It’s Blog Action Day! Over the past month, I’ve posted about Creative Ways to Help the Environment, Environment Resources, and No Impact Man. Today I want to share some ways to go green with your creative activities.
Sometimes the creative spark can turn into a destructive wildfire. As I’ve become more aware of the seriousness of global warming and other environmental disasters, I’ve started to feel guilty about the environmental impact of some of my hobbies.
Over the past year, I’ve cut back on making jewelry for many reasons, one of which is my greater awareness of the destruction caused by mining the metal and gemstones I use. As I’m struggling with the choice to continue making jewelry, I’ve come up with some solutions that should make any creative pursuit a little greener.
- When I make jewelry, I’m always dipping into my scrap bin to make use of every bit of wire. For jewelers who work in gold and silver, many companies will take scraps and recycle them for credit on your next metal order.
- Incorporate recycled materials into your work. Try adding found materials like old computer components, “junk” purchased at auctions, and scraps of paper into your work, whatever is appropriate for your medium.
- Use recycled paper and other supplies whenever possible. If you work with paper arts, try making your own paper out of scrap.
- Try designing with a minimalist philosophy. You may like the results, and you’ll help the environment by reducing your materials.
Use Your Tools Well
- Buy good quality tools that will last, then take good care of them so they never need to be thrown away.
- When disposing of a computer or other tool, do so responsibly by taking it to a recycling center.
Check Your Sources
- Research the impact of the materials you’re using. I’m going to stop using materials derived from animals, like leather and pearls, as soon as I’ve sold my current stock. And I’m reconsidering the precious metals and gemstones I use, due to the harm done by mining.
- Contact the manufacturers of your materials to see what their environmental policies are. If they aren’t sustainable, let them know that this concerns you. Your voice matters! Support businesses that are sustainable.
- If you haven’t already, buy a digital camera. Yes, a new camera has an environmental cost, but it will make up for the film and harmful developing chemicals necessary with a film camera. Be sure to donate or recycle your old camera, and use rechargeable batteries.
- I’m definitely guilty of using a lot of paper to write, but I’m working on improving. Try gradually increasing the amount you write on the computer instead of with pen and paper. Over time, you may find you like it better, and you’ll save some trees. If you do write on paper, recycle your old notes if you discard them.
Offer Your Skills
- Volunteer your time and skills to a local environmental group. Offer to design a website, write some copy, or take some photos for the cause. They’ll be glad to have your help.
- Even if all you have to offer is time, look into local environmental groups. Participate in garbage cleanups or maybe help advocate for more bike trails in your town.
Grow New Interests
- Adopting an environmentally conscious attitude when it comes to creativity may be a great opportunity to discover new interests.
- Challenge yourself to create a recipe with only local ingredients. You’ll find out more about what grows in your area and you’ll have an excuse to visit the farmer’s market.
- Gardening is a great way to help the environment. You get the benefits of fresh food and the creative fun of designing and planning your garden.
Just as you should incorporate a creative outlook into every day, try to think green every day. What can you do to help the environment? Share your ideas in the comments.