It’s getting easier to be green

American Photo recently published “Assignment Earth: A Photographic Mission to Save the Planet“. This is a series of articles including ways for photogs to embrace sustainability, (Thirteen Ways to be a Greener Photographer), and several galleries by “conservation photographers”–those who shoot with the intent of raising awareness about environmental issues.

There is also a mini feature of products that are “low impact”, but with the exception of a solar panel, rechargeable batteries and recycled photo paper, they are products that would inspire “upgrade” behavior that would likely lead to more stuff ending up in a landfill somewhere. It is a slippery slope to recommend buying new products to become more “green”–sustainability is a mind set, not a product line. That said, there are times when it is simply necessary to purchase new products, and at those times, it’s nice to see the market being populated with more responsible choices.

One product I’ve been experimenting with that didn’t make the list is ViaStone. This is a tree-less paper made out of limestone. I first read about it on TreeHugger, and managed to get my hands on some earlier this year. I’ve only been able to try the matte finish papers, but the print quality is very nice. The finish limits its useful application, but it works well for brochures, letterhead, and the like. I’m hoping to find a more artful use for it as well, like b+w prints, for example.

The double sided business cards are microperfed, but do not separate as cleanly as some other similar products. Tiny ridges are unavoidable, and unfortunately lend a less than professional presentation.

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