Every year as Earth Day rolls around, we’re reminded of the importance of preserving and protecting the planet. For most of us, our best contribution towards that effort is to be conscious in the daily choices we make in our own lives - from the household materials we use to the kind of cars we drive. And of course, that same consciousness can apply to custom framing choices as well.
So in celebration of Earth Day this April 22, we’re rounding up a few of our favorite environmentally thoughtful custom framing options.
Wood in and of itself is a biodegradable and renewable product but there are choices when it comes to the type of wood, from reclaimed wood frames to FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. With many of our lines imported exclusively from Europe, the European Union is progressive in its requirements to comply with responsible harvesting of forests and restrictions on the use of harmful chemicals for stains and finishes.
There’s also the option of wood veneers - like our new Renzo line. Wood veneers are eco-friendly in that it uses less tree to wrap a moulding in a thin layer of walnut veneer than it does solid walnut.
Reclaimed wood is a great choice as it reuses and repurposes materials. In the store, we carry thousands of options in natural and reclaimed woods - like the Urban Ashes line out of Detroit. This line features frames made from fallen emerald ash bore trees, as well as various other salvaged hardwoods like cherry, walnut, maple and pine that for one reason or another would normally be discarded as waste.
Somewhat similar in appearance to wood frames, bamboo is actually the fastest growing plant on the planet. Its short growth cycle makes it an enduring natural resource and infinitely renewable. Our new Bambu line is an eco-friendly collection milled from bamboo plywood offered in nine water-based colors. It looks terrific on Japanese prints, travel photography, kids’ masterpieces and abstract art.
ALUMINUM + STEEL
Believe it or not, aluminum is actually the #1 most eco-friendly moulding one can choose. Once the metal is smelted, it becomes both recyclable and 100% archival. It is also a sturdy, high quality choice guaranteed to last.
Similar to aluminum, steel has no “memory” and thus is very easily recycled. While usually considered an industrial look for modern art and photography, we often recommend a steel frame for wedding photography and ketubahs. These frames really reflect the idea of permanence and a welded bond for life.
Cotton is naturally free of any chemicals or pollutants and is also an annually renewable resource. It is both biodegradable and recyclable making it very environmentally friendly.
Like you, we’ve made choices in how we run things at Artists Frame Service to do our part too. We recycle all our glass and scraps. We reuse overstock mouldings to reduce waste. Not to mention our inter-office recycling of paper, shipping and receiving materials and outdated computer equipment.
Want to learn more about our eco-friendly framing options and choices? Get in touch with us - we’d love to walk you through it. And if you’re looking for ways to get out and make a difference this Earth Day in Chicago, check out the plethora of free events throughout the city here.