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Proper Green: How to Become an Eco-Friendlier Photographer

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These 4 easy tips help reduce waste and keep the Kodak moments alive.
Dear Proper Green,

I take tons of photos on vacation. Is there anything I should be concerned about with photography and the environment?

-Shomik, CT

Dear Shomik,

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be doing a big part to make your photo habits more sustainable:

  1. Put Away the Film: Over the years, more and more consumers have moved towards digital cameras for a whole host of reasons: Overall flexibility, auto-focus, red-eye correction, and more exciting new features. Another great feature? Digital cameras are a whole lot better for the environment than their strictly mechanical peers. While film printing often requires the production, use, and disposal of potentially dangerous chemicals, digital printing can have a lighter impact on our environment1. Furthermore, because you can choose which photos to print when it comes to digital, you don’t have to waste all that paper on those blurred out photos that go straight into the trash. And, with the advent of eco-friendly inkjet paper, something most commercial printers don’t stock, you can print those must-have photos with even less guilt.
  2. Use Re-chargeable Batteries: Regardless of your camera choice, one thing we should all be able to agree on is that non-rechargeable batteries are a thing of the past. With new recharging technology, a pair of two batteries can last you an entire camera’s lifetime. And, for those epic time-lapse travel trips where you might run out of juice, new developments in the solar field offer an eco-friendly solution. For example, the Nova Solar Camera Bag offers photographers the ability to shoot all day while their bag absorbs the suns ray and turns it into usable energy. Similarly, the Voltaic Systems Solar Camera Charger attaches to your camera’s native charger and recharges it using the solar power.
  3. Recycle your Camera: One of the truest facts about the 21st century is that technology changes. Fast. And sometimes, that old camera simply has no more use. When it’s time to move on to the newest high-megapixel gadget, make sure you send your old one off in eco-friendly style. Many companies, like Staples, offer free recycling services that will take ink and toner cartridges, digital cameras, battery chargers, and rechargeable batteries under 12 pounds.
  4. Use the Web: Rather than send your favorite Aunt or Uncle paper prints of your last trip to Alaska, upload the photos on the web and send them a link. Popular photo sites like Flickr offer up to a terabyte of free space for you to display all your gorgeous shots. And, with seamless integration between camera and computer, popular social media giants like Google Plus and Facebook offer a great forum to share your Kodak moments.

What are some other ways to make your photography eco-friendly? Let us know in the comments below!
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About Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and the environment are still evolving) to providing easy ways to make your every day more sustainable, Proper Green aims to help smooth the way with answers to questions that are important to you!

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Proper Green
Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and... more