I wish I had been fast enough to buy one of these screen printed posters by Max Tempkin.
A jeweler working in the UK may appear relatively "environmentally friendly" but a single gold ring creates 20 tons of mill waste and the mining industry has been labeled as the single largest polluter in the world.
I just found this info from Ethical metalsmiths.
"Metals mining is responsible for 96% of arsenic emissions and 76% of lead emissions in the United States; each year in the same country mines produce an amount of waste equivalent to almost nine times the rubbish produced by all its cities and towns combined. The metals mining industry employs 0.9% of the global workforce but consumes perhaps 10% of world energy; accidents involving mine wastes including cyanide have contributed to fish kills, water pollution and soil contamination; and with this pollution – considering that about half the gold produced in the world either has come or will come from the lands of indigenous peoples – devastation to local economies, health, and human rights have come also."
Salt glazed stoneware pottery whilst very beautiful is an environmentally harmful process. The long wood firings that create some of the pottery I love best use far more energy and so are far less environmentally friendly than much larger scale semi industrial production. Then there is the issue that many craft makers drive all over the country to sell their work. I have just been spooncarving at Art in Action near Oxford for 4 days. Whilst I carved several dozen spoons which will last many years the diesel used in getting to Oxford and back is significant.
I do care passionately about the environment and feel that use once plastic spoons destined for landfill is simply wrong. I am not sure the small volume at high price produced by many craft makers is the solution to producing our stuff though. I feel there must be a middle way that uses a certain amount of machinery and labour saving to efficiently produce our stuff whilst still providing fulfilling rather than mind numbing work. We also have obviously to reduce our overall consumption and washing spoons instead of binning them would be a good start.