I used to print photos as scarves on fabric but guess what? The supply of sustainable fabrics such as lyocell became erratic even before the pandemic. My small start-up business faltered and was suspended when the last two week turnaround took order almost two months to fulfil.
In truth, I really want to follow sustainable paths but increasingly think they are illusory. Not one of the companies I’ve found in these two islands can get it together to produce my products with sustainable materials. So now that I’m doing monthly chapbooks, I’m using an industrial printer and they’re doing a great job. Reliable and repeatable.
And that’s frustrating, to say the least, especially for someone like me that wants to have the work all done sustainably and in Ireland. I’m prepared to pay the far higher rates implicit in that ambition. But I can’t sustain it.
I’d love to write in my blogs and in conjunction with my business associates to say the paper and inks used in my photozines are Irish, sustainable and that our next focus is on replanting trees. Right now all I can do is vent.
And we all know that venting is bad for the planet.
And besides, carbon reductions with trees isn’t as easy as you think. The argument starts with the fact that trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for growth, convert it to sugars and wood and release pure oxygen back to the atmosphere. If that’s all that trees did, then we’d be sure to offset our carbon. Mind you, global reforestation may not be able to happen in time to make a difference for climate change.
But there’s are other issues too. Not all trees are the same. Not all trees are absorb more carbon dioxide than they create. For example, you might be clearing something that’s already scrubbing CO2 in order to plant a tree. And of course there’s root action in soils that may have already sequestered vast amounts of carbon dioxide. Or perhaps the aerosols trees release are affecting global warming by trapping heat. These are the aerosols that carry the smell of pine and eucalyptus.
On balance, trees are a great long term assistance if placed in the right places, of suitable species and in sufficient numbers. It’s never too late to start. Meantime, the real issue is the 8 billion of us that is predicted to be 12 billion by 2050.
You may be interested in these articles:
1) NASA 2019: Examining the Viability of Planting Trees to Help Mitigate Climate Change
2) BBC Future 2020: Planting trees doesn’t always help with climate change
– If you are interested in my chapbooks, send me a message here while we are still setting up Bracket Books Ireland.
– Or you may be interested in my scarves at FabHappy. And there are more ideas (pictured above) that I could print:
a) Fountain Slates I from ‘Seven Sisters Towers’ by Daniel Harvey Heather Ackroyd 1995 as seen in Kew Gardens in 2019.
b) Tate Modern Lights, as seen in the Blavatnik building 2018.
c) Bathroom Tableau as seen at home in 2015.