MBA Lawyers Eco-Challenge Eco-Tips

Issue February 2008

• To increase recycling, reduce wasteful purchases and encourage teamwork at your office, create an internal reuse center. This center, housed in a common area such as a cafeteria/kitchen or storage room/closet would become the central location for staff to swap supplies, from the tape dispenser left behind by a former colleague to a duplicate desk calendar.

Greenhouse gas reduction
• Work with the state’s free travel options program, MassRIDES, to set up programs at your office that encourage your employees to use commuting options, like transit, carpooling, etc… MassRIDES offers free assistance and will work with you to set up programs that best suit your employees’ needs, from transit pass programs to online ride matching for carpools/vanpools.
• Help reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming by cutting back on travel to and from work and while working. You can do that several ways:
   o Choose other modes of travel besides your personal car, like public transportation, biking, walking and carpooling. If you must drive, choose a fuel-efficient vehicle.
   o Hold Web and phone-based meetings instead of gathering in person.
   o Work from home whenever possible.

Environmentally conscious purchases
• Save trees and reduce your carbon footprint by switching to 100 percent post-consumer recycled content paper for photo-copying and professional print jobs. The myth that recycled content paper is of worse quality or will get stuck in copiers and printers is just that — recycled content paper performs just as well and comes with the added benefit of being able to promote your “green” choice to customers and clients!
• To cut down on trash and packaging, buy your kitchen supplies — like sugar, creamer and coffee — in bulk rather than
in single-serving containers.
• Consider energy-efficient equipment when replacing appliances and computers
in your office and home.
   o Visit Energy Star at to find a wide array of energy-saving products, including printers, copies, refrigerators and computers.
   o When replacing computers, consider those that are rated highly by the Elec-
tronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) by visiting The Web site uses a set of criteria to help consumers compare the energy efficiency
of various computers.

Paper reduction
• Review all catalogs, periodicals and other written materials that are regularly mailed to your office to check duplication, need and the possibility of electronic delivery.
   o If the same magazine or catalog is mailed to more than one person in your office, consider sharing the information instead of receiving multiple copies.
   o Remove your office from mailing lists when you can view the same inform-ation online or if the material is discarded immediately.

Sustainable practices
• Buy reusable coffee mugs for your employees or yourself and use them when you get your caffeine fix for refills in your office or the local coffee shop.

Tips are published each week in e-Journal and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.