Today is Blog Action Day, an international initiative with the aim of uniting bloggers around the world to talk about one issue for one day. This year, the topic is the environment. Although I could go on for hours about global warming, pollution, consumer waste, and much more, I'll simply write briefly about what I've been doing to reduce my impact, and point you in the direction of some other artists that I admire for their efforts to produce environmentally responsible art.
What do I do routinely to lessen my impact on the earth?
1. First, I shop locally whenever possible to reduce my time on the road. I also carefully plan and organize all my errands to minimize my gasoline consumption. I'll soon be moving to a home where I'll be within walking distance of just about everything I need, and I'm looking forward to saving money, reducing my use of automobiles, and getting more exercise.
2. I compost all my organic kitchen and yard waste. This reduces what I'm sending to the landfill, and it makes my garden happy.
3. I try to be smart about how I use energy in my home. Compact fluorescent bulbs, energy-efficient windows and doors, not running the dishwasher until it's full, lowering the water level in the washing machine for small loads, keeping the thermostat at a reasonable level -- these are all simple things that anyone can do to reduce energy and water consumption.
4. I've worked hard in recent years to reduce the quantity of my personal belongings. You might be amazed at how much better you feel when you have less clutter around you.
5. I shop at thrift stores when I can, and I donate items to them as well.
6. As an artist, I've discovered that some of the best art materials are things that would have otherwise gone in the garbage. Magazine pages, newspapers, bottle caps, old buttons, cardboard, and broken dishes are just a few of the items you can repurpose for your art instead of throwing them in the trash.
Many, many artists are using recycled items as art. For inspiration, here are some places to see how artists are repurposing materials for their art - Crafty Green Poet, May-December Home Accessories, Collector's Quest, Thrifty Collage Artist, Art Junk Girl, and Flea Market Studio.