A few months ago I wrote 5 Ways A Photographer Can Go Green and gave you some great tips for getting started on becoming more efficient in what you do.
Going green has been the big push for 2009, with no stops in the foreseeable future. So I thought I would continue on with that list, and add 7 more things you can do with your photography business to turn it into an eco-friendly studio.
1. Recycle. The easiest way to get started is by recycling everything you have. The largest waste a studio will have is paper; buy a recycling bin and put all your paper there instead of the trashcan. It requires about two thirds less energy to make a ton of paper from recycled paper instead of using wood pulp from trees. Recycle your ink cartridges from your printers, refilling when possible. Also find places that will recycle or refurbish your old electronics and photographic equipment when you move onto newer items.
2. Conserve energy. Andrew and I have a home office, and for most of the day, we’re in one small section of our home. Instead of heating the entire house, we keep it at a low 62 degrees, and use a space heater to heat the room we use. There are many things you can do like this. Replace all of your light bulbs with eco-friendly ones. Keep the thermostat down a degree or two in the winter, up a degree or two in the summer. Also keep lights, equipment, and computers off unless you’ll be using them.
3. Stay unplugged. Most of us have power strips and power cords plugged in all over our office and home. With computers, iPods, camera equipment and phones, it seems like we have to be plugged in all the time. Instead of leaving the chargers plugged in all the time, only plug them in when charging. Not only can this save you money from electrical use, but it will also help keep CO2 out of the atmosphere.
4. Stop using film. I’m always amazed at the number of photographers still using film when I do surveys and polls. If you haven’t made the switch to digital, here’s one more reason to give you a push in the digital direction. Film takes chemicals to produce, and energy to move from you to the lab and back again.
5. Watch what chemicals you use for processing. More companies are concentrating on creating chemicals less harmful to the environment. Search out these companies and use them for your processing and printing. SilverGrain produces chemicals that have low toxins, are easy to use, and are environmentally friendly. You can purchase them at a variety of places, both online and brick & mortar.
6. Seek out environmentally friendly products. When you visit your favorite lab, art store or paper company, ask for earth friendly options. The more companies sell eco-friendly materials, the more they will stock.
7. Let people know. While many of us turn “green” because we have the desire, it’s okay as a company to let others know what you are doing. If you are out looking for green companies to do business with, share the same idea with your prospects and customers. Advertise that you are a green photographer. Teach potential clients what it means to be green. The more they learn; the more they’ll ask about it at your competitors. Which will only help the cause even more.