Sustainability at Kairos Klay
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. The seal of the lid lets in just enough air to slowly dry out the used clay, which can then be re-wedged and reused.
In addition to my reclaim bucket, I also poured this plaster slab this year, which assists with drying out really, really wet clay.
The combination of these simple systems have 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 34 kitchen crocks, or 100 beer glasses. Good stuff.
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 new bubble wrap to reusing cardboard to protect my little beauties on their journey through the mail. This changes my packaging footprint to about 35% recycled, and 99% biodegradable.
In-House Glaze Production
Kairos Klay currently uses commercial glazes on all its products. I will begin phasing these out in 2022, eliminating many of the ecological costs of transport, shipping, and plastic packaging that using commercial glazes entails. This will also enable me to increase my support of a local business from whom I will acquire the necessary glaze components, instead of ordering supplies from outside my locale.
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.