I try to keep my shop and studio running as green as possible, from recycling and sourcing recycled materials to using environmentally sustainable printing sources. As you can see below, I take great care in which businesses and products I choose to use. This is a very important aspect of who I am and how I want to run my studio. Here are some of the resources I use and ways I’m doing my best to give the world back a little oxygen.
(Please note: All the outside links on this page are set to open in new windows.)
I was attracted to Smartpress because of their commitment to being green, but as an added bonus their printing work is phenomenal.
GotPrint offers paper products that are recycled from certified sustainable production systems, and contain recovered fibers from post-consumer sources. They also use eco-friendly inks and solvents based on soy.
For our everyday office and studio printing, we use a Brother printer. They are committed to conducting environmental conservation activities all over the world as well as developing eco-conscious products. I also use a Brother sewing machine in the studio.
Not only is Pair Networks a local business (located in nearby Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), but they are committed to doing their part for the environment. I use them both to host my websites and for purchasing and managing my domain names.
(Their site has changed, and I’m waiting to hear from them about a new link.)
When I’m not painting on scrap wood, I use Ampersand Hardbords which are made from US-grown renewable and FSC-certified Aspen wood fibers.
Painting on Ampersand Hardbord
Strathmore Windpower Sketch Books
I do much of my sketching in Strathmore Windpower Sketch Books. Strathmore purchases wind power energy in the form of renewable energy credits which are certified through the Green-e® Marketplace Program.
Clean Creek Products
Clean Creek Products, from nearby Mars, Pennsylvania, markets the metals recovered in treating abandoned coal mine drainage. Proceeds from their products are used to fund further restoration efforts and maintain existing treatment systems. (NOTE: Trying to update the status of Clean Creek Products, but still waiting for more information.)
Acid mine drainage, treatment and recovery of metal solids
I recycle my depleted ink tanks at Office Depot and use their brand of bubble wrap because it contains 20% post-consumer recycled content, but the office supplier doesn’t stop there.
The Green Book
For my prints I use ClearBags backing boards (made from 100% recycled fiber) and protective sleeves (10% recycled polypropylene).
We take full advantage of our local recycling centers, recycling our glass, plastic, paper, aluminum and electronics.
I use the “two-sided” printing option on my home printer when I can, but when I have something I’ve printed single-sided that I don’t need anymore, I turn it over and print on the back side. Once I’m completely finished with it, we burn it and fold the remaining ashes into our compost pile.
Sometimes, instead of printing on the back side of paper, I cut the sheets into fourths and paste the stacks at the edges to make recycled notepads.
We donate to our local watershed associations.
Loyalhanna Watershed Association
Mountain Watershed Association
We use the water our dehumidifier collects to wash laundry and hang our clothes to dry when weather conditions permit.
We heat our house using wood from our property that came down through the years from storm or wind damage.
We use Seventh Generation paper and cleaning products, both at home and in the studio.
Unless it’s too cold, we only heat the rooms we are using.
When I need to socialize, I’m most comfortable in boots, and I use Timberland.
Timberland takes their responsibility seriously
We use reusable canvas bags when we buy groceries.
I repurpose the crumbled kraft paper that businesses use when they ship things to me by shredding the paper to reuse in my own packaging.
We invest our money in Green Century Funds.
Forest protection campaign
We leave much of our property in its naturally wild state, only cutting about one-fourth of our acreage. Allowing the grass to grow naturally rather than cutting a perfectly manicured lawn cuts down on fossil fuel consumption. The trees also provide shade, and the space becomes a healthy ecosystem for wildlife.
We compost everything we possibly can.
For health, moral and environmental reasons, I have been a vegetarian since January 1993.
National Resources Defense Council
Arbor Day Foundation