LIVING GREEN AS A WRITER: Today is Blog Action Day and more than 15,000 blogs around the globe are posting on the issue of the environment. Since I make my living as a poet and writer, I thought I would share a few tips of what I do at my desk -- and in my home -- to recycle and live eco-friendly. I am lucky enough to live in an apartment building that encourages recycling. We have big bins for newspapers, magazines, plastic and aluminum.

* I go through a lot of paper printing up rough drafts of poems and other writing. Rather than immediately throwing it in the garbage, I turn the paper over and print second drafts on the flipside. Some of these drafts pages go into a notebook, while others get shredded and recycled. I also use both sides of a post-it note.

* Along with printing comes the use of ink. I have started having my cartridges refilled rather than buying new ones. If you can't be bothered, make sure to take your old printer cartridges to Office Depot or another office supply store that will recycle them for you.

* My laptop is set on an energy cycle that automatically switches itself into sleep mode if it sits idle for more than half an hour. It may only save pennies, but those pennies add up.

* Similarly, I have started unplugging my cell phone charger. Did you know that many appliances continue to draw power whether you use them or not? Unplug what you don't use regularly.

* Of course, I never throw away a book. That is heresy. About once a year, I do a cull of my bookcases and donate those books to a charity or to the local library.

* Beyond the desk, I have begun recycling all my newspapers, magazines and plastic. I have also cut down on the use of paper towels at the kitchen sink by having a handy dish cloth there. I have some nice ones from Williams-Sonoma that I hang on the oven door just because they look nice.

* Turn off the water while you're brushing your teeth. This one is tougher to follow, but I've been trying more and more, especially since Atlanta is in a major drought situation and the city is threatening to move to emergency conservation. If I run the dishwasher, it has to be absolutely packed. I'm also trying to do laundry more efficiently as not to consume more water.

Try these out at your home. The Earth will thank you.


Good points, Collin. Especially about refilling the cartridges.

Eco-friendly is becoming more necessary.
Anonymous said…
it sounds like a lot of trouble but if you insist.

Anonymous said…
way to go Collin!
Hi Coll--I need to imitate you on the ink-cartridges!
And I'll be using fewer paper-towels, thanks to you-just keep a cloth dish-towel nearby, yes?...a simple idea, but well worth doing!

Did you see the Dateline (or was it 20/20) special 10 or 20 tips to be more green?
Collin Kelley said…
Totally missed that show, D. I've been working late and then coming home and just reading instead of watching tv.
Unknown said…
Right! Thank you for reminding me of this.Going to repost & add my own spin.

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