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 use Lightning Source to print my books and as a print-on-demand resource. Lightning Source is certified with the Forest Stewardship Council, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
Chain of custody
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.
When I need postcards, I use PS Print. They’re an eco-friendly printing company, and offer a choice of recycled paper stocks and soy-based inks. They automatically print orders at the plant closest to where the order needs to be shipped to, which reduces the shipping distance and cuts fossil fuel emissions.
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.)
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.
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.
Their approach and commitment to going green
What makes a product green?
Recycling and carbon footprint reduction
Selling green products
I ship my books in Duck Brand Caremail mailers which were produced using 95% recycled content and 55% post-consumer content. They can also be recycled after use.
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 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.
Seventh Generation focuses on their environmental impact
Unless it’s too cold, we only heat the rooms we are using.
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 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.