Now Reading
Eco-Friendly Craft Supplies – Little Green Paint Box

Eco-Friendly Craft Supplies – Little Green Paint Box

Laura Baker is a mother of five children – two gorgeous children from her first marriage, two fabulous step children and a beautiful toddler with her current hubby.  She is a school teacher in Harlow and runs the drama and dance departments at Passmores School and Technology College. On top of all that, she also manages to find time to run her business The Little Green Paint Box which sources eco-friendly arts and crafts supplies.  When she can’t find an eco option for a product, she creates the product herself – like her rosemary scented play dough and uber cute crayons – pictured above.

What inspired you to start an eco business?
I was looking for some eco-friendly water colour paper and paints to use when painting some pictures for my children’s rooms; I couldn’t find a site in the UK. I then started looking for a site that could provide me with art and craft supplies, kits and activities suitable for my children.  Again, I could not find a UK site that provided eco art and craft products in one place – I have since found one which sources eco toys and some art materials but it is not always clear how they fit the ‘green’ criteria.

What have been some challenges you have faced?
I had no business experience having been a teacher since leaving university. I was a total technophobe and had no idea what HTML was, how to use a digital camera, how to resize photos, or use twitter etc. I had to learn as I went on and eventually managed to produce my own website and publish it.

Eco products are much more expensive at source and I am unable to make a profit on many of my products. I set up the business so other mums and dads could find eco products in one place and my aim is to keep prices reasonable. It is important to me that parents feel compelled to buy the product, but I know price makes a difference to many people, but not making a profit can be an issue when it comes to restocking!

The main challenge has been time. I work four days as a teacher, run two departments, do approximately 80 hours unpaid overtime per month, I am a mum and a wife, so I find myself working late into the night.

Has it been difficult to find quality green/eco materials?
I have found it a challenge to identify true ‘green’ products. Many suppliers promote a product as eco-friendly but do not go into detail as to why it is. This was really important to me when I set up my company; I wanted customers to clearly see how the products were ethical.

An example would be when I originally attempted to source eco-friendly play dough from a supplier, but after calculating shipping and considering the impact on the environment of bringing it over from the U.S. this was not a viable option – so I addressed this challenge by creating my own.

I did a lot of research at the start of the company’s life, but found many suppliers to be a ‘ closed shop’.  Eventually I found a number which supply eco-friendly art products but I often find it hard to reach the minimum order size as I only stock products which I would use.

I have also identified many products which I would love to stock but I have to wait until I have a little more turn over. I always wanted to stock paints for artists as well – I have found some great natural water colours, made from plant extracts, and wind powered water colour paper. I’m sure artist supplies will come on board as the business grows.

What measures do you take to ensure your products are ethical?
When choosing my stock I consider where it has come from, sustainability, its impact on the environment (for example I stock paints which do not harm the water supply when put down the sink), it’s potential to be reused/recycled and its disposal.

I only buy from suppliers who clearly state why the product is green.

When creating my homemade play dough and crayons, my considerations were, the impact on they environment and if they were edible.  My bits and pieces created using decoupage and collage use biodegradable glue, recycled paper, reclaimed materials and sustainable wood.

As a business what policies do you have to minimize your carbon footprint?
I am committed to reducing the company’s carbon footprint. It is my policy to re-use inbound packaging materials whenever possible.  All boxes, protective bags, packing materials (such as bubble wrap and chips) and external wrapping (such as bags and pallet wrap) which are of a suitable size and in an acceptable condition are re-used, either as external or internal protective packaging.

Any inbound packaging materials which cannot be re-used are sorted and wherever possible recycled.

If, for any reason, I find myself without suitable reusable inbound materials, I make it my aim to use environmentally friendly alternatives, which give customers the opportunity to reuse and/or recycle.

My business cards are printed on recycled paper and my labels are made from Ellie Poo paper.  Any printing is completed using ‘draft setting.’  When considering where a product has come from – I prefer to use shipping delivery rather than air freight. I even walk my packages to the post office!

Do you have any advice for living a greener lifestyle both as a business and as an individual?
I am certainly not green enough but I have learnt that the little things make a big difference. I do all the usual things such as using energy saving light bulbs, recycling, walking where ever possible, composting, home growing, buying local produce, not running the tap, using natural homemade cleaning products,  up-cycling etc, I would love to be the kind of person who only produces one bag of rubbish a year. My new year’s resolution was to not buy any new clothes this year and so far I have been successful.

My children call me eco-mummy and my biggest piece of advice is to lead by example.

What are your top sellers?
Crayon Rocks, Smencils and Kidzsacks – all pictured above.

For more info on Little Green Paint Box, please visit:

Website | Twitter

Copyright © 2010-2021 The Motherhood

Scroll To Top