Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How Green can you get?

I've been working on the Orange Environment website, and one perk is that I'll have a table at the Earth Day event in Warwick on April 21st.

I'm a very conscientious person, so I have to scrutinize myself to justify being there. When people walk up to my table and ask me why a web designer is there at a booth on Earth Day -- what can I say to defend my "position"?

  • My office runs either on sunlight from a big bay window or compact fluorescent lights
  • I use 100% post-consumer paper
    • loosleaf for client notes
    • multi-use printer/copier paper for my laserjet

  • when I get mail or fliers that are only used on one side, I keep them by the phone for quick note jotting.
  • when a paper is used on both sides, I recycle it (sometimes shredded first)
  • I have a home office only
    • the same heat for my home is heat for my office (the office room adjoins the kitchen; it's a one-zone house, but at only 830 sqft it should be!)
    • I save on auto fuel & auto wear-n-tear

  • I drive a used but still energy-efficient car for business & personal use (1994 honda civic at up to 33mpg)
  • I turn the printer off when not in use
  • I work by sunlight whenever possible
  • I leave any extra computer equipment off whenever possible so only one computer is running the majority of the time
  • I use wash-n-wear clothes for the most part
    • the washer is a high-efficiency front-loader rated exceptionally for water efficiency
    • the dryer has a dampness sensor thus is self-regulating
    • I use a scent and dye free detergent
    • I don't use a fabric softener

  • I use refurbished toner cartridges
  • we have a duplex printer, and I print on both sides of the page for any multi-page documents
  • whenever possible I print 2-up duplex, for reference documentation, because I don't mind reading tiny print, but I do mind wasting paper
  • I save the plastic &/or cellophane windows of envelopes I receive for craft projects (they make great filling for homemade cat toys!)

There are still areas in which I'm a culprit, however. I could (always) do better. We occasionally use whiteboards in my office, and I'm not really believing the EAP certification regarding the inks. I want desperately to know if there's such a thing as soy laser toner cartridges, or any other alternatives that won't turn the laser printer into a hunk of waste. I could use dryer balls, and I'm considering that (if they make the dryer even a tad more efficient it's worth a 1 time expense). I could scold my roommate for leaving the bathroom light on. I printed up letterhead I could hardly afford, it came out lousy, now I have a ton of letterhead that shouldn't have been printed in the first place, and should have been on recycled stock -- live & learn. That letterhead is now the back of any one-page fliers I produce as handouts. :)

So I guess instead of feeling guilty, I could try to relax and realize that there are a bunch of things about me that cause me to stand out in a crowd of web design/programming professionals that could be considered when positioning myself in the "green" community as well: I've been an herbalist for about 15 years, I'm an Interfaith Minister, Reiki master, & Shaman. I guess having a booth isn't such a bad idea after all!

1 comment:

  1. For printing (Offset, lithography) consider vegatable based inks
    vs normal oil based inks!