn’t a lot considering that once paid you can take as much as you want, this is especially good if as I stated earlier you run a craft group or a youth club. Most scrap stores also offer a student discount on this subscription, for example the yearly subscription for the London Scrapstore is£70 for non-students and only £30 for students.
For those of you interested in visiting a Scrapstore here’s a link to the ReusefulUK website where you can find a list of Scrapstore locations and find out more information about the charity and how you can help: https://www.scrapstoresuk.org
All photos used in this post are curtesy of Jenny Camp.