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9 Things Creatives Can do to Decrease Their Environmental Impact

by Sarah Luck
creativity, featured

Environmental Impact: 9 Things to Decrease Your Impact Now

So you’ve decided you want to decrease your environmental impact as a creative professional. You’ve read some articles (maybe about climate change or the economic impacts of land use), but you’re not exactly sure what the next step is. Sure, we all know it’s best to replace old incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient ones, but what if you’re ready to dive deeper? Environmental impact assessment is imperative for positive environmental impact, but sometimes that can be a tricky road to navigate as a creative. Start here with 9 things you can do to decrease your environmental impact as a creative professional.

1. Transportation

This point might be obvious to some of you, but to others it’s a no-brainer to get into a 6 cylinder car every morning and drive 15 miles work. This is how we pollute the most — in our cars transporting ourselves to work and home again every day. The negative effects of this can be significantly decreased by public transportation, biking or carpooling with neighbors. If those options aren’t for you, then consider live/work spaces where you literally work where you live and live where you work.


Want to further perfect your creative process and understand environmental portraiture? Learn more from Dan Brouillette.


2. Packaging and shipping items

If you are a creative who ships art across the country or around the globe, think about what materials you are using to ship your art and where the materials come from. More often than not, there is the option to use recycled packaging. Also, your customers will appreciate your move to greener packaging.

3. Buy local

Instead of buying that awesome paint or gear on the internet from a store located halfway around the world, try sourcing the product locally. This is the same for canvasses, materials and food. By buying local you’re not only reducing your environmental impact, you’re also supporting the local economy that surrounds you and would be interested in displaying or purchasing your locally hand-crafted art.

4. Use recycled materials

One way to significantly decrease your impact is by trading in your art supplies for more environmentally friendly options. Using recycled materials can actually inspire more creativity, plus reclaimed metals and plastics are easier on the environment. There are also hundreds of options for eco-friendly pens, paper and paints (many can be found at your local art supply store, but here is a website to get started). And don’t throw away that art piece from 2 years ago! Recycle it into something else that’s new and fresh! This is a great way to incorporate positive environmental management into your workflow.

Environmental Impact: 9 Things to Decrease Your Impact Now

5. Stop printing ‘daily’ items

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of creatives still print daily items such as menus, reports and calendars. This has a huge daily environmental impact. There are some great apps for organization on your phone and computer that can be used instead.

6. Electricity consumption

The majority of electricity used in our homes is from our electronic devices. This includes the printer, computer, toaster, fridge and dryer. When you’re not using a device, like a printer or a blender, unplug it from the wall or use a power strip and flip the off switch. Those little flashing lights consume energy (and money) — which might seem negligible, but over-time adds up.

7. Throw away less

Instead of throwing away your magazines, old clothes, shoes, use them in creative projects to make art that has a recycled message.

8. Remote collaboration and teleworking

This is tied to transportation — with a stable internet connection and a webcam, a meeting that once needed to be held in person can now be held remotely. Instead of flying from one state to another, save yourself some time and decrease your environmental impact by setting up an online conference call. For more information on working remotely (and to learn how to talk your boss into allowing it), check out CreativeLive’s class from Darren Murph.

9. Create art

The last tip here, and maybe the most important one, is to continue to create art. Keep creating art that inspires, touches and brings to light everyday issues that we are all struggling with. Whether you decide to bring environmental issues into your art, or you decide to change the way you live and work; being more conscious of our environmental impact is a process, and so is the change that comes along with it.

Environmental Impact: 9 Things to Decrease Your Impact Now


Want to further perfect your creative process and understand environmental portraiture? Learn more from Dan Brouillette.


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Sarah Luck

When Sarah's not brainstorming & creating, you can find her laughing, at the beach, or in the forest. She's an out-going & fearless personality who spends her time at CreativeLive as the Lead Content Producer for Photo & Video.