Like many of us, we do our best to try to minimise our impact on the environment. This is a principle that we try to carry through into our business as well. We try to be environmentally friendly wedding photographers for many reasons. Helping to protect the environment also protects habitats, saves lives and ultimately, we hope, will help to make the planet a nicer and safer place for us all to live.
Are you planning an environmentally friendly wedding?
By no means do we know it all and by no means are we doing all that we could be doing, but we do try to make simple, everyday changes that we hope will have a positive impact long term.
Some of the ways we try to be environmentally friendly in our business include:
1. We drive a hybrid vehicle
We know it’s perhaps not the greenest choice available, but it’s so much better than many of the other options. Wedding photography involves quite a bit of travelling, so having a hybrid vehicle with lower emissions was one obvious and easy step that we decided to take. We primarily target our business advertising to the local, Lincolnshire so we do try to stay local where possible.
2. Our albums and other packaging products are all made and sourced within the UK
Not only supporting British businesses, but also minimising the distance goods are travelling to get to us.
3. Our packaging is made from recycled materials
Our postal sleeves for example are recycled and biodegradable. The rest of our packaging materials are paper based products and are recyclable and/or compostable. Some of our business cards are even made from Rhino poo! Yes, you read that right. Our business cards are literally shit!
An online presence
4. Most of our business and admin takes place online
We try to keep printing and paper waste to an absolute minimum, so about 95% of our admin is done online. Our booking forms, contracts, questionnaires and so on can all be completed online. As well as being more convenient for most of our clients, it also cuts down massively on paper waste! No need for printed papers, envelopes or numerous trips to the post office. Saving paper, trees, inks and fuel emissions in the process.
We’re also sure to make lots of our photography work is available online, so that our couples can make an informed decision about us and our work before having to commit to meeting us. We offer Skype chats and facetime meetings as standard to help reduce travel related emissions. This is not just the convenient choice a lot of the time, but also the green choice.
Going one step further we also use other businesses who are online based too- accountants and marketing for example.
5. We’ve moved (back) to digital delivery
When we first started our business way back in 2011, we offered digital delivery only. As a new business this helped us keep outgoings low for ourselves and helped our clients keep within their small budgets. As our business grew, we caved to perceived industry pressure and started offering USBs with our packages. Over the year that we did this, we noticed that it vastly increased the amount of waste we were producing. Packaging waste, waste in the shipment of our packaging, emissions from delivery of the products and all the other stuff that comes with it.
We surveyed our clients and the vast majority said they only viewed their photographs online anyway. So we then reverted to our original business model and we now only offer digital delivery as standard. Not only does this further help us to incorporate our values into our business, it also gives our clients the choice too. USBs are available as an add on, but clients can choose to do their bit and simply download their images if they’d prefer.
We know from our own experiences that in the 4 years since we received our own wedding photos we have never looked at the USB! Never! No once. We always view our images online.
6. Being vegan and cruelty free.
Meat and Dairy products and animal bi-products associated with animal agriculture are widely accepted to be damaging our planet. From an environmental perspective, one of the best things you can do to minimise your impact on planet Earth is to go Vegan. So I did. For me, the motivation was to preventing needless animal suffering, but the environmental benefits are amazing too.
We carry this through in to our business by only using the highest quality vegan, cruelty free and sustainable products. This way our clients can be sure that they are not contributing towards animal suffering or practices which damage our planet. We provide vegan friendly faux leather albums (along with other options like Linen.) and when it comes to things like our USBs, we source them from companies with a clear and explicit environmental policy. We are forever learning, growing and expanding upon our knowledge and we actively seek out new suppliers if we feel we can lessen our impact further.
Other changes include switching from professional leather camera straps to cruelty free camera belts.
At home and in business
7. When we aren’t shooting weddings though (which most of the above relate to) we are busy running our business from home. Editing, admin and correspondence takes up a huge portion of our time, and of course this also uses resources. It’s a no brainer that we had to lessen our impact here too. We now use Octopus for our energy at home. Octopus who provide 100% green energy. They even allow you to carbon offset your gas if you’d like to.
If you want to do you bit for the environment and earn yourself £50 in the process (payable by Octopus once you switch) you are welcome to sign up using our referral link.
Lots of small changes add up to one big change.
As we say, it’s not a lot compared to the huge leaps some businesses and individuals have been able to make, but a lot of small changes across the board still add up.
We are always looking for more ways to be environmentally friendly wedding photographers. If you have any other tips or advice about how we can be a more green business, please let us know. We would love to hear from you.
If you are planning an environmentally friendly wedding and would like to know any more information about us, our business or the service that we may be able to offer you, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would love to speak to you about your plans.
For lots of green wedding inspiration, check out Green Union. One of our faves!