Thursday, October 6, 2011

5 Simple Steps to Engaging with Sustainability in Creative Practice

By Leyla Acaroglu
Director of Eco Innovators 

  1.       Reduce your waste: it’s an oldie but a goody and it’s a great place to start. Whilst recycling is important so too is thinking through design layouts, cutting techniques, manufacturing options and material choices so that the minimum amount of waste is produced in your practice.  
  2.       Don’t just recycle paper: everyone should have paper recycling down pat – but there are many other materials that can be reclaimed and reused such as e-waste, many plastics, metals and of course organic materials. Even if you don’t produce a lot of waste material there is scope to recycle, it may require teaming up with some other local crafters to arrange collections of drop offs (for example CDs are fully recyclable but you will need to drop them off at a plastics recycling facility).
  3.     Do more with less: consider how you can achieve your product outcome with the least amount of material and energy input. This can be as simple as the size of your business cards or flyers, the types and quantities of material used and the processes required to create your works. Reducing the amount of ‘things’ required to create your works will reduce the overall footprint of the finished product.
  4.    Make the switch: to 100% green power. Whilst we can’t all afford to pop a solar array on our roofs, it’s easy to purchase 100% solar or wind power from an energy provider. There is a slight cost increase, but with some simple energy saving techniques (such as switching everything off at the wall) you won’t notice the difference.
  5.       Give ‘em a service: No matter what you make, there is always a scope for a service component, can you offer a free or discounted repairs if needed? What about a loan of hire service from your works? Whatever it is, a service component makes good business sense as it provides an ongoing relationship with your customer.  

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