Joel Coleman Photography

Love the photos that bring our website to life? Here at Plastic Free Manly, we’ve been fans of Joel Coleman’s light-filled ocean shots for years, so we were stoked when he agreed to help.

For Joel, “It was a really obvious decision to say yes. I have made my money from Manly looking like a really beautiful place. The natural environment supports me and what I do, and if it’s trashed I don’t have a business any more. So apart from the personal motivation for seeing the environment preserved - which is high on my values - what I do for a living, and the people I employ, all relies on this place looking beautiful. So why not do anything we can to preserve that?” 

Joel has spent a lifetime getting up early to catch the best light in natural environments around the world. His commitment to the environment was recognised in 2014 with a Sustainability Award at the Northern Beaches Local Business Awards

“We do pretty much anything we can as far as the environmental side of our business goes - we look at everything we do and try and minimise it. That goes for the products we make, the art works that we sell, and the materials we choose to manufacture those from, where we source them and minimising transit times between manufacture and sale. As far as printing and paper products go, all of our printing is done on recycled paper, not the photographs but our company printing, business cards and all of that.”

“Our gift certificates - we actually won an award. They’re printed on a recycled paper that’s full of Swan River Daisy seeds. So once they’re used, you can plant them and they grow a flower.”

“Our lighting has been in transition from halogen to LED based over the last three years, because when we opened the LEDs weren’t up to scratch. They now are, their transition cost is quite high and also there’s no point throwing out lights that still work to buy new product, so as they break we upscale to the more environmentally friendly ones. We had a packaging and waste audit done on the business a few years ago - we had them come in - and we came in at 0 wastage, and we were pretty pleased with that. I would love nothing more than to be able to put in solar cells on the roof to power the business which we could easily facilitate. But we don’t own the premises, so we can’t get up there and mess around on the roof. There’s always more you can do, but we try very hard to make sure that we have a minimal impact.”

As for single use plastic bags, “In other places I’ve lived, council just turned around and legislated against it, and that was an end of it. Enough people care now, they’ve got it rolling. These guys are slow off the mark here - the whole of Tasmania did it! That’s half a million people in a state verses 40,000 people in one suburb. It should be a no brainer really.”