Happy Earth Day everyone! Each year on Earth Day, I try to reflect back on the changes I’ve made in my personal life to become more sustainable. This year, I thought I’d take a look at my business instead. I have been moving toward the zero/low waste lifestyle for the last few years now. However, I’ve been running a sustainable photography business since I started Jamie Kraus Photography in 2015, even if it wasn’t intentional.
Running a Sustainable Photography Business
So many things that happen to be sustainable are also economical, or creative, or have other benefits that may be the driving factors. It doesn’t matter if you only started buying secondhand to save money or only started taking public transit because you hate driving (it’s me!). The action is more important than the reason. Many of the sustainable actions I take are done for that purpose, but many started for other reasons. Here’s a list of all the ways Jamie Kraus Photography is a sustainable photography business.
My office and meeting space is wind-powered. I am so lucky to live in a building completely powered by the wind. Almost all of my work requires electronics (cameras, flashes, computers) which would account for most of my business’s carbon emissions if my office was powered by fossil fuels.
I take public transit to sessions and networking events as often as possible. Last year, I started biking to sessions when I could. Also, my next car is going to be an electric vehicle although that is still a few years away.
My sessions are always on location so we aren’t powering a studio space just for us. Additionally, most sessions are outdoors and powered by the natural light of the sun!
All my batteries are rechargeable, from the AA’s in my flashes to the Lithium-ion’s in my cameras. It’s hard to find a disposable battery anywhere in our homes these days.
I buy most of my equipment second-hand. The environmental impact of manufacturing new items is extremely high so I do a lot of research to find secondhand equipment locally.
I also use my equipment until it no longer serves me, rather than upgrading every time a new version comes out. I only make about one big equipment purchase each year (camera, lens, computer, lighting equipment) and repair items when I can, so I end up replacing equipment every 5–10 years.
When I do replace or retire equipment, I sell, donate, or recycle it so it can be used again instead of ending up in a landfill.
All my paperwork is done online, so there’s no printing. The only physical business documents I have are checks, a few tax forms, and the occasional receipt. Everything else is digital (and secure).
I try to make my client gifts as low waste as possible. Most of my gifts are consumable or recyclable with little to no packaging. I also ship them in reused packaging as well.
Earth Day 2021
In what ways are you incorporating sustainability into your life and business? Even if you started doing them for other reasons, let me know in the comments. And let me know what you’re doing for Earth Day! Did you know there are 11 official Earth Day events going on in the Denver/Boulder area, plus tons of unofficial ones?