Marion Street Tattoo becomes first "Certifiably Green" tat shop in Denver
"They've come out to the shop about three times -- the list got bigger and bigger, and they checked everything," he adds. "The last time, we got a new toilet that conserves water."
Willard shares that a big part of becoming sustainable as a tattoo shop is simply a change in mindset. "Fifteen years ago, I wouldn't have even thought about it. When I grew up, it wasn't even like this. I was laughing the other day thinking about how my dad used to have me burn garbage," says Willard.
And now that being environmentally conscious is part of his daily operations, the tattoo artist hopes to connect with others in the industry and inspire a change that, once instituted, can mean business as usual.
"In fairness to tattoo shops themselves, they may not even know that this kind of thing is an option," says Willard. "But the option is there, even for renters. We rent our building, and the credit goes to the Department of Environmental Health for coming in and helping us change. We're really trying to spread the word through this shop, and we're hoping other shops follow suit. Our goal right now is just to tell other businesses that it doesn't take too much to change."
"I think our goal is to just maintain the changes," adds Stephens, like recycling paper and conserving water. "And when you look at it, it's not a huge undertaking. Once you work it into the day-to-day, it's just normal."
For more information on the Denver Certifiably Green Program, visit the Denver Department of Environmental Health. To see the custom work done by Marion Street Tattoo & Gallery and to learn more about its tattoo artists, visit the shop's website.