The desire to live as eco-friendly of a lifestyle as possible can easily be thwarted by a lack of knowledge about certain topics. For example, people who love art may not realize that some artwork is not created in an eco-friendly way. Fortunately, however, there has been a big push among both artists and print-on-demand shops to create artwork that environmentalists can be proud to hang on their walls.
What Makes a Printed Piece of Art Eco-Friendly?
If you are purchasing a piece of art on paper, you should focus on artists and print shops that offer their work on recycled or acid-free paper. As a bonus, when a piece of printed art is made with acid-free paper and inks, it will retain its original look for a much longer period of time. In fact, printed pieces of art that are created for a museum are almost exclusively done with acid-free paper and inks to provide the museum with an archival quality piece of art. By taking an eco-friendly stance and purchasing art that was created in the same way, you can live up to your ideals and have a high quality piece that can become a family heirloom.
Art that is printed on recycled paper may not have the same archival quality properties as acid-free paper, but it is typically a less expensive option for owning and displaying eco-friendly art. If you are interested in buying an inexpensive print that you do not plan to keep on your wall forever, then selecting a piece that was printed on recycled paper is a great choice, too.
As we all know, there are an abundance of man-made materials and objects that cannot be recycled using traditional methods. To compensate, many artists have decided to create works of art utilizing mostly old materials. By taking common items that are no longer conventionally useful and turning them into a new sculpture, for example, artists are able to create something unique while also keeping the materials that they selected from ending up in a landfill. Again, this is a great way to preserve the environment and create a beautiful piece of artwork to be enjoyed in someone’s home.
Before you purchase any type of artwork directly from an artist or retailer, you should ask them which materials they used. If they did not use eco-friendly materials such as acid-free papers and other environmentally safe elements, consider asking them if this option is available. Many artists do not use acid-free papers and inks because it is more expensive, but they will most likely be willing to do a custom order for you.
If you are purchasing art from a print shop or a third-party seller, they should have options available for selecting eco-friendly materials. Keep in mind that the paper itself is not the only thing that you need to be concerned about. Make sure that you select an acid-free mat when you are getting your art prints framed. There are several types of acid-free mats available, but the ones that are marked as 100 percent acid-free, or as archival quality, will provide you with the most eco-friendly option. Mats that are not 100 percent acid-free will still have some acid within their core, and this will eventually damage the art print.
It is often challenging to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, especially when it comes to decorating your home. With a little research and investigation, you will be surprised at how many artists and art dealers are also trying to be more environmentally conscious by producing artwork that is beautiful as well as safe for our planet. If everyone does their part, the planet we call home will not only be aesthetically pleasing, but environmentally sound for generations to come.
Karla M. Somers is a graphic designer and writer who believes in recycling everything. She is a contributing author for Artismo.com, an online distributor of custom framed art prints and home decor. The skilled artisans at Artismo.com use the highest quality materials to produce art prints framed only with acid-free mats. Every item is assembled entirely by hand at their location in the United States.