Sustainability At Our Core

Sustainability At Our Core

The art industry can be quite wasteful. Like many other industries reliant on profit, the art industry supports consumerism. From encouraging artists and hobbyists to fill entire rooms in their homes with art supplies, to encouraging buyers to fill every inch of wall space with a new piece of art, buy, buy, BUY is the message. And, unfortunately, it is this consumerism, the wanton mining of our earth for materials and then replacing it with unusable trash, that is destroying our planet. 

But art is valuable. 

Art is intrinsic to the human experience. 

It is woven into the fabric of our evolution and history. 

And it can inspire change.

At Sage Leaf Studio, we’re committed to help change the art community's narrative. Everyone loves art. There's no changing the fact that people will continue to create and consume art. I LOVE to create and consume art, but I believe we can do it more consciously, with purpose, and in ways that have less devastating impacts on the Earth's features that bring us so much inspiration. 

At Sage Leaf Studio, we believe in providing quality, cost-effective, sustainable art for our Earth-loving community. We scrutinize our business at every level for environmental impacts and are always learning and improving. While we’re not perfect, we try to choose the option that is closest to our sustainability goals even if it means a little more work or cost to us. Luckily, the art and printing worlds are growing in their sustainable options. This will only get better as we and other artists put pressure on vendors to offer more sustainable options.

The goal is to identify ways our art community can reduce, reuse, and recycle. Here are some ways we minimize our footprint and increase our studio sustainability at every level that you might also find helpful:

Switch to Watercolors:  I used to be an oil and acrylic painter. I had always avoided watercolors for the lack of control I had over them (aka no skill). Admittedly, oil and acrylic are much more forgiving mediums when it comes to achieving some desired effects, but they are much less forgiving on the environment and the human body. They require oils, chemicals, solvents, and plastics to create, package, and clean up after. I love the art produced with acrylics and oils, and I made the conscious decision to switch to watercolors. Watercolors are beautiful and provide me a new skill challenge to work towards. I'm not saying everyone has to or should make this switch, but if you're interested in watercolors, or are already painting with watercolors, there are also some great eco-friendly options I use, such as Daniel Smith's Environ-Friendly line of watercolor paints and QOR watercolors - both are also vegan!

Sunrise of Flatirons in watercolor
Sunrise Over Flatirons in watercolor

Original Artwork: 90% of our materials are environmentally and home friendly, including paints, papers, and brushes. We believe that using eco-friendly materials is not only better for the environment but also for the health of our artists and customers. Some of our favorite watercolor papers are Strathmore  and Fabriano for being acid-free and vegan and, though much pricier, Hahnemuhle for their truly eco-papers made from agave, hemp, and bamboo. Princeton watercolor brushes are also great, using synthetic bristles instead of those from animals. Craftamo has a set of synthetic bristle, bamboo handle, with recycled ferule brushes that I am dying to try! They are definitely not cheap. If you try them, let me know how you like them!


Craftamo eco-friendly paint brushes


Prints & Canvasses: We use archival quality 100% recycled canvases and Forest Stewardship Counsel (FSC) certified papers. They are acid-free and are printed with water-based inks. Canvases are also stretched on FSC certified frames. This ensures that our prints and canvases are better for your home and the environment.

Shipping: We don’t carry inventory. This means less production and waste. We partner with Prodigi, a US-based print-on-demand company with centers all over the world that print at the nearest center to your shipping address and then ship directly to you. This greatly reduces our carbon footprint.

Daily Operations: We dispose of paint waste in the trash, NOT the sink to protect our waterways and soil. We recycle old paintings for new uses. We purchase art materials from our local art reuse center in Boulder when possible, AND we use an electric vehicle to get to inspiring locations. We believe that small changes can make a big difference in reducing our environmental impact.

We’re also raising awareness with other artists about the importance of eco-friendly art. We believe that by working together, we can create a more sustainable future in the art industry. We encourage artists to use eco-friendly materials and to reduce their environmental impact wherever possible. We are starting to roll out more of this educational material here on The Sage Creative blog and on Instagram at @sage_leaf_studio. Check it out!

In conclusion, eco-friendly art is an important part of our commitment to sustainability. At Sage Leaf Studio, we’re dedicated to providing quality, cost-effective, sustainable art for our Earth-loving community. We believe that by using eco-friendly materials and reducing our environmental impact, we can create a more sustainable future for everyone. We ask you to consider ways that you can reduce, reuse, and recycle. Just little changes every day can amount to big differences over years. We'd love to hear about what you choose to do! Share in the comments or send us a DM on Instagram.

Thanks for reading and have a sage day!

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