Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Are freelance writers green?

I think as freelance writers, we often consider ourselves "green," or environmentally friendly. After all, we don't contribute to air pollution with a daily commute, and we have the opportunity — more so than most office workers — to limit our paper waste.

For instance, I have a free PDF writer that I use to make electronic copies of expense receipts for anything I buy online (instead of printing the receipts), and I submit 99 percent of my work via email instead of snail mail. I also limit my driving as much as possible, by combining errands and driving to the stables only three or four times a week now (instead of daily).

However, a story on NPR this morning was a good reminder that we may not be as "green" as we think. In fact, the very things that we think make us more green (electronics that allow us our work-from-home, paperless status) may actually make us less so.

This is a good reminder that we should recycle our electronics as often as possible, rather than just tossing them in the trash — even if they don't work. The story mentions myGreenElectronics.org, which helps you find a place near you that recycles electronics. I would also suggest freecycle.org, where you can give away working (or not working) electronics to other members who can use them.

Remember: Just being a freelance writer doesn't automatically make you environmentally friendly. Be sure to keep those electronics out of the landfills as much as possible!

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