- Jenica Barrett
Zero Waste Arts & Crafts Supplies for Kids (and adults!)
If you’ve ever played with children for even a minute, you know how quickly things can get messy. When it comes to arts and crafts, you’ll find kids paint half their body, end up with glitter in their hair, and drop tiny bits of glue all over the ground before they’re done.
Most arts and crafts supplies are made of plastic and fossil fuels. That means any bits of glue and glitter washed down the drain are becoming microplastics in the environment. These plastics also aren’t safe to ingest! And let’s be real, kids somehow find a way to taste and eat everything.
Art supplies also aren’t typically reusable. We use the glue for a project or the paint on a canvas and don’t have a way to take those back to use on a later masterpiece. It’s one and done. Art is typically single-use (although loved for much longer) which means it’s especially crucial to make sure those supplies are made from sustainable materials. You’re going to need to buy art supplies over and over again as you run out.
That’s why it’s important we stock our craft supplies cupboards with safe, toxin free, plant-based products. Beautiful art supplies can still produce the same quality experience while also reducing plastic waste and promoting recyclability.
Whether you’re stocking your child’s art cupboard or a preschool classroom or simply an art loving adult, you’ll find the supplies below are safer, greener, and more eco-friendly than the typical craft supplies.
If you’re looking specifically for gifts to give students in your life, check out our list of zero waste gift ideas! You can also check out of post of the ultimate school and office supplies!
This post contains affiliate links where I earn a small commission on any purchased made through them.
Zero Waste Arts & Craft Supplies for Everyone!
Upcycled Feed Bag Pencil Pouch
A small farm in Colorado raises goats to make artisan goat milk soap. With all of their feed bags, they upcycle them into pencil pouches and zipper bags! You can pick from all different types of animals found on the feed bags and from a variety of sizes. Perfect for carrying classroom supplies or stashing toiletries in your backpack!
Recycled Newspaper Colored Pencils
$7.99 Instead of a traditional pencil made from wood, these pencils have graphite wrapped in recycled newspapers (all post-consumer!) which means these pencils were once being read with the morning coffee. They are packaged in carton paper that is printed with soy-based inks, too.
Natural Watercolor Paints
These water color discs are made by hand from cellulose, dextrose, food grade pigments, silica, magnesium stearate and gum Arabic in New Zealand. They are safe for tiny hands and free of any toxic chemicals or unsafe ingredients. The paint brushes are made of natural wood and it's all cutely packaged in a metal tin. It ships plastic free, too!
Recycled Crayon Sticks
These gorgeous, solid colored crayons are made from recycled wax, meaning no virgin wax was used to create them. They made a beautiful gift for an artist of any age!
Toddler Coloring Book with 100% Recycled Paper
This coloring book is made from 100% recycled paper and features 40 pages of pictures. The pictures feature nature inspired images and scenes from across North America. So not only will the kiddos be coloring on sustainable pages but also learning about the beautiful places they can visit!
Did you know that glitter is usually made from plastic? It puts tiny microplastics in our environment! This glitter though is made from a special cellulose core are derived from hardwoods, primarily eucalyptus, and is compostable. It's packaged in a aluminum tin that can easily be recycled when empty!
Recycled Lego Crayons
These lego crayons are made out of the crayon scraps from a classroom in North Carolina. They're melted down into lego shapes and then sold on Etsy! When you open these up, every child (and adult!) will want to take a turn coloring.
Pocket Sized Notebook
These pocket sized notebooks are made in the USA from 100% post-consumer recycled paper that is recyclable at the end of its life. It contains 2 notebooks that are printed with soy ink. It has a sewn bound binding and a unique graphic design on the cover.
Recycled Paper Washi Tape
The washi tape is made from recycled white and kraft paper. It's made in a Michigan paper mill that operates on 100% hydropower. Coloring is added to the tape with water-based inks and a natural rubber adhesive is used to made it sticky. This tape makes a fun addition to any craft book page or adds a sparkle to posters hanging on the walls!
Recycled Paper Sketchbook
Need a blank sketchbook for art class or to test some new paints? This sketchbook has 75 pages of recycled white paper from a Michigan paper mill that operates on 100% hydropower! The cover is designed using water-based inks.
Earth Day Coloring Book
This Earth Day inspired coloring book is printed in the USA on 100% recycled paper. Each design is hand-drawn by female artists and features a variety of important topics from composting to appreciating the wilderness.
Recycled Cotton Yarn
$2.00 (for 93 yards)
This craft yarn is made of 80% recycled cotton and 20% other recycled fibers all from textile waste! It's available in 32 beautiful colors for knitting, crocheting, and necklace making! Hooked Yarns also makes plant-based yarns and recycled textile yards in all different weights and styles.
Recycled Water Bottle + Bamboo Yard
$14.00 (for 305 yards)
Popcycle yard is made of 50% Bamboo and 50% Polyester from Recycled Plastic Bottles. Which means this yard is vegan (wool free!) and uses bamboo instead of cotton. Bamboo is a rapid growing fiber that requires very little water irrigation. Popcycle yard is also sold on Etsy!
Recycled Rubber Erasers
utilize recycled rubber, instead of raw rubber, to minimize virgin resource extraction. Each eraser in this multi-color three pack is covered with a paper sleeve for easy gripping, and is packaged on a recycled content blister card.
Bamboo Push Pins
Say goodbye to plastic push pins! These sustainably harvest bamboo pushpins are better for the environment and look way better on your cork boards!
Natural Glue Sticks
This two pack of glue sticks are 100% non-toxic and are made with plant based ingredients that are safe for kids and adults alike.
Plant Based Clear Glue
This glue is a non-toxic formula that is plant based with ingredients like corn starch! You can rest assured that all hands (adults and kids!) are safe to use this in art projects and crafts.
Recycled Plastic Scissors
These scissors are made with recycled PET from water bottles for the handles and packed with only recycled content. The packaging is also printed with soy-based dyes!
Kids Recycled Plastic Scissors
These kids-sized scissors are made with recycled PET from water bottles for the handles and packed with only recycled content. The packaging is also printed with soy-based dyes!
Mini Bamboo Stapler
This Mini stapler is made from sustainably harvested bamboo. Did you know bamboo is one of the fastest growing materials on earth? The packaging is made from recycled kraft paper and printed with soy-based ink.