Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy belated Earth Day

I can't believe I forgot to blog on Earth Day! I remembered when I saw this great reminder in Kovels Komments, a great free antiques and collectibles newsletter I subscribe to:

Collectors are living the "green" life every time they buy an antique. Using an old chair saves trees and energy, and avoids the toxic fumes that come from new furniture. For Earth Day, find a damaged cup, old shoe, wheelbarrow or chipped vase. Fill it with dirt and plants and put it in the garden.

Freelance writers have plenty of opportunities to be green, too. Here are a couple of quickie suggestions:

1) Reuse paper. Some writers like to proofread from a hard copy. If this is you, be sure to save old manuscripts and print on the blank side next time you need to proofread something.

2) Unplug everything when you shut down for the day. Modern electronics draw power even when they're turned off. Unplug them when you're done working, or plug everything into a power strip that you can simply shut off to stop the flow of power.

3) Use a PDF writer instead of printing online receipts out on paper. If you're a good little writer, you religiously maintain a file for expense receipts. Instead of printing out receipts for stuff you buy online, use a free PDF writer to make an electronic copy. Just be sure to back it up!

4) Plan errands in advance to minimize driving time and gas consumption. Since freelance writers work from home, we don't contribute to air pollution with a daily commute. However, we still have errands and other things to do. If we plan these in advance, we can get several days' or a week's worth in one trip, limiting the damage to the environment... and our wallets.

If you have any other easy tips for freelance writers who want to go green, please feel free to post them in the comments!

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