Every effort has been made to source products and packaging which is ethical and environmentally conscious.
Environment mission statement
As a photographer who works in landscape, travel and outdoor photography, it is paramount that I ensure my work doesn't negatively impact the planet or contribute to climate change.
I've photographed the Masai Mara in summer, and the Alps in deepest winter. Both are places that have seen the effects of climate change. My goal with my work is to inspire people to love and respect our beautiful planet, to travel thoughtfully and see more of the world with their own eyes, while being on their own journey to increasing their environmental awareness as part of a global community.
The mission of this environment policy is to ensure that not only are the products I make recyclable or biodegradable, meaning they are zero-waste for the consumer, but that all the materials used to produce these items are;
Sourced from suppliers who adhere to high environmental standards
Using recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials
Made in the UK to reduce the carbon required in delivering to the end user
Manufactured in factories that are run on renewable energy
Though this has not been possible with every part of the supply chain (yet!), I regularly review my suppliers and make changes where necessary.
All cards are printed on FSC certified card stock which is produced at a mill which abides by ISO14001 environmental management standards.
ISO 14001 is a voluntary standard that organisations can certify to that ensures businesses:
Improve resource and energy efficiency
Reduce waste, water consumption, and emissions
Ensures that environmental impact is being measured
Improve overall environmental impact
Manage environmental obligations with consistency
The envelopes are made from recycled paper, and produced by a manufacturer who uses renewable energy and delivers using carbon-neutral logistics supplier, Interlink.
As of January 2019 I have switched to biodegradable sleeves for my singly packaged cards. Sourcing these has been tricky because I needed to find a company who themselves use environmentally friendly practices while also being at the right price point.
I'm happy to announce that I have now found the perfect fit, and that once the cards currently packaged in cellulose have sold, they will be replaced with cards packaged in these new corn starch sleeves. The corn starch sleeves can be composted either in commercial composting facilities or at home, although home compost will take slightly longer. Do not put these corn starch sleeves in your recycling bin!
When it comes to packaging, I am always striving to reduce my environmental footprint and not contribute to waste. I actively encourage customers to reuse any packaging that comes with their purchases until it reaches the end of its useful life and then recycle where possible.
I work with a company whose products contain a large amount of recycled material. They have an excellent environment policy, and are ISO14001 and FSC certified. Additionally, they are working with sustainable foresters in Scandinavia to ensure any virgin paper stock is not adding to the global deforestation crisis, and using geographically close suppliers they are able to reduce emissions. They are leading the way when it comes innovative environmentally friendly packaging and are tirelessly working to bring down the costs to make these options preferable to businesses of every size.
I use bookwrap mailers made from recycled cardboard to send small (8x10" and 8x12") prints, gift boxed cards, and orders containing more than 10 single cards. Orders with fewer than 10 single cards are packaged in a board-backed envelope.
This closed loop system, in which the material is both recycled and recyclable, ensures that no waste is produced in the process of getting your purchase to you!
In addition, recycled paper tape in place of plastic packing tape means you can recycle the entire box without clogging up card recycling facilities with parcel tape.
The backing paper on labels is siliconised, which makes it hard to recycle and most regions don’t offer household recycling for this material. To try and extend the lifecycle of this material, I shred the siliconised backing paper into strips and reuse it as packaging. This means I don’t need to bring in virgin packing material, and the backing paper serves a second purpose before reaching landfill. I encourage you to reuse this shredded material for the same purpose.
Prints are a special case. In every aspect of my business and personal life, I aim to reduce my environmental footprint, be that through the way I travel, the businesses I support, or the packaging I use.
However, with prints my focus is not so much on environmental impact, but on producing something that lasts a lifetime.
The papers I use are 100% acid free, fine art papers, which are approved by the Fine Art Trade Guild. When used in conjunction with pigment inks (this is known as giclée, a fine art standard), as my prints are, they will ensure a print life of more than 85 years. To me, a piece of art hanging on a wall produces no real waste, so I prefer to use products that last a lifetime.
To ensure this lifespan, please use a glazed frame for your print, as this adds another layer of protection. If you'd like to know more about how best to frame your print, please take a look at my advice on mounting and framing.
Unfortunately, the sleeves in which your prints are packaged are not biodegradable but they are 100% necessary. Having spoken to suppliers about how I can replace this plastic packaging with an eco-friendly alternative, I can confirm that biodegradable materials would be detrimental to the stability of the pigment ink as they are not archival materials. I hope that one day this changes, but until then, please be assured that every effort has been made to replace these plastic sleeves. I will continue to seek an alternative.
An inevitable part of landscape and travel photography is actually getting to the places I want to photograph. Where electric or high efficiency vehicles are available I choose them, and where I'm able to double up on the purpose of a trip, I do.
I advocate for green practices in photography, and hope to inspire others to create sustainably.
Living, by default, carries a carbon cost.
To balance the carbon intensive practice of travelling and the carbon cost of running a printer and packaging my prints, I have worked to ensure I reduce my personal carbon footprint in every other part of my life, so you can be sure that the indirect carbon cost of buying cards and prints is as low as it can be.
This includes reducing reliance on single-use plastics, switching my home/office energy provider to a company who sells only renewable energy, following a vegetarian diet and not making non-essential journeys by car, and much more besides.
In building my business, 100% of profits are currently injected back into enabling the business to grow and put (locally sourced!) food on the table, but ultimately I aim to balance my carbon footprint by donating a percentage of profits to re-forestation and re-wilding programmes. This means that one day, I will be able to produce entirely carbon-neutral cards and prints.
Please bear with me as I strive towards this goal!
All the support I get helps to make these goals a reality, be it through sales of cards or prints, bookings with lifestyle clients, classes with those who want to improve their photographic skills, or even just liking, commenting, sharing and following me on social media.
If you have any suggestions, recommendations, or comments, please use the contact form to shoot me a message!