Sustainability at Kairos Klay
2021 Goals: Accomplished!
The Reclaim Bucket: The Latest in Low-Tech Sustainability Practices
Sometimes, this happens. Not very often…but sometimes.
Usually when I’m distracted by the cat.
Or plotting revenge against my enemies.
When Good Clay Goes Bad
Clay is inexpensive, and somewhat time consuming to reclaim, so it’s a big temptation to just toss it when good clay goes bad. However, I’ve found that I can responsibly toss it…into the reclaim bucket.
In addition to my reclaim bucket, I also poured a plaster slab this year, which assists with drying out wet clay. I let the clay dry in my reclaim bucket, break it into small pieces, cover it with water and mix it, then plop it on to the plaster slab. The next day it’s ready to be be wedged and reused.
This simple system has enabled me to reuse more than 100 lbs of clay this year which otherwise would have been sent to a landfill. To give you an idea, that’s 200 spoon rests, or 28 kitchen crocks, or 100 beer glasses. Good stuff.
2022 Goals: Accomplished!
Pottery requires a considerable amount of packaging to adequately protect it on its journey from my house to yours. As of April, 2022, I’ve shifted away from using bubble wrap to using and reusing cardboard to protect my little beauties on their journey through the mail. This changes my packaging footprint to about 25% reused, and 99% biodegradable content.
In-House Glaze Production
I’ve been working (very) hard for the past six months mixing and developing in-house glazes, and have moved my production away from manufactured glazes entirely. This eliminates most of the ecological costs of transport, shipping, and plastic packaging that using commercial glazes entailed. It also enables me to increase my support of a local small business from whom I acquire most of my glaze materials. Win-win.
Solar Powered Kiln
Kairos Klay’s small-batch pottery studio is located in the basement of our house, and me and mine are eager to install solar panels on our roof in the near future. The house and roof are small, so it’s unclear at this time if we’ll be able to generate all the power needed for the electric kiln, but we hope to offset the vast majority of it and to contribute solar power to our community when the kiln isn’t in use via the grid.