Painting and drawing pet portraits for a living is a lot of fun and I try very hard to do business in the right way. Painting pet portraits isn’t about just painting a great picture and putting it in the post. It’s all about ethics too which should be at the heart of every business. It’s about thinking of how all the little things go together and affect the wider world.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently looking at everything I use to create my art. I’ve even rung the company who make the cardboard boxes I use to ensure that they are 100% recycled. The packaging inside the boxes is generally bubble wrap that comes from a nearby warehouse with a returns department. If I didn’t use this it would be thrown away and reusing is far much better for the environment than recycling.

It’s clear to most of us that we are in the middle of a climate emergency and we are running out of time to solve the problem. We have to act now and I have just made my business better than carbon neutral. I have paid to plant a number of trees to offset all the carbon that both myself and my family use doing those everyday things like turning on a light to paint in the evening or putting on the heating to stay warm.

Getting the trees planted seemed a hard thing to achieve but suddenly I was made aware of a very important project called #TeamTrees. To cut a long story short a very famous You Tuber called Mr Beast does all sorts of crazy things on the internet (including tipping a pizza delivery guy $10,000) and when he hit 20 million subscribers was challenged to get 20 million trees planted by the 1st of January 2020. By donating just one dollar a tree will be planted. It’s a massive project and the trees are being planted on every continent except Antartica. Don’t be put off by the fact that it costs a dollar you can still pay on your normal British credit or debit card.

I’d like to urge all my customers to check out #TeamTrees and help them plant 20 million trees. It’s a fantastic project and I’m really pleased to be a part of it.

Julie Hollinshead