What Do Writing and Earth Day Have in Common? Green!

You make an impact on the world with your writing, so why not take it a step further by making a positive impact on your environment, too?

Check out these 21 ways to go green with your article writing efforts!

Save Paper

How much paper are you tossing every week? According to the EPA, paper makes up 27 percent of our trash and much of it can still be recycled.*

In addition to recycling paper products, here are 6 tips you can use to save some of that paper from making it to the trash.

Print less by going digital with an eReader (iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc.) for books and other reference materials.
Cancel the delivery of hard-copy periodicals and switch to online-only subscriptions.
Stop junk mail from reaching your door.**
Print less paper by using the “print on both sides” feature of your printer.
Use post-consumer recycled content (PCR) paper (recycled paper).
Get more out of your smartphone or tablet by downloading task reminder apps for notes, lists, and brainstorms.

Conserve Energy

If you practice a little energy conservation, you’ll also practice a lot of wallet conservation. Here are 10 tips to save power and your green:

Turn down the brightness of your screen to a reasonable setting (so you’re not straining your eyes to read the content, but it’s not blazing at full power).
Shut down programs that don’t need to be running in the background, including Bluetooth.
Unplug devices (like tablets and phones) once they’re charged.
Eject any discs that are not being used if you have a CD or DVD drive.
Turn devices on the sleep or standby mode if you’re not actively going to be using it in the next 20 minutes.
Use a power strip and use it to turn off all devices before you leave work for the day or before you go to bed.
Use a desk lamp that utilizes a compact fluorescent bulb and switch off that overhead light.
Turn the thermostat down (60-65 degrees Fahrenheit should still be comfortable) during the winter. Throw on a warmer sweater or a scarf and allow the brisk air to help you stay alert!
Turn the thermostat up a few degrees during the summer and allow your body to acclimate. Don’t sweat the small stuff!
Microwave the water for your tea rather than using the stove to consume less energy.***

Produce Less Waste

Sometimes the best waste prevention is to not have something to waste in the first place! For every item you consider buying or ordering – even if it’s free – consider whether it’s recyclable, how much energy it consumes producing it, and whether you’ll dispose of it responsibly. Here are 5 questions and tips to consider:

Do you have to use the gas? Create a stellar writing space to write at home and make your own coffee/beverage to save the gas from the commute rather than going to coffee shops to write. If you need to get out, don’t drive – walk or bike!
Do you need to waste that cup? At the coffee shop and getting coffee to go? Say “no” to disposable to-go cups and bring your own (clean) travel mug.
Do you really need to use a plastic water bottle? Stay hydrated during your writing session to maintain focus with a reusable water bottle or even go old school with an actual glass!
Do you really want to throw that out? Donate or dispose of electronics properly by recycling them (check with your local recycling facilities how to do this properly).
Do you really need a pen? Choose the classic wooden pencil over plastic pens. Pencils last longer than pens and conserve much more nonrenewable resources to produce.