Eco Printing? Read On: If you’re a child of the 90s, you probably remember the ill-fated children’s show “Captain Planet,” about a wacky superhero and his minions “The Planeteers” (creative, I know!) as they sought to save the earth from the evils of Hoggish Greedy, Duke Nukem, Sly Sludge and more. As outlandishly psychedelic as Captain America may seem to the novice viewer, some valid points were made.
We’ve all heard the old saying “we only have one earth,” or something similar, but don’t let it fall on deaf ears. According to the study by the World Wildlife Fund, if the human race continues devouring resources the way we have been, the earth will pretty much be “expired” by 2050. So, unless we want your kids to grow up in a toxic Mad Max-esque world, we should all start making small changes toward big solutions for our lovely home planet.
When garbage dumps and landfills come to mind, our brains are filled mostly with visions of dirty diapers, plastic bottles and rotting, fetid food. This is not the case. According to the EPA, a whopping 40 percent of our landfills are over-run with office paper. This is disgusting, especially when it’s taken into consideration that almost all paper is recyclable. Unfortunately, all that junk mail, those phone books and old bills are creating one of the most abhorrent trash crisis in the world.
Unless you’re a superhero, you can’t single-handedly solve this problem, but every drop in the bucket helps. If you haven’t gone paperless with your bills yet, now is the time. Even little things like replacing post it notes with white board notes can end up making a difference.
Although it’s extremely difficult to gauge exactly how much electricity is wasted every year on idle, sleep or standby. Or exactly how many lights are being left on but unused, however, The Economist highlights a study by Alan Meier, a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) that estimates 7-15 percent of our electricity usage could be labeled “vampire electricity”. This is enough electricity to claim 18 power plants and billions of dollars.
Although technologies like Energy Star are helping to combat our excessive use of vampire electricity, it is still up to us to remember to turn electronics off when we’re not using them, or unplug them if you don’t intend on using them that day. We have become so technology dependent, that it’s easy to forget how close we are to snuffing out the very thing we’re most dependent on.
Go Green at Work and at Home
For those essential home and business expenses, like laundry detergent or if you order business cards online, there’s a buffet of excellent businesses to choose from— the kind who are looking to create a legacy beyond their own immediate profit.
Companies like Ecos.com create exclusively environmentally friendly products for your household. Ecos used to produce products with harmful chemicals, but a radical shift in focus inspired the owners to completely re-vamp their company into a Mecca for the Earth (and they smell good too). Overnightprints.com is another example of a company that gets their job done well while crusading for the environment. Their eco printing techniques not only use waterless technology (traditional printing wastes copious amounts of water), but every piece of paper and card stock they use is offset by a Japanese company that plants trees for them. Every little thing you do for our ailing environment helps make you a little bit more like a hero, and you don’t even have to wear the awkward green tights.