As freelance writers, we often go through a huge amount of paper for the various tasks that we perform each day. We make outlines for stories and articles, take notes for what we want to accomplish for the numerous projects that we are working on and recycle the manuscripts that we print for editing purposes. I’m sure you are able to come up with a list of at least five ways that you generate paper waste in your freelance business.
The first step in greening your business is to reduce the use of paper waste that you generate. This is accomplished in a varieties of ways, including:
Newer laptops and notebooks come with pre-installed Sticky Note programs that are much like post-its, but used on the desktop. There are also free use programs that are found online. Sticky Notes are handy for making lists of what you need to do online, and offline but still on the computer.
Make a folder in your Documents program for each story and book manuscript that you are writing. Save the manuscript to folder, as well as character sheets, plot notes and other important information. This way, everything is kept together for easy access and you are not wasting paper.
There are a number of ways in which you can reuse the scrap paper generated from a freelance business. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Give sheets of paper, with only one side used, to children. They may draw or color on them when they have to be in your office area. This gives them something that will occupy their minds for a while.
Cut sheets of paper into fourths, to use for making note and taking messages.
Use sheets of paper to make lists of story or article ideas that you come up with.
Use envelopes to make shopping and errand lists for your freelance business.
Large sheets of paper, such as those from big desk calendars, can be taped to a wall or door, blank side facing out. These may then be used to show a mind map of one of your projects, or to list the steps in completing a long running project.
Once both sides of a sheet of paper are used, then it is time to recycle it. This may be done in a couple of ways:
Place each sheet in the recycling bin to be picked up on the next recycling day.
Shred each sheet and use the shredded pieces as fill for packages that you mail.
Reducing paper consumption is always the first step. Once this has been accomplished, move onto reusing scraps of paper before recycling them.
For more information about running your business in a more environmentally responsible manner, check out the eBook Greening Your Freelance Business.
Shannon L. Buck
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