Paperless + Unplugged | A Struggle to Champion Sustainbility in Business and Limit Personal Screen T
So yesterday the wi-fi in my house went out for a few hours...I was working on a scratchboard commission though, so it wasn't a big deal really. I had the reference photo saved on my flash drive, so I didn't need the internet to be productive - it was quiet work time, however, because I couldn't get a connection for my Pandora station (minor disappointment)! After a few hours, though, I thought 'ok, that's enough" and went to reset the router in time to get my afternoon/early evening social media posts out into the world. Overall, not a huge impact on how my day went or what I was able to accomplish, but it made me really think about my dependence on technology. This particular topic is one that I've been playing around with writing about for a while, so it seemed a very relevant time.
As I've mentioned several times on the blog here and on my social media accounts, it is so important to me to run a sustainable and environmentally conscious business (and life!). I've taken steps to reduce the amount of paper that goes in and out of my office, switched to environmentally friendly packaging for the things I need to present professionally to clients, recycle everything appropriately and whenever I can, and am very conscious of the 'extra energy' that is used by devices simply sitting plugged in. I'm proud of the steps I've taken and will continue to do research so I can do even more.
A lot of the solutions I have found involve technology - keeping all files and lists on my devices, automating my communication systems with clients, marketing online and via email, using online accounting software, etc... etc... The systems are streamlined, efficient, and almost always accessible - my business is at my fingertips, literally!
It is also no secret that I LOVE being outside, seek the solitude of remote locations, and really need that time away from everything to recharge. One of the great things about hiking and backpacking is that I am frequently in places that don't have cell reception (and if they do, it's just enough to make an emergency phone call if necessary - no posting to instagram there). I always have my phone on me (safety first), but I like to put it in my pack and keep it away for the most part. Now that I am a full-time artist and portrait photographer, I don't like to travel with my camera as much on personal trips (the thought of accidentally dropping it off a mountain is terrifying), so my phone does come out for the occasional photo. I enjoy UNPLUGGING and being alone with my thoughts. The world is so beautiful and I know I miss so much of it because I'm always distracted.
I won't lie, I'm guilty of almost always having my phone at an arms distance and checking social media a few too many times in a day. I struggle to balance this world of 'no paper' where devices are our lifelines and offices come to a screaming halt when systems go down and my other world of wildlife + wild natural lands, sustainability + conservation, and intentional solitude. I don't have a good solution to this new problem, but I know that I need to put the phone away for a few more hours each day and let social media do its thing without me. It's an imperfect system and we are an imperfect people, but we can do it! I'll be doing my best to create even more balance this year. Do your work and then do your life - be present for it all! (And it's okay to document it, if that's your thing!)