Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Greening Up My Work Day: Part 1- Paper

I am a member of my company's "green team" whose goal is to implement various green initiatives to make our company more eco-friendly. One of our main initiatives is to reduce paper consumption by 70% by the end of this year. Can you even believe that? Will it be possible? I think so!! We have come up with some simple, free, and innovative ideas to use less paper and I wanted to share them so that we can save some trees. After all, more trees= more oxygen= more clean breathing, which is definitely a good thing! Here it goes:

1) Decrease your margins!!: There is no logical reason why our default margins are set at 1.00"- 1.25" except for that Microsoft says it shall be so. This means we end up being less efficient with our paper consumption and use more than necessary.

I conducted an experiment: I changed the margins of a 5 page document from 1 inch to .75 inch margins and the document suddenly became 4 pages! Can you believe it? With just one click of a button, I saved a piece of paper! My office has 350 people who work here so if everyone saved 1 piece of paper every day for the whole year that would be equal to 127,750 pieces of paper. 1 tree makes around 83,000 pieces of paper so we have saved more than 1 tree without even trying.

Oh, also, you can sign the petition to tell Microsoft that we don't care about the big ole' margins! What's the deal Microsoft?

In case you don't know how to change your margins follow these steps (it might take you all of 30 seconds to do so make sure to clear your schedule):

  • In Microsoft Word, go to FILE, then PAGE SET UP.
  • Click the DEFAULT key, and you'll be prompted "Do you want to change the default settings for the page set up? This change will affect all new documents based on the normal template."
  • Set each of your margins to .75"
2) It's kind of basic but use both sides of the paper. Set your photocopy machine or printer to make all documents 2 sided. Also, save any paper with only one side used as scratch paper. You can take notes, tape receipts to them for expense report purposes, etc.

3) Recycle!: Aside from using 100% recycled paper to print on, make sure your company recycles. Recycling is mandatory for all businesses and residences in NYC. Make sure your office and apartment building are recycling. The city will provide you with bins if you need them. If you live outside of NYC, check your local government's website to see if they have a similar program in place. It may only take 1 phone call from you to get a program going!

I'll send tips on greening up my work day whenever I discover something new! Stay tuned!!


Furqan Nazeeri said...

Nice tip! I shared it on Viridus.