May 24, 2010
Who would have thought it could be true, but it is, treeless paper has hit the market and it’s a great green addition to the eco-conscious home office. MoMa started using treeless paper and cardboard in their packaging back in 2007 and now we’re seeing it creep into the home. Currently manufacturing treeless paper uses sugar cane, bamboo, elephant dung and hemp. Each of these can be harvested specifically for paper manufacturing. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year. That’s more than 2 pounds each day. Wow! Currently 4 billion trees are cut down each year to meet the world’s demand for paper.
While treeless paper can certainly make a dent you won’t be walking into your local office supply store to purchase it just yet. However, demand will eventually drive supply. Until that time, shopping online is your best bet. Aaron Schiff of Ecopaper.com says their sugar cane office paper sales are second to the banana paper, which is used for invitations. “For the office, sugar cane paper is almost identical to regular paper and has 80 per cent tree-free content.” Schiff, who sees the paper industry slowly becoming greener, is confident that sugar cane paper will be a popular brand for Ecopaper in the coming years.
As treeless paper is currently emerging on the market, I’d love to hear your questions or experiences with this product.
May 11, 2010
Let’s face it, a completely paperless home office is a hefty goal for most of us. If you’re not quite ready to take a giant step, you can begin with what I call “three foot tosses”. I use that term in life coaching when clients have grand ideas that need scaling back a little to be achievable. In this case, you want to monitor what comes into the office and then what goes out.
When you purchase paper, buy recycled. According to Treehugger manufacturing recycled paper requires 60% less energy than virgin paper– each ton purchased saved 4000 kWh of energy. To find out how much energy you are using and can save check out their handy recycled paper calculator. There are a lot of recycled paper products. New Leaf Paper is a company that offers a wide variety of competitively priced recycled paper products. They are committed to offering environmentally responsible and economically sound paper.
Or even better try treeless-paper. These products go a step further in that no trees have been destroyed. Instead innovative resources such as sugar cane, elephant dung and bamboo are used.
And once you’ve used it – recycle it. You can recycle internally by using the back of the page as well as the front and then make sure that paper finds its way to your recycling bin instead of the trash. According to the book Trash to Cash, by Fran Berman, “recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, two barrels of oil (enough to run the average car for 1,260 miles), 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for six months), 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space and 60 pounds of air pollution.”
We’d love to hear about your paper-saving tips. Leave a comment or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Above is Al Gore’s paper-filled office via LifeHacker.
April 30, 2010
For most of us working from home is a huge gift. We forego mileage on our vehicles and the expense associated with traveling back and forth to the office. However, if we’re not careful those savings can easily dwindle by the energy we use being home much of the day. Running electricity and the cost associated with its use can be counter productive to operating a home business. If your intention is to conserve money then that means efficiently managing utility use.
Consider placing your home office in a room that has the most natural light. Place your desk directly beneath the window where the sun and fresh air can stimulate your creative juices. The natural light will not only keep your utility cost at a minimum, it will also provide Vitamin D which can assist with energy level and attitude.
Solatube has some interesting info on the effect of light in the home. And the Heschong Mahone Group’s studies on the effect of natural light on school kids are fascinating. If they learn better maybe we will also work better with a bit of sun in the room!
Saving money and the environment while working from home with the sun beaming in on you – sounds like a win-win situation.
Image via Living Etc.