What’s Your Eco-Friendly Hobby?

by Guest Writer

January is National Hobby Month, and I can honestly say that over the years, I’ve had a number of different hobbies. By definition, a hobby is an activity or interest that one pursues during their leisure time (and it is not their main occupation.) With it being National Hobby Month, I thought this might be a good time to explore some hobbies that are not only fun, but also eco-friendly.

Biking/Hiking— Anytime you take part in a hobby that allows you to simply exist with the environment around you without emitting any fumes, it’s usually a good thing. Biking and hiking are both a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. I remember as a child, one of my favorite things to do was go on a family bike ride. My kids love going for bike rides, too. Something about doing this hobby as a family makes it extra special.

Gardening—While gardening may not be an option right now—what with the weather being so cold, it’s always a great one to enjoy in the warmer months. And, while it is cold outside, you can still grow your own herb garden in the house—great for the environment, your cooking and your wallet. I like to plant a vegetable garden in the summer because then we can eat the food we grow, but flower gardens are beautiful, too. Either way, planting a garden is great for the environment and can be extremely fun for kids and adults.

Crafting with Recyclables—This is an especially great hobby to have if you are the parent of little ones. My kids who are now 3 and 5 years old cannot get enough of arts and crafts projects. Rather than do craft projects at the expense of Mother Nature (and my wallet), we tend to do craft projects that use items that might normally end up by the curb. We always save toilet paper and paper towel tubes, empty cereal boxes and even old newspapers and magazines to incorporate into our projects. As fans of many popular pre-school characters, we frequently visit the Disney Jr. and Nick Jr. websites for craft ideas.

Scrapbooking—Before my kids were born, I used to love scrapbooking. Some moms still have the time to scrapbook, and they should be applauded. I think it is one of the most beautiful ways to preserve your memories for many years to come. That said, if scrapbooking is your hobby of choice, be sure to find some ways to green it up. Since scrapbooking can become a pricey hobby, incorporating some eco-friendly touches can certainly save you money and add to the creativity. EcoScrapbook lists a number of items that can be used as embellishments from worn out fabric and old buttons to wrapping paper and playing cards.

Vintage Vehicle Restoration—This is actually a great hobby for fathers and sons who are into cars. I have an older brother who does this, and it’s absolutely amazing to see what he has done. When he was still in high school he started out with the shell of a muscle car (a Road Runner), and over the past twenty years or so, he’s continued to work on the same car. What make vehicle restoration so eco-friendly? It’s a hobby that salvages parts that have been relegated to junkyards. A lot of times, junkyards are the only places to find car parts for older cars. For those who are not as familiar with junk yards and what kinds of things you can find there, HowStuffWorks.com has a fun article titled “10 Surprising Junkyard Finds.” It could really get you thinking about bigger hobbies involving items you could salvage from a junkyard.

These are just a few ideas of hobbies that can be fun for the entire family. With the new year well underway, why not take on an eco-friendly hobby or give your current hobby an eco-friendly makeover?

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