For those who are uninitiated, Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blog. And we here at TC are very proud to take part this year, and introduce the issue of climate change. It’s an issue which affects all of us around the globe, but how can we as designers and illustrators make a difference? Who better to answer that than a host of our favourite creatives from around the world? So here we go with a bunch of top notch tips and awesome pics!
“We are using non-toxic paint to redecorate, its healthier to the planet and to us.”
“Green up your website! Thanks to C02Stats.com you can offset the power used by your website, the electricity used to store the data and the power used by visitors to your site. You pay a monthly fee, which purchases renewable energy to neautralize the carbon emissions of your site, and get your site certified green! And web designers, why the heck not suggest this service to every one of your clients to get their sites certifed green too? You can spread the eco action worldwide.”
“My eco action… I cycle most places to get about town, rather than drive everywhere. More folk should cycle to do there bit for the climate and for there own health to make you feel better.”
“I put an extra layer on instead of turning the heating up.”
“Instead of going through packs of post it notes every month I now use a notebook that is filled with to-do lists, doodles and ideas for projects. I also like to use my pencils so they are so small I can’t sharpen them anymore. Like when you were a child at school.”
“We do our bit by Louise making all her paper patterns for the plush out of my old roughs which I’ve put into the paper recycling bin (all the toy patterns have got scribbled versions of Hard Sell or a rough for an illustration on the back!). Louise also uses recycled fabrics. All the felt and fleece toys (Kaiju, Bunko, Prof. Skeffington) are made from fabric which has previously been post-consumer plastic bottles and any plush which has clothes (such as the Bea(s)tniks or the Burgerman Hipsters) are all made from recycled clothing. Nice to think all those Kaiju in TJP were once old Coke and Fanta bottles!”
www.feltmistress.blogspot.com & www.jonathan-e.com
“Don’t waste paper. Draw on each other.”
“Any postal packaging is made from recycled materials, and if i get sent a package that i can open and re use i will.”
“To make my paint last longer, I store it in the fridge and reuse it again. No more throwing away wasted paint tubes every week!”
“I find pencilling ideas on the back of a used envelope is a cunning way of generating extra paper.”
“Our eco tip is to only boil as much water as you need in the kettle when you’re making tea; it saves electricity. It sounds like a small thing at first, but when you have two people in the office working all day long you get through a lot of tea! We think we’ve saved enough energy to power a small country by now:”
“Why waste money on new boxes, when the old banana boxes from the local supermarket are way stronger, not to mention free! That’s exactly what I do.”
“Use a bit less ink!”
“A notebook needs only a little part of the energy a big computer needs. So I try to work with my notebook as often as possible.”
“Do your thumbnails/roughs/doodles on the backs of old contracts/manuscripts instead of a new piece of paper!”
“Lately I’ve hugely cut down on my carbon footprint, and in order to do this I just needed to become my own boss and work from home. Although I’m writing this on the train as I travel to a client meeting, but er… still, environmentally it’s an improvement I guess.
I suppose as designers we need to think carefully about the projects we take on. A big new car website might be fun to work on, but is it really a good idea to let our sexy graphics persuade more people to buy more cars
But of course we all need to make a living and there isn’t always a choice. On a smaller level I suppose we can minimise how often we upgrade software, and when some new-fangled eye-dropping technique means we simply have to, let’s not worry about getting the box and discs shipped to ourselves (and shelves).
So come on people, let’s recycle everything we can. Well, everything, that is, except for other people’s ideas anyway. Please stick to reusing your own!
For this poster I created for Manila Design Week I wondered what would happen if flora and fauna became fashionable to wear, thus making our cities fresher and prettier places.”
“I recently started to use the white unprinted side of food packaging for doodling and making thumbnail sketches. Lots of chocolate, biscuits and other essential food stuff have that kind of paper packaging here in Sweden and it feels good to recycle that in my work. Quite enjoy doing my doodling on these random bits of paper.”
“Bad ideas, easily recycled.”
“We re-use all our boxes and packaging for the TADO-Shop – almost all our orders are sent out in scruffy 2nd or 3rd hand boxes. it saves money-tokens too! :D:D
We also make trampy-pads! Trampy-pads(¬©??) are jotting pads made up from the backsides of junkmail letters, mis-prints and other scraps of paper – theyre great for scribbling down notes.”
“I’m a total hoarder and recycle as much nice card/paper I find. I have big bags full of scraps of nice papers that I bought way back in art college 10yrs ago. I also enjoy collecting particularly nice wrapping paper for presents.”
“Write and draw much smaller so you get more doodle fun per page!”
“I replaced my dishwater with storage space for my bike.”
“Everyone should take the pledge at www.designcanchange.org and use it as a starting point to help bring our community together to encourage sustainable practices. Oh and make sure the last one out at the end of the day turns the lights off!”
“(a silly one) We are setting up systems so clients can ask us to spend thier carbon allowance on laminates and toxic inks so it isn’t cut next year
(a sensible one) We work with each client to educate them about FSC, one day we would like to say we’ve planted two trees for each we’ve taken away.”
“Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth!”
“My MacBook Pro is the only device I need to live, so I don’t need to buy a TV, a Stereo, a Radio, other communication devices. I don’t need a radiator, because I can warm my hands on my MacBook Pro. I also don’t need a Light in my room, I just use the light from my monitor.”
“About 90% of the materials for my tactile/sculpture work is lifted from the skips of London. Skips are my shops.”
“Be romantic… Use candlelight!”
“No more dead trees!!! I took random paper, take a sample sheet printing, clip and I made my new sketchbook!”
“We like to recycle our animation elements!!! These days we only do mega huge renders over night to save the drain during the day. When rendering making sure the monitors are turned off. We’ve down-sized the office and actually encourage people to work at home, less travel and fuel costs. And last but not least.. not a printer in the office.”
So there you go! A whole stack of eco actions you can do today to make a small difference to a big problem. Make sure you visit Blog Action Day ’09 to discuss the topic more. And a big thanks to all the artists who have contributed to this article, we love you all!