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Eco-Friendly Frames

Eco-Friendly Frames

Published on January, 28 2022 by Emily Jasper

It seems like there is always a “green” or an environmentally friendly way to do almost everything these days. And that doesn’t exclude picture framing. 
Whether it’s knowing what materials are used in the creation of the frames, the type of mat board you can use, and even where you purchase the frame, there are ways you can be sure to have eco-friendly picture frames.

Sustainable Picture Frames

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In order for a frame to be 100-percent eco-friendly, it’s important to know where the wood was sourced and what materials are included. This is crucial for not only the wood itself but the finishes on the frame. Make sure there are no plastic or synthetic materials included in the frame, and that the finish is eco-friendly. 

Eco-friendly finishes are organic and water-based, with no chemicals added. Some framing companies offer frames that have been made with leftover pieces of moulding. We offer wood frames made from finger-jointed wood. Finger-jointing is a process where short lengths of timber are bonded together to produce longer lengths. Finger-jointing reduces wood waste by utilizing shorts to create a dimensionally stable and environmentally friendly product. Others may even get their wood from sustainable forests. Eco-friendly picture frames also include a backing board that is made from 100-percent wood pulp, and the frames have recycled glass.

There are also picture frames made with “rubberwood,” which is quite durable and is made with lumber from a rubberwood tree. What makes the rubberwood material eco-friendly is the tree isn’t cut down and used for lumber until it dies.

Mat Board

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There’s no question that using a mat board in picture frames can add color and dimension to your artwork. Mat board makes the piece look more professional, it keeps the art from coming in contact with the glass and it can add an additional personal touch to your piece. Mat boards are widely used because they enhance the look of a piece, and can even make it look more professional. Luckily for those who like using mat boards as a mount, several different kinds are also safer to use for the environment. Examples of eco-friendly mat boards include artboard, mounting board, and rag mat boards. You want to make sure when purchasing this product that the label says it is made out of 100 percent paper. If you want to use an eco-friendly mat board, there are options. Check the information label next time you’re purchasing a mat board to ensure it has been made out of 100 percent paper. 

Repurposing and Thrifting

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The use of repurposed/reclaimed wood is definitely coming back in style these days. We understand that there is a lot to consider when buying a product online. Some things are obvious: is the product good quality, is the price right, how quickly can I get it? Some things you may not think about automatically are also important considerations. We think one of those things is the commitment a company makes to be as “environmentally friendly” as possible. You may not always have the time to do a lot of research into the issue. So, we’d like to give you some information on how we here at Frames by Mail are committed to being green in every aspect of our business. Our mission is straightforward: to make custom online framing simple, affordable, and fast, leaving you more time (and money) to experience those frameable moments. While we work hard to create those perfect frames for your home, we don’t think the Earth should suffer for it. From the materials we use to the way we use them, our goal is to supply the best U.S.A.-made custom picture frames that are manufactured with sustainability in mind.

Limited Waste

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In all aspects of our lives, the easiest way we can consciously be good to our environment is to simply not waste anything. It applies equally to the framing business. We strive to work efficiently using precision machinery, and that results in having virtually no raw material waste from cutting frame rails, backing, and acrylic. In an industry that averages around 20% scrap, we take pride in the fact that we only have about 2% scrap overall.

Further Use of the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

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Taken in order, we reduce by custom packaging the frames you order. We use corrugated cardboard packaging that is precisely cut to each and every order, meaning that you won’t receive a huge box for one 5”x7” frame. This reduces waste and means we don’t have to ship using bubble wrap (or even paper wrapping) to keep your frames safe. And last but not least, when you receive your frame from us you can recycle every part of our packaging.

Giving Back To Nature

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We believe that in doing all we can to limit our carbon footprint and environmental impact today, these practices will affect our long-term sustainability long into the future.

Environmental Frame Of Mind

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Sure, our mission is to help you with your frame decorating needs, and we love what we are able to create together with our customers. But we think that while doing so, we can also do our part — both on a local and global level — in lessening the harm we as humans have on the environment. 

We hope you have a better understanding of the environmental frame of mind we have here at Frames by Mail and how we are trying to do our part to make the world a greener place. 

If you’re handy with a saw, good with measurements, and have a knack for woodworking, you can take wood that has been thrown away—either after a home demolition or any you can find at a salvage yard—and make your own picture frames. If you’re not too handy with a saw or are nervous about the amount of work it might take just to make a picture frame, thrift, antique stores, and flea markets are excellent places to find picture frames. 

You can take wood that has been thrown away—either after a home demolition or any you can find at a salvage yard—and make your own picture frames. 

By browsing these shops, you’re shrinking your own carbon footprint by repurposing something that’s already been made. And you never know what kind of antique treasures you might find on your trip. What may seem like a boring vintage picture frame can be repurposed into something beautiful. 

Repurposed or reclaimed wood is another excellent picture frame choice that is eco-friendly and safe for the environment. Not to mention, accents of reclaimed wood are making a huge comeback in the interior design world. If you’re handy with a saw, good with measurements, and have a knack for woodworking, you can take wood that has been thrown away—either after a home demolition or any you can find at a salvage yard—and make your own picture frames.

Taking the Guesswork Out of Purchasing an Eco-Friendly Frame

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Sometimes it seems like a lot of extra effort is required to feel like you’re being environmentally and health-conscious. You already have to read all the labels and ingredients on your food at the grocery store, and now you have to worry about checking labels on frames, too? Well, take heart, because some frame manufacturers cut out the guesswork by providing “earth-friendly frames” that already guarantee everything you need in order to go green when framing your pictures.

Aluminum and Steel

Frames by mail blogs | Eco-Friendly Frames
The use of aluminum and stainless steel frames is another hit in the interior design world. More and more we are seeing people use these easily recycled products as intricate home décor. Not only that, aluminum and steel can withstand a lot and are bound to last longer than other types of less sustainable metals. These could add a unique look to your home and your pictures. Once aluminum is smelted, it becomes both recyclable and 100% archival. Similar to aluminum, steel has no “memory” and thus is very easily recycled. 

There are many different ways to frame your images or artwork in a cool and interesting way sustainably. Next time you go to find a picture frame, consider any of these options. Be a part of the move towards a more eco-friendly world.

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