Wednesday, April 21, 2010


In honor of Earth Day I'm sharing some advice on how you can make being green work for you.

Here are 5 basic environmentally-friendly practices I preach in my design business:

1. Electronic Proofs & Billing: I use paperless proofs whenever possible. As an added bonus it speeds up the process of concept to final product. Clients receive the proofs instantaneously and the same goes for corrections/changes. With PayPal and electronic banking, paper has been drastically reduced from the accounting side of my business.

2. Recycling: Paper, plastic...yup. I recycle.

3. Bulbs: My studio is lit by compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. These twisty bulbs use 1/4 as much energy as incandescent bulbs and last longer. According to Statistics Canada, if every Canadian household replaced one incandescent light bulb with a CFL energy-star rated bulb, we could save over $73 million a year in energy costs and reduce our CO2 emissions by 397,000 tonnes - the equivalent of taking 66,000 cars off the road for a year. Did I mention the bulbs also reduce your electrical bill? This one's a no-brainer.

4. Digital Printing: I use digital printers for projects whenever possible because they uses 100% nontoxic toner. Toner-based inks also produce less chemical waste.

5. Upgrades: I give away my used office and computer equipment. Schools, libraries, non-profits and community centers are great places that often welcome these sorts of donations.

For tips on designing green, I recommend Green Graphic Design by Brian Dougherty. Click here for a PDF of the first 23 pages of the book.


It's easy to go green in your home or when you run your own business, but what can those out there in cubicle land do? Below are 5 environmentally conscious practices you can implement without needing approval from the man:

1. Emails: Don't print them. Make folders and stay organized digitally.

2. Plants: Freshen up your desk with a small plant. Office items like plastics, particle board, pressed wood and carpeting produce lots of toxic gases. Earlier this year some studies by NASA concluded that houseplants are able to remove up to 87% of these harmful gases in 24 hours.

3. Turn It Off: Over the span of a week, turning off your computer at the end of the work day can save 15 kg of CO2 emissions. Turning off a printer after a week saves 6.5 kg of CO2.

4. Pack Smart: Bring your lunch in a reusable container. Bring a reusable coffee mug. Using earth-friendly alternatives saves resources and landfill space.

5. Get a Beemer: Bus. Metro. Walk. BMW. How many readers will I lose on this cheese? Google Analytics says....

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