On one hand, striving to live Zero Waste requires discipline and committing to the principles of minimalism. But at times, my fierce commitment to this goal has overshadowed the simple sentimental pleasures in life that bring us joy; like displaying family photos. We have exactly, zero. Isn’t that sad? I struggle with the fact that photos are not recyclable. Traditional photo printing paper is coated with polythene, which reduces drying time and water absorption, but this means photos are a non-recoverable item that will one day be destined for landfill.

On the other hand, nostalgia is one of the most extraordinary sensations we experience in life. And, for each of us the sounds, sights and smells that trigger feelings of nostalgia are different; save one universal exception – photographs. Photographs of the people we love, the places we’ve visited, the adventures we’ve been on have the capacity to draw us back in time, allowing us to re-live those precious moments. For me, nothing compares to curling up on my Dad’s couch with our family photos. Even now, I remember how the album covers feel and how the sticky plastic covers on each page crinkle as they release from one page to the next when turned. Photos are tangible memories, a part of our legacy, and are often the possessions we cherish the most in life.

Luckily for me, The Universe decided to aid me in my plight, and I was contacted by a forward-thinking photo imaging company, Fracture. They asked me if was interested in participating in their October #FocusOnMoments campaign. Before, agreeing to participate in their campaign (more on that soon), I needed to learn more about their product and their commitment to sustainability. Here’s what I learned:

  • Fracture prints images directly on glass (not plexiglass, not Lexan and not a mix material with paper) this is important to note because those other items are not easily recycled and therefore often not accepted in curbside programs.
  • Fracture’s design is unique and intentionally minimal with no frame required, and they are ready to display the moment you receive your package, using a metal display stand or wall-mount screw, that is provided.
  • One of the company’s early goals was to be carbon-neutral. Through adopting an attitude of energy conservation inside the warehouse, maximizing natural light in their offices and planting trees, Fracture has achieved a carbon-neutral status.
  • Fracture recycles all excess un-used glass, in the warehouse.
  • Fracture ships your package with sustainability in mind, using 99% renewable & recyclable materials that are intentionally designed to be lightweight thus requiring less energy to transport.
  • Fracture is changing their design to be 100% recyclable. It’s important to acknowledge that no one imagines throwing their precious photos in the trash, however the reality is, one day, far far into the future, your images will be discarded. And, for me, there is peace-of-mind in knowing there are photo printing options that do not need to end up in the waste stream. Currently, the only component of the Fracture that is not recyclable is the foam backing used to preserve the image, this component will be changing to a recyclable backing in the next 16 months.

On my journey to live sustainably, one value that is important to me is to support sustainable business practice. However, this can be tricky to navigate at times, as two fundamental principles of living zero waste that compete with this value are to choose second hand whenever possible, and to challenge our wants vs our needs.

While purchasing second hand photos of other people, vice printing our own, has a certain humorous appeal, it doesn’t really apply in this situation. But challenging our wants vs needs absolutely applies. But, understanding Fracture’s commitment to sustainable business practice and reflecting on the importance of displaying our family’s most precious moments made partnering with Fracture an easy decision.

Fracture’s #FocusOnMoments campaign reflects their commitment to the environment, and, hopefully inspires you to act! Their campaign challenges you to get outside and start taking images of nature, of yourself in nature, or of you doing something positive for nature (such as a beach cleanup, planting a tree, growing a garden – you get the idea).

Sometimes, the first step is as simple as getting back into nature to remind us of her fragility and evoke that protective sense of responsibility that is within each of us. We need to change the narrative from, “but what can I do as an individual?” to “look at the positive steps I am taking”.

Follow Fracture on Instagram, @fractureme, and share your photo and story tagging #FocusOnMoments

On October 27th Fracture will announce 20 winners, YES you read that right, who will each receive 135 USD worth of Fractures.

Check out Fracture here to learn more or shop now using discount code: PAREDOWN10