Eco-Friendly Photography – Wasting Less

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We make every effort to be an eco-friendly photography studio. In a minute I’ll discuss how we minimize wasteful packaging and reduce our environmental footprint, but first, here’s a story about wasteful packaging. I needed loose leaf green tea for making kombucha (fermented sweet tea), and for various reasons, I ended up cannibalizing some boxes of bagged tea. No big deal, I thought. But once I got a visual idea of just how much waste is involved with individually bagged tea, I changed my mind. I know I’ll be making every effort to buy loose leaf tea in the future. It is so much more eco-friendly. The photographs below illustrate how much packaging I tossed, and how much tea was actually in the packaging. I had even tossed some packaging before this (probably a box’s worth), so the pile of trash should be even bigger.

still life green tea  - wasteful packaging - eco-friendly photography

Seriously, this makes me question how much of the cost of my tea is for the tea.. and how much is for the packaging.  I’d much rather invest in a nice bag or tin of loose leaf tea than spend money on packaging that will have to go in the trash.  Wasteful packaging? Yup, and I didn’t realize the extent before this “project.”

still life tea bags green tea - excessive packaging - eco-friendly photography

Eco-friendly Photography?

Ok, now back to the studio. You might wonder if there is such a thing as eco-friendly photography. Well, I think so. From the beginning, I’ve been concerned with how we can reduce wasteful activities and be a more eco-friendly photography studio. I grew up with Captain Planet and weekly recycling center trips, what can I say? Ultimately, we’ve been able to implement various methods to reduce our environmental footprint. Eco-friendly photography? Yes. Eco-friendly photography studio? Why not?

How We Minimize Wasteful Packaging and Reduce Our Environmental Footprint

To become a more eco-friendly photography studio, we’ve focused on:

  • digital photography
  • in-studio projection
  • email communication
  • reusing packaging and shipping materials
  • minimialistic packaging
  • donating old equipment

Ecofriendly “Negatives”

In the “old” days, all photographers had to purchase rolls of film for their cameras. Chemicals were used to make and develop every roll of film, every negative. Not good for the environment. Digital cameras help eco-friendly photography become a realizable goal by allowing for reusable media as “film.”

Rather than reviewing a set of printed “proofs” from your session, you’ll come to the studio to view and order your images via an eco-friendly photography projection system. By projecting, we are not wasting paper or using chemicals needlessly.

Eco-friendly Photography Packaging

Obviously your photographs are “brand new” – but when possible, we use recycled products. We’ve eliminated fancy boxes and bows to cut back a lot on wasteful packaging.  We try our best to reuse the packaging that your prints were placed in when shipped from the lab, or the bubble wrap bag that your album was packaged in prior to being shipped from the printer.

Minimizing Our Environmental Footprint

By staying within an already heated space, our residential studio conserves gas and electric energy. We use energy efficient lighting where possible. We keep the heat turned down (except for during sessions). We send information via web or email when possible.  We use rechargeable batteries to power our gear. Despite the failure of the “paperless office,” we still do our part to minimize what we print. We also shred and recycle old documents that have aren’t needed anymore.

We love donating old technology, props, and cameras to local high school photography programs. Besides helping us feel good about being an eco-friendly photography studio, we can help encourage a love for photography in the next generation of eco-friendly photography students. Better than that stuff going in a landfill any day.

How Can You Be Eco-Friendly?

Well, that’s enough talk about our eco-friendly photography studio. If you’re interested in learning how you can become more eco-friendly, here are some links you might find helpful:

Eco-Friendly Photography – Your Thoughts?

If you have any brilliant (or simple!) ideas for us, feel free to share. Our goal is to provide you with quality photography in an eco-friendly manner. We don’t want you to feel like I did after realizing how little loose leaf tea is in one individually-wrapped tea bag. Eco-friendly photography is an achievable reality!

  1. […] concept has always seemed important. A while back, I blogged about discovering how wasteful teabags are, and some ways I was making efforts to waste less. My toddler and I have also done a number of […]