Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Carbon Diet - The Home Office

This week wraps up the eight-week Carbon Diet Challenge sponsored by Tree Hugger and Slate magazine. (Everyone else is, of course, long since finished. I'm bringing up the rear, as usual.) This week, it's time to turn our attention to the activity dear to the hearts of crunchy-granola types everywhere: recycling and otherwise reducing the environmental impact of the home office. Paper production is one of the most energy-intensive American industries and I'm here to tell you the mills do nothing good for the environment. When I was a little girl, we lived in the same town as a paper mill. Lord have mercy, those things stink.

Recycling paper, using recycled paper, and using scrap paper really do make a difference. Opting out of junk mail saves paper and irritation. Here's a link to get you started: FTC Opt-Out Letter. A person can even turn off the steady stream of credit card offers. Siel turned me on to this one, and I've been grateful ever since. Here's the link: Opt-Out. A person could turn off the computer monitor at night, to save energy and keep a second recycling bucket by your desk.

If I do all of the things I said I would do (and I intend to), then I'll be responsible for about 600 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That sounds a lot more impressive than "the equivalent of 0.07 cars". Sheesh.


Lisa :-] said...

Ummmm.... I followed that link for the opt-out letter. I don't know why I would need to include my Social Security number in such a letter, and I would be loathe to send all that information away to...god knows where.

But I would love to be able to turn off the junk mail...

Andrea Rusin said...

I didn't include my Social Security number, and it seems to have worked nonetheless.