Making Digital Photography Environmentally Friendly
Most photographers are well aware of the main environmental bonus of digital photography – the complete absence of film, processing, and chemicals. For more than one hundred years there has been an enormous amount of toxic waste generated by the photographic industry, but today that has come almost to an end. If someone uses film and processing, however, there are now options for less detrimental choices too.
There are, however other ways that digital photography can be made more eco-friendly as well. For example, instead of printing image after image in order to get the precise results you want, why not use “soft proofing” techniques to ensure that the image displayed on the monitor of your computer will also print identically through your preferred printer? This takes only a bit of time and effort to do, and it will usually allow you to create images on a huge range of media that includes colored and textured papers among others.
If you do not want to spend the time calibrating your monitor and creating the necessary profiles in your photo editing software (even though Photoshop makes this super easy), you absolutely must recycle the paper and ink cartridges you consume. Keep traditional recycling bins in the studio space right next to the printer. When you have a print that is unsatisfactory make sure to toss the paper into the bin…it is just that simple. Additionally, you should recycle or refill your cartridges whenever possible too. Remember that many printer cartridge manufacturers provide free mailers for customers to use, and some even provide rebates for your effort.
Where printing is concerned, you might also advertise your greenness to clients by indicating that you do not provide physical prints to them. Instead, make it clear that all files are sent via email in JPEG or TIFF format. Be sure you tell them that you don’t mail CDs or DVDs, and that all prints are made only once and that these will be done through a professional service to reduce paper waste.
The environment also benefits when you use less electricity, so be sure that you keep your monitor and all peripheral devices in the automatic sleep modes. These are modes that recognize a lack of activity and go into a much lower mode of consumption. There are also devices that can be used to recognize when devices enter in sleep mode and which cut all electrical supplies to save even more energy.