Being green is no longer a phrase associated with Kermit the Frog. We all know we really should do our part to keep the Earth from turning into one giant landfill. The good news is “it’s not easy being green” really isn’t true, a little effort in all aspects of your life can add up to one big difference. So how can you be greener in the photography side of your life? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Green Power: If you use a camera (or accessory such as a flash) that uses AA or AAA batteries make sure you’re using rechargeable batteries, not only will it help the environment it’ll help your bank balance too. NiMH or Lithium batteries are your best bet for hundreds of recharges without “memory effect” and generally cost $25-$30 for 4 batteries and the recharger. Cameras with battery types other than AA/AAA usually come with a rechargeable battery but if yours didn’t look into buying one, most type are available. And once you’ve got those rechargeable batteries make sure you recycle those old non-rechargeable ones! Many local supermarkets and camera stores will now recycle your batteries for free.
Green Storage: If you’re ready to invest in a new camera bag check out Lowe Pro’s Primus AW bag which is made of 51% recycled materials. To make it even better Lowe Pro say “funds raised from the sale of the Primus AW backpack will support Polar Bears International PBI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the worldwide conservation of the polar bear.” And it’s as well designed and constructed as Lowe Pro’s other bags.
Green Recharge: Now that you’re using rechargeable batteries you need power to recharge them. If you really want to go green and eliminate the need to find an electrical socket you need a solar camera charger. A bit more of an investment, they cost between $130 and $250 depending how much power they provide.
Green Print: If you print photos on your own printer give GreenPix matte photo paper a try. 100% recycled, it’s available in sizes from 4 x 6 up to 13 x 38.
Green Display: Once you’ve printed your photos you’ll want to display them. If an album is your way to do that check out the albums available at One World Projects which use a combination of renewable bark cloth and recycled paper and have the added bonus of supporting the women in Uganda who make them. For something else unique Acorn Studios have recycled circuit board albums, or Pristine Planet have a variety of albums handmade from recycled/reclaimed materials. If you prefer to frame your photos Green House Framing have a selection of reclaimed wood frames. Uncommon Goods have reclaimed tin frames and for something truly one-of-a-kind reclaimed bicycle chain frames. Ten Thousand Villages have recycled paper frames, and for recycled mat board check out Green House Framing’s selection.
Green Awareness: Raise awareness of environmental issues through your photography by entering the Environmental Photographer of the Year 2008 competition. Closing date is 31st July 2008.
Green Giving: If you’re ready to upgrade to a new camera but your old one is still working consider donating it to a charity such as Global Classroom Connections or your local children’s hospital or at-risk youth center and give a new generation a chance to try photography. Or use your local chapter of Freecycle and find a deserving person to give your camera too yourself.