Don’t print anything…like ever!
I’m ashamed to admit this, but in the past, I’ve been a pretty wasteful worker. If I received an email that had even an inkling of pertinent information, I immediately printed it out and filed it away, often having to toss out all the extra pages that come with printing email such as a string of previous forwards and unnecessary correspondence. I can’t tell you how many innocent trees I’ve slaughtered just to fill up some manila folders. But this year, I made a pact to not print anything…ever! Okay, so I couldn’t swear off printing EVERYTHING. But when I focused on only printing out the mandatory documents that were of the upmost importance, I literally eliminated 90% of my printing. And the remaining 10% of necessary printing is now done on recycled paper. That change alone would make artist Bob Ross proud that I’ve helped save some “happy little trees”.
E-pay Equals E-fficient
I want to shake the hand of the man who invented PayPal. Even with all its unnecessary fees (2.9% + $.30, are you kidding me???) it’s still ultimately cheaper than the cost of a paper check, a paper envelope, postage, and the gas used by the postman to deliver it. At least I hope it is. Utilizing an e-payment system as a way to accept payment is a quick way to receive money and save paper. And good news people, some of those E-payment options are free and conveniently go directly into your bank account. If you’re still sending out paper checks, I’ll bet you probably still use that dinosaur known as a fax machine too. By the way, E-fax is another wonderful tool, but we’ll discuss that another time.
Punch your lights out
One of the beauties of working from home is not having to work under the glare of those awful fluorescent bulbs. They’re energy suckers and plus no one looks good under that type of light. Being at my desk all hours of the day warrants some basic lighting, but whenever possible, I take full advantage of good old fashioned natural daylight. The sun, also known as nature’s light bulb, is usually quite sufficient to work by and it doesn’t cost you a dime! Don’t work near a window? Spend thousands of dollars and put in a solar light panel right above your desk. I’m kidding. Invest in some of those handy energy efficient bulbs. At only $8 bucks a pop, Energy Star says you’ll save over $6 million dollars in annual energy costs and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Yep; all that power in one little bitty light bulb.
I know I probably haven’t shared any tips with you that you don’t already know, but sometimes we just need a reminder, a gentle nudge or a slap upside the head, to be aware of our surroundings and our energy usage. It’s easy to believe we can’t make a difference for the environment, but that simply isn’t true. Whether you’re a big shot behind the desk of a multi-million dollar business, or an average Joe/Josephine working from home, we can all do something to go green. It’s so easy, even a child could do it. (Captain Planet told me that!) Who knows, you may even save the world someday. Well…one step at a time.