going green?

I've been thinking a lot about the new "green" fad. I'm so completely torn over the issue. On one hand I love that people are talking about sustainability and making responsible choices. On the other, it often seems like a marketing ploy to get people to buy more stuff.

I was in grade school during the first reduce, reuse, recycle push and it truly made an impact on me. From that point on I recycled every scrap of paper I could find, created a "recycling center" in my college dorm room and still pull used water bottles out of the trash if I see them. Obviously, these tendencies have carried over to my press and my choice of materials. I'm trying hard not to jump on the "I use cotton paper because it's responsible and tree free" bandwagon even though I do use cotton paper and it is tree free. I also print on cotton paper because the impression is gorgeous and as a printmaker I have always loved the surface quality. But, cotton does have it's share of issues if it's not properly sourced.

This article is quite interesting and talks a bit about greed and the consumer driven aspect of the green movement. Although I don't buy into all of it, I do think that we need to be much more conscious about what we're buying and why. For me, this directly translates to why I love the handmade movement so much. I know that I may spend more money on handmade items, but that makes me more selective about what I purchase and it makes me appreciate those pieces more than something from Target.

I guess what this all means for me is that I will continue to be as responsible as I can in my life and business practices. And I'm so happy to receive email from clients indicating that environmental practices and paper options are a big factor in their stationery purchases!


joAnn said...

rach, i too struggle with the idea that this movement is "new". give me a break! i've been recycling (along with so many others in western ny) since i was ten! i, too have started a "recycling center" at almost every job i have had. the problem is, there are so many people who simply don't do it. i guess it seems to me that if you need to tell those people that it is now considered "cool" just to get them to do it, then so be it. the end result is less crap in landfills and that is something to strive for. right?
i think that most people who buy handmade items like yours are probably doing so for the same reasons you are. so there may be no need for you to state the obvious. first and foremost, i think people buy your work because it is gorgeous, not simply because it is eco-friendly!

Rachael, Pistachio Press said...

I'm glad to hear I'm not alone with this JoAnn. I think I probably will put something on my site about it, but it won't be too extensive. And you're certainly right - I would much rather people be aware of their actions than add to landfills.

Anonymous said...

Yeah...I struggle with the whole "trendiness" of the "going green" campaigns because it seems that saving the earth should be much more than a trend. It's awesome to hear that you are really looking at the issues behind materials in your production...I think if everyone took a proactive stance on being environmentally informed instead of being culturally captivated by "green" marketing, there could be a much more lasting force behind rescuing our environment.

Angela said...

I totally, 100% agree!

As a designer who works in the paper industry... I see it all. And occasionally it gets really frustrating to see people constantly celebrating "beauty" and "inspiration"... only through things you are supposed to want to buy.