Recycle Week is upon us! Issues of sustainability are capital to us as a B corp, which is why we decided to partner with Ecologi and promised to plant a tree for every artwork sold. But it’s not just Artfinder staff championing sustainability; it also matters to our artists, especially when it comes to packaging.
With Recycle Week in mind, our artists share the ways they are becoming more sustainable, from the materials they use to how the artwork arrives at your door.
For Amy Cundall, it is about reusing materials you already have around the house:
“Where possible, [I] try to find recyclable or biodegradable options, and reuse off cuts and materials to make custom protections, such as protective corners.“
Margaret Mallows also offers some insight on how to reuse existing materials:
“I pick up small sheets of bubble wrap from the supermarket – they use them sandwiched between bags of fruit – it reuses the bubble wrap. I also keep the large cardboard boxes my artwork paper arrives in – it’s strong and ideal for making a custom size shipping box for sending large artworks flat.”
For Peter Walters, it is about taking meaningful small first steps and working towards a bigger long term goal:
“Over the last year or so I have put in a concerted effort to increase the amount of biodegradable and recycled packaging I'm using. I use paper filler as it’s cheap, versatile and green. This has to be the way forward and while I'm not 100% there, I feel I am moving in the right direction.”
Olga Beliaeva advises there are a lot of recyclable* options out there:
“The plastic wrap I use is made from recycled materials. This type of polyethylene can be recycled for the production of film or for the production of asphalt. Expanded polystyrene is fully recyclable in the UK for example, where it is reused for new packaging. The paper I use is also recyclable.*”
One of Artfinder’s most sustainably conscious artists, Valerie Erichsen Thomson, also shares her tips:
“In addition to being an ongoing supporter of The Nature Conservancy, I have also signed up with Ecologi, to plant more trees monthly to offset my carbon footprint.
“My goal is to use mostly biodegradable materials while protecting your new painting sufficiently to reach you safely. Whether an item is plastic or not, may not be clear from looking at it.”
Here are just some of the sustainable alternatives you can expect when receiving Valerie’s artworks:
Reinforced paper tape: 100% recyclable
Cellulose tape: 100% compostable and biodegradable
Jute twine: 100% biodegradable and compostable
New cardboard: 100% recyclable, compostable and reusable
Recycled cardboard: 100% recyclable and compostable
New cardboard tube: 100% recyclable and reusable
Recycled cardboard tube: 100% recyclable and compostable
Brown waffle texture paper: 100% recyclable and compostable
Paper wadding: 100% biodegradable, recyclable and reusable
Paper label attached with clear cellulose tape: 100% biodegradable and compostable
Cellulose label pouch attached with cellulose tape (with or without label inside): 100% biodegradable and compostable
“For shipments … I always choose their carbon offset option. UPS's carbon neutral option supports projects that offset the emissions of the shipment's transport. UPS has supported projects that include reforestation, landfill gas destruction, wastewater treatment, and methane destruction.I like DHL for international delivery. DHL's GoGreen initiative target is to halve its 2007 emissions by 2025 and achieve zero emissions by 2050.”
Cover image via Peter Walters
*Recycling criteria vary from country to country so please check your country's requirements before discarding any materials, to ensure they are placed on the correct container.