Earth Day is April 22, but the need for environmental sustainability is year-round. Here are ways to help save the environment (and perhaps some money) in your photography business.
1) Print responsibly. Get your business cards, letterhead, labels, and all other paper products from an eco-friendly outfit such as www.greenerprinter.com. Not only does it use only soy and vegetable inks and water-based coatings, but it operates on wind power alone. If you print photos at home, use an inkjet on natural-fiber paper (such as bamboo-fiber, tree-fiber, and cotton rag). Avoid resin-coated paper, made with harmful petrochemicals—it’s not recyclable and doesn’t decompose.
2) Rent equipment. Rather than fretting over the cost of the latest and greatest gear (and tossing last season’s model), rent it. Hired to shoot a wedding? Renting special lenses will not just make your work stand out, but will help cut your costs, so you can charge your clients less yet earn more. Look for a local camera store that does rentals, or try a national firm such as www.borrowlenses.com. When you’re ready to buy, shop for used gear.
3) Join a group. A great place to start is Greener Photography (www.greenerphotography.org). The site offers resources and advice spanning everything from running a greener business to ecofriendly printing to energy conservation. The best part? Listings of green photography suppliers for cameras and other gear, framing, office supplies, and services such as web hosting.