Many of you know that I live my life consciously, always aware of my impact on the environment. I’ve had this awareness since I was a very young girl with my connection to the land and the balance of life that is a circle of life, has always been a part of me. The other day I read a sensible article at PopPhoto about ways to be a greener photographer. One of the points the author of the article made used an apt twist on Mahatma Ghandi’s quote, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
Shoot the Change you Want in the World:
I’ve been making an attempt to incorporate more environmentally-friendly practices with my photography but he suggested something that really should have been obvious to me. Not only should we be aware of how we shoot and the practices we incorporate but that awareness should organically flow into what we shoot. Granted, I do take a lot of photos of my personal environment and the nature I live within but there is more.
I hadn’t really thought that the images I shoot, or at least some of them, could also serve to illustrate or represent solutions or simply showcase environmental problems.
Thus, the reason for taking and including this image of the egg cartons. We shop locally for many products, as much as what is available. Every week we attend the Farmer’s Market and purchase all our eggs, fresh produce, local meat (lamb, bison, pork in particular), locally made preserves, and occasionally gift items as well. We bring along our own reuseable cloth bags and, in the case of eggs we always return the egg cartons to the vendor from whom we purchase our eggs. I detest the styrofoam egg cartons because they are so intensely harmful to our environment but at least if we keep them recycling there will be less need for more to be made. The rare time we have to buy eggs at the store (in winter) we select our eggs based on the carton: if the carton is made from recycled paper, that’s our choice; styrofoam gets a pass.
It’s one small thing, but if more of us did one small thing, they all add up to make a big difference. The change we want in the world.
It’s the small things I focus on in my weekly environment column, “Everyday Earth Wise”, for a local newspaper. In the most recent archived column that you can now read online, if you wish, I addressed some small yet simple ways we can conserve water. Click on that link if you’re interested in reading the archived column. (Reminder: the newspaper does not leave these archived columns up for a long time so if it’s something you’re interested in, please print it out for future reference.)
So tell me this, what simple thing do you practice to see the change you want in the world (or what simple change can you adopt)? If you have taken a photo shooting the change you want in the world, please leave a link here and I’ll come take a look!
Diane is an environmentally conscious on-location lifestyle photographer based from Grande Prairie, Alberta. Visit Diane Schuller Photography.