How to be a more eco aware artist is a question that creeps up all the time. So many artists that I speak to are thinking about ways to make more environmentally friendly and kinder to our planet.

I, for one, am trying to be more aware of where materials come from, how to package things, and if I can, support local businesses in some way or another.

I shared a video this week where I was joined by other artists and we discussed how to become a more eco aware artist. We all shared our views, thoughts and tips. If you missed this one, you can watch it below or listen over on our Your Art Matters podcast.

So here are some key points to consider if you are thinking about, or trying to become more environmentally friendly artists. I really hope this helps you!

Sourcing your materials

Start to really think about where you get your materials from.

Think emissions – rather than running to an art shop or ordering online could you source these from a local second-hand store? What do your local charity shops have? If you can, why not walk there and take a look.
Perhaps you can source some of the materials you need from places like Facebook Marketplace. Look for groups on Facebook for artists. Another great way to find second-hand items.

Try switching your brushes to synthetics. Keep old jars, pots and tins to use for paints and to store your brushes in. It doesn’t cost you anything. Simply wash them when you’re done with them and they are good to go.

The clean up

When you are done making, consider how you clean up. Are the cleaning products you are using eco friendly? Are you running the hot water for a long time to clean brushes or palettes? If so, try filling a bowl with warm water and cleaning them that way.

What do you do with your leftover paints? Can you create an abstract piece with them? Can you cover them so they don’t dry out so you can reuse them?

Try and find a system that works for you and your art. This isn’t a one size fits all rule here. It’s an ‘each to their own’.


When you are sending your work to a buyer, how do you package it? Where are you sourcing it from?
Consider reusing old packaging. Boxes, plastic wrap and filling paper. These are the things that you’ll often have around the house. When you get a delivery, store the boxes and wrapping to reuse when sending your art to buyers.

Your carbon footprint when selling – do you know what that is? You should question your shipping policies. Do you ship worldwide? Can you and your collectors consider a slower shipping method that is more environmentally friendly?

In fact, there are several websites that will help you to calculate your carbon footprint. You could help offset it; you can make a donation or consider having trees planted for every sale and shipment.
Supporting others

Can you find and use a local small business to either source materials or mediums? Check your local options, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

The key points

I hope this has given you some food for thought. Here are the key points to take away and think about:

  • What materials are you using? Can you change any of these or where you source them from?
  • Cleaning up. Could you be using eco-friendly alternatives?
  • How are you packing and shipping your pieces? Are the materials you are using biodegradable?
  • What is your carbon footprint, do you know?
  • Small, local businesses. Check them out to see if they can source more eco-friendly options for you.
    I’d love to hear from you all. What are your views on this? How are you trying to be more eco aware?

This isn’t something you have to do but small changes can make a big difference in the long run so why not give it a go!

You’ve got this!
Michelle x