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Earth Day 101: Tips For Creatives Seeking To Be Eco-Friendly

Fact: Earth Day is celebrated every April 22nd to demonstrate support and raise awareness for environmental protection.

Earth Day poster
Source: National Park Service

As the awareness of environmental sustainability rapidly spreads, many creatives are considering the impact of their work process and output on the environment. Luckily, there is really no one way to be sustainable in your art.

We at Musta are passionate about environmental protection, so we curated industry-specific tips for creatives seeking more ways to centre sustainability in their artistic practice:

For the eco-friendly writer

  • Consider sustainable publishing: Your eco-conciouness comes into play when you ponder on certain aspects of publishing hundreds or thousand copies of books: where is the paper sourced from? Is it sustainably sourced or recycled? Is print-on-demand technology available? Should I publish digitally instead? What packaging materials are used when shipping books?

  • Use your writing skills to advance environmental protection: Consider pitching write-ups on environmental protection to local magazines or newspapers or environmental themes into your essays, fiction, screen plays and poetry,

  • Patronize your local library: Now that you have an idea of the environmental cost of publishing books, rather than buying books you will read only once or twice, or books you need for some light research, borrow them from your local library instead. Don't forget to return borrowed books back so that other library-goers are not forced to purchase a book.

  • Recycle old journals: This can be done in 3 easy steps.. Remove any material on your journal that isn’t paper, like a spiral bind. Cut up the paper in your journal into tiny pieces (a shredding machine can be used ). Dispose of the cut up paper in the paper section of a recycling bin near you.

For the eco-friendly artist (Painters, Sculptors, etc.)

Whale sculpture
"Whale in Love" Source: STUDIOKCA
  • Take advantage of natural light: As much as possible, create during hours when the sun is out and your work area can be illuminated. Embracing natural light will lessen energy consumption as well as your energy bills. More importantly, it also helps the environment. For the times when you do need artificial light, consider energy-efficient bulbs.

  • Purchase supplies from your local art store: Instead of traveling a long way to purchase art supplies, buy from art vendors near you (a walkable distance preferably). By keeping travel minimal, you are not contributing to the huge carbon footprint vehicles usually leave behind.

For the eco-friendly fashion creative (Tailors, Stylists, Fabric Makers, etc.)

Fact: The fashion industry is the second largest industry consumer of water with 79 trillion liters of water per year. To put it into picture, it requires 700 gallons of water to produce one cotton shirt and 2,000 gallons for a single pair of jeans.

  • Discover ways to repurpose fabric waste: Upcycle new clothing from used, excess or unwanted materials. You can find these materials at your local thrift store or the shops of other tailoring houses. You can also ask friends and families to donate fabrics they don’t use anymore. This zero-waste policy helps to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills. Plus, you get to create one-of-a-kind pieces!.

  • Use non-toxic materials: In the fashion industry, many materials have an abysmal impact on the environment. Bio-degradable fabrics like cotton, silk, hemp and jute are the best choice for the environment. Avoid producing with non-biodegradable materials like polyester, nylon and rayon.

For the eco-friendly digital creative (Content creator, Web Designer, Photographer, etc.)

Fact: The carbon footprint of our gadgets, the internet and the systems supporting them account for about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions, according to some estimates. It is similar to the amount produced by the airline industry..

  • Take care of your gear: The plastic framework of electronic devices contributes to the issue of e-waste. Whether it’s an iPhone, Laptop or a Video recorder, use it carefully so that it lasts as long as it can. Also, try and avoid the temptations of upgrading to newer models just because you can afford to.

  • Prioritize energy efficiency: Remember to switch off all equipment when not in use. Lighting is essential for your craft, try and replace conventional lights with LED lights.

For the eco-friendly music industry professional (Musicians, Songwriters, Artist Managers, etc.)

Fact: Researchers studied the tours of five musicians using a carbon-tracking tool to measure their environmental impact. The research found that, combined, the artists added 19,314 kilograms of CO2 to the environment in only 6 months — the equivalent of taking nearly twenty flights back and forth from New York City to London

Music festival
Source: Unsplash
  • Partake in climate education by composing songs with a sustainability theme: It can be about climate change or oil pollution or conservation or even going vegan. Your options are limitless.

  • Adopt green practices in tours and festivals: There are many green initiatives you can employ in the music tours or festivals you host. Collaborate with manufacturers that centre sustainability when designing your merch. Rent set materials instead of purchasing all the time. Include vegan options at concession stands. Reduce plastic waste by providing water refill stations at your events. Replace normal trash cans with recycling bins. Don’t let your budget discourage you from greening up your events. There are limitless options for every artist at every level.

With all this in mind it is worth considering: In what ways are you centering sustainability in your artistic practice?

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