Why Green Paws Photography?
What’s in a name? When I found out I was moving to Austin, one of the most dog-friendly and vegan-friendly cities in the US, I knew it would be home! My love of animals doesn’t end with dogs, and Austin seemed like the perfect place to focus my business to reflect my love of dogs and other animals, my cruelty-free lifestyle, and commitment to preserving and protecting the environment. I created Green Paws Photography as a unique new brand apart from my business of 9 years, Candid FX Photography. Green is the color of nature, life, energy, and the environment. At Green Paws Photography we are leading the way in “Green Photography” by providing clients with an Eco-friendly and cruelty-free product line. We are committed to offering sustainable and ethical products and services to our Austin area clients.
My fondness and appreciation for all living creatures led to my concern for the environment and the alarming rate at which we are losing the biodiversity on this plant…60% of all wildlife has been lost in the past 50 years! I began paying particular attention to environmental factors that were causing this loss in biodiversity and climate change. It was no surprise to find that the livestock industry is responsible for over 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than the entire transport sector (planes, trains, cars, trucks, buses, etc.) combined. Animal agriculture is also responsible for almost 85% of deforestation, the major contributor to air and water pollution, and uses 70% of the world’s fresh water.
Putting aside the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, or the billions of lives lost annually, many other human activities are having devastating effects on our environment. Believe it or not, this includes the photography industry! Aside from the use of paper, I was shocked to find out how many unsustainable and non-vegan products are out there. I’m not talking about just leather albums or use of paper. Many professional and retail photo labs do not follow environmentally responsible practices, use harsh chemicals, do not manage waste or energy usage, and use unsustainable materials. In fact, most photo labs use paper from non-sustainable sources, and inks and paper emulsions that contain animal byproducts like gelatin and animal-derived glycerin.
Making a truly Eco-friendly product keeps both the environment and human safety in mind. The product should be non-toxic, use sustainably grown ingredients, and be produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem. Organic ingredients or materials are grown without toxic pesticides or herbicides. Products should be made from recycled materials, such as glass, wood, metal, or plastic, whenever possible. Products should be biodegradable and break down through natural decomposition. The printing process itself can release ultra-fine particles made of volatile organic-chemical substances. An environmentally minded printer should use the Eco-friendliest papers available, reduce toxic chemicals, recycle ink and solvents, and use soy or other vegetable inks when available.
Though it is impossible for these photo labs to be entirely “Green”, I have found some that are taking big steps to reduce their environmental footprint, with recycling programs, use of sustainable materials, solar energy, smart packaging, FSC® Certified, locally sourced materials, vegan papers, and inks, etc. Basically, they are stepping forward in the industry and standing behind their Eco-credentials.
In a nutshell (I love nuts), I chose to be Vegan primarily for the well-being of animals, myself, and the planet. At present, our entire civilization is based on the exploitation of animals, which makes ethical veganism a difficult road to navigate, but a challenge worth the effort. I have been a vegetarian for almost 35 years and a vegan for many of those. I have a deep appreciation for all animals and I simply adore dogs! I have three dogs, which you can read more about on the “About” page. My dogs are super spoiled and also happen to be vegan. A vegan diet for dogs is great for their health, great for their fellow animals, and great for the planet. Since dogs are omnivores, they can not only thrive on a plant-based diet, but it also helps them live their healthiest life. Switching my dogs to a vegetarian diet was not something I dove into lightly. I made the decision after extensive research and consultations with UC Davies Veterinary Nutrition Specialists. The first of my dogs to go on a vegetarian diet was my little Kiko. After veterinary diets failed to deal with his ongoing Oxalate stone issue, I developed a homemade vegetarian diet with the help of specialists at UC Davis. My Belgian, Loki, who was only a year at the time, was the next to switch to a vegetarian diet. I struggled with Loki’s diet for the first year with gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea, loose stools, loss of appetite, and vomiting. It was finally determined he had meat allergies (beef, chicken, and fish products) and a vegetarian diet was one of the recommended diets for food allergies. Loki is now over 14 years old and we never looked back! The two new additions that we adopted in 2016, Jax and Cooper, were both quickly transitioned onto vegan diets and loving it! If you would like to learn more about vegan dogs, send me a message and I would be happy to answer your questions.
How is Green Paws Photography Eco-friendly?
I’m glad you asked! At Green Paws Photography we are committed to the Four Rs: Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, and Rescue! We offer professional custom dpg portraits with an Animal and Eco-Friendly product line. I carefully selected the perfect product line that balances Eco-minded art with exceptional quality. To learn more about our product line, check out Products under the Info tab in the menu above.
Below are some of the steps Green Paws Photography has taken to provide the most environmentally and ethically friendly dog photography experience to our very special clients.
- Green powered web host server that uses an environmentally responsible platform. (Learn more about “Green” web hosting at Green Geeks Web Hosting)
- Partnered with professional photo labs that offer “Green Products” using Eco- and animal-friendly substrates and environmentally responsible production. Including:
- Locally sourced materials to eliminate unnecessary transportation and shipping.
- FSC certified Shipping boxes and wood products.
- Use of waste recycled printers; recycling their waste and inks.
- Water-based, non-toxic inks and coatings to print and protect fine art papers.
- High quality Alpha-cellulose and Bamboo fine art papers and acid-free mats.
- Archival pigment-based printing that uses fewer toxic chemicals than traditional photographic prints and less waste.
- Giclee refined inkjet printing with archival inks.
- Eco-friendly hand-crafted photo boxes.
- Nontoxic, acid-free, and biodegradable adhesives.
- Natural cotton cover materials.
- Press-print company that uses solar panels to offset energy. Plant-based or inorganic papers. Minimal use of marketing material and what is used is made from 100% recycled paper or 100% cotton and sustainable soy inks.
- Electronic agreements and releases and online paperless product catalogue.
- We recycle everything; paper, glass, plastics, cardboard, packaging, aluminum etc.
- A home studio means no daily commute = less gas, fewer emissions. When I do drive, it’s in my Energy Efficient “Green” Mini Cooper.
- Our products are as Eco-friendly as possible and all materials are 100% vegan.
- Cruelty-free – we provide homemade dog treats made from healthy and natural ingredients like peanut butter, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, blueberries, coconut, etc.
- Promoting and supporting rescues and shelters through donations, events, and sponsorships. And of course rescuing!
At Green Paws Photography we are reducing our carbon pawprint one photo session at a time. Preserving your memories while also preserving the environment. I believe we can create an ethical, compassionate, and sustainable world for all living beings!