Thursday, April 22, 2010

It IS Easy Going Green....Being creative and Earth-friendly

In honor of Earth Day, here are a few green-friendly tips from the Alliance’s Project Administrator, Nicole....

Earth Day, on April 22, is my favorite day of celebration (in addition to Scholastic Art & Writing Awards day!). Here at the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers I took on the role of implementing green methods to make The Awards an environmentally friendly competition.

As young adults developing your talent in visual arts and writing, there are many ways that you can make an impact. Going green is not just about recycling and changing to CFL light bulbs. There are art suppliers out there that proudly offer products that enable an artist to be creative without causing environmental strife. One great example is Rex Art. They have collected the environmentally friendly, sustainable products available in the art supply industry and organized them on their website to make shopping for green art supplies easier than ever. Not only are Rex Art’s products made with sustainable materials, but also by using renewable energy. Their pencils are made with Forest Stewardship Council certified wood, which assures consumers that they come from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations. Paints are manufactured in an environmentally responsible manner and do not contain ingredients known to be harmful to humans or the environment. Check out their website for more environmentally friendly product information ( Other notable green art suppliers are EcoArt Works and Eco-House, Inc.

Writers can contribute to conservation by saving paper, trees and landfill space. For a list of ten great tips to green your writing, such as recycling all paper products, getting into the habit of double-sided printing and more, click here. Additionally, refillable fountain pens are a great way to reduce the amount of plastic thrown in the trash. For writers that only compose on a computer, remember to shut it off after use. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, though there is a small surge in energy when a computer starts up, it is still much less than the energy used when a computer is running for long periods of time. For energy savings and convenience, consider turning off the monitor if you aren’t going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes, and both the CPU and monitor if you're not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours. The less time a PC is on, the longer it will last. PCs also produce heat, so turning them off greatly reduces the cost of air conditioning.

The tips above are easy to incorporate into your creative practice. Images and words can give immense inspiration and with a little extra effort your art or writing could holistically move mountains (but please leave the mountain top in place!).

Let’s celebrate this Earth Day by going green!

~Nicole McCann
Project Administrator, The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

Art above, right: Chicago. Artist: Jeff Okerse, 2010 Art Portfolio Silver Award


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