Sooooo hey. Who's glad last week is over?! I most certainly am. For me it was full of too many emotions and a lot of avoiding Facebook. I spent Wednesday in a state of total shock, which slowly transitioned into grief, then to fear, and finally, to peace (because settling into and dwelling in fear wasn't going to help anyone).
On November 1st I came across Leonardo DiCaprio's film 'Before the Flood' and beyond it moving me to tears, it educated me on matters in climate change that I had yet to understand. I've been a long time advocate of 'living green', and watching the video only hardened my resolve to live the most mindful life I possibly can.
I am extremely passionate about the earth I live on and I fully believe that we are at a critical point in our society where 'living green' can no longer be just a trendy catch-phrase. It must become the words we embody on a daily basis.
When I started my business in 2014, being eco-conscious was one of the founding pillars that my business was built upon. If I was going to be a contributing member of society then I was going to make damn sure that everything I put out into the world, from prints to marketing materials, packaging and products, was sustainably sourced and friendly to our earth.
So how did I find peace when our elected president doesn't 'believe' in climate change? By remembering that real change begins with a look in the mirror, and by exercising my power of choice.
I am hyper-aware of where my money goes on a daily basis because I know that consistently voting with my dollar everyday is the biggest power I (and all of us) possess, and by finding businesses to work with that were committed to being green foot first, I could ensure that my business was not adding to the problem.
First, my products. I wanted to offer collections of images and also a few ways for my clients to showcase their photos in their homes.
For the wall. The first thing I found to offer to those clients that love the more traditional look of a framed and matted photograph, were these beautiful and simplistic frames made from genuine FSC certified wood. The frame comes complete with acid free mats and real glass ensuring the complete protection of the photo it houses!
For my more modern clients looking for a sleek yet bold statement piece, I found the incredibly cool and completely green option of mounting a photo to a slab of bamboo.
Now let's talk about how awesome bamboo is for a moment: because bamboo is a grass that possesses anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, it is pesticide and fertilizer free (unlike cotton), doesn't need to be re-planted to grow (unlike trees), has a tensile strength that is stronger than steel (what?!), and grows like a weed (think 39 inches in 24 hours).
All of these incredible contributing factors make bamboo one of the most sustainable fibers on planet earth.
To answer your current thought-stream, yes, one day I will live in a bamboo house, wear bamboo clothes, drive a bamboo motorcycle, and eat only bamboo. ;)
But in all seriousness, if you are looking for ways to live more green, doing some research and transitioning to as many bamboo based products as possible is an awesome and easy place to start!
For the keepsake. Now because of the way that I tend to shoot (collecting in-between detail moments to add to the overall arc of your story), collections of images are my end goal, and I wanted to offer both a 'contained' and 'free-flowing' option for my clients to choose from. This led to offering image boxes.....
......and my personal favorite, albums. I tend to favor albums because of their 'story-telling' nature, like you just happened upon a miniature time capsule that offers a privileged peak into a families life.
How are albums and image boxes green? Because these photos are your legacy they will never end up in a landfill. These collections of images will be passed down from generation to generation, making them the most valuable and cherished items you'll ever own.
And finally, the holy grail of my eco-conscious business pillar - the packaging. Thankfully I didn't have to sacrifice style for functionality, and the company I found to use for my packaging is run on 100% hydro-electricity (meaning zero emissions), and the product is made using 100% recycled materials including 30% post-consumer waste.
I embody the phrase 'reusable not disposable' in my personal life (in the most hardcore way possible (it slightly annoys my mother)), so it's only natural for my business life to be ruled by the same. My goal behind delivering prints in boxes is to provide clients with a safe place to store their photos when they're finished displaying the print.
A few other 'green-bits': my website is hosted by Xmission which is powered by 100% renewable energy, and all of my paper materials are made from 100% recycled materials and are themselves, 100% recyclable. Pretty cool huh?
What this all really comes down to is a fiery passion for the community I live in and the planet I call home. Hopefully this information will inspire you to become more mindful in your everyday life! At the end of the day, I aim to do everything in my power to be part of the solution.
What can you do today to become a part of the solution?