You can choose the company that you do business with based on more then cost, quality, usability and function You can research what company is more earth friendly and who is doing right by the environment! There is SO much information out there about recycling, and it seems each company has an "eco-plan" if you look for it. Over the past several years I have started doing more and more to research and develop relationships with the brands, retailers and small businesses who share my views on responsible living. Keeping with the intentions of my previous post "History Lesson" here are some of the resources and products I use in the studio, and office and what makes Verte... well green!
Memory cards, are such a huge improvement to the reusable world over film to start with! Lets not discount the fact that its a huge step up from film, and the chemistry to develop it. When you combine that with a purchase from companies like San Disk that have a eco-plan that describes what and how they are being green or more earth friendly, including what type of power sources they use on their manufacturing sites and types of packaging materials, you can feel that much better about where your money is going. It's also important to think about how long they are going to last, I heard that Panasonic is coming out with a more durable card... so it might be worth my time to research them out next time I go to buy. By spending a few moments with my friendly search engine finding out whats hot and whats green is a breeze!
Nikon now uses green glass in the majority of their product line... They have not just one blurb online about how they are "going green" but several where you can research their Social contributions, Environmental activities and management, along with Product Development, recycling and packaging measures. They are really looking at it from all angles... and the website really lists it out very clearly for you. Bravo! I am not a huge "must have new" fan either. I have enough experience and connections that when I go to upgrade my camera I can pick up last years model even used, and feel completely comfortable knowing that it is getting a second life with me and that it has all the bells and whistles I need.
Even camera bag manufacturers are stepping up with lines like Lowepro's Terraclime Series, over 95% of Terraclime is made from recycled materials. Now Lowepro I am just going to kick out there started in a garage in Colorado about 40 years ago. They get bonus points in my book for having a great product, reasonable prices, and being a Colorado based business! I LOVE these guys! Now, that being said... I have seen some GREAT remake bags on Etsy and other sites, taking a purse or other luggage and revamping it to a custom camera bag. It really pays to dig around those sites or create your own! Plus, just because they have a line of bags, doesn't make it a green company... just saying "do your research" on everything!
|Custom Painted with ECO paints - Backdrop|
At Verte you will very rarely hear me bragging about my newly purchased backdrop... since I make my own typically using Eco-friendly and natural dyes, and recycled or reclaimed materials. I scour Craigslist, thrift stores, and antique shops so I always have something new on its way. I even make custom backdrops for some clients who are looking for a designer look for their online shop. Those custom backdrops are shopped for, and designed just for them.. and they are the only ones I use it for! In fact, I am making a new one this week... here is a sneak look!
While I don't often shoot products with props... several of my Etsy and other online retailers really love the "staged" product images... so I have a SLEW of recycled, reclaimed and hand made props... again using my powers to create beauty from something donated away or broken.
|A recycled prop is the perfect thing to show off this great scarf from Melli's Yarn Works|
I have recently found a store called Eco2 that provides Eco signage, packaging and shipping materials that I am very excited to learn more about! Shipping in a earth-friendly way and supporting another Green business is high on my list!
My business cards are from recycled papers, a green certified stamp, which I also use for my packaging and return address on packages. The stamp is made from recycled materials to minimize the impact on the environment. Plus it uses a water based ink as compared to petroleum based inks found in many other rubber stamps. I can't wait to show you the image of this along with my new packaging for prints... I am waiting on a few things - but I'll be sure to post!
OH and the prints... remember how I was talking about the toxic chemicals and waste.. well now we have options! Here is a great guide in PDF about printing now, and things to ask your lab! There are several great options for printing green. Some that I have found describe themselves as "Earth friendly prints" and are printed on post-consumer reclaimed paper and enhanced with a fade resistant, acid-free gloss. Be sure to look for: Non-toxic dry inks and that they are packaged in recyclable containers. I am currently testing the quality and service of a few labs, and I will be sure to let you know my thoughts on them!
A Great Green lab, located in Colorado is Fine Print Imaging this is very much for the professional photographer, and could be cost prohibitive to the average person - but they have great products and a dedication to green living! They even offer professional photographers a $5000 grant available to those who is using photography to help preserve the planet.
I hope by sharing some of my resources and thoughts about my business, I have inspired you to spend some time on your favorite brands website.. use a search engine and see what companies you use are doing to help the environment! Be a little more aware, and responsible with your choices (and your money) not only in your home, but with purchases and products you don't often associate with being earth-friendly!