This is the somewhat self-absorbed page where I blab on about all the wonderful things I’ve done. But the true purpose of including this list on my website is to provide other designers with ideas on what can be done in our industry in order to work together to pave a path of sustainability.
Many designers and design studios who have a passion for sustainability believe if you can give at least 10% of your time or profit to a cause you feel strongly about then that is a fantastic start.
Here is my contribution to date:
MONTHLY DONATIONS (environmental initiative)
Why I support TWS: TWS are working hard to protect Australia’s forests and natural habitats. As a graphic designer I believe I have a responsibility to ensure proper forest management is in place and paper production is carried out in a sustainable way.
Why I support AYCC: I believe it’s incredibly important to empower and educate young people in environmental and social issues. Younger generations are not yet ‘stuck in their ways’ and should realise their potential for influencing progression.
PROVIDING A LOAN WITH GOOD RETURN (social & economic initiative)
Good Return is a social enterprise by World Education Australia that connects Australians to the working poor in the Asia Pacific who need a small loan to start or expand a small business, grow their income, and lift themselves out of poverty. The money lent will be paid back in a 12 month period, and I can then re-lend those funds to another family in need. Good Return delivers the powerful combination of microfinance and education to empower individuals and create long term benefits. Loans are primarily disbursed to women, and have been proven to have a flow on benefit to four other people in her family or community.
PLANTING TREES WITH FIFTEEN TREES (environmental initiative)
Because I am working ‘virtually’ (that is, I have no strict office for most parts of the year) I do a lot of travel while I am working in order to discover this wonderful world we live in. But flying and constant travel are large contributors to global CO2 emissions. For this reason, with a small financial investment I have committed to using a carbon offsetting company that will plant trees on my behalf. These trees will sequester the carbon needed to offset the environmental cost of my travel.
Read more about Fifteen Trees here.
YELL, DON’T WHISPER (social initiative)
Helping non-profits raise their voice
In 2011 I recognised a need for professional design within small non-profit organisations in my area, that don’t have sufficient funding for marketing and design. I could see that with a little bit of help, some of these groups would be given the creative edge they needed in order to get their powerful message across. I approached a number of these organisations and organised a team of young designers to help me complete a number of design projects on a pro-bono (free of charge) basis.
I don’t believe in devaluing the power of design by offering free work. Graphic design is a highly professional service that, when done right, will add a lot of value to a business offering. What I do believe is that designers have a responsibility to utilise their skills within the community when possible, in order to assist those who are unable to find a voice or vehicle to initiate powerful change.