My Dad once asked me, “I know you’re a treehugger . . . but, what makes a photographer green?” Thanks Dad!
Having this conversation with my dad made me realize that my brides may not always understand what I mean when I say I’m a green photographer. Sure. We’ve gone digital. But that’s not all there is to it.
I’ve gathered up a number of things that I do that directly affect my business on an ecological level.
Here’s a list of things that make my business green:
Eco-Conscious Lifestyle Cycle
To Angelina Rose Photography, green wedding photography means lending a helping hand by being conscious of the impact our carbon footprint has on the environment. We take pride in making Earth Day, every day, in our world and encourage others along the way to make minor adjustments to reduce their carbon waste on their wedding day.
Following an eco-conscious lifestyle is second nature to me and incorporating this personal lifestyle into Angelina Rose Photography allows me to remain true to myself and my heart.
Online Image Hosting
We provide proofing through a private website for our bride and groom as well as access for friends and family. Having an online system offers the convenience of selecting your favorite images to be printed and mounted on the wall. This reduces the time spent sorting through countless print proofs that would otherwise find themselves wasting away in a box, in the clothes closet, never to be seen again until moving day.
Digital cameras are almost exclusively used to photograph weddings these days. Rechargeable batteries are a given for SLR cameras. So when a photographer says they use rechargeable, they are referring to the AA size batteries they use for the flash unit. Photographers tend to go through batteries like no tomorrow and usually buy in bulk because of the amount of juice that’s needed to keep a flash in sync and ready to go.
Once the battery juice gets too low to keep up with the demand of recycle power needed for the flash, I would toss them into a drawer for safe keeping until my remote control, or other device needed a new battery. I’m sure the power level is adequate enough to operate something for at least a little while. Let’s just say I could care less about replacing the remote control batteries for the 24 inch T.V. that hardly gets attention anyhow. Even then, I would feel guilty throwing a battery away so now any that I do have left over prior to the rechargeables, gets shipped off to be recycled.
CDs To Thumb Drives
We made the switch from CDs and DVDs to thumb drives. DVDs are easily scratched and expire overtime ceasing their readability. Using 1 thumb drive (a.k.a. Flash drive) instead of 3 to 4 CDs for all of the images greatly reduces waste and saves space in your home. They don’t scratch and continue to work for years. We’ve greatly reduced the number of DVDs and CDs we use in the office by making this transition in the way we conserve space. It’s thinking smarter, not harder.
Did you know that DVDs and CDs are recyclable? I’ve been saving up all of my discarded ones and will soon be shipping them off to be recycled. Highly recommend scratching the disc up pretty good before handing it off. There’s a great article at greenlivingtips.com to read up on some facts about these plastics.
Here’s the address (the recycling is free but you have to pay for postage):
Back Thru The Future
150 Main Street
Ogdensburg, NJ 07439
Write “FREE CD/DVD RECYCLING ” on the outside of your shipping package.
Customized Fine Art Wedding Books
There are a lot of fine art book companies that outsource their work to other countries to produce and ship back. Many of their materials and products are made in poor working conditions.
We use two fine art book companies. One in the mid-west and the other on the west coast. All of their materials are made in the U.S. from post-consumer recycled paper and are PVC free. The albums come with a lifetime guarantee on the manufacturing and binding.
Office Supplies and Packing Material
Anything that is shipped to the office is either sent to the recycle bin (if I can’t reuse it) or kept for future use.
Leading an earthy-crunchy lifestyle, everything that I accumulate has a proper receptacle and I couldn’t justify buying a pack of paper at Staples without verifying it’s made from at least 50% post-consumer waste. Even last night when I went grocery shopping, I felt better buying the plastic container of salad greens because the plastic was made from recycled water bottles. And yes. . .I need to get away from the plastic containers as well.
Offsetting the Carbon Footprint
Having family and friends in Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, and Chicago, traveling back east is essential (otherwise I’d get a swift kick in the rear) and purchasing carbon credits is is a self-proclaimed necessity.
Contribution to Mother Nature
A percentage of each wedding package is donated to the Nature Conservancy to help protect and preserve the Coral Reefs around the world. As valuable as the rain forests are to the atmosphere, the coral reefs equal that with their vital role in keeping the oceans and marine life healthy.
It’s not hard to think of ways to be more eco-friendly. It just takes effort. Many brides are choosing to offset their carbon footprint by reducing the materials used for their wedding day. For more information regarding ways to conserve space and shed waste, check out the book The Green Bride Guide by Kate Harrison.