The Ultimate List of Eco-Friendly Art Supplies
Crafts and art projects are a great way for kids and adults to learn, grow, and express their creativity. Unfortunately, some art supplies can contain toxic ingredients that are bad for your health and even worse for the environment. That’s why you should consider switching to some of the best eco-friendly art supplies.
These eco-friendly craft supplies are made with biodegradable, natural, and non-toxic ingredients that are sustainably and ethically sourced. Many supplies are also made from recycled materials or produced using renewable energy.
Check out a few of the best sustainable art supplies so you can make projects that look beautiful and are gentler on the planet!
Are Art Supplies Toxic?
Whether we’re enjoying a favorite hobby, or we’re helping our kids grow their creativity and make their own projects, we never really consider how toxic art supplies might actually be. Unfortunately, there can be some pretty scary ingredients hiding in those craft supplies.
Some pigments in art paints can contain highly toxic metals, such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic. Polymer clays are often made of polyvinyl chlorides (PVC) softened with phthalates, which have been linked to reproductive and organ damage.
Aromatic solvent-based markers may contain xylene, which is a highly dangerous toxin that can damage the kidneys, reproductive system, respiratory system, and neurological system. Even glues can release toxic chemicals that can cause headaches, breathing problems, and more.
And these are just the health problems related to traditional art supplies. You also have to consider the environmental impact.
Art Supplies Hurt the Environment
While we obviously know that excess waste from plastic packaging is a big problem, it goes a lot deeper than that. You also have to consider the trees cut down to make paper and pencils.
Even something as simple as glitter has major environmental issues. Yes, whether you love it or hate it, glitter is hurting our environment.
You see, glitter is usually made from aluminum and plastic. Since glitter is so small, it immediately becomes a microplastic the second it ends up in the environment. Like other microplastics, such as those that come from bottles that disintegrate over time, the glitter ends up becoming airborne and getting into the rain.
From there, it manages to pollute our waterways and get into natural areas that should be untouched by man. In fact, microplastics are becoming such a problem, it’s estimated we consume about 5 grams of them every week. That’s basically like munching on a credit card each week. Yuck.
Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Craft Supplies
Now that you know more about the scary secrets hiding in traditional art supplies, it’s easy to see why it’s important to make the switch to sustainable craft supplies. This list contains an excellent selection of eco-friendly art supplies that are perfect for kids and adults.
Pick out a few of your favorites so you can continue making those beautiful projects without harming your health or our planet!
1. DIY Art Supplies
When you’re looking for some of the best eco-friendly art supplies, look no further than your own kitchen cabinets! It’s actually incredibly easy to make plenty of art supplies with items you already have in your home.
If your kids like molding with play dough, this recipe for DIY play dough will be an absolute hit. It comes out incredibly soft, which makes it so easy to use. You can even add essential oils for some aromatherapy benefits!
Eco-kids makes an outstanding variety of non-toxic art supplies that are perfect for every age group. Their eco-dough is made from all-natural ingredients and is a safe option for molding, building, and sculpting all kinds of unique creations.
The non-toxic finger paints are another popular option. Simply add water to the naturally derived powders that are pigmented with organic fruit and vegetable extracts to get a variety of lovely paint colors.
Best of all, you can purchase eco-kids art supplies from EarthHero, which is one of the best online zero waste shops to get all of your sustainable essentials shipped directly to your house without any plastic waste. If you decide to shop with EarthHero, you can use the code EARTHFRIENDLY to take 10% off your order.
Other excellent eco-kids art supplies include:
- Beeswax Crayon Sticks
- Extra Large Beeswax Crayons
- Dinosaur Egg Beeswax Crayons
- All the Coloring Busy Box
- Sidewalk Chalk
3. Onyx + Green
We absolutely love their colored pencils. Instead of being made with wood from trees, they’re made from recycled newspapers. Not only does this make the colored pencils more sustainable, but they also look really cool since you can sometimes still read the story from the newspaper.
Here are some other great art supplies from Oynx + Green that you’re sure to love:
- Sugarcane Paper Composition Book
- Plant-Based Clear Liquid Glue
- Plant-Based Glue Sticks
- Recycled Rubber Erasers
- Bamboo Ballpoint Pens
Crayons are typically made using paraffin wax, which is a soft, colorless solid derived from non-renewable resources like petroleum, coal, or oil shale. If you’re looking for a natural and more sustainable crayon option, check out Honeysticks.
As the name suggests, Honeysticks crayons are made from beeswax. Since they’re handmade in New Zealand using responsibly sourced beeswax and food-grade pigments, they’re completely free from petroleum-based waxes.
Even better, they have a natural beeswax scent that smells great when you’re using them! Honeysticks makes a variety of crayons to suit all artists.
The original beeswax crayons and the long beeswax crayons are larger and thicker than traditional crayons, which makes them easier for smaller hands to hold. If you’re looking for something that’s closer to the traditional size, go with the thin beeswax crayons.
If you want to make bathtime a little more fun, check out the Honeysticks bath crayons. Your kids can scribble on the tub or tile wall with these fragrance-free, non-irritating crayons. When bathtime is over, you can simply wipe the color away.
They also make non-toxic bath color tablets using natural, food-grade ingredients for fragrance-free, fizzy, and brightly-colored bathtime enjoyment.
In addition to beeswax crayons, other popular eco-friendly art supplies from Honeysticks include:
- Natural Watercolor Paints
- North American Adventure Coloring Book
- Endangered Animals Coloring Book Pack
- Honeysticks Ultimate Activity Pack
5. Veggie Baby
Painting is a wonderful way to express creativity, but you always want to make sure the paint you’re using is safe — especially if the ones painting are little kids who like to stick everything in their mouths.
