How to be “Green”

By: | Category: Document Management

My father always threatened that if he had to mow the yard (my task), he’d tear up the grass, pour our yard full of concrete, and paint it green. Good thing I liked mowing or I would have been a very skinned-up kid playing on concrete… and maybe the green would have rubbed off on my skin. I might have looked the part of Elphaba, the wicked witch of the west in Wicked!

Green has come to have many connotations in our lives these days… most recently the environmentally friendly “going green”, but also “green with envy”, “green around the gills”, “get the green light”, and for all my theatre friends, the “green room.” Being “green” has come to have a very positive meaning for us all, and we should all try to do more for this planet that is trying to sustain us.

Let’s look around the office for a moment…what can we do to “go green?”  What is it that takes up a great deal of the space around us? Yes, paper.  Paper is also one of the easiest things to recycle, and we should all be doing our part. However, all too often we forget that if we didn’t use it to begin with, we wouldn’t have to recycle it. Do you really need to print that email?  Is it really critical to have that manual printed out? Wouldn’t you rather email it than have to go to the printer and hike the paper around to its next destination? [On a side note – walk anyway.  It’s healthier, and that was probably a resolution of yours this year.  But don’t print paper just so you can walk.]

Something else that can be recycled is the empty toner cartridges from your printer and copiers . As matter of fact, many  printer/copier service organizations , including Net at Work sister company Docutrend, offers  Free Toner Recycling! It’s as simple as downloading your pre-paid shipping labels and dropping them in the mail! (Visit:

For Earth Day (April 22) this year, let’s start to make an effort to participate in whatever “green” recycling you can at the office – does your office offer recycling of bottles and cans?  If not, find out why.  Can you start a recycling program?  Do others in your building have a program that your office can join? If you can recycle at home, take your bottles with you and recycle them at home.  After all, you most likely brought the bottle from home to begin with.

Check out your local recycling options, and laws.  Here in North Carolina, it is technically illegal to put bottles and cans into the garbage that goes to the landfill.

If we all make an effort to “go green”, even though it might make you initially “green around the gills” to take that extra step, we’ll “get the green light” from the planet and others who aren’t quite as green will be “green with envy.”  Before I retire to my “green room”, I’ll leave you with my favorite double entendre line from my favorite “green” musical “Wicked!”:  Because I knew you, I have been changed for good…