Question for 2009: What can you do as a writer to leave less of an eco-footprint on the world?
Answer – plenty. While every suggestion will not work for every person, one or two small steps can actually help.
Paper and pens are two of the most basic office tools, but while we’ve been recycling paper and using recycled paper for years, pens have mostly gotten left out of the recycling picture. Enter BeGreen pens, which are sold in packaging made from recycled materials. You can find the BeGreen line at major office supply stores and national retailers including Office Depot, Office Max, Staples and Target. Add Pilot’s BeGreen line and the pen is now greener than the sword. (Unless we’re talking about recycled swords, which is a whole different story).
ForestChoice® pencils are manufactured from the finest California Incense-cedar wood, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to have originated from environmentally well-managed forests. ForestChoice® now offers consumers a high-quality writing instrument that demonstrates a serious commitment to the environment.
And then, there are pencil sharpeners. Do you really need an electric or battery pencil sharpener? No.
We’ve been using rescycled paper for years (at least we should have been) and now by adding the eco-friendly lights bulbs when we can, we’re on our way.
Other things we, as writers, can do to help include”
- Take “no tech” days. Writers, especially web writers, spend a whole lot of time online which means they’re spending time using up energy. Turn off (and unplug) computers and other electronic devices.
- Get into green computing. There are many different ways that you can make your computer more environmentally friendly. Get an energy-efficient computer; refill ink cartridges instead of sending them to the landfill; do all the day’s printing at once and keep the printer unplugged the rest of the day. These little things add up to big energy savings.
- Submit your next manuscript electronically whenever possible. Even my publisher, Avalon, is getting into this submission policy.
- Reduce the number of mailings you send out by using an electronic query whenever possible.
- Swap one regular promotional mass mailing in favor of an electronic mailing
- Skip one cross-country convention and do an online conference instead
- Switch from press kits and full-sized mailers to postcards
- Make one book appearance–or tour–a virtual tour online
- Use solar rechargers for equipment like your PDA, cell phone, MP3 player
- Reuse/recycle writing equipment/computers by using the Freecycle Network rather than just trashing them than buying new and trashing.
The Freecycle Network is wonderful. You can post anything you don’t want on it and before you know it someone else does! They even come pick it up. A friend of mine got all new kitchen cabinets because a woman didn’t like the cabinets she custom ordered once they got in her kitchen remodel. You can’t charge for anything on the Freecycle network, but that is made up in the fact that the unused item is gone from your house.
The URL is .www.freecycle.org. A screen will come up and ask for your town that then lists all the freecycle networks in your area.
Take one step, take them all. But let’s all try something to help.
Happy Green Writing in 2009
Cynthia and Constantine – Beyond Camelot – The Wild Rose Press
digital 2/09, print 3/09
Grandmother’s Rings – 3-book series contemporary from Avalon Books
Amethyst 8/09, Sapphire 12/09, Citrine early 2010
I-Planet shopping, 8Waysto Green your Writing, the Green Writing Challenge, Writing Green/Planet Books