That’s why these natural paint powders from Veggie Baby are such an amazing eco-friendly art supply. These natural, vegan-friendly powders are made using organic vegetables, which makes them completely edible.
To make the paint, all you have to do is add two teaspoons of water to a single teaspoon of powder. The colors come out warm and rich, just like nature.
If your children need something to paint on, you can also pick up this finger paint pad that’s made from 100% post-consumer recycled heavy-weight paper.
While these paints are obviously ideal for babies and young kids, adults can also find plenty of great uses for them. If you plan on using kraft paper for zero waste gift wrapping and you want to decorate the paper, you need to make sure the paint you use is biodegradable. Since these paint powders are natural, they’re safe for composting.
Did you know around 82,000 trees are cut down each year just to make pencils? If that seems as crazy to you as it does to me, make the switch to these Zefiro colored pencils.
Instead of using wood from trees, this pack of 12 colored pencils uses 100% recycled newspapers. The vegan colored pencils come packaged in a simple cardboard tube that you can reuse or recycle when you’re done with it.
You can also pair these colored pencils with this Earth Day Coloring Book for an awesome gift!
One study done on 10 face paints found in stores discovered that all 10 contained lead, and 6 of them had high levels of skin allergens, such as nickel, chromium, and cobalt. These are certainly ingredients no one wants on their skin. But they’re even worse if they’re applied to children’s skin!
Their non-toxic face paint is made with organic ingredients and easily washes off with water. Since the 4-pack includes the base primary colors and the 6-pack comes with semi-opaque colors, you’ll have no problems finding the shades you need for birthday parties, theater performances, Halloween costumes, and more!
Whether you’re making macrame, crocheting, knitting, or threading, this multicolor hemp cord from Hemptique will suit your needs. Hemp cord is a natural and renewable fiber that’s soft and easy to work with.
Since the cords have a waxed and polished finish, they easily maintain their consistency and won’t fray while you’re working with them. No matter what you’re making, you know your items will be clean, colorful, and comfortable when you use this sustainable material.
Plus, if you make a mistake or have leftovers you can’t use anymore, everything is biodegradable, which means you can simply toss it in your compost bin.
Other hemp craft supplies you can get from Hemptique include:
9. Crayon Rocks
When my son was younger, he was absolutely obsessed with rocks. Every time we went for a walk, he would come back with his pockets filled with all types of unique rocks.
When I saw these Crayon Rocks, I knew I just had to get them for him. They quickly became one of his favorite art supplies to use. Crayon Rocks are non-toxic, eco-friendly crayons made in the USA from soy and plant waxes.
The brightly colored crayons don’t just look cool because they’re shaped like rocks, they’re also designed to help children get used to the tripod grip so they can easily hold a pencil when they begin learning how to write.
The crayons are easy to use and create a smooth, beautiful texture. In addition to the box of Crayon Rocks that comes with 64 crayons (your choice of 4 of each color for a total of 16 colors or 2 of each color for a total of 32 colors), you can also find Crayon Rocks in these varieties:
10. Green Kid Crafts
If you’re looking for a fun way to introduce your kids to important science concepts while also letting them expand their creativity in an eco-friendly way, check out Green Kid Crafts. With this amazing subscription box, you get award-winning art and science projects delivered right to your home every month.
Green Kid Crafts uses sustainable practices as much as possible to produce every box. In addition to partnering with Carbon Fund to offset 100% of carbon dioxide emissions they produce, they’re also working with One Tree Planted to plant one tree for every order placed.
You can shop by age or theme to find the perfect box for your children. With so many options available, it’s easy to select one that will inspire and entertain your artists, scientists, engineers, and designers.
11. Crazy Crayons
These Eco Stars Recycled Crayons from Crazy Crayons are another option to consider when you’re looking for eco-friendly crayons. Crazy Crayons works with the National Crayon Recycle Program to take broken, rejected, or unwanted crayons and recycle them into fun crayons kids can use again.
This recycling program has diverted over 120,000 pounds of unwanted crayons away from landfills and into the hands of kids who can use them to color, draw, and expand their creativity.
This box comes with 8 star-shaped crayons in all the colors you need to create all types of beautiful drawings.
12. Potato Starch Glue Paste
When you make the switch to this potato starch glue paste, you’ll never again have to deal with toxic and smelly glue that comes in a plastic bottle you can’t recycle. Since this non-toxic, Italian-made glue paste is made using potato starch, it’s completely free of solvents and acids.
That makes it safe to use on paper, photos, and all kinds of other crafts. This also means the glue has a sweet aroma that won’t irritate your head, eyes, nose, or throat the way traditional glues can.
Plus, to help you totally eliminate plastic from your life, the glue comes in a vintage-style aluminum tin with a stiff-bristled applicator brush that you can either reuse or recycle when it’s empty.
The Best Eco-Friendly Art Supplies
There’s no need to give up the creativity and fun of creating art projects just because you’re trying to live a more sustainable life. Instead, you simply need to use some of these best eco-friendly art supplies.
More Outstanding Eco-Friendly Tips
Did you enjoy learning more about the best sustainable art supplies? Are you interested in discovering even more helpful tips about eco-friendly living? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:
- The Best Eco-Friendly Products for Dogs
- Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Candles You’ll Love
- Where to Buy Affordable Organic Food Online
- How to Help Children Have a More Sustainable Summer