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Greening your studio- are you in on it?


#1

Hi everyone,

My name’s Therese Cruz from Toronto, Canada. I am in the 3-year
Jewellery Arts program at George Brown College and I am currently
doing some research on how jewellers are becoming more
environmentally aware and how they are ‘greening’ their studios. I
was wondering if anyone can help me with this-please feel free to
send me pictures of your ‘green’ studio, tips on how to make your
studio ‘green’ (or how you think you can make your studio green,
etc.),what you are currently doing to be more earth friendly and
anything else of the matter. I really appreciate your help!


#2

Honestly, I’m not sure how “green” certain aspects of a jewelry
studio can be, but I’ve switched to compact fluorescents for my
lights due to a better quality of light, and the fact that I don’t
like burning my hands when I grab my swing arm light to adjust it
while I’m carving.

Anybody else got answers for her?

Lindsay


#3

Some time ago I switched to citric acid pickle, which I feel is
safer… although pH down is pretty safe. Also, since the citric acid
is not affected if iron or steel gets into it, there is less
likelihood of contamination and subsequent disposal.

I use CFLs and fluorescents.

Obviously, all the metal-working materials are retained for
refining, so the amount of actual waste is pretty low.

Love, love, love my tumbler for finishing - cuts down significantly
on the amount of actual wheel buffing needed. Less wheel work is
safer and keeps the air cleaner (even though the polishing hood is
exhausted through a filter).

I’m big on reusing things like peanut butter jar lids to corral
pieces of an item under production.

“Green” also means purchasing items that are made from post-consumer
waste, like boxes, paper, etc. The other half is keeping recyclables
out of the trash by collecting and directing them to a recycling
stream. I have also “saved” several items from the trash and put
them to good use.

All that seems pretty common sense, but if everyone was faithful
about such actions, we’d see a smaller waste stream and all the
concerns that go with it.

Judy in Kansas


#4
The other half is keeping recyclables out of the trash by
collecting and directing them to a recycling stream. 

You are fortunate to live where this is an option. One of the issues
I see in the whole “green” thing, is that the options to “green” are
radically different depending on where you live. Hard to get
everyone on the same page, when we don’t have the same options.

One town in my county has recycling; and that is it. For a while
they had bins where anyone could take their stuff and drop it off,
but that did not last long. So for my entire county there really is
not a recycling option. Sad. I rather suspect that is true of many
rural counties across the country, where the cost of running a
recycling program is prohibitive in relation to the size of the
population and the county.

Beth in SC


#5

Hello Beth

You are fortunate to live where this is an option. One of the
issues I see in the whole "green" thing, is that the options to
"green" are radically different depending on where you live. 

It’s unfortunate that the recycling drive that was in operation
during WWII just disappeared. If you talk to those still alive who
recall how things were during those years, they will tell you how
everyone saved kitchen grease, all kinds of metal, paper, etc. Scout
troops would have metal drives - all to support the war effort.
Whatever happened??

Judy in Kansas, who is enjoying such balmy days and crisp, cool
nights. Time for a blanket.


#6

Hi Judy…just had to pipe in. Here in Denver we homeowners can
have a big purple bin with rollers, in which we can deposit
corrugated cardboard /flattened, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, foil
and pie tins, paperboard (cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, etc);
newspaper, glass bottles and jars; magazines and catalogs, steel cans
and empty aerosol cans, junk mail, phone books, brown paper bags, and
office paper. No plastic bags, tubs or trays, however. They are
picked up every other week. Now something new is going to begin, we
can call in to get a new receptacle to save garbage, coffee grounds
and all related things that have gone in the trash and can be used to
make fuel!

For my studio I have switched to PHDown, thanks to Richard Hart!!!
I supplied each of my students with a new washcloth, in addition,
when the student forgets, we use old washcloths, and rags to wipe the
wet items instead of paper towels. Don’t know if my roses like it or
not, but they are getting the drainings from the flat lap, which go
into a bucket - never down a drain. My tables are covered with
recycling GREEN (HAHA) plastic cloths from the Gem and Mineral Show
tear down.

Rose Marie Christison


#7
It's unfortunate that the recycling drive that was in operation
during WWII just disappeared. If you talk to those still alive who
recall how things were during those years, they will tell you how
everyone saved kitchen grease, all kinds of metal, paper, etc.
Scout troops would have metal drives - all to support the war
effort. Whatever happened?? 

During the war it was cost effective to save and recycle into war
materials. Once the war was over, the economic reality changed. Now
it is only cost effective in areas with large volumes and ready
access to those who will convert the recycled materials into
something else. In areas like mine, with low populations, large
areas, and no converters, it costs more to collect things than you
will get out of them. Then it is only done if the government of the
area is willing to tax the voters to pay for the recycling - and the
voters are willing to be taxed.

As gas costs steadily rise, I suspect more marginal areas will get
out of recycling as the costs involved increase. Sad.

Beth in SC


#8

Here’s a link to “Ethical Metalsmiths”, may have info some are
looking for regarding current work on ethical mining policies and
metals (other than reclaimed):

http://www.ethicalmetalsmiths.org

Tons of online resources on chemical alternatives for cleaning, etc.
which can green your studio as well…

http://tinyurl.com/48wo3z

Lots of resources and tips here…
http://www.cenyc.org/greenlife/detox/cleaningmethods

and here
http://www.thenewhomemaker.com/vinegar

Citric acid rather than Sparex is a common green alternative for
jewelers’ pickle solution… I’ve found that it works best in powder
form (rather than gel) and can be purchased in most groceries - used
for canning fruit. Pouring powder into the water to avoid splashing,
it works best warmed - takes more time to pickle than Sparex but
less harmful to environment. Should still be used with same caution
as other acids…

Jennifer Dewey
Jenn Dewey Designs
www.jennsjewels.com