Earth Day: Solar Long to Waste

With its rustic warehouse charm, our studio may be one of the coolest working spaces in town.As we reflect on Earth Day, we wanted to highlight some features and practices beyond aesthetics that make us a little less of a jerk to Mother Earth.

One of our goals is to sustainably manage our business and thanks to our creative staff, we've embraced ways to reduce our energy and water consumption, leaving less of an impact on the environment.

Solar Panels:Our roof houses a 137-panel solar array that generates between 25-30% of our electricity. When you think about the needs of a studio that operates three working kitchens with industrial appliances and camera/lighting equipment, that small percentage makes a huge difference.

Energy Reduction: In efforts to “green” our studio, we added foam insulation around windows and drafty nooks and crannies to keep heat (and A/C loss) a minimum. Two fireplaces also help to maintain a constant temperature, and when the weather is really nice, we turn the thermostat to "off" and open the doors.

Water: We also equip the studio with energy- and water-efficient dishwashers and a washer/dryer.

Lighting: The majority of the light bulbs in the studio are either LED, compact fluorescent or fluorescent to minimize electricity expenditures.

Recyling: In addition to recycling glass, plastic and paper, we also recycle our food. Clarissa Westmeyer, photographer, is a "mom" to several chickens. After meals and between food shoots, we place scrap food in buckets for chicken feed.

Our studio also avoids the use of plastic cups and plates -- every meal is eaten with washable tableware and dishware.

Donations: Being green also means reducing landfill waste. We donate leftover food still in packaging to food shelters and organizations like the Cleveland Food Bank. Leftover building materials from sets are given to Habitat for Humanity and similar charities. Extra props are provided to the Salvation Army.

We're constantly striving for more ways to be green. If you have any tips, we're all ears.