Going Green Ideas from Law Firms for Law Firms

There are a lot of different ways for your firm to go green.  Below are 56 ideas that we have gathered from our law firm customers.  What others can you add to this list? 

  1. Participate in the ABA Law Office Climate Challenge (http://www.abanet.org/environ/climatechallenge/overview.shtml)
  2. Form a “sustainability committee”
  3. Involve all areas of the firm in your “Green” program
  4. Use contests to solicit ideas from employees on ways to increase recycling and reduce paper usage
  5. Communicate your efforts, progress & cost savings internally – use your intranet or create an on-line newsletter.
  6. Communicate programs to your customers and prospects (use your web site, marketing materials, email template, speeches, etc.)
  7. Use your program as a recruiting tool for new employees
  8. Educate employees on energy savings opportunities at home
  9. Eliminate internal memos
  10. Use an entire legal pad and don’t file remnants
  11. Reuse file folders, expandable files, and notebooks
  12. Encourage on-screen editing of documents
  13. Use continuous circulation envelopes for inter-office mail
  14. Double-sided copying as standard in copiers and printers
  15. Print drafts on the backside of used paper
  16. Eliminate multiple copies of documents
  17. Don’t print accounting reports – send and review via computer
  18. Order supplies via phone or Internet
  19. Encourage clients & vendors to utilize electronic billing
  20. Clean up mailing lists to eliminate duplication and stale addresses
  21. Email signature: “Please consider the environment before printing this email”
  22. Convert to chlorine-free recycled paper with high post consumer waste content for stationery, business cards, marketing materials, legal pads, and copy paper where possible
  23. Use 100% cotton bond paper for stationery (tree free)
  24. Use soy-based inks on printed materials where possible
  25. Use filing products with high post consumer waste content
  26. Use recycled paper products for plates, napkins, paper towels & toilet paper
  27. Eliminate plastic eating utensils – use flatware or corn starch biodegradable utensils from a source such as: http://www.worldcentric.org/store/cutlery.htm
  28. Use glass mugs and water glasses instead of plastic or paper cups
  29. Purchase Labor Law posters that use recycled paper & soy-based inks from a source such as: http://postercompliance.com/green/
  30. “Turn off lights” reminders on light switches (or motion detectors)
  31. Automatically turn off lights during non-working hours
  32. Switch from T-12 to T-8 fluorescent bulbs (62% less energy)
  33. Configure space to make best use of natural lighting (reduce fixtures)
  34. Set computer monitors to revert to stand by mode after 15 minutes (uses 90% less energy than regular operational mode)
  35. Use power strips with motion detectors to turn off electrical equipment after 5 minutes of non-use
  36. Switch from CRT to LCD monitors (use 50 to 65% less energy)
  37. Avoid screen savers on computers (use as much energy as full power)
  38. Use remanufactured toner cartridges (quality has improved significantly)
  39. Set printers and copiers to revert to stand by mode after being idle for 15 minutes
  40. Strongly encourage suppliers to be better environmental stewards or select them on that basis
  41. Determine if your building participates in programs offered by U.S. Green Building Council (office renovation or expansion projects)
  42. Make certain all electronic equipment (including kitchen appliances) is Energy Star certified
  43. Convert faucets to use lower gallon-per-minute aerators
  44. Convert to low flow toilets (1.6 gallon)
  45. Consider recycled content of items purchased like furniture and carpet
  46. Ensure office-cleaning service utilizes environmentally friendly products
  47. Provide incentives for carpooling or mass transit use
  48. Reduce travel to meetings – use audio or video conferencing or send fewer attendees
  49. Allow telecommuting where practical
  50. Recycle newspapers, magazines & phone books
  51. Recycle soft drink cans
  52. Eliminate bottled water
  53. Eliminate plastic liners in wastebaskets
  54. Use separate container at each desk for items to be recycled
  55. Donate used furniture to non-profit organizations
  56. Recycle used computer equipment (equipment is donated to non-profits, remarketed, or recycled)

There are several other ways to go green.  What other ideas can you share with our law firm readers?  Respond or email email@aslegal.com with your thoughts and ideas.  Together we can make the world a greener place to live. 

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