While waiting for my turn to collect my printouts, I noticed that a colleague in front of me had a pile of papers, almost about 100 pages it appeared. I smiled and asked why were they not printed only one side and wouldn’t double sided printing saved paper, cost and time? She smiled back, saying that was not the working culture there and the bosses prefer not peer at the other side of the print out. We chatted a bit on this and when she discovered that I had printed on both sides, smiled again and said I didn’t need to go through the hassle, as the company does not have a policy on saving the environment or cutting cost. Well, it was not written policy anyway and so we didnt need to adhere to that
I mulled over what she said. It was true that the company (an ex employer) didnt have that policy and I decided to have a word with my superior on this. It is not that I was overly passionate about environmental conservation or considered a tree hugger (though I have no objection to this, prefering to leave this to the die hard fans), only that I felt the company could save some money from a policy of double sided printing
My boss, surprisingly, warmed up to the discussion. She said she had always felt there was too much waste in the office and we can do something about that while contributing to the environment. So unwittingly I was roped in to spearhead the Go Green campaign at the office with the help of passionate “eco-warriors”. The campaign was a success! We didn’t realise so many people actually bought into the idea
So what can we do to save cost and contribute at the same time, albeit at a micro level, to environmental conservation?
At the work place and Home front
a) Print only important emails, documents or files
b) Print on both sides (convince your superiors, subordinates, spouses, children etc on the practicality of this)
c) Sort out the recycable materials – make sure there are bins for plastic materials, glass, aluminium and paper – the outlay may cost a bit but in the long run, it is beneficial for you. Your helpers/maids can assist with this and they can make some money out of this which means they will be more than willing to help
d) Donate the materials mentioned above to organisations that have this public service
e) Make sure you do not forget to bring your own paper bags while shopping
f)Use energy saving bulbs which may cost a bit more but last very much longer than conventional ones. In the end, you will spend less
g) Switch off all the electrical equipment when not in use – make this a habit
Let me know how this pans outs. The Year of the Dragon is an opportune time to start a new conservation venture!
The writer is the CEO of Everest Communications Research
She welcomes brick bats