Sunday, June 03, 2007


Have you ever thought about the environmental impact of your knitting?

Perhaps you refuse to knit with silk because so many poor little bugs must prematurely give their lives to produce such lovely yarn.

Or, perhaps, you won't knit with synthetics because you know that producing something like that through chemical means simply cannot be good for this green earth of ours.

Chances are, you are not doing enough.

Here are a few pointers to reduce your knitting's environmental impact:

  • Knit with natural fibers. Wool, flax, organic cotton (did you know that cotton takes a huge amount of pesticides - we are talking somewhere between 50-90% of the worlds pesticides.)

  • Knit with natural colours. When possible, try knitting with yarn that hasn't been dyed. For everything else, try to avoid synthetic dyes where ever possible. It may be possible for those who dye their own yarn to do so, but for those of us who don't, one could always buy from an individual who does.

  • Buy locally! For every kilometer (or mile, if you swing that way) an item is shipped, a considerable (which I can't find the data for at the moment) amount of pollutants contaminate the air. Now just think of that yarn that travelled thousands of kilometers (or miles) just to reach your knitting stash.
  • If you cannot buy locally, buy from an individual. This ensures that the creator receives the maximum benefit and you receive the best value. Also, the larger the company, the more shipping they do. From the producer to one warehouse to the next warehouse to the shop to the warehouse....

  • Use knitting needles made from a renewable resource (like bamboo)

I try to follow all of these, but some times I just have to have that yarn from Peru. And that's okay too. These days I've been buying fleece and yarn (washed and carded by the farm) locally, just a short drive from my home. It's less expensive than most name brands, and all so soft.

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