Earth Day arrives every year on April 22nd, inspiring mindfulness and gratitude for our Earth. There are many simple ways that you can celebrate Earth Day in your own home, work space, or art studio.
Here's our list of the top 5 things you can change in your art studio for Earth Day to get you started!
1. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
These three actions are crucial to protecting Mother Earth, since waste has an insidious effect on our natural environment. In your art studio, you can reduce your ecological footprint by:
- Re-using materials and solvents,
- Recycling packaging when possible, and
- Swapping your toxic art supplies for alternatives with eco-friendly packaging.
Before throwing out scraps, take a step back and see what you can create with them; trash can be turned into treasure! By re-using fabrics (any sturdy fabric can be primed and painted on, not just canvas) or priming and painting over old paintings, you can start fresh without wasting new materials. Reduce waste by purchasing materials conservatively, getting just enough material to complete each individual project.
If you do need to dispose of toxic supplies, it’s essential that you dispose of them correctly; improperly disposed materials can poison our water supply and soil. Call your local recycling center for tips on how to dispose of paints without introducing harmful chemicals into the environment. Every town has a hazardous waste collection site, and a quick google search will help you find it.
2. Quit Using Toxic Solvents
Breathing in toxic solvents is extremely harmful to your health, and these toxins don't help the planet, either! We highly recommend ridding your studio of toxic solvents as soon as you can, since they're likely the most dangerous material you own. Take a hint from the Old Master and use oils to wash brushes, thin paints, and clean skin. There are now several safe alternatives to solvents for brush cleaning, paint thinning, and hand washing; try our Eco-Solve, Refined Walnut Oil, and Pinerite Natural Hand Cleaner respectively.
3. Reduce Energy Costs in Your Studio
Lighting is central to artists' creative processes. Using natural lighting is the most environmentally-friendly choice, so try painting outside for a change, or en plein aire, as the French call it! If you're feeling crafty, you can also install an affordable solar tube skylight in your studio, which takes about an hour (but is so worth your time!). If you can't work with natural light, swap your lightbulbs for halogen bulbs, CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or LEDs (light emitting diodes), which are more energy-efficient than standard bulbs.
And, of course, we can't forget sustainable energy sources; if you're able to install solar panels, you can receive credits and rebates, and if you want an eco-friendly heating and cooling system, you can install ductless heat pumps, which is the most energy efficient method available today. Natural Earth Paint's facilities run exclusively off of wind-power!
4. Get Rid of Toxic Art Supplies
If it has a warning label, it's got to go! Art teachers and professors don't often teach about the severity of health issues that can result from using toxic art supplies long-term, but you can educate yourself and make smart choices about the materials you bring into your studio. Switch to toxin-free, natural supplies to keep both yourself and the planet safe; if you're an oil painter, try The Complete Eco-friendly Oil Paint Kit. Are watercolors more your style? Try our Natural Watercolor Kit. And if you're a multimedia artist looking for all kinds of supplies, we carry everything you need, from natural adhesive to versatile earth and mineral pigments to eco-friendly glitter. There's no limit to what you can create naturally.
5. Do Away with Petrochemicals
Lastly, petrochemicals, or chemicals obtained from petroleum and natural gas, are extremely damaging to the environment. Did you know that acrylic paint is essentially liquid plastic, made from petroleum? Swap your conventional acrylics for our Natural Acrylic Medium to cut plastic our of your painting process. Glues often contain plastics, too; try our Methyl Cellulose (Natural Adhesive) for a plastic-free adhesive.
Our planet is an outstanding place to live, and the reality is, there is no Planet B. As Earth Day approaches, let's give back however we can to protect our one-and-only Mother Earth; even the simplest actions add up to make a huge difference. Happy Earth Day!