Sustainability in the Art Studio
In 2018, the Art Studio announced our intentions to reduce our plastic usage. Over the course of the past two years, we have spent considerable time researching sustainability, creating new systems, testing out new products, and intentionally designing projects with sustainability in mind. We’d like to share with you some of the things we have learned since that last post.
Throughout this entire process, we’ve re-discovered the importance of research and learned that every town/state/country has a completely different recycling system. For example, in one town, you might be able to recycle black plastic, but in another you cannot. Some states will allow you to recycle colored construction paper, while others cannot handle pigmented paper at all. We recommend that anyone interested in learning about how to recycle art materials make connections with their local waste management facilities.
We’ve also learned that the recycling system overall is flawed. The current system of recycling puts the impetus on the consumer to recycle a material, not the manufacturer. This often results in recyclable resources ending up in landfills because consumers are tasked with researching how to properly recycle and often lacking the resources to do so. And even when properly recycled, items at recycling centers can become contaminated by non-recyclable or dirty items that have been improperly recycled, dooming the whole batch to the landfill.
While we will continue to recycle materials as well as we can, we understand now, more than ever, how important it is to follow the three R’s in order; reduce, then reuse, then recycle. In addition, we can source materials that are shipped, marketed, and created in a more sustainable manner. Finding the materials and companies that support sustainable practices can require a lot of time to research, which is why we feel it is important to share our findings from the past two years:
After two years of research, exploration, and discoveries, we now feel better equipped to incorporate sustainability within our projects. We’ve created new recycling systems in the studio, we talk with our team and the public about our findings and sustainability values, and continually research how to create tighter project cycles that reduce before reuse, reuse before recycle, and recycle when possible before the landfill.
Note: The Art Studio is not paid or sponsored by any manufacturer or art supplier. The blog post above is an objective account of our two-year discovery journey that will continue to develop as we learn more.