For the third year, IndyBar’s Go Green committee is hosting the Green Legal Initiative to encourage law firms to commit to greener practices. We will be publishing tips and tricks throughout the next couple months that can help accomplish this goal. Last time, we talked about ways to save water, and in this edition, we’ll be focusing on ways to reuse and recycle other products.
Each employee generates around 4.7 lbs. of waste each day. Between paper products, aluminum, plastic and glass products, there’s a lot that could be put to better use. Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials, recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as incinerating it and recycling a single aluminum can will save the amount of energy it takes to run a TV for three hours. (Source.) Considering the average employee drinks 2.5 canned beverages a day, that can really add up!
Here are some tips for making recycling a part of your firm’s practice:
- Make recycling bins accessible at the office. If there’s a recycling bin by every public trashcan, employees will be more likely to use them.
- Invest in real silverware for the office to avoid plastic utensils being tossed away. If you must stick with plastic ware, make sure it gets put in the recycling bin or washed and reused.
- Set your printer to automatically print double-sided. This is an in-house solution for getting the most out of each sheet.
- Once you’ve used both sides, set out a tray for scrap paper for people to toss used paper. Put this box in an open area and then empty it into the recycling bin every other day or so.
- Go full circle and purchase recycled paper for your office to use in the first place.
Implementing paperless practices can be tricky, especially when it comes to digital paperwork requiring signatures. Don’t let that stump you! This article outlines the solution and also includes other helpful links for getting your paperless practice going.
If recycling is not already in place at your office, be sure to locate your nearest recycling center here.
Keep checking back for more Green Legal News tips and tricks, and check out the Go Green homepage here. To commit your firm to greener practices and join our Green Legal Firms list, just review the documents below and submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications is September 13.