Concerned about the environment? Today's guest blogger, Marcia Crumley, offers ways for you to be more environmentally friendly with your art marketing.
I recently participated in our local art association’s annual Art in the Park, along with 70 other Boston-area artists. As I was preparing for the event, I decided to seek out as many environmentally friendly options as I could. Here are some interesting products I found.
Buy biodegradable clear envelopes. I’ve ordered from clearenvelopes.com in the past and been very happy with their selection, quality, and speed of delivery. I was pleased to find that they now offer clear envelopes made from lactic acid from corn that are certified biodegradable and certified compostable. Unfortunately, they currently offer them only in small sizes; the largest size listed on the web site is 5 11/16" x 7 1/2". If anyone finds biodegradable envelopes for larger works, please let me know! In the meantime, I will continue to use up my old supply of larger plastic envelopes, rather than dispose of them.
Send e-vites rather than paper invitations. This one simple step can save on paper, ink, gasoline and CO2 emissions from mail delivery. Since most folks rely on electronic calendars on their laptops or PDAs, e-vites also enable them to easily check their schedules and add openings/shows to their calendars as soon as they receive the email, increasing the chances that they’ll actually attend the event. (Alyson urges: Tweak your email habits before going this route. So much can go wrong if you don't know what you're doing.)
Reuse packing materials for shipping art. I’ve been saving every old box and piece of packing material that comes into my house to use for those larger pieces of art that people would rather have shipped than carry home. Even though I hate those Styrofoam peanuts, if something is shipped to me packed in them, it only makes sense to reuse them. (I also enclose a note asking the recipient to reuse them as well, rather than harm the environment by throwing them out.) Another step, recommended by eHow.com, is to call the company that sent the original package and request that they switch to a more environmentally friendly alternative. More consumer pressure will force companies to find better packing alternatives.
Buy business cards made from sustainable resources. Moo.com gets rave reviews for high quality at reasonable prices, so I decided to check them out. I found that their cards are printed on paper sourced from sustainable forests, and they come in nifty, reusable boxes made from recycled pulp board. The one downside is a big one: they’re based in London, so the cards must be shipped by air. Hmmmm, it isn’t always clear what the most eco-friendly choice is, is it? That’s why it always makes sense to…
Donate a share of proceeds to your favorite environmental cause. Five percent of all my sales will go to the non-profit, non-partisan Alliance for Climate Protection and its We Campaign. That will at least alleviate some of my angst over ordering business cards from across the Atlantic. I guess it’s the art marketing equivalent of buying carbon offsets whenever you fly!
While I’ve listed a few resources here, it always makes sense to buy as few things as possible, buy them locally wherever possible, and reuse and recycle old frames and other materials wherever you can.
If you’ve got other ideas to share or have discovered other great eco-friendly products, please share here or email me.
Marcia Crumley is a watermedia artist who lives in Boston. The image here is Marcia's Potomac Fever ©The Artist.