So… What makes a photographer eco-friendly?
I am proud to be one of the only eco-friendly photographers currently working in Australia (well, I’m the only one I know of anyway – if you know of another, please spill, as I’d love to work with them!)
In every element of my life, I consider the impact I am having on the environment. I live plastic free and minimal waste (I wish I could say zero-waste, but we’re not quite there yet – it’s a bit hard with two toddlers!). Everywhere I go I pick up rubbish – the park, the beach, the shops, you name it! It has become an engrained habit for my whole family. Even on photoshoots you might see me picking up rubbish. I simply can’t look the other way.
My business is the same. I believe all businesses have a responsibility to consider their eco-footprint, rather than simply thinking about economics. How will our world ever improve if we don’t?
All the products in my range are as eco-friendly as I can make them (my husband would say I care too much, but hey – hopefully you do too!)
Here are some of the ways we are making a difference:
– My husband and I work together to create all our own frames by hand, using recycled, reclaimed and salvaged timbers.
– I print only on Cotton Rag paper, which is made from a by-product of the cotton production process. Numerous studies have found these papers to be the most eco-friendly option on the market today, even more so than FSC certified and/or recycled. It is also the most durable and luscious that money can buy! The papers are made in Germany, and while that does mean travel miles, it also means good quality and an assurance that there is no unethical labor practices.
– We print with water-based pigment inks (much better than the many other toxic alternatives).
– I use conservation 99% UV resistant glass in my frames so that images will never fade in the sun and will never need to be replaced – we aim to create timeless keepsakes that you will love forever.
– Our office runs on renewable energy (we unfortunately have too many trees for solar panels). I always turn my system off at night and do all my importing and exporting over lunch breaks, rather than letting it run overnight, like many photographers will do.
– All my products are zero-waste. The off-cuts from frames are sanded down and turned into children’s play blocks. The sawdust is stored and mixed with glue to fill any holes in the wood or alternatively used to make children’s toys (such as the filling in boats). The off-cuts of paper are used to make my business cards or create sets of children’s memory card games.
– I abolished the need for bubble wrap by asking clients to bring several blankets with them to safely protect their work on the journey home, rather than needing to wrap in plastic that will ultimately be wasted.
– I am currently looking into offsetting my use of petrol by planting trees. This is the only major element of my business that I have not been able to solve, as travel by car is the only option when carrying heavy and expensive equipment.
-When any of my equipment needs to be replaced, I donate my old cameras, lenses, tripods etc to a local high school.
– I run several photography workshops and seminars. Before my involvement at these events they used to use polystyrene cups and plastic plates. I created a collection of op-shop cups, tea-spoons, plates and tea-towels, so they would never again need to purchase polystyrene!
By supporting my business, you can be assured that your impact on the great Mother Earth is as minimal as possible.