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32 steps each legal department can take to protect the environment (and reduce costs)

In three previous posts I listed a total of 27 energy-saving ideas (See my post of April 27, 2008: ten tips; Oct. 12, 2008: nine ideas; Nov. 9, 2008: three ideas; March 11, 2009: four more steps toward environmental preservation; and May 29, 2009: power strips and solar battery chargers.). To that assemblage, I commend six more from Law Practice, Vol. 35, July/Aug. 2009 at 9 (marked with “LP”). You can learn more about these steps at the website.

  1. Find out and understand your “carbon footprint”
  2. Collect and recycle used batteries
  3. Remove your name from mailing lists that send out paper catalogs
  4. Interview candidates and law firms by video conference
  5. Power down computers and printers
  6. Put printers, fax machines and scanners on a 45-minute power save
  7. Plug your computer equipment into a power strip – and turn the strip off at the end of every day
  8. Rely on power strips which turn off peripheral devices when the strip senses that a computer is turned off
  9. Install energy efficient light bulbs
  10. Put in motion detectors that turn off lights
  11. Install lower-energy flat panel monitors
  12. Distribute reports, communications, and newsletters electronically and design them with an eye toward them efficient printing
  13. Use the “draft” setting when printing
  14. Print pages double sided
  15. Stop spewing out a cover sheet before each print job
  16. Install software that omits the last page of printouts from the web, the page that only shows a line or two from the bottom of the website
  17. Replace plastic cups with washable mugs
  18. Bring mugs or reusable cups to work
  19. Copy on both sides of paper.
  20. Place recycling containers next to printers
  21. Use recycled paper for copying
  22. Encourage refillable water bottles
  23. Provide trash containers that have round holes for cans and bottles to recycle
  24. Recycle toner cartridges
  25. Discard computer equipment responsibly or redistribute it to those who can use it
  26. Encourage car-pooling
  27. Use solar battery chargers (LP)
  28. Ditch plastic silverware and use the regular, washable kind (LP)
  29. Filter water instead of providing bottled water (LP)
  30. Use Energy Star electronic equipment, such as fans or heaters (LP)
  31. Replace paper faxes with a system that converts incoming faxes to PDF files for email distribution (LP)
  32. Adopt the TransitChek program for commuters (LP)
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2 responses to “32 steps each legal department can take to protect the environment (and reduce costs)”

  1. Rob Thomas says:

    Hi Rees,
    What about e-billing and online matter mgmt.? No more producing, delivering, filing paper bills, budgets, status updates, etc.

  2. Brian McCorry says:

    I agree with Rob. #1 should be using e-technology to get rid of all the paper and related costs to the environment and the enterprise itself.