Over the last few years, we have been evaluating the environmental impact of running a pottery studio. We have made steps in our practice and process towards making some small changes that we hope will make a difference.
The studio signed up as a Climate Positive Workplace through Ecologi in 2020.
Through this scheme we work towards pledges and goals to keep us focused and commit to buying trees each month to be planted in reforestation projects around the world.
You can see how we are progressing by checking out our forest www.ecologi.com/seadriftpottery
To protect your pots in the post we need good packing materials. We use surplus packaging from deliveries made to other local businesses and individuals so we can reuse it and save it from going straight into landfill.
For over 3 years now the pottery has been supplied with enough donated packing materials to reuse for all the purchases from the online shop and we ask each customer if you can reuse it again too . Not only has this been a win for the environment but it's a win for you too as we have kept costs low and can continue to offer free UK delivery.
A pottery studio is traditionally good at recycling and reusing clay and water, so thankfully very little is wasted. In the spirit of this tradition, we have looked into more ways we can recycle, reuse and repurpose around the studio.
buckets once holding paint or grout now provide containers for glazes and slips
tools, formers, shelving and storage are often reused from something else
rags and cloths to clean up have come from old towels
plastic wrapping from online clothing purchases is now used in the studio to wrap pots and hold moisture levels
our clay bags are 100% recyclable, so we make sure they get washed and sent for recycling
We make good use of our on-site recycling bins for all recyclable waste
It is really hard to analyze this aspect for our studio but we are trying to take on the challenge. Some changes we are actively trying out are:
cutting down on additional travel by car: only one car journey each week takes online purchases to the post office. The other journeys are cycled or walked.
minimising delivery of clay and materials: we order clay from Ireland which is our closest direct supplier and only order materials in big batches.
promote postage of workshop pots rather than collecting if you have travelled a distance which avoids extra car journeys
Assessing which of our raw materials (which are often metal oxides or minerals) we could do without
The studio can get really cold in winter months and it's tempting to have a number of heaters both electric and gas on to combat this.
However we are embracing magical warming natural fibres instead to keep toasty. Works a treat! Plus, once they wear out they can be cut up and composted...but I hope that won't be any time soon.
If you have any more ideas for us then get in touch!