“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” — Lau Tzu.
When you work with precious metals, recycling and reducing waste is a built-in thing! Since the beginning, smiths have been saving the tiniest of scraps, melting and reusing them over and over. It helps to know in the back of your mind that if you mess up, you can “always melt it down and start over.”
I save and reuse the small baggies my supplies come in and use them to keep the various alloy scraps separate. Paper and cardboard scraps are handy for doodles, calculations and measurements, and even templates. Repurposed containers are sought-after resources in a metal studio. I even repurposed the cork boards in my studio as canvases to paid abstract art for the space.
I use a hydrogen torch that generates hydrogen gas on demand, rather than using a fossil fuel. I select fluxes and materials that are non-toxic or the least toxic available — both for my own safety and for the environment. And I do my best to dispose of wastes responsibly and appropriately. If we all look out for ways to reduce waste and lessen impacts, our little steps can make an enormous and lasting impact.