Thursday, February 22, 2007

on knitting and the environment

i woke up too early this morning, and lay in bed pondering too hard, and it has occurred to me that knitting, and i guess sewing too, aren't the most environmentally friendly hobbies out there. i've done my best to avoid acrylics in yarn for a while now, having read on craftster the utterly unsubstantiated but confident sounding fact that it takes four times as much fossil fuel to produce acrylics as wool. i started avoiding cotton after reading that while cotton makes up 25% of the world's total crops, it accounts for 70% of pesticides used.
so i was fine with wool (and silk and viscose). but just the other day i read that greenhouse gas emissions would be halved if the world became vegetarian. i've always known that animal farming was resource intensive in all kinds of way, but i hadn't put two and two together before. that is, even using wool is not that great for the planet.

or is it? is there a difference in the resources needed for meat farming as opposed to wool breeding? is the amount of yarn i'm using so little that i really shouldn't worry? given that i have spent nearly a year on anatolia, that approach seems potentially quite reasonable. am i actually saving on fossil fuels by handknitting rather than purchasing industrial machine knit garments? or should i just give up and try and develop a love for organic gardening? i really don't like gardening much. unlike other hobbies, working really hard doesn't hurry along the end product. no good for impatient ones like me.

1 comment:

Melinda said...

I've just started goldwork embroidery, and I'm having a few uncomfortable moments considering the effects of the gold mining on the environment... and that's not taking into consideration the rest of my threads and fabrics!