Besides caring for our clients, I also attempt to care for the environment.
I first try to conserve paper by not generating as much. Unlike most law firms, I do not maintain paper files, but rather store everything electronically. For back-up, I use redundant hard drives, and also remotely back-up all data. Instead of sending correspondence by mail and fax, I prefer to use email, even offering three different ways clients can communicate with me via secure email. Not having to deal with large quantities of paper makes me more efficient, and helps the environment.
However, using paper in a law firm is almost a foregone conclusion. Therefore, my laser printer is equipped with a duplexer, so that I can print on both sides of each sheet of paper to reduce the amount of paper I use. Furthermore, to lessen the environmental impact of our printing, I use 100% post-consumer waste (PCW), process chlorine-free, and hydrogen peroxide-bleached recycled office paper for the vast majority of our printings. Our papers of choice are Staples 100% PCW paper.
Of course, I also recycle all discarded paper. Sensitive printings are shredded prior to recycling to maintain client confidentiality.
My office is completely incandescent bulb free. Rather, I use only energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFL's). These lights are anywhere from 60-80% more efficient than standard incandescent light bulbs, while providing the same or greater light output as incandescents.
Besides using energy-efficient lighting, I conserve electricity in other ways. All of my office equipment, including computers, monitors, network scanners, and printers, areEnergy Star compliant, and/or have a low-power mode that they revert to when not in active use. My desktop computers are equipped with energy-efficient LCD flat-panel monitors. As added benefits, LCD monitors are easier on the eyes, promoting less fatigue than other monitors, and emit significantly less radiation than CRT monitors do.
Renewable Energy Use and Global Warming
Through my utility company, SRP, each month I purchase an amount of EarthWise Energy, which is environmentally friendly power, generated by wind, solar, or other means. Purchasing EarthWise Energy allows SRP to purchase power generated by renewable resources, displacing power generated by fossil fuel plants.