Is one way to hang a picture or a mirror in a frame any more "green" than another?
This one gave us pause -- but upon reflection, we think yes, there are some things you can do that make a difference.
It depends on what you're framing. First, we'd ask if you need a frame in the first place: if you're hanging a mass-produced print or poster, Jorgen Møller's poster hanger, shown above, is a simple, good looking solution. It's mostly aluminum, which means it can easily be recycled, and it uses a lot less material than a typical frame or dry mount.
If you really need a frame, here's our advice:
- We'd go for glass instead of plastic; the polycarbonate used in high-quality picture frames is one of the more toxic plastics to produce. Also, plastic has a natural static charge, which means it attracts dust. Glass stays cleaner and won't scratch easily.
- For material, check out lightweight, minimally finished metal or solid wood frames. We'd also forgo anything with a metallic finish -- as a rule, those pigments tend to be less toxic. If you're concerned about indoor air quality, then also avoid frames made of engineered wood or chipboard.
- Avoid dry mounting. There's volatile adhesive and lacquer involved.
- If you're planning to use a matte in your frame, inquire at the frame shop if there are recycled-content options available, but make sure that the material is archival quality. There's no sense in ruining a fine photograph or work of art.