5 Tips for a Greener Studio


While technology has become more energy efficient over the years, there’s still a lot to be done to improve the environmental impact of imaging products and practices. Whether you’re a pro, gear head, or hobbyist here are some simple things you can do to make the carbon footprint of your photo / video / audio work a little smaller.

1. Plug your gear (laptops, battery chargers, monitors, etc) into a power strip. When not in use, turn the power switch off. Strips with staggered plugs like the Monster Power 8-outlet Power Center or the Belkin 9-outlet Surge Protector make it easy to accommodate lots of equipment with easy access to the on/off switch.

2. Replace your desktop monitor with an LED backlit screen. Apple’s 24” Cinema Display is mercury-free, BRF-free, and employs PVC-free internal cables. Samsung offers the 23” spray paint and VOC-free SyncMaster XL2370. Both displays use less energy than traditional LCDs and significantly less power than CRT units. 

3. Turn your computer off when it’s not in use. By shutting down your machine at night (and during the day when you’re away), you can save almost 90% of the energy that the computer would use if left on. Remember, sleep mode is only for brief idle times. If you’re not using your computer, turn it off!

4. Recycle old equipment. Professional and consumer electronics have short product life cycles. If your business (or desire to always have the latest and greatest) makes you buy a new camera / tv / sound mixer every time something new comes around, don’t just ditch your old stuff. One of the best ways to recycle old equipment is to sell it to our Used Department. If it’s beyond repair, check with your municipal or state government about electronics recycling programs in your area.

5. Get smart about light. Move your desk closer to a window to limit the lamp use -- you’ll get an added vitamin D bonus! If you must use lights at your desk, try compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs. Both last longer and consume less power than incandescent bulbs.

Got a green tip? Post below and help us keep the planet healthy for the next generation of image makers.

David Flores is a photographer and filmmaker based in New York City.

Discussion 7

Add new comment

Add comment Cancel

i like recycle old equipment. and make them useful and full of artical. like make a nice brush pot with a empty bottle; or use broken chairs as pergolar; even i saw some people use a car wheel as traffic road stud in their private garage.

Thank you for this Article.Save greener studios.


1. Plug your gear (laptops, battery chargers, monitors, etc) into a power strip. When not in use, turn the power switch off.

I wonder if this would benefit much to the environment in case of laptops. If you plug it out every day, your battery will be used overnight and will eventually have to be recharged in the morning. That makes a greater usage of battery and will have to be replaced more often. Who knows if saving maybe 40 Whrs overnight is worth buying more batteries, which have terrible impact on the environment.

2. Replace your desktop monitor with an LED backlit screen.

do this only if you are going to buy a new screen. Always remember the life cycle that's going to follow after you dump your old monitor!

4. Recycle old equipment.

lots of people thing that recycling makes them ultimately green. The fact is, that a lot of times, your old tech is transfered back to china (huge carbon footprint) and manually disassembled by children, etc...


Energy conservation signs help to remind us to do the little things that make a big difference, like simply turn off lights!

I have an edit suite that consists of 2 computers, 3 monitors, a few decks, various external drives and a speaker system. I purchased a small device to measure the power consumption of my edit suite (Kill-a-watt is the product name - great device). After measuring the consumption of my entire system TURNED OFF, I realized that it was consuming the equivalent of leaving three 500 watt lamps on for an hour each day. Again, this is with the system entirely "shut down" - not on standby or in sleep mode - completely turned off. Obviously, I deemed this a terrible design flaw of the gear and set out to stop the massive power waste. I have an power backup system through which all the equipment is powered and began cutting the power and turning off the APC whenever I was leaving the house for more than a day. This saved 1.5kwh per day. Gone for a week and I was saving 10kwh - it added up. But shortly after, the power backup died completely (unable to maintain its own batteries without that constant appetite for power being satiated) and the batteries on the motherboards of my computers both died - again, not being recharged constantly killed them. And this with PLENTY of recharge time on the days when I was home and working.

Now, I accept that I don't have any emergency power backup, and have to reset the closck back from January 1, 1980 every time I come home. But I'm saving PILES of energy. If you decide to pull the plug on your system periodically, I highly reccomend it, but also warn that there may be consequences since the equipment is (at least in my case) addicted to constant power waste.

Best luck,

Adam Starr - Winchester, NH

Also another good tip is to juice all your equipment by Solar Energy,  today its not that expensive to buy some solar panels and batteries, you can install them in your studio roof and start  producing your own electric energy.

"To save it just all"