Friday, April 24, 2009

EARTH WEEK ACTIVITIES I'm not a tree hugger by any means, but this week being Earth Week has been a busy one for me in the office. One of the areas of law I work in is the Environmental Practice area, and our office has been pushing hard to develop a Sustainability subpractice. And one of the attorneys I work closely with has pretty much been given the okay to run with this, so she has mainly been in charge.
One of the things we did was set up a recycling program in the office, working closely with the building maintenance and trash hauling company to help us do this properly. Now, each person in the office has their own recycling box that they can place non-trash, non-confidential paper to be recycled. Another program we implemented this week was an electronic recycling program, where anyone in the building can drop off electronic items to be recycled with a local company picking them up and doing whatever it is they do with the stuff. We also began tracking how much paper we use (waste) and began using recycled paper and double sided printing whenever possible in an effort to reduce the volume. Here's just one scary statistic from this data: In 2008, we purchased 28,116 reams of paper (14,058,000 sheets of paper---that is 14 MILLION sheets of paper). This equals 158 reams of paper per lawyer per year (or 79,000 sheets of paper/attorney). I stopped thinking years ago how much waste we have here, realizing part of it is the nature of the business, because it is too depressing.
The firm also provided all employees with a tote bag made of recycled materials, with the firm logo of course, so that expense can go to marketing or at the least free advertising. We also received a water bottle made out of BPA (Bisphenol) free plastic so apparently there will be no excuse for anyone to use paper cups unnecessarily. (That being said, we no longer use foam cups for personal or client use.) If you want to view our website (and this is not advertisement, just fyi) it is, or you can Google warner norcross & judd. I've worked here for many (many, many) years, and the firm has grown in size and reputation as being a premier lawfirm in West Michigan. So its a good place to be.
What I am anxious now to do is get outside and enjoy Earth Week and the wonderful weather we are supposed to have for the next 2 days and get in my long run and ride. Enjoy your weekend!


Lily on the Road said...

Have a wonderful weekend Vickie!!

Flo said...

Those are all fabulous ideas!! Reducing the 'garbage' we generate is always a fantastic idea. I've been using an insulated lunch bag and containers with built in ice packs for years. I love that I pretty much have no garbage from my lunch because the lid of the container serves as a plate. It's the little things that will add up and really matter in the end. Hope you have a great weekend!!! It's supposed to be rainy here :(

Tammy said...

It's great they have Earth Day. CT has doing a really great job at working on the environment here. They do not spray chemicals for mosquitos and are giving folks the insentive to use green bags. One store here does a drawing once every month if you bring in your own bags for free $25 in free groceries others give you .05 for each bag you bring in. Works out great, would like to see more places do the same.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Enjoy earthday weekend outside with good weather!!

We received thermal cups for coffee/tea whatever and they stopped offering disposable bowls at the cafe (I would use it for oatmeal).

I like the tote bag idea - which my company would jump on that